Well it wouldn’t be December without my holiday party, although this was my last one for reasons I’ll explain. My Pinterest board shows the menu. You can see it by clicking here.
I had to make those amazing meatballs again, the ones I served at the baby shower. They disappeared, again. I also did some old favorites—goat cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates. The Columbia restaurant’s 1905 salad. And an international cheese board.
The new dishes I tried. One was mini stuffed twice-baked potatoes. Very easy and very inexpensive to make. You buy those little creamer potatoes at the warehouse club in a big bag, bake them in the oven, then scoop out the insides with a small spoon. The rest of the story is just like full-sized twice-baked potatoes.
Another new dish was the jalapeno popper cheese ball. I did not make it look like the football that’s shown on Pinterest, I just did it like a non-sports-related cheese concoction. It was pretty well-consumed.
I also tried my hand at Cuban sliders. Basically you take a package of King’s Hawaiian Rolls and you use them to make a pan of ham and swiss cheese and pickle sandwiches. Then you melt some butter, stir in some mustard and drizzle it over the sandwiches, then bake and serve warm. They are equally good when they cool off.
For dessert this year I made a fruit galette. I made it with apples, pears and blackberries and it was also a big hit. It was easy as pie (no pun intended… well, maybe a little). I took a packaged pie crust, I put in sliced apples and pears, with a few blackberries, a little sugar and some lemon zest. Baked it. Sliced it. Served it. Watched most of it disappear.
I also served a Christmas sangria that was a big hit. It’s basically white wine with some sparkling cider, granny smith apples, halved fresh cranberries and sprigs of rosemary. It was also a big hit.
My best friend came in from out of state for the weekend and helped me with food and clean up. We had a great time together.
But, I was disappointed in the turnout. I set the date months in advance and tell people when it is for them to put it on their calendars. And, without fail this year, lots of my regulars made other plans and then said, “Oh, we have a conflict.” I wanted to say, “No, you don’t have a conflict. You don’t want to come to my party so you made other plans. There’s a big fucking difference.”
And that, my dear readers, is why I’m done hosting a holiday party. I had the worst turnout in 8 consecutive years. The people who were there were a lot of fun, and I was honored by their presence, but I just don’t think I want to spend $300 on food and décor next year to have people find “conflicts.” Either my party isn’t as fun as I thought it was, or the food isn’t as good as I thought it was, or maybe both? Either way…there’s a certain amount of freedom that comes from knowing I’ve let myself off the hook for next year.
I am, however, a social creature. So that doesn’t mean I won’t want to do something. I’ve already decided that IF people request a party or event, I will possibly organize a community dinner, in which everyone brings something and makes a commitment to attending. I’m not doing days of food prep only to have half the food I make go in the trash. But we’ll see if there are any requests.
Anyway, I want to wish all my readers a happy everything. Happy Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! And of course, Happy New Year! May the turnout for all your holiday functions exceed your wildest dreams! Thanks for reading BWAV!