On September 3, 2009 I decided to host 52 parties before September 6th 2010. The parameters were simple: guests, new recipes, and wine. Last Saturday we had guests, I used all new recipes, and we certainly had some wine. Did we have a dinner party? It’s hard to say.
Prep began late Saturday morning once it was decided that our quiet evening at home would actually be a party night. In search of a dessert, I went to my pantry… . all of the ingredients for oatmeal cookies present. After whipping up a fresh batch and filling the house with a divine aroma, I moved on to the most time intensive element of the meal: homemade BBQ sauce. It’s ridiculous how easy this is, and unbelievable how fantastic it tastes. (See cooking notes for recipe)
After throwing a workout into the mix, I prepared our popcorn appetizer and constructed our sandwiches. The first guest arrived and munched on popcorn as I dipped and flipped sandwiches and put finishing touches on the chowder. After a text warned of late arrivals, I decided to serve my first three diners and hold off on completing meals for those yet to arrive. Unintentionally, I had turned my kitchen into a dinner party diner. As guests staggered in I prepared their plate, they would sit at the breakfast bar, as I continued to prep for the next arrival. Where were the earlier diners in the midst of this chaos? They retired to the family room or upstairs television with plates of cookies. With the final guest fed, and a consensus reached on which movie to watch, one guest decided his current break up was too much to endure and headed home with Beyonce blaring from his convertible. This gave my other two guests just enough time to consider their own drive home and call it a night.
With the house empty, I assessed the disaster of my kitchen and asked my husband an important question… ‘was this a party?’ Technically yes; guests, new menu, wine, and conversation, if disjointed. However, even I’ll admit I was riding the line. It seems that a party is more than food and bodies.
BBQ Sauce: if you plan to BBQ this summer, I highly recommend moving beyond the plastic bottle sauce and throwing a batch of your own together. I like the Neely's recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/down-home-with-the-neelys/neelys-bbq-sauce-recipe/index.html
Oatmeal Cookies: basic and delicious, this was a great way to end our meal. Make some this weekend; you most likely already have all the ingredients you need and your family will love you all the more.
Parties Completed: 38
Weeks Before Deadline: 15
Bottles of Wine consumed: 2
Justified Purchases: zero!