When: Saturday, 15 September
Where: Our House
What: The “Wait! We have to have one more summer party!” Party”
Who: Literally, our 15 closest friends
Andreas and I love to entertain, and try to do it as much as possible. Unfortunately, this summer was so busy and went by so fast, that we only managed a “kick off the summer” and a “wait! we have to have one more summer party” parties.
The timing for this party worked out particularly well since our good friends Mark & Steven were visiting from Florida for the weekend and staying with us. They moved in March, and used to be mainstays at our house for parties and dinner. It was so good to have them.
The day started out gray and rainy, not optimal summer party weather. I was still planning the menu in my mind and made the snap decision to forgo grilling and offer a cornucopia of appetizer snacks – deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, homemade bruschetta, Greek-platter (humus, tzaziki, olives and pita crisps), taco dip*, buffalo chicken wing dip*, keilbasa, and veggie dip. I was expecting about 20 guests, and cooked what I thought to be plenty of food. Oh, to be safe, Christine was going to bring shrimp and vegetable dumplings, and my sister Beth was bringing her famous cake cookies** for dessert.
Food was prepared, house was cleaned, and the skies cleared up! Andreas and Mark got the backyard patio ready with the tiki torches and the fire pit. We were ready to roll. Everyone started to arrive so I put out the veggie dip, greek platter and the bruschetta as a nice start. Ten minutes later and the bruschetta was gone, the pita crisps were gone (along with a good portion of the dips) and even the veggie platter was cleaned out! No one ever finishes the veggie dip!
OK, so I got a little panicky. We weren’t even at full capacity! We have a ingrained fear in my family when it comes to serving food. You can never, ever, run out. You want to have leftovers, if at all possible.
I got smart. I only put out a small tray of the deviled eggs and only some of the buffalo chicken wing dip (served with tortilla chips). Five minutes and they were gone! This mad paced continued throughout the evening. What I put out, they ate. The taco dip, which is usually picked through with some gusto when it’s first put out and then left was eaten in less than 15 minutes. Every time I put something out, and went back to the kitchen, when I came back out, it was gone!
Thankfully, I had my cousin and sister there to talk me off the ledge. While everyone definitely ate everything that was served, no one left hungry. And I didn’t have any leftovers. After I could come to grips with that, I started to really get a kick out of it.
The party was a big success and a lot of fun. We are lucky to have a great group of friends who all get along really well. They can come over our house anytime and eat me out of house and home.
*These recipes are both available on the web, but I am eventually going to start a recipe database. Stay tuned.
**What’s a cake cookie you ask? Instead of flour, use cake mix (in this case yellow cake) and add your chocolate bit of choice. For the party, Beth chose dark chocolate m*&*m’s. She has a magic touch with cookies. I don’t know what she does, but they are always so good.