Sunday, February 20, 2011

Let's Marinade in Fun - by Amy

I threw a party recently for my best friend Lara before she and her husband moved to Montenegro. Giving the couple a chance to say goodbye to their friends and the friends a chance to wish them well was, of course, the goal. But could this, or any gathering, be accomplished without the help of snacks and drinks? It would have been a shorter, less festive gathering, thats for sure! So, let's talk about food...

My perspective? I could spout the usual: food is sensual, food is communal, food is about tradition, family, ritual. Eh - I don't know that we need to wade in those waters too much.
I eat because it is entertaining, while sitting down to a fresh plate of arugala with apples and gorgonzola with Lara at our party, we talk about what they will eat in Montenegro, what our favorite foods are here in San Diego (fresh avocados are our favorite!!) Because talking about food is almost as fun as the consuming and cooking of it. Well, definately more fun than cooking it, even though I like cooking. I like it more for the final product, you feel me here, don't ya?

With festivities in mind, I want to share ideas for entertaining:
1. Let your guests bring something if they offer - this lets them feel like they are really part of the part-y, get it?

2. A few really great savory dishes and two sweet ones are better than an over abundance of choices, this way you can stick to a theme and people will have an idea of what to bring .

3. Present your food purposefully, use platters, either matching or artfully mismatched. Paper plates, or tubberware don't make guests feel like the food is all that special. Also, you do double duty - you've decorated for the soiree at the same time. A well dressed table with a vase of flowers is all you need.

4. Enjoy yourself - this is basically my rule all the time, anytime.

Here's a coloful drink for any occasion:

Hibiscus Flower Mocktail

1 - hibiscus flower in syrup (check out your local gormet shop or to order)
5 oz - sparkling clear soda ( I like diet sprite)
1 oz - cranberry juice

Hibiscus Flower Cocktail
Substitute your favorite sparkling wine for the soda.

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