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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

In Support of Sloppy Entertaining

I don't know if there is much worse (okay, there IS much worse - but let's keep this relevant, 'k?) than slaving for hours on a dinner menu to have it turn out totally MEH.  Especially when you are also trying to clean the house to a level that requires heavy equipment and months of prep work in less than half a day.  It cannot be done, peoples. 

My Girlz Night group now meets, maybe, on a seasonal basis.  One woman now has two homes - one on Cape Cod, where I secretly think she'd rather be - and one woman works full time, as I do, but her work entails driving from Monday to Thursday.  Plus, she has a real social life.  Anyhoo, somewhere in the process of our getting together, we all now try to outdo each other with the scope, quality and fanciness of our dinner.  This is, in a word, ridiculous.  I take the whole day off because I am cooking up a complicated storm, trying to whip my house into order (neither women have pets, although one has knick-knacks) and then appear at the appointed hour, martini glasses frosted, not a hair out of place, in something casual but classy.

Not surprisingly, it never happens that way.  The menu was this:

Seeded Flatbread
Almond Flour Crackers
Red Lentil Hummus

Tomato Ricotta Pie in a Brown Rice Crust
Orange/Avocado Salad on Arugula with a Balsamic Glaze

Autumn Apple Cake

What was edible?  Not much.  The flatbread and crackers were good.  The hummus was watery.  The Tomato pie was supremely MEH and did not set properly.  The salad was good.  The cake was medium MEH.

And it took HOURS.  Okay, given I was also stressed out over Juno and the gopher-sized balls of fur that kept wafting across the dining room floor - all of which could have added to the looming disaster.  Instead of finding me cool, calm, wine glass in hand, they found me sweaty and apologetic.  It was wrong!

From now on - I will be the Queen of Crappy Entertaining.  The Salome of Sloppiness.  The Eve of Ease.  I will plan an easy meal, based on what's at hand (although, in my defense, everything I made was with what was at hand).  I will not apologize for dust gophers.  I will not dress up.  I will have a good time.  Barring sick sheep and dead ducks.

15 comments:

  1. As Cessa once told me, and it has become my mantra, "they don't come to your house to see you and your house, they come to get out of their own"!

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    1. Sylvie - Coming from someone who ALWAYS manages to be cool, calm and elegant - plus have a delicious, nutritious dinner set out in a clean house - that is so true.

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  2. I hope the conversation was good though and that everyone enjoyed seeing each other!

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    1. Debra - Yes, after two martinis (them) and two glasses of wine (me) no one much cared about either the food or the gophers.

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  3. Oh, Sweezie! A perfectly true (and excellently written) post ready to be published nation-wide! It also illustrates how we women insist on torturing ourselves in the name of (unobtainable) perfection. Throw in a sick child or two and 98% of all women could relate completely. (Don't cha envy the few women who are able to pull off an evening like that with a casual bowl of soup, store bought loaf of bread, and be fine with it saying, "This is me, come on in, I want to enjoy your company." I sure do and want to be The Eve of Ease when I grow up!)

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    1. Mama Pea - I don't know if (we) can ever reach that level of Nirvana. But it's something to aim for, right?

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  4. I used to try and do the impossible when we had visitors arriving. That was in the days when we had tarpaulins on the floor and overhead, and packing cases everywhere all of which was covered in thick layers of cement dust. I was living in a ruin of a house which was under renovation. We used to have quite a few visitors then. But now we are all tidied up no one visits! I think the visitors liked to see what a state of chaos we were living in!
    I am sure your meal was lovely, but I would cook the simplest meal, nothing fancy, and if they don't it like they can go hungry. And a memory of giving a 'friend' a slice of recently made home made cheese and seeing her absolute look of horror at its taste. No reason for her doing this as the cheese had turned out really nice. She was never invited back!

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    1. Vera - Honestly? I have never met a cheese I did not like. I do think that sometimes people accept my invitations because they are curious about my lifestyle. I am going to do just that, next time - simple.

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  5. I envy the people who do it with love and get huge satifaction from it while making everyone feel well nurtured. I might love the people I cook for but anxiety over the outcome kills any pleasure that might be coming my way. My most successful meal of late was a pub lunch migrated to dinner consisting of french bread from the bakery, pickled onions, chutney, cheeses, pate and farmer's sausage. Nothing saw the inside of an oven. Turned out one of the guests had lived in England way back and was ecstatic over the memories it evoked(or he was being very kind). How goes it for Juno?

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    1. Susan - That sounds like the perfect meal! I may follow your lead. Juno is the same. I am most likely in a state of denial, as I love that sheep, but a call to the vet is in our future.

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  6. with me you get cuisine or couture, never both at the same time.

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    1. Jaz - Given your cuisine, I wouldn't care if you were wearing a gunny sack. Your food is DIVINE!

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  7. Only dust gophers? For shame...mine are dinosaurs! Anyway I learned from my father, people like you for you. After ignoring his sage advice and trying to make like I could do everything perfectly I finally realized the people who I really like ...like me for me too! However it is nice to put a fancy meal together now and then and have it work. I did serve Christmas dinner once with a half frozen calf on a heat mat under the table! My father and I thought the guests understood. At his funeral one of the friends who was at that dinner told the story and said it was a meal to remember for the food and the company!

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    1. excuse me...the calf was alive but had been born in a storm and was hypothermic....the above statement sounds macabre!

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    2. Thank goodness you clarified that half frozen calf! I thought maybe it was a very large dinner party, with a half a calf and all.... :). I would be thrilled just to join you on the porch for a cup of tea!

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