I have a bad habit. Well, let’s not lie, I have many. But pertaining to food, I have one particular potentially disastrous practice: I like to make food for company that I’ve never made before. I have experimented with risotto, fancy baked pastas, doughnuts, all for company for the first time. I have tried to diagnose this habit, and I can’t be sure where it comes from. Maybe I think that once I’ve made it before, it becomes simple and easy and not adequately fancy. I like to be fancy. Maybe I want to show off a little. Maybe I just get excited about trying new recipes. Who knows?
Oddly, I noticed that the menu I currently have planned for the “Belated Reception” party N. and I are throwing contains almost no unattempted recipes. Despite permission, no, encouragement even, from K. (one of our guests of honor) to use this gathering as an opportunity to try out fancy new dishes, the ideas I immediately gravitated toward were tried and true. With guests bringing their own grillable mains, K. and I will be making a series of sides.
Here’s a preview of the intended menu:
Marinated tofu skewers, grilled.
Grilled corn, cilantro, and lime salad
Grilled garlic bread (seeing a pattern here?)
Fresh tomato bruschetta
Pea and mint puree on crostini, topped with nasturtiums
German or red potato salad
Pasta salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, and sundried tomato vinaigrette.
(Chips, salsa, guacamole, etc.)
For dessert, I’ll make two types of cake for folks to try, both drenched in alcohol (because that’s just the kind of hostess I am):
A reprisal of my terrifically successful Chocolate “tiramisu” cake (featured here).
Pink champagne cake (N. and I had champagne cake with strawberries at our wedding, and I’d like to return the favor).
In addition to wine, beer, and the usual party beverages, I will also make a Champagne-rum punch, a deadly recipe because it is fizzy and sweet and delicious, making you forget the two kinds of alcohol it contains as it fizzes right into your bloodstream.
Ah, summer living.