Monday, December 29, 2008

Notes On A Party

Saturday night at chez nous saw several scenes of conviviality and cheer at our annual Hanukah bash, but now I am experiencing a gentle bout of post-party depression. You know, the feelings of let-down and loss that directly follow a fete for which you've spent hours, days, and weeks in detailed preparation. It's those zillion little details that make a party feel like like a grand old time. The varied appetizer and hors d'oeuvre menu that I "conceived" went through many edits and modifications, but I stuck to my golden rule of cocktail party fare: "thou shalt forsake all cutlery". The party's theme was "winterrific", and Mother Nature graciously complied by dumping 6-8 inches of snow on us all a few days prior. The drinks menu were suitably girlicious, all served up in to-be-expected martini glasses, even the gents got into the mood and sipped the Pink Flamingo's and Winterbreezes.
So I planned, and coordinated, brainstormed, deliberated, imagined and then actualized. I poured, stirred, measured, chopped, sauteed, baked, cooked. I have the cuts and the burns that will serve as Hanukah Party '08 souvenirs, as well as a pound of fake snow, a dozen tree branches spray painted white, and a bucket full of dreidels. And then it was the party. In my version of 1960's Party Hostess, I wore a tres mod LBD and black go-go boots, I spun into a controlled frenzy of plating, reheating, and arranging. The nibbles and bits came out in waves throughout the evening, it was a success on a purely logistical level. And then it was over. And I was overwhelmed by the amount of disarray that was left after a 4 hour party, we're still trying to set it straight after 2 days! It all seems just a little anti-climactic. So here I am, trying to figure out if it's all worth it. I think it is, because it makes the Holiday season special and exciting. It gives people something to look forward to. And, it's an opportunity to try out a bunch of new and interesting recipes and then foist them onto my nearest and dearest, who for these few days seem to have abandoned all their healthful regimes and skinny schemes.

Party Menu:
Pizza Dip- well recieved slow cooker hot dip.
Cheddar-Cranberry Cheeseball - unnecessary, will not repeat.
Goat Cheese Terrine: my party standard, always deccimated by party's end.
Pomodori al Forno: first introduced to the book club in Sept., appreciated both occasions- none left both times.
Asiago Cheese Dip- recieved several enthusiastic endorsements for this crock pot hot dip, that had like a dozen complicated ingredients (reconstituted mushrooms etc.)
Horseradish Gouda Dip: I love horseradish so I decided to include this, but it was unnecessary though moderately consumed.
German Dip: It had me at the caraway seeds.
Baked Brie with marmalade and pecans- always a winner.

Cheese Straws: a standard that can be frozen for months before or after.
Honey Mustard-Gruyere Palmiers: I find these addictive.
Gougeres: An homage to my Francophilism

Tarts/hors d'oeuvres
Balsamic Shallot & Goat Cheese: Y.U.M. I will definitely do this again. My favorite dish of the night.
Tomato Gruyere: ehhh...OK, nothing to cry over.
Savory Mushroom & Goat Cheese: Gone in like 20 minutes
Tomato Onion Tart: More of a quiche and a bit of a yawn.
Artichoke, Roasted Pepper, Goat Cheese Pizza Galette: If it's pizza it's good.
Pear & Blue Cheese Tart: Interesting and pretty well recieved among the more adventurous.
Onion Bhajees: I made two batches of this fried Indian savory treat...sooo good, I only managed to snag one, before they were gone. Definitely a repeat.

Pecan Praline Fondue: Decadent
Lemon Meringue Fondue: delicious with cheesecake bites or mini meringues.
Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies: a scrumptious chocolate cookie for grown-ups
Peanut BUtter Cup Chunk Bars: what could be bad?
Coconut Chocolate Chunk Blondies: I have a lot of these leftover.

1 comment:

Apples and Butter said...

I constantly have to remind myself that the fun of a dinner party or any party for me is mostly in the prepwork. If I don't enjoy the cooking process leading up to a party all on its own, then I always feel let down. If I can enjoy cooking and take a few pictures for the blog then it was a success before the party even began!