I could start this post describing the prep for party #52; running through Party City with my mother and 3 year old, the Italian Cheesecake that baked onto the oven floor, greeting my first few guests in a towel since I told them the wrong start time.... but I would rather go right to the good stuff.
The final party began in the most appropriate manner; a dear friend popped open a fantastic bottle of champagne and made a toast. As guests continued to arrive I was showered with wine, flowers, and cards. After grazing on antipasto and focaccia and drinking plenty of white wine we assigned bocce partners and set up the dinner buffet. As the husband coached our white clothed friends on the Italian art of kissing balls, I piled pasta and salad into large serving dishes and announced ‘dinner is served.’
While some guests devoured bowls of spaghetti bolognese and others made lewd comments concerning the word ‘ball’ the evening progressed in a beautiful fashion. People wandered about with pasta in one hand, wine in the other. It was casual, comforting; everything I always wanted my food to be. At dessert time, biscotti made it to the table, however the Italian Cheesecake was replaced with chocolate dipped strawberries and a batch of snickerdoodles. We ate, we laughed and soon, it was time to say goodbye.
A year ago I envisioned the last party as a Gatsby caliber soiree (minus the vehicular manslaughter). It wasn’t. It was a house filled with the friends I have grown to love, an obscure lawn sport and my own family comfort food. Perhaps on accident, but the final party encompassed why I love to cook; food brings people together. It doesn’t have to be hip nor glamourous, it just has to be good. I end this project thinking that while I considered this a food and wine blog, it was more a relationship diary. Each week it chronicled interactions with friends as we enjoyed a meal. Some friends were here and gone and some were here through the end. This weekend, a friend of the family described entertaining as a time to eat, drink and celebrate life. What better reason to celebrate.
The Party In Numbers:
Parties Completed: 52
Weeks Before Deadline: 0
Bottles Consumed: 12
Justified Purchases: All things Italian
What to do now that the project is over? Follow me this year as I learn new cuisines, share some recipes, and host even more parties. Grab your corkscrew and hunker down.... We have a lot more life to celebrate.