The Party is Over…
Ah, the glassware. Crystal flutes and goblets, mere hours ago filled and fragrant, cradled and kissed, now stand alone – a stark bouquet of dried red and gold in the morning light…
Sorry, got a little carried away there.
Suffice it to say, we had a party last night, woo hoo! A dinner party – six of us total, few snacks, little meat-n-potatoes, sips of wine, chat and laughs, cheese and fruit, everyone toddled home and off to bed. (You might have read about a few of those here before…) But this party was different than our usual, a new trick for us old dogs – we didn’t know our guests! You see, our dinner was a silent auction item for a local school fundraiser that someone bid on and purchased. (Thank you Pam Van Ert for coming up with the concept and setting it all up.) How cool is it that someone actually paid to have dinner with John and me? Very cool. Very, very cool.
As are the two couples who joined us, Cindy & Ed Bennett and Liz & Mark Pihart. I confess, I’d met Cindy & Liz, as we’re all neighbors and such, but I hadn’t met the boys and John had met no one. With a “we eat anything” all-clear (yes!), I sat down earlier in the week to plan the menu. I have to say, I had a blast thinking about what to serve and how to serve it. A soup course? Plated entree? In the end, I decided that it would be most fun for everyone if I just did my usual – appetizers with drinks, buffet-style dinner, simple dessert. I wanted to actually talk with our guests, so I made sure I wasn’t standing out on the deck grilling while all the fun happened inside. I chose uncomplicated dishes that have been successful in the past. And I chose dishes I could prep in advance with just minor finishing (sweating over a hot stove in heels and jewelry, in front a group of people I’ve just met, uh no). Here’s how it all shook out:
Grilled bread with a platter of ricotta, tapenade, salami, roasted tomatoes, and olives
Grilled artichokes with mustard sauce
Prosecco, Pinot Noir, Fume Blanc
Herb-roasted beef tenderloin (garlic, rosemary, thyme)
Wild mushroom sauce
Mashed potatoes (sour cream, pecorino romano)
Swiss chard (pancetta, pine nuts, currants, balsamic)
I spared our new friends from having their pictures on my blog – a first-timers’ pass. I also spared them from watching me photograph the food I was serving them – not exactly what they bid on, ha. In the end, John and I had a complete blast. Both couples are smart and funny, and gracious guests, and the whole night flew by, whoosh. Bonus? They’re all four serious Foodies. As in wild-asparagus-hunting, organic-vegetable-growing, whole-pig-roasting Foodies – love!
Sharing a meal with friends old and new…yeah, it’s all good.