Anyway, still would love more advice, though I'm confident that at this point I can pull SOMETHING together if nobody happens to see this before guests arrive. Thanks for the salad suggestions, JPB, poifect.
100 posts of suggestions later; you think you need some last minute suggestions?
Calm down and wow um!
What's with the avatars?
(And yes, I am a nutcase.)
OK so. Was it Noddy who warned that disasters were inevitable? Maybe Piffka?
E.G. came home early to help get the house ready. We kind of traded off sozlet duties -- I told him to feed her lunch while I cleaned, they started a war over what she should drink, I stepped in and finished that up, then once she'd eaten something and was a little more human left them to it and went off again, etc. She spent a lot of time doing her own thing, drawing and playing with Magnetix, etc., doing a good job of not staying underfoot. She did some cleaning too.
Things were going well, everything on pace (famous last words, eh?). E.G. had to go to the grocery store to pick up a couple of last-minute things and was taking forever to get his butt out the door. He finally got in gear, dashing around making lists (of just regular food we need, not party food which was like two items), I was cooking, he waved and left. Fine.
After a while I realized that I hadn't seen sozlet for a while, assumed she was playing somewhere. Yelled for her. Nothing. Yelled again, nothing. Went in the living room, nothing. Went in the family room, nothing. You get the drift. Wondered if maybe there was a last-minute decision for her to go with E.G., which didn't make sense because he was in a huge hurry and we always shop solo (respectively) if we want to shop quick. Checked for her coat. In it's usual place.
Went upstairs, checked every room, nothing. Checked usual hiding places, nothing. Stood at the bottom of the stairs and in best mom voice yelled "Sozlet middlename lastname come here this instant!" Nothing.
Then the heartrate started rising. Looked outside, wondering if she'd gotten locked out somehow, nothing. Etc. Trying to think of every scenario where she might be hurt and unable to move and yelling for me, or passed out, or whatever. Checked basement, nooks, crannies, etc.
Decided to call the grocery store he went to. (He doesn't have a cell phone.) We go to two, chose the one that he most often visits. Had to call via relay, which always takes forever. Finally got a live person. Quickly explained the situation, asked them to page him. He was paged. Relay screen says "holding.... holding.... holding..." with each "holding" representing 2 or 3 minutes. I paced and yelled and checked closets and checked outside between checking the computer. Finally the original person came back on -- nobody responded to the page.
Called the other store. Same drill. Forever on relay, live person finally, explain, page, holding. Person came back on -- nothing yet, did I want to wait. I did. Holding, holding. Then finally. "Hi, this is E.G." Is sozlet with you???? "Yes."
Then, "You are in SO much trouble...!"
She was wearing some sweater she never wears (I checked for not only main coat but main sweatshirt and main sweater) and nobody bothered to TELL me that she was going with him which is a violation of several sacrosanct sozhousehold rules. Yes, E.G. was suitably apologetic, but still.
Anyway, from initial yelling for sozlet to E.G.'s "yes" it took a good 45 minutes -- minutes I didn't have. Then the crying jag with released tension after I hung up was another 5 or so. (SO much trouble.)
But then I shifted into high gear and was pretty much ready in time. The mistakes I made were actually leaving the pork in too long, and the vegetables in too long for re-heating -- it was intentional but misjudged. (I was going by when I made the pork recipe earlier this week but a) the pork was a bit thinner this time and b) on Monday I kept opening the oven to check on it, which extended time until done as compared to just leaving it in there and not checking.)
Not ruined, at all, E.G. said very good. Everyone seemed to like it. Definitely not the delectable, tender stuff I made on Monday though, oh well.
Now, after all of that, the evening as a whole went really, really well. I paced things well and there was a good balance of direction and free-flowingness. Everyone seemed to have a great time. I served the food (including exactly the salad you recommended, JPB, thanks) about 45 minutes after everyone arrived. E.G. had hot apple cider ready when people got there, they had that in front of the fire while I finished up preparations (I greeted everyone when they arrived and chatted for a bit before going back to what I was doing, wasn't just holed up in the kitchen). (And the remaining kitchen prep was only about 15 minutes.) After dinner, served sorbet (boysenberry, raspberry) with fresh blueberries and pfeffernusse. (That came indirectly from boomer, I seem to remember her serving some kind of sweet fruit + spice cookie combination at some point.) Then after that, we had tea in front of the fire, later with some candies that one family brought.
Other family brought a nice wine, which was perfect. A few of us had that with dinner.
The guests arrived at about 5 and didn't leave until about 9:45, kids and all. The kids seemed to have a really good time together too. There was a parade at some point with everyone "playing" musical instruments, they did all kinds of stuff with balloons, all sprawled on the living room floor in front of the fire building things with Magnetix, etc.
Maybe I'm finally a grown-up.
Thanks all, this was definitely a big step though I definitely have a lot further to go.
Congratulations! Sounds like it went great.
I'm not sure you have further to go, it's just a replay with variations. You are truly grownup. Makes me want to sniffle.
What's with the avatars?
The Ratzenhofer Virus is spreading fast and mutating... wait till you see what happened to Deb.
Wow. Scary beginning.
That must have bugged you out at the wondering if she was stuck and hollering for you stage. Glad it was a false alarm!... and that everything went well with dinner. You sound like a pro!
I suspect Soz will enjoy my PM.
Sounds pretty typical for a party day to me :wink:
Soz, Aside from the sozlet scare, things seemed to have gone better than well. Grown up? Sure. There's a term for your achievement, which belongs on the Hebonics thread--bolliboosta. A fine homemaker. Or better yet, mensch. But you were that before the party.
Glad it was a success. I'm kvelling.
managing this "false alarm" and the dinner, you are pro.
I liked your teamwork, just what we do here too, but make sure all team members report back to the manager.
... and have ul's comment about reporting to the manager tattooed on both E.G and sozlet's foreheads. They can remind each other.
I'm so proud of you! You pulled it off even after that scare. (I'm sure he just meant to get sozlet out of your hair, but still...)
So now you develop your repetoire. I was thinking that those mustard crumbs sound similar to a topping I put on salmon. Salmon always wows.
I suspect Soz will enjoy my PM.
I'm virtually certain I will. Double-checked, don't have one yet. (A humdinger from ul, though, which I would love to have permission to reprint -- fabulous info.)
Thanks, Roberta! (Bolliboosta, moi?)
JPB, it does?
Ok, maybe you've scared me off of even attempting one of these again. ;-)
Got a thank-you email this morning from one of the women who came yesterday, including "the pork chops were delicious, I will still need the
the recipe from you at some point..." So maybe they suffered mostly by comparison with Monday's version. That's a relief.
I like the tattoo idea, ehBeth. (Mutter, mutter...)
Salmon sounds excellent.
I need to culture better sources of meat, too. The local grocery stores are OK but pretty limited. I've been to North Market like twice, it's supposed to have good stuff, I think I'll go on a scouting trip next week.
Thanks, Roberta! (Bolliboosta, moi?)
You got a dinner for eight on the table without being sure what you were gonna serve two days before the event. You got the house clean and in shape. You got everything done with a missing sozlet in the middle of it all.
Learned to new words.
sozobe, do as you like.
The most famous Dinner Party is Judy Chicago's
The most famous Dinner Party is Judy Chicago's. Judy has relocated to Belen, 40 miles south of Albuquerque, NM. I've been wanting to drive to her studio but haven't done it yet.
It was not the ceramics that wowed viewers. It was the incredible needle work. After her exhibit tour closed, Judy relocated to Benicia, California, where I lived at the time. I helped to raise money to finance her expenses in the large, former military building, where she concentrated on expanding the needlework project called The Birth Project. Women from the area volunteered to do the needlework based on Judy's designs. It was tedious work that required a lot of patience.
The Dinner Party:
The Birth Project:
Great link, BBB. 48' x 42' x 3' ... love it.
Glad to hear that your dinner party went well, Soz, except for what will soon be an ultimately comedic memory of terror. Yep. I'd call that par for the course. I think pork chops are difficult. They often get tough with me, so I fear them!
When's your next party?
Just started some of that long-rise bread! Will be ready for dinner tomorrow
, will let you know how it turns out.
(have you looked at some of the discussion threads about it? I found they helped when things just ... somehow ... looked/felt ... odd)
soz, the chunky roasted red pepper salad that I posted on the salad thread (no greens, please) is a big hit at my dinner parties.