David and I put on our last dinner party performance last night with Will and Lisa playing the part of the guests. We love the ritual of entertaining so much that we wanted to do it once more before David goes back to Florida. Our menu was shrimp coctail followed by roast chicken, cornbread stuffing (I made the cornbread, of course), sausages with apples and onions, potatoes Anna, home-made cranberry sauce, salad, and deep deesh apple pie with ice cream. The pie was a repeat of Christmas because we liked it so much. Although we failed to reach the zenith of organization that we reached at Christmas, we nevertheless orchestrated the day beautifully. An unexpected, though welcome, visit from Greg snagged us up at the last minute and we did not have the final few minutes to regroup before the guests arrived.
Still, the day passed pleasantly with phone calls of respective progress on table linens and pie crusts, cranberry sauce, boiling giblets, and cornbread crumbs. We came together at mid-afternoon, pooling our individual accomplishments and moving ahead in tandem. As for one of my major contributions, suffice it to say that boiled and peeled chestnuts are good, but really not worth the trouble.
From my point of view the one failure on the culinary front were my potatoes Anna. They sounded good in the recipe, but in the end potatoes with butter, salt and pepper are just that. To add insult to injury, I overcooked them in an attempt to keep them warm through the blue martinis and the word crisp fails to adequately describe their tecture. Nevertheless, process definitely outshines product and the meal was a critical success. We passed the evening in easy, amiable social conversation that outshined any that I have recently subjected myself to. It was notable for its lack of controversy and congenial tone. Not once did I have the urge to kill anyone in the room or run screaming from the table. It was what dinner parties should be. I already feel nostalgic about this holiday season when David and I honed our entertaining skills to a fine and glorious point, loving every minute of it.