on Dinner + Drinks
One night, we were sitting in the tree house with bowls full of rice and vegetables perched on our knees, while tall glasses of iced tea left condensation rings on the weathered board floor. Sometimes, on the days when the weather is just right, we take our dinner up to the tree house. We sit on lawn chairs and rest our feet on the trunk of the birch tree, hiding beneath the deep canopy of leaves.
“Wouldn’t it be fun if we had a party?” one of us remarked. (I am not sure whether it was him or me; the idea evolved from both our minds simultaneously, it seemed).
“Oh that would be fun!” the other replied, “ we could hang strings of those clear bulb lights from the tree house to the garage—“
“And we could have the kind of party where you eat at a table outside and use cloth table clothes and cloth napkins—“
“And we could have sangria!”
And with that, we decided to have a party.
We sent invitations out to a few close friends, and my in-laws are coming down for the weekend. The wine for the sangria is ready to be steeped in fruit and I picked up bulb-lights earlier this week.
Of course, it has been raining for the past four days; the yard is almost too swampy for a dinner party. And I realized, too late, that we invited fourteen people when I only have table settings and china for twelve. (But of course they are all special people, so they won’t mind making do). Husband is building a table. A proper outdoor picnic table that is impressively wide and long enough to fit 14 easily. It’s going to be grand…if the table is finished in time. We may end up eating dinner on the grass, picnic style, or maybe inside, if the weather remains swampy.
And did I mention that we had an infestation of ants earlier this week and our roof began leaking after three days of rain?
The inner perfectionist inside of me is shrinking from the imperfection that, I am sure, this dinner party will be.
But the rational side—the one that reminds me that all these people helped us move into our house, and saw the mess that it was then—knows that any night with good friends is already a splendid dinner party in itself...even if we have to eat off paper plates in the living room.
While husband builds our table, I’ve been sitting nearby, pouring over food blogs and cookbooks full of tantalizing recipes, scribbling notes and compiling lists of food to procure. The preparation has been fun enough in itself.
Do any of you have any Dinner Party recipes or advice for a newbie such as me?