Tuesday, April 01, 2008

March Dinner Party #2

A few weeks ago, I received the following email from my friend Jaime:

Feel like playing hostess again???? (This is ONLY if you are TOTALLY WANTING to do this!) We are planning a trip soon. I remember one of your resolutions was to host a dinner party each month with 6 or more guests. I joked that we would LOVE to fill up one of those months on our next trip and you said you'd love to have us. Well, we are coming!!! (but you don't have to do this if it doesn't work for you). The following are the nights that we'll be there, March 28-31st. We plan to spend our time visiting family and friends but don't have anything planned yet. I thought I'd check in with you to see if you'd like to host a "friend dinner" PLEASE don't feel bad if this won't work. I'm only putting a "feeler" out there so it's not a big deal if we need to go with plan B!

Because the girls weekend had been on the calendar for so long, the only date of the options that I had available was last night, March 31. So, we planned a dinner party! Jaime sent me a list of folks she and Murray wanted to include and off we went. We had great attendance -- 9 out of 10! Jenny & Jack, Marc & Maria, Murray & Jaime, Holly, and Brad (whose wife Laura couldn't come at the last minute).

Back in August of 2005, Jaime was able to come to a Dinner Club at my apartment and commented at some point about how much she enjoyed my disgusting potatoes. So, the stage was set to start planning this meal around that oh-so-yummy dish.

I've evolved the monthly dinner party resolution to include making a different meal for each dinner party. That is, not allowing myself to rely on my old standby dishes each time. I want to make new things, try out recipes from my box that I've never made that my mom makes, etc. Basically, to get me thinking creatively about dinner. And using ingredients I have on hand (like a lot of ground beef!!) rather than reverting to the easy chicken dish.

I'm never good a remembering to take photos, so no visual aids this time. And I'm too messy a cook to take photos along the way through the cooking process. Suffice it to say, it took me all day yesterday to get it all ready! Thankfully I had decided to take the day off and I sure am glad that I did!

So, the menu:
Barbeque Meatballs (ala Aunt Neva)
Disgustingly Rich Potatoes
Jalapeno Corn
Homemade Rolls
Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

It all turned out quite well, if I may say so. I've got some leftovers, but not so much that I'll be eating them forever! And we were having so much fun visiting and laughing that it was after 11:00 before everyone left!

A couple ideas sprang from this dinner party.....1) at the end of the year, I might compile a little cookbook of the 2008 parties with recipes and 2) for April I intend to do the entire menu from recipes I've pulled out of magazines that I've never made before. Just for fun!


Becky said...

I also love to host dinner parties. One year, Cody and I tried to host a different couple or family from church each month (we didn't quite fulfill this, but enjoyed the times we managed to make the arrangements.) I feel like this is such a lost art. People these days rarely have dinner at someone else's house. We still host people fairly often, and I think it's one of the best ways to get to know people. This is something that I hope enjoys a revival in our culture...we've all become too isolated.

Lana said...

Glad your dinner was such a great hit so you don't have too many leftovers. The idea of using some of those recipes you've cut out is intriguing -- it's hard to make myself try something I'm not sure we'll like when I know we like something I've already made. Good luck!

Keri said...

just wanted to comment and stop lurking. What a great resolution and I really like your menu! :) Been great catching up on all of your fun things going on Jenni.

jaime s said...

Jenni--We LOVED LOVED LOVED our dinner at your house. It was SO DISGUSTINGLY DELICIOUS, I can't stop thinking about EACH dish. Soooooo yummy! A definite success!! The late night fellowship was the perfect touch as it brought back so many fun memories from "the good ole days".

Thank you again for all the work you put into the evening! I especially appreciate you taking off work to prepare it all (but would NEVER have let you do that had I known ahead of time).

You were in your element for sure! God has given you such an amazing gift of hostessing, cooking, preparing, fellowshipping, etc. It is refreshing to see those gifts in active use. I look forward to your monthly dinner party summaries each time you post one.

I will be first in line to purchase your dinner party cookbook...please let me know when it becomes available!!

Thank you again! It was PERFECT!!

That Girl said...

Waiting on the cookbook!