170: Impromptu Party

Every so often, Michael rings me up and tells me that we’re going to have a party of people up from work . . . sometimes 10, sometimes 20. Sometimes he does this just hours ahead of time. Other times, I get a few days notice. The latter was the case today: 20 people, 48 hours lead time (which, frankly, is enough to be really busy, but not so much that I get a chance to obsess about it).

On the menu:
Appetizers:
Homemade Crackers
crackers1
Cheese Trays with fruit and chutney (not pictured)
Hummus and Pita (not pictured)
Guacamole and Chips (not pictured)
Caprese Kabobs
capresekabob
Caprese kabobs are a snap: thread a small tomato, a large basil leaf, and a small ball of mozzarella. Drizzle with a little olive oil, and maybe just a sprinkle of salt and pepper. You could also use pre-marinated mozzarella balls for a more bold flavour effect.

Main Courses:
Chicken Kabobs
chickenskewershoisonandteriyaki1

Curried Red Lentil Salad
curriedlentilsalad1
This time, I used the recipe from Frog Commissary, cutting the amount of clove down to a teeny pinch. Maybe it’s just my clove, but a little goes a really long way.

Drunk Pineapple
drunkpineapple.

Lamb Kabobs
lambkabobs
Oh, these were really quite lovely . . . they almost make me want to eat meat again. The key here is the Greek yogurt, though. I used Fage, which my mil turned me onto, but which I still think tastes suspiciously like sour cream. The thickness of the Greek Yogurt makes it uniquely wonderful for a meat marinade.

Mojo Beef Kabobs
mojobeefkabobs
These were also lovely, made moreso by the Mojo Sauce.

Green Salad
saladfigvinegarbluecheese
I dressed these mixed fieldgreens and vegetables with Perel Black Fig Vinegar and Blue Cheese crumbles. I had the thought of putting slivers of Granny Smith apples on it, too, but never quite got to that.

Southwestern Mango Salad
southwestmangosaladevencloserup

Vegetable Kabobs
veggiekabobs
The main problem with American cooking is that all meals are based around a piece of meat or a stand-in for meat . . . it’s just how we culturally think about food. So, still thinking that way, I made a bunch of vegetable kabobs for any vegetarians there might be in the group. It was lagniappe, really, because there were already all kinds of vegetarian things to eat. Totally unnecessary. I will think of something to do with the roasted vegetables . . . some kind of roasted veggie salad, I think . . . maybe with the Mojo sauce.

Watermelon Balsamic Salad
watermelonbalsamicsalad

Whiskey & Wheat Berry Salad
wheatberrywhiskeysalad
I’m not really sure how I stumbled onto this one, but it turned out great. It’s a little weird, to be sure, but it’s quite tasty, and the wheat berries make it interesting and hearty. One note: if, like me, you don’t generally have hard liquor around the house, and you’re not sure you want to keep a full fifth of Jim Beam, two of the little “airline” bottles (which you can get at the liquor store) are plenty for this recipe. It’s a little short of what she calls for, but still covers the raisins juts fine, and has enough in reserve for the dressing.

Wild Goat Kabobs
wildgoatkabobs
A number of people asked Michael if we were going to serve alpaca or goat at this dinner, so Michael asked if we could get our hands on some. It not being Ramadan, and being Spokane, I thought it might be a little difficult to get without buying a whole goat, but I made some calls around. The butcher at Egger’s Better Meats said he had wild goat, but that he couldn’t sell it to me (not legal to sell wild animals in WA, apparently). We got to laughing on the phone, and I couldn’t make out if he was serious about giving me goat, but I needed the other meats, too, so I trekked up to the South Hill in Spokane to give it a shot. Before I left, I bagged several of these cookies from the freezer– in case I did score some goat, I wanted to return the favour.
Apparently, the fish guy sometimes sends along lagniappe of things like wild goat shanks, and I scored over 3 pounds of it in a tight little roll from the butcher.

Maybe you already know this, because you’re a carnivore and visit your butcher, but he asked me what I was doing with each piece of meat, and then carved my beef, lamb, and chicken into kabob pieces. How fabulous is that? There’s no service like that in the grocery.

Dessert:
Berry Salad
berrysalad2

Selection of bruttles and caramels from Bruttles in the Spokane Valley. We also served local wines from Townshend in Greenbluff, which is just over the hill from us.

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6 Responses to 170: Impromptu Party

  1. Teresa says:

    Jen, you amaze me. The best part about looking at all this amazing food is knowing, almost being able to hear the calm delight you took in preparing it for those folks. They dont know how lucky they were to be there.

  2. Paige says:

    Holy Cow!

    Jen, that looks A-MAZIN’! Yummy, yummy…

    Drooling in VA,
    Paige (from FU list)

  3. Kay Alina says:

    I want to come and live with you. I’m hungry and this all looks delicious.

  4. April says:

    Great spread! You are quite the entertainer.

  5. Jen says:

    Thank you for the Mojo recipe!

  6. Kristen says:

    Looks like a wonderful menu for a delicious party!

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