Wednesday, July 1, 2009

invited to dinner

Yes, I'm having dinner at my house. Would you like to come? Joey will make you a place card that looks like this, only with your name.

I promise that I will stress for weeks over what I will cook for you and how many forks I need. My menu will be revised over and over. I will borrow many glasses so that I can give you a separate glass for your hibiscus vodka cocktail, your water, your wine, and your fresh mint tea.

I will finally settle on a menu. I will set the table, and everyone will have a fork, and more. I will pick every flower that is growing in my yard.

And then I will put my entire family to work, even the children. Rosie makes a mean fresh noodle.

The noodles will be carefully hung, waiting for your arrival.
And as I scramble the last few courses together, you will arrive, greeted in the orchard by Joey. He will pour you a cocktail, and you will meet the other guests, amazed that although you live in the same small town, you've never met!

And while you talk and drink and comment on the charm of the chain link fence, I will be burning the toasts for the broccoli raab crostini. I will be hyperventilating. I will be cursing my insistence to push my own limits in order help myself grow as a person. I will be very sweaty, and not in an attractive way.

And when I make it outside, you will eat the broccoli raab crostini, and it will be good.

But wait, Joey is ushering you inside. The sun is setting, you're already drunk, and we've missed the good light for the photos. No! Don't take your time, enjoying the evening. I need photos! And the sun is setting. Oh well. Sun's down. Okay, go ahead and enjoy yourself, I guess. Damn.

So first, there will be Sorrel Leek Custards with goat cheese. They will be warm, and I will drizzle creme fraiche on them for you. You will be excited about this, because they are really really good.

Then, there will be Turnip with Turnip Greens Soup. It might make you feel oddly aroused, as turnips are wont to do. You'll feel uncomfortable for a moment because you are sitting next to someone you don't know, but then you'll have more wine and you will feel better.

Then I will disappear, and so will Joey. There will be a lot of steam coming from the kitchen, and you might see a few fresh noodles flying through the air. I will be working very hard, as apparently I let the noodles dry a bit too long and it takes a bit of an effort to give them a palatable texture. Joey will be very supportive, which is good, because at this moment there is a chance that this might not go too well.

Good thing we've had a bit too much to drink.

And in the end, it will be alright, although not quite as good as your previous courses. But the shrimp is nice and garlicky, and who can argue with fresh pasta, right?

Then, when you are all full of noodles, I will bring you salad. It will be really fresh lettuce, and there will be goat cheese and pea shoots (of course!) and roasted pecans and a mustardy vinaigrette. We eat salad after the entree around here- I don't know why. Tonight, you'll do that too.

And Luckily, there's fresh strawberry ice cream with rosewater whipped cream for dessert. I will mash up the strawberries and freeze them in a way that will bring you contentment, at least I hope so. If I succeed, you will sit, late into the night, drinking your fresh mint tisane, talking to your new friends and making me feel happy.

Anyone got a story for me? Tell it in a comment, or email me photos and I will gleefully post them. The next challenge will be up August 1. Who will come to dinner, I wonder?


  1. now i want to make a short film about Rosie, the noodle-girl, just based on that amazing picture- it all looks and sounds delightful.

  2. Ah, "Rosie, the noodle-girl". I think you have gotten right to her essence with that one.

  3. perhaps a "rosie the noodle girl" painting is what i should do instead.
    inspiring- either way. making the potatoe salad today- wish me luck!

  4. Calm down- I've got your mix right here... oooo and it's a god one for you.

  5. Hey, I made hibiscus rum punch for my (less sucessful bringing-folks-together-wise, in that it was mostly the same kids from work I alway hang out with, not that I'm complaining, anyway, tho, Food Goodness City) Cusack film fest. Although no movies were watched. We just sat around the table talking and eating, and eating and talking, and oh yeah there was that hibiscus rum punch, and the blackberry-lavender vodka I made a while back. So I guess it was a sit-down meal after all! There are pics of the nosh on my Facebook; feel utterly free to repost.

  6. Anna! I can't seem to figure out how to repost your pics here, but I think that you owe us all your recipe for cocktail cookies- I mean- what are those? Bacon, blue cheese and pecan? I'm a little grossed out, but mostly enthralled, and I need more details. Looks like your party was quite a success- for once, I'm sad not to live in Kansas...

  7. This entry alone makes me want to move to your town and come to dinner whenever I am invited.

  8. And you would be invited every night! Imagine the possibilities....

  9. The recipe's from "Sips & Apps" by Kathy Casey. They sound faintly horrifying, I know, but they are savory little morsels. They were a hit even with the two vegetarians!