Making friends isn't always easy. Some people are just averse to being charmed. The world can be cold. Introductions can fail to spawn connections. A momentary rejection can lead to enduring despondence.
Didn't anyone at that Tupperware party understand your joke about tuna noodle casserole? What's with all the grimaces? You thought it would be a knee-slapper!
And why won't your aloof coworker ever make eye contact with you when you're at the coffee machine, even though you sit a mere three seats away from each other for nine hours a day? Is it because you really like to hum along to Master of Puppets?
Anyways, there is one way to practically ensure that you'll weasel your way into the hearts and onto the pedestals of others: to cook them a damn good meal. And Gabriel Rucker of Portland's Le Pigeon can help you do just that.
See, Rucker's an expert at turning misfortune into great fortune—take, for instance, the fact that he turned his poor grasp of math into a career as an award-winning chef. A regular Dale Carnegie, one might say.
RECIPE: Carrot Butter-Poached Halibut with Anchovy Roasted Carrots and Fennel
Here's the dish that will have you rolling in admirers. Poaching halibut in sweet, smooth carrot butter will give it an unimaginably tender texture, while the brightness of orange zest, lemon, and bay leaf pair perfectly with the salty, savory element of anchovy. Pair your fish with roasted carrots and a fresh fennel salad—so very in season, friends—and you've got yourself a meal that will put spirals in the eyes of your guests.
It's cheaper than making friends via bathroom key bumps, and a hell of a lot tastier, too.