We had a terribly mild fall, warm enough to sit outside well into November, and then I got a snow storm for the night of my party.
I guess there are a couple of up sides: despite the mild weather, it did cool down enough in November to make cookie storage OK in the vestibule, and it got downright cold in December. And, it was a really nice party. Maybe because there were fewer people, or maybe because the people who did make it there through the snow were highly motivated, it seemed well-paced, not such a crush, and I felt like I had time to talk to guests.
I talked John & Megan into NOT driving up from Chicago, which made me unhappy – I would’ve really liked to have had them at the party. But the way things worked out, they were going to leave Chicago at like 6:30, which with the snow probably would have put their arrival time in Madison at around 10:00 PM – or later, if they didn’t end up in ditch or killed. Probably the most likely outcome is they would’ve inched along in traffic on I-90, and the normally 3 1/2 hour trip would’ve been about six.
The food was largely devoured, and not too much leftovers to deal with. I have a Costco ham I never cut, and a whole leek tart in the freezer. Cut up vegetables for a stir fry. A loaf of cocktail rye. My approach was use what ya got – so lots of stuff from the freezer, that I made last summer.
Here’s the menu:
Goat cheese baked in pepperonata (from the freezer – it was a good pepper year for my CSA), with home made baguettes; kosher dogs wrapped in the same dough and cut into bite size pieces (I liked the convenience of the using the same dough for the dogs, but I like the taste of the eggier dough I usually use better I think); deviled eggs (I filled them with a scoop instead of a pastry bag for easiness); leek tart (Leek confit from the freezer); Squash hummus and regular hummus (that did not get eaten in as large of quantities as it should’ve, as Rach observed when we were putting the food away afterward – I think I made it too spicey), Corn (from the freezer) and black bean salsa and chips – and I did not add any of the avocados that I got 4 for $5 at the co-op – they weren’t that nice, and the salsa will keep better without, although there’s a very manageable amount left; bacon dates with water chestnuts; cocktail meatballs with sauce made from Heinz chili sauce and the Thanksgiving cranberry sauce – 3 1/2 pounds of meat and all eaten; pumpkin pesto bread (oh, I promised to write up that recipe at Thanksgiving – Real Soon Now™) and pepperoni roll/Stromboli with red sauce made from roasted peppers and diced tomatoes from the freezer; shrimp boiled in beer, with more chili sauce; peanut dip and vegetables – Belana made a beautiful vegetable platter, I am waiting for a picture. Some ready-mades: Chex mix (frozen since Thanksgiving); Costco smoked salmon; pistachios; olives; clementines. Sliced salami, from a big sampler pack that I bought in September for Steve’s party, and froze till now, that I put out with Tillamook cheddar and home made pickled mushrooms and peppers. I made pickled beets too but didn’t put them out.
And of course, cookies:
On Saturday the cookie fairy made her rounds in the snow delivering boxes – and mailing one last box – to people who couldn’t get to the party. She came back with a haul – hand sewn potholders, a bag of biscotti, and a bag of skin lotions and soap. And later on, a New Year’s Eve invite by text, from one box recipient.