Monday, May 11, 2009

Learning All Over Again

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to socialize and entertain more often. I vowed I would have my family over to my house for an event or just for fun at least once a season. This Mother’s Day counted as the Spring gathering.

As I’m the only female in the family who isn’t a mother I offered to host Mother’s Day for my mom and dad and Charlotte and her family. Of course the other ladies offered to make it pot luck, so I assigned scones to Charlotte (she makes the best scones I’ve ever had) and around-the-house munchies to my mom. (In my family if there aren’t munchies or candies sitting around on the end tables it just doesn’t count as a party.) That left an entrée, sides, drinks, and dessert for me to prepare. It wasn’t a daunting task, planning and preparing this menu, or so I thought.

Come to find out I’m extremely out of practice when it comes to putting on a meal for a group of people. What else could have gone wrong with such a simple menu?

1. Procrastinated on grocery shopping because I couldn’t decide on a brunch entrée in a timely manner. This resulted in my having to go to the grocery store on Saturday afternoon when the store is busiest.

2. Forgot to buy a pineapple when at the store. Luckily that blunder was saved when I saw we had almost as much fresh pineapple in the fridge as was called for in my fruit salad recipe.

3. Bought too much half and half. Luckily again my mom like her cereal with half and half, so I could give the remainder to her.

4. The new cookie recipe I tried for dessert turned out to be a disaster. What I thought would be a delicious springtime raspberry sandwich cookie from Martha Stewart turned out to be greasy, limp and chewy, and the filling was runny. They looked horrible, like big grease stains on the pretty antique plate. I also made lemon bars, which didn’t come out of the pan easily, and were also a little runny.

5. Because I’m not confident in my pie crust making abilities I bought two ready-made crusts from the freezer section in the grocery store for my entrée, asparagus quiche. I made the huge mistake of trying to transfer those crusts (after baking) to pretty pie plates before filling them with my quiche ingredients, causing them to crumble in my hands. This blunder put me over the edge. Husby was quite alarmed to find me crying over my obvious loss of culinary prowess. With the guests due to arrive in two hours he quickly ran to the store for two more pie crusts.

6. After cooking for a half hour past the requisite time the meat thermometer measured the temperature of the ham at 85 degrees.

In the end the quiche with new crusts remaining in the ugly aluminum tins was delicious, the ham heated up quickly after being sliced and placed back in the oven for a bit, and no one knew there was one cup less pineapple than the recipe called for. Charlotte’s scones were delicious, as usual. Mom’s munchies were gone by the end of the event. All in all it was a decent meal. Except for those dang cookies. They were horrible. Into the recycling papers with that recipe. Live and learn, I guess.

Now you’ll have to pardon me as I try to chisel the remaining lemon bars out of the pan.

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