Sunday, August 15, 2010

Return of Saturday Lunch

With Saturday afternoons usually reserved for children's birthday parties, how nice to meet with some girlfriends for some light foods, laughter, and an excuse to drink before 1:00.

Friday morning, I braved the summer heat to shop for the luncheon groceries.  I ran into two issues; dried cannelini beans were not only unavailable at the grocery store, but at my local Italian specialty store.  Once I decided to use Great Northern beans, I ran into snag number two which was an unavailability of fresh rosemary.  Determined to either find a fresh herb substitute at home, or dare I say used dried, I completed my shopping.  Later that day, the table was dressed, the vegetables prepped, and the muffins were baked before I finally called it a night; I love luncheons, but advanced prep is essential.

Bright and  early Saturday morning I decided to venture out one last time in search of fresh rosemary.  Dressed in pajama pants and a tank top, without a bra, brushed teeth or combed hair I braved the corner Kroger.  I don't recommend this.  Not only are far more people grocery shopping at 8:00 on a Saturday, they are all appropriately dressed.  Luckily, I did manage to grab the last packet of fresh rosemary so the trip was not a total loss. Back at home, I brought the large pot of soup to a simmer, blended the salad dressing and placed the last cup of morning coffee into the fridge, I cleaned the kitchen and prepared for my guests arrival.

The guest of honor arrived with the nostalgic bottle of Sterling Vineyards Organic Sauvignon Blanc, followed shortly by our remaining guests who offered both champagne and additional bottles of wine.
With drinks poured, and a pitcher of iced tea brewed, we retreated to the dining room to enjoy our meal.
Bean soup... how much can you say about this?  I must admit, this dish was a pot of fresh and well developed goodness. I attribute its success to both the homemade chicken broth, and the fresh rosemary.  (Thank god for party #47 and my willingness to leave the house looking like a mad housewife.)  The salad was very popular, and  though I usually prefer a vinaigrette, the green goddess dressing added a substantial element to this light meal component. With empty plates and glasses filled with champagne, it was time for dessert.  After placing fresh vanilla ice cream into ramekins, and drizzling a bit of cold coffee atop, I placed a candle in a gluten free muffin and presented it to the birthday girl.  As we giggled over stories of foiled-couches, tragic middle school years, and tequila mixed with strawberry juice, I was so happy to have celebrated with my friend in a conventionally unconventional manner.  Around 2:30 that afternoon, with the house empty and the dishwasher humming I secretly wondered why I wait for a birthday to enjoy a Saturday lunch?

Cooking Notes:
Homemade Chicken Broth:  There is something loving in a homemade soup, and when you start with homemade broth that love grows!  Easy, and 'green' I recommend boiling up a batch.
Green Goddess Dressing: Leave to my girl Ina to develop a creamy dressing that satisfies even my moody preteen's palate.  Delicious on lettuce, I also use this to make tuna salad for an extra punch of fresh flavor.

The Party In Numbers:
Parties Completed: 49
Weeks Before Deadline: 3
Bottles Consumed: 2
Justified Purchases: zero! 

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