Monday, January 31, 2005

Keeping my New Year's Resolution

This passed New Year's Eve I resolved to do more entertaining at home.

We used to entertain at home a lot. We've done it enough times that we've got it pretty much down to a science. We know our strengths: Joe cooks and I clean, before and after. It works for us. I guess we just got a little lazy and stopped making plans to have friends over. So on New Year's Eve I resolved to have friends over for dinner at least once every month.

On Saturday our friends Michael and Jamie came over. They are both very sweet, fun young guys. I say 'young' because they are both 26. Normally I would imagine we wouldn't have much in common with guys 15 years younger than us, but we do. They are not 'typical' 26 year olds. We share a lot of common interests. They like flea markets and yard sales like us. They like finding 'cheap neighborhood eats' like us. They like to travel like us. They're a lot of fun and we like them a lot.

We made chili in the crockpot way in advance, so the main course was already done. To go along with it, Joe made corn casserole. It's a recipe he got from Paula Dean, that southern belle who owns the restaurant 'Lady and Sons' in Savannah, and who has a cooking show on the Food Network. She's never worried about calories or fat. Every recipe starts with at least one stick of butter. Joe has made this corn casserole at least 4 times in the last 3 months, and it has been a big hit with everyone who's tried it. Michael and Jamie brought desert. We had a lovely time.

We ate in the kitchen. To me, that is a compliment to our friends to have them over and eat in the kitchen. Forgoing the formality of the dining room, the special plates and flatware, and all the fancy serving pieces tells our friends 'we feel close enough to you to have you eat in the kitchen'. That is, as long as we're only talking about 2 guests. Our kitchen table comfortably seats 4, so if we're having more than 2 guests, we'll eat in the dining room.

Earlier in the week Joe was emailing our friend Justine and invited her and her partner Liz to dinner on Sunday. Then it came to me: What a brilliant idea! Clean the house once on Saturday, and have company Saturday night and Sunday too. Two dinners for the (housecleaning) price of one! Justine and Liz were available, so they came over on Sunday. We ate in the kitchen with them, too.

Joe decided to make a turkey breast, homemade dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, biscuits, gravy, and peas. A virtual 'Thanksgiving in January'. Everything was delicious and we had a great time. For desert we had a chocolate cream pie, purchased from the grocery store. That was okay; I've certainly had better. But we lingered for a few hours over coffee with cinnamon in it, and discussed everything from the Bush administration, to vacation plans, to investment opportunities, to funny clients Joe & Justine had worked with years ago in a group home for people with chronic mental illness. We had a great time.

Then I started thinking about some of my other New Year's resolutions, like dieting, exercising, getting my home office organized, and wondered why they couldn't be as easy and fun as entertaining once (or twice) a month???

1 comment:

Jamie said...


Thanks again for having was the perfect way to spend a chilly winter evening!