Monday, May 23, 2016
We did it! For those out of the loop or have forgotten, we were invited to join a group of people in our community to hold a formal gourmet dinner party every couple months rotating through the group. When we were formally voted into the group, we panicked because like so many modern couples, we weren't gifted or even asked for fine china as a wedding gift. We were happy just getting a toaster and some pottery. So we did some shopping for china which you can now see in these pictures.
Also on our list was a reasonable set of formal silverware for which I built a customized silver chest for awhile back and showed on this blog to make it appear much more expensive than it was. I also featured a dining table extension I built to expand our already expanded table (with the extra leaf) out to comfortably seat ten adults. Not talked about were the chairs. We had a set of six and four folding chairs and looked to remedy that. I checked out some garage sales and scanned auction notices but with our schedules, nothing ever worked out. In the end, I stopped in at a local Amish wood shop and had them make some chairs similar to our current ones but shorter for about half the price of new in the local furniture store. We ended up with four more chairs in short.
Since we were the hosts and this was a FORMAL party, I didn't get a chance to sneak out my camera to take pictures of the meal we served so I will just have to describe it to you. We went with a Filipino meal since none of the other guests had ever eaten one. For the appetizer, I grilled a filipino version of BBQ which involved pork loin sliced thin and marinated with a lot of soy sauce, garlic, pineapple and assorted things before being woven onto a bamboo stick and grilled. It was served with picked green papaya. For the 'salad' course, we went with a fresh lumpia which is sliced veggies wrapped in an unfried wrapper and served with a sweet sauce drizzled over it and garnished with crushed peanuts. It was by far the classiest looking of all our dishes. For the soup we served Sinigang which is a fish soup with bok choy and tomatoes in a sour broth. By Filipino custom, it is served as it without bread. For the entree, we served curry curry along side rice. This had bits of pork baby back rib meat and filipino beans served with a peanut based sauce. Finally for desert, we had leche flan which is a custard like desert with glutenous rice topped with mango balls served with coffee.
Normally these parties are themed and every couple is asked to bring a particular dish but since this was our first time hosting and it was a theme out of the wheelhouse of the other couples, we did it all. This meant a lot of work for us. With all the cleaning, shopping, preparations and cooking, I'm guessing we both sunk somewhere around 50 hours into this event but it went off without a hitch and I don't think we will be voted out of the club. As we were hand washing dishes late into the early morning hours, we decided our next theme will be British since my wife spent several years there when we were dating. Hopefully we will have about a year before it is our turn again.