Dinners, past and future

March 30, 2013

Participated in a lovely dinner party last night (no pix, but there was much food, drink, laughing, talking and general good-times-had-by-all).

When I had posted recently about my carbonnades a la flamande, two of my local friends picked up on the post and expressed near-lustful thoughts about the same. From that grew a plan; I would repeat that dish, convey it to one friend’s house, she would make sides, others would bring adult beverages, and we would be off to the races.

I am happy to report there are five Hot Springs women, including me, who ate a helluva lot more than they ought to have done last night, thoroughly enjoyed it, and are prepared to do it again at any provocation.

I do love a gathering where the conversation veers from Jack Daniels whiskey to Lalique crystal to city,state and national government, to renovating historic buildings,to building performing arts centers, to organic food. Now, would you not have loved to have been at that table?

Along with the carbonnades, five full pounds of chuck roast and seven onions, I fixed egg noodles for the bulk of the crowd, and grits for me. (I got the better end of that deal. Just saying.) Our hostess provided steamed asparagus with lemon juice and butter, such a simple preparation that we often forget it in favor of more fussy preps. Hard to beat. She also made the most amazing salad, which included all kinds of lovely greens, tomatos, sugar snaps, avocados, olives, feta, and I-don’t-know-what-all else. A couple of guests brought libations, and another brought potato salad from the new organic cafe/market in town, which was quite excellent potato salad.

And we had banana bread — WARM banana bread — with French vanilla ice cream for dessert, and I swear before God, I very nearly had to be rolled out to my car.

And today I’ve been lazying about, going to Sam’s and Culinary District and the grocery, taking Lucy to the doggy salon to get bathed and brushed and ears cleaned and nails trimmed, and thinking about what I’m fixing for Easter dinner tomorrow. It’ll be me by my ownself, plus Lucy, who will likely get human food for the occasion, which is fine, as I don’t get freaked by solitary holidays, except for the fact that I’ll eat the damned leftovers for a week.

I have this small boneless ham from Petit Jean. I think I’m gonna stick that on the gas grill to smoke, and on the sides grill some pineapple and some asparagus. And I’ll make some potato salad because it’s Easter and I can, and devil a few eggs because it’s Easter and I ought to. And that will be a quite exceptional dinner, and the remains can be recycled in a number of ways.

Heading out road-tripping next week, visiting friends and famly, and babysitting for Amazing Grandchildren 1 and 3 while their parents are out being social. Then coming back through E. Ark. to see Amazing Grandchild 2 and Child C and maybe get in a horseback ride before I make it back to the Spa City. If I don’t see you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em on this trip, y’all have a wonderful Easter and enjoy spring.

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