We now have one more Resident’s Dinner, aka Younger Hipper Thanksgiving, under our belt. And it was a success, if I do say so myself. We had a smaller crowd than expected, which turned out great, actually. I think when people don’t leave until I’m practically in my pajamas, it means it went off well. It’s always good when everyone is comfortable, conversation is loud, and the chocolates are slowly being nibbled as the last of the candles flicker out.
I must admit, as the day in preparation wore on, I honest to goodness thought this would be the time when nothing was ready by the time the first guests arrived. I always get like this, where I’m busy and working but then I look around and see everything else that has to be done, and I get a little panicky and fight off the urge to hyperventilate. Really, it’s my fault for tackling such a broad menu, but I’m sure I’ll do it again so I need to just deal.
I have no earthly idea how it all came together, minus a few dishes we handed off to the first guests to dry while we wiped down a counter or two. If I’m real, it came together because my husband is a work horse and keeps me motivated, and also because of some help from the kids with chores and food labels. But still, come ten minutes til party time and it seems like there’s absolutely no way…and then like that, we’re calm and relaxed, welcoming old friends and new–the wine bottles were opened, conversation was easy, and the food was appropriately raved over.
Two things: 1) Please notice we aren’t too proud to host a fancy dinner complete with folding chairs. But how else would one go about such a situation as this? 2) I got crazy and started spray painting pumpkins and rocks and bricks on Thanksgiving Day, as though I had nothing else to do…but it turned out pretty so it was worth it.
I made up this pretty little menu, just for you friends…except Luke spotted it on the counter and took a picture and sent it to the guests as a teaser, which made me feel all sorts of pressure now that they had something to look forward to….
As far as appetizers go, our family favorite was the Tuna Tartare, recipe courtesy of Ina Garten (although I made a smaller batch than this recipe). It’s almost to die for, seriously. But one of the newest recipes I used was a Marinated Goat Cheese that was a cinch and was perhaps second tastiest appetizer present (next to the tartare, which will always win out). Other appetizers on the spread were a Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Dip, Roasted Grapes (yep, that was a first one for me), and Wasabi Parmesan Edamame (which seemed to be enjoyed but weren’t my favorite). And of course, several amazing cheeses and all the fun things that go along with a colorful cheese board. I scrapped the bruschetta at the end because, umm, hello, we had plenty if not too much food. Someone has to draw the line somewhere.
And then the Pumpkin Ravioli (inspired by a trip to San Francisco, years ago), Bacon & Turkey & Mashed Potato Ravioli (Luke’s shout out to leftovers), and Pecan & Mushroom Ravioli, and a Quick Italian Salad thanks to the Pioneer Woman.
Are you jealous yet?
So there you go (Naomi), this is how it goes around here. And thanks to a majorly sweet guest, our dishes were all but done by the time everyone left, at which point we fell into bed and were dead to the world.