Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

My One Exception

Written by Patti on March 18th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

As I stated in the beginning of March, there were no dinner parties to be hosted in my home this month. But, alas, rules are meant to be broken. The one person I would allow as the exception came to dinner last night. And it was so worth breaking the rules!

Last night our very special guest of honor was Clint’s enchanting mother, Sylvia. We had not seen each other in seven years and she was in town for a visit. There was no way my little moratorium was going to keep me from entertaining one of my most favorite people. And so I set about to show her a very good time.

On the menu was:

Caprese Salad
Pappardelle with Boar Ragu
Sauteed Broccoli Rabe
Fresh Garlic Bread
Lemon Tart

Mmmm, Meatballs, Y'all!

So, happily I tottered off to Toscano & Sons yesterday to pick up the pasta and boar ragu. Uh….the FDA came and took all their boar ragu away, siting insufficient information on the packaging. Mama Mia! What to do? Well, I had some meatballs in the freezer and some Italian sausage in the fridge, that would have to be my stand-in.

With all my other ingredients packed up in the car and Karen off to camp for the night, I set home to whip up a fabulous evening.

Lemon tart? Sure! I have some pate brisee in the freezer that I took out to thaw. That should work perfectly in this pie. Why should I read the directions?
Well, because the pate brisee had some major shrinkage in the oven. Aw, geez. I wound up with what looked like a nice, flat piece of pie dough.

Into the trash it went. Now I need to come up with another dessert. I could go back out, but it is raining cats and dogs out there! Hmmm, lets see what we have.

Yay! There are some gorgeous strawberries brought back from Florida by Holly earlier this year! And I have cookie dough in the fridge. Dessert would be strawberries macerated in sugar and balsamic vinegar, topped with black pepper alongside one perfect cookie. Whew.

Since it was St. Patty’s Day (and I am Patti), I thought I should go all out. I picked up some green bowler hats at Target and set them by each place setting. Also at each place was a TableTopics question. Kroger had daffodils – 5 bunches for $10, so home they came with me, too. They look like Spring will soon be here, don’t they?

Top O' The Evening To Ya!

Isn’t my organdy tablecloth pretty? I got it on ebay for $20 (that includes shipping)!! Isn’t that crazy? I love it! I really should have ironed it before using, but I thought with everything on the table maybe no one would notice. And if they did, they were so polite, no one said anything.

Close Up Of The Tablecloth

Soon, my charming guests arrived and Eric finished up work. We had so much catching up to do with each other! Eric and I orchestrated the last minute cooking while visiting with Clint, Matt and Miss Sylvia in the kitchen. It was so much fun. And now to eat!

Caprese Salad

And time to wear our silly green hats. With glitter. That got all over everything and everybody.

Matt, Miss Sylvia and Clint

Now I feel bad that Miss Sylvia had green, sparkly hair. But we all had green, sparkly hair.

Yippee! I Got Everyone To Wear The Hats!

It was a wonderful evening, and as I shook out the tablecloth this morning and saw tons of green fairy dust fly into the wind, I thought of the people in my life who make it so magical.

Make some magic today, Darlings!

xoxo, Patti


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. Wendy says:

    Looks like another great night! I always think that dinner parties have to be this big production, but all your touches are simple with big impact. Awesome!

  2. Clint says:

    We had a wonderful time!! And everything was perfect… Thanks so much for being a perfect host and terrific friend.

  3. Matt says:

    What fun! Thanks for having us! oxoxo

  4. Iris ODonnell says:

    I am a friend of Matt and Clint…and am mesmerized by your talent !!!

  5. Patti says:

    Wendy, thanks so much!! That’s the beauty of dinner parties. They can be take out or delivery. The most important thing is making everyone feel welcome. Hope to see you soon! xoxo, Patti

  6. Patti says:

    Clint, you are a perfect friend and a terrific host!

  7. Patti says:

    Matt, you are the greatest! Love you! xoxo, Patti

  8. Patti says:

    Iris! Come have dinner with us soon. We would love to meet more of Clint and Matt’s friends!

  9. Diane DeVore says:

    Y’all look great!!!!! A great reason to make an exception, and I admit I didn’t want you to be able to go the whole month and not entertain, heh heh heh. I’ll see if I can score some boar. I think I’ve seen some running around. JUST kidding.

  10. Patti says:

    Diane! We miss you! Bring us home some giraffe! xoxoo, P

  11. Wendy says:

    Would love to grab lunch with you sometime – I work in Midtown (at Cartoon w/Clint!) small world eh?

  12. Patti says:

    I would love that, Wendy! Just let me know when!