Thursday, August 19, 2010

arsenic and old ketchup...

Bright and early Monday morning, the house was all giggles after the arrival of our out of town guests.    After taking in the shock and reality that the girls discussing college applications and learners permits were the same six and seven year old that we pushed on the swings years ago,  I was more than happy to fill the air with the sweet smell of pancakes.  Prep for this meal is ridiculously easy; in fact it is a bit of an embarrassment that pancake mix exists. However, the cinnamon polenta cakes were devoured by the beautiful young ladies as they politely thanked the husband and I for each helping.  After meticulously rinsing their dishes, they were off and running to host their own version of American Idol.  Some things never change.

After allowing a few hours for digestion, I was back in the kitchen preparing our lunch.  How much prep is required for hot dogs? Well, should you pick up any food magazine this summer you will see that hot dogs are not what they used to be.   I prepped a traditional bruschetta complete with fresh tomatoes, basil, good olive oil, and aged balsamic vinegar... then I placed it atop the trashiest food product available.... and it was damn good!

With the parmesan fries browning beautifully in the oven, I had a horrible realization... I was out of ketchup.  Still unsure as to how my gourmet hot dog would appease moody teenagers, I sent the husband on operation condiment. Luckily, my trusty neighbor was home and all too eager to lend us his organic ketchup.  With plates piled high with hot dogs and french fries, we gathered round the table for a fantastic lunch.  The hot dog was wonderfully received, and the fries devoured.  The only thing off was the taste of our ketchup which had a slight BBQ flavor.  When we finished our meal I asked my guests if they had noticed the strange taste, and, leave it to my moody pre-teen to discover our issue:

"Mom, this ketchup expired in October of 2009!" 

At this point, I poured myself a glass of wine, and quickly assembled the strawberry milkshakes as I waited for signs of botulism to take over their bodies.

About an hour later, with our health in tact, we took to the pool to complete our summer day.  As the older guests engaged in an intense game of keep away, and the young ones stayed confined to the kiddie pool I called the party and the day a success.  How nice when the obligations of family aren't obligations at all.  

The Party In Numbers:
Parties Completed: 50
Weeks before deadline: 2
Bottles consumed: half a bottle
Justified Purchases: zero!

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