Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Life of the Party

Ahhh... a quiet Sunday evening when I can put up my slippered feet and enjoy my solitude. You wouldn't even know that not four hours ago, this loft was filled with good company, good food, and general merriment.

Having kept you up to date over the past week with my party preparations, I'll simply show you the buffet table and list what all appeared there:

--A cheese plate including an Irish cheddar, a smoked Gouda, and my old favorite Gruyère, with grapes on the side
--Plenty of dips: haydari, guacamole, spinach-artichoke dip, and muhammara
--Homemade flax seed crackers, homemade pumpernickel bread, store-bought wheat crackers and baked blue corn tortilla chips
--Savory apple bruschette

--Lavash crackers
--Asiago-artichoke bruschette
--Polenta cups with sautéed squash and garlic-shallot jam

--Vegetable samosas with three kinds of homemade chutney: green tomato, blueberry-ginger, and mint-tomato
--Cucumber slices and carrots
--Chai spice shortbread, oatmeal date cookies, and chocolate charms

Not to mention the rosemary walnuts and Indian spiced pecans found on the coffee table and the hot mulled cider still simmering in the crockpot!

Though not all of the invited guests were able to attend, those who did show up loved the atmosphere of my new home and raved about the fantastic food. (I pointed out that the food had better be good, because I would probably be eating the leftovers for the rest of the week!) A couple of recipes were requested by satisfied guests, which is always a good sign, and I was able to persuade a few people to take home extra food for spouses who weren't able to attend.

And though I had requested that people not bring gifts, several guests blithely ignored me and took down my guard by bringing me the one kind of gift I can never refuse: local food.

That's right... after all my happy babblings about good local food from the farmers' market or farms or my own garden and kitchen, my friends treated me to some of their own local finds: a bottle of Amish country wine from She Who Brings Fresh Donuts, a trio of homemade preserves (spicy green beans, sweet green tomato relish, and grape jelly) from the Archivist, and dried cherries and blueberries from Mr. Nice Guy and his parents (straight from Michigan!). Happy times!

Once everyone had departed, I cleaned up and put away most of the leftovers, while noshing on those items that wouldn't last (like guacamole and the last bruschette) for dinner. I'll be able to revisit memories from the party with meals throughout the week, and I might not even have to cook again until next weekend (when I hope to start the holiday baking)!

Yes, it's a lot of work to prepare for and to host a party, especially when I tend to go all out with the cooking.

But it's so worth it to share it all with friends.


At 11/14/2006 6:22 PM, Blogger Spicyflower said...

Oh, if only I could dive into my monitor and eat all that tasty, tasty looking food!!


That Spanokopita looks amazing!!

At 11/15/2006 11:38 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Oh, if only you could show up on my doorstep and help me eat the leftovers! I'm even having them for breakfast, and it's taking a loooooong time to clean out the fridge.

The spanokopita IS amazing. I used a square pan instead of a 9 x 13, so the layers of filling are thicker... much more satisfying!

And thank you very much!


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