Sunday, April 18, 2010
I hosted a PartyLite show, aka a Candle party. I had never heard of one, but apparently I'm in the minority. When I asked people to come to my Party Lite Party, the reply was usually, Oh yeah, a candle party! Very occasionally someone would say, Is that the jewelry party?
This is my kind of party, heavy hors d'oeurves, punch, cookies and brownies.
I made a ranch dip, from scratch and next time I'd eschew the chives in favor of scallions. It seems chives need to come directly from your garden moments before you use them, or they need to be replaced with scallions.
I made deviled eggs which were pallid, but very tasty, very much exactly what you recognize as the deviled egg you have always had. I wouldn't go so far as to call them the Platonic ideal of the deviled egg, but if someone else were to call them that, I wouldn't argue.
And I made hot crab and artichoke dip; mayonnaise, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, roasted artichoke hearts, crab meat and buttered, seasoned bread crumbs. My brother in law, who is a real chef, read the recipe and said, "you don't even need the crab, or the artichokes." It was as amazing as it always is. Is there a person on the planet, or at least in America, who doesn't like hot crab and artichoke dip?
And I made Punch, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, cognac, (I never have the appropriate liquor so I had to substitute Armagnac. Maybe that would work in the butterscotch pudding too) white wine and cut up lemon, lime and orange chunks. Then add a bottle of sparkling wine at the end. I thought it was wonderful. No one had so much as a small tumbler. I don't really drink socially, but after everyone had left, I had my own small tumbler over crushed ice as I did the dishes. I looked for extra dishes and wiped down all the cabinets, even though it was whole hours past my bedtime, just because I wanted to have more punch. It was that good!
Then I made oatmeal and dried cherry cookies and OMG brownies. The OMG brownies have lost none of their luster. The only downside I can see to the OMG brownies is that I will never experiment with another brownie recipe, ever probably for the rest of my life. I don't think brownies can have a platonic ideal because of all those people out there liking them cakey (sounds of retching) or unfrosted (why would you?) but the OMG brownie is my ideal brownie. It may not be just my ideal brownie, it might be my ideal food, my ideal housemate and travel companion.
Other than the dip and the punch and brownies, the best part of a Party Lite Party is that, after all the fun party prep is over, and all that remains is the daunting actual party, your Party Lite rep arrives and takes over. I barely uttered a word other than, Punch? Dip? Brownie?