Tuesday, May 31, 2005

party all the time

We had a party this weekend. We couldn't remember the last time we had had one, though we do remember hosting a big bash in the spring of 1999 after I got tenure. Could that possibly have been the last party? Anyway, it was obviously time for another one.

But having a party is no small undertaking. First, we had to clean the house. This involved weeding the bookshelves, in the (as it turned out) vain hope that doing so would make room for all the books on the floor to be shelved. Mmm, not so much. But still, the shelves now actually hold books we might read, or have read and would read again, instead of random stuff that we can't remember owning. Well, there's a lot of that, too, but at least it's been looked at.

Then there was lots of throwing away. I am a clutterer, and I can't bear to throw paper away in case I might need it again. But when every horizontal surface in the house is covered with paper, to the extent that said horizontal surfaces can no longer be seen, and dinner at the dining room table is an impossibility, then I can throw stuff away. Bags and bags of it. So there are many bags of paper to be recycled, many books to be freecycled or otherwise disposed of, and much clearer surfaces. Mark then cleaned floors, for which he deserves a medal.

Then there was baking. I can't have a party without baking. This time I decided to make cupcakes, because...well, why not? I made two kinds: lemon cupcakes with lemon cream and cinnamon-scented devil's food cupcakes. For reasons known best to epicurious, the lemon cupcake recipe, doubled, makes twelve cupcakes, while the devil's food recipe, halved, makes 21. That seemed like plenty. I learned the cupcake liners are probably a good thing: I didn't use them (seemed wasteful) and the cupcakes ended up sticking to the plates I put them on. The lemon ones were a tiny bit dry, but that may have been my fault, and the devil's food ones were very tasty, especially with a basic frosting off the back of a confectioner's sugar box. The frosting was a little too sweet so I added some espresso powder to it--yum!

The other baking was bread: the rosemary filoncino from No Need to Knead, and a flatbread made of of the pizza dough recipe from the same book. Both were completely devoured--I especially liked how the flatbread worked out.

Then there were mushrooms and artichoke hearts to marinate. I was a little over-achievey at this point--but I was also trying to keep myself occupied because Mariah was out with friends and wouldn't be back until two a.m. and there was a new driver involved and I needed to think about other things. She came home right on time and all was well, thank you very much. I guess this stuff will get easier.

That was Saturday. Sunday Mark grilled vegetables and I made pesto with grape tomatoes over curly pasta, and there were crackers and cheese and some salami and fresh mozarella and humus and olives and baby carrots and beer and wine and that was enough.

Then, though I carefully put chairs out in the backyard, and tried to spread things around the house, people gathered around the dining room table where all the food was and just stood there. And they talked and ate and drank and complimented the food (yes, this is key) and went away many hours later.

Teenagers hung out listening to Mark's and my old records (yes, we still have a working turntable), children played in the yard, and adults were (mostly) able to enjoy each other and not run around after little ones.

And there were leftovers to eat the next day, and the house is still (relatively) clean and the bookcases still look good.

We may have another party some day.

1 comment:

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