Sunday, February 20, 2005

Notes to self: Party planning

~Don't make so much freakin' food! I tripled the recipe for each soup I made yesterday. In testament to the fact that my friends are very smart, the butternut squash and sausage soup was a huge hit -- which meant that exactly half of what I'd made got eaten. So doubling the recipe would have been perfect to feed the guests and have a little left over. Now we have dinner for a week. And that's just the one soup.

The potato chile soup, which I've always loved, didn't fare as well; people seemed to like it fine, but it paled in comparison to the sausage. We also had fewer vegetarians than we'd expected and some of them didn't even eat. So we have gallons of this stuff left over. I froze some of it last night and we'll eat that, too, for a week.

The thing I need to remember is that at a potluck, there are so many other food options that people are not going to fill up on the main course. People brought all kinds of good stuff, including a cheese plate (half of which is in my cheese drawer!), several hummus/veggie plates, an olive bread that was incredibly popular and several desserts.

What's more, people brought a slew of alcohol. We started out with three bottles of wine and a case of beer. Right now, if you look in my wine rack, there are three bottles of wine. And in the fridge? A little more than a case of beer. Granted, it's not exactly the same as what we started with... but it's a lot.

~The immersion blender is your friend. I've been wanting one of these for a while, but it took making two triple-batches of soup to justify the expense. I stopped at our local kitchen store, which is amazing, yesterday morning on my way back from the Italian grocer (olive oil, Italian sausage and pecorino romano) and picked up what the clerk called the "ch---, I mean, inexpensive" immersion blender for $30. (The exorbitant, I mean, expensive, cordless version was $60...) Loved it, loved it, loved it.

~To get people out of the kitchen, move the booze. A guest had that suggestion and it totally worked. Granted, the knot of people clustered around the kitchen island never dissipated, but at least I lured a few people into the living room, where we could actually sit down.

~Straightening up before bed is a good idea. We didn't wash pots and wine glasses, but we did gather up all the empties, put food away, ran the dishwasher and wiped down the counters, which made it much less angst-producing to get up this morning. Especially because I slept until 9:30 - can't remember the last time I did that, but neither can I recall the last time I went to bed after 1 - and when I got up Darren had finished off the last bit of cleaning. So now it's Sunday morning, the sun is streaming in, the house is clean and it's just a few hours until we can begin the assault on our alcohol supply. (Kidding! We will wait at least until late afternoon, after we go to a matinee... Bad Education, perhaps?)