Monday, May 23, 2016

Dinner Party

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.


kymber said...

the table setting looks beautiful and the menu sounds divine! and i remember the beautiful box you made for the silver. but - grrrr - i wanted pics of the meal!!!

i am glad it all went off without a hitch. and going british next time will be easy - bangers and mash and some ice-cream - bahahahahhaah!

sending love! your friend,

sage said...

Wow, that's lovely and I am sure the food was a real treat. I'm sure everyone had a great time.

Kelly said...

Y'all set a beautiful table!! I SO wish you'd gotten photos of the food to go along with your descriptions, but I can do a fairly good job of imagining. It all sounds delicious. I've seen a lot of Filipino food on TV, but never eaten it. I've made flan before (Mexican), but not the way yours is described. Yum, yum!

I'm glad it went well and I bet your hospitality is still being praised.

Ed said...

Kymber - I suggested bangers and mash and a trifle but I don't think my wife was too keen on bangers and mash for a gourmet meal!

Sage - It was a good time though it is much more enjoyable when you don't have the stress of hosting!

Ed said...

Kelly - I wish I had photos too, especially of the fresh lumpia which was a work of art. I think the next time we host, I'm going to take pictures of it during the practice sessions ahead of time.

Vince said...

That's a lovely table setting. And well suited to a formal meal. Delighted to read it went off without a hitch.
The only Filipino dish I can remember eating is probably known as prawn and veg soup. It was a clear soup and shockingly hot. But not with chillis. I remember pac choy, prawns as I said, water chestnuts, peapods(you call them sugarsnaps I think). There were other things in too but in general you had green white and orange and the joke went it was in honour of me for the colours were of the Irish flag.
The cook was from near Pinatubo. Her mom could see the thing but was far enough away and wasn't in the direct danger when it went kablooey back in the day.

Ed said...

Vince - I'm not an expert but I would guess you ate a version of sinigang called sinigand na hipon or "with shrimp". The vegetables vary depending on seasons and what was available that day at the market. I drove past Pinatubo once during one of my first trips to the country and haven't made it back though I would like too. I was amazed at the amount of ash still around years after the last eruption.

Bob said...

What your guests experienced was hospitality. The food was outstanding, no doubt, but breaking bread with friends made it all worthwhile. Good job and thanks for sharing!

ErinFromIowa said...

Totally impressed! On all points. Good job you two!