Saturday, December 26, 2009

Party Time!

Saturday I was up and at 'em bright and early to get busy for the party. It was definitely a bustling kind of day, and since it's been a week already (a week! already!) it's kind of a blur. Here's the menu:

Smoked Trout Dip with Rosemary Crackers
Curried Almonds
Spiced Pecans
Prosciutto-wrapped greens

Green Salad with Apples, Goat Cheese and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
Grilled Salmon
Wild and Brown Rice Pilaf
Broccoli with Parmesan Bread Crumbs
Homemade Rolls (thanks to my mother-in-law!)

Alfajores (Chocolate covered caramel filled cookies)
Peppermint Sugar Cookies
Clove Snaps
Potato Chip Cookies
Crisp Mocha Bars

Much Beer and Wine

We wound up with about 42 people, and there was enough food left that I know no one went hungry and not so much left that I felt like I'd made way too much. The breakdown went like this:

Smoked Trout dip (finished)
Nuts (finished - thanks Nat and Mom!)
Beef Stroganoff (beef seared and stored, sauce made and stored separately)
Wild and Brown rice pilaf (made and ready to reheat - thanks Nat!)
Broccoli with bread crumbs (made and ready to reheat - thanks Nat! - she and I agreed though that this one didn't really reheat well. So I'll be looking for a different vegetable dish.)
The cookies had all been made ahead and frozen.
Made the prosciutto rolled greens (late in the day)
Made the salad dressing
Put together the Beef Stroganoff and simmer it (late in the day)
Cooked the noodles and put them in the warming tray
Prepared the salmon for grilling
Figured out what was going in what and where it was going on the tables

Wade did the buffet table and made a cool centerpiece of various glass vases filled with water dyed red and green, interspersed with some votive candles. He's a clever dude, that Wade. John and Mom and Wade and Natalie also set up the photo room, then Paul Stephan came by to loan us his lights for that. Here's the stage, all ready to go:

The chair was draped with cheap red fabric. The branch is from a dead cedar out back that John and Mom spray-painted green, then flocked with snow. (I told them next time take a live branch off the cedar that ISN'T dead and then they don't have to spray paint, and I don't have to clean up cedar bits.) Note to self: We have some tree removal to do this spring.

Everything came together beautifully, and my team of workers vacated around 3:00 or so to go change into fancy pants for the party. I like to do the Holiday Bash as a dress-up affair. When you work at home in khakis and Chucks 364 days a year, it's nice to get dressed up once a year.

People started arriving right on time at 7:00, and before I knew it, the house was filled. Such a great feeling! I made the rounds and made everyone promise to get their picture taken while they were there. John worked hard for the party. I did give him a couple of breaks. But they were short. Figured he ought to at least get to eat, though. So I let him out.


We had a lot of fun with that photo room. It started out pretty civilized, with your standard prom-type picture.

Jack and Beth

But as the evening wore on, people loosened up, Melissa's faux fur was "borrowed", and the pictures got a lot more interesting.

Yes, that's my husband with Melissa. He managed to get pictures with most of the women.

Note that Melissa has been relieved of her coat. Here's P. with Natalie. Thanks, Nat!

A couple of drinks and some tin foil later, the faux fur discovers its calling. A pimp coat.

Fast Eddie.

Well, you get the idea.

I think it's fairly safe to say that a good time was had by all. Phillip and I agreed that this was definitely our favorite party of all the ones we've done. Big holla to my family for all their help and for making the trip. It was great to have them all here.

Happy Holidays to you and yours! Have a safe and happy season, and we'll be back to regular blogging about the post-gorge gruel and water diet next week!

Smoked Trout Dip
This is one I made up years ago and it continues to be consumed in large quantities anytime I serve it. I usually like to serve it with Carr's Rosemary Crackers, but obviously you could use anything you like.

1 4 - 6 oz. package smoked trout, crumbled
6 oz cream cheese
6 oz sour cream
2 Tbs fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
black pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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