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

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Fry Cook Report, Pantry Pappardelle & Zombies

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

My Friday working as Lisa’s guest fry cook and sandwich maker was a blast. It’s always a treat to squeeze in some girl time while making bahn mis and meatball subs.  It was fun meeting her neighborhood regulars and learning their preferences while catching up with one of my besties.  Some photos:

Down Carroll Street

The outside of Lisa’s Place

Look, Ma, I made Pork Tacos! Yum!

Have you ever cooked with someone in their kitchen? You feel like a neophyte. All of a sudden you can’t remember how to chop cabbage.  It took me about an hour and then I felt at home in Lisa’s kitchen, but boy, that hour trying to find your way around sure makes you feel like you have never held a knife or made cole slaw before.

In the end it was a great day with great friends, old and new. Can’t wait to go back and have fun before Halloween. Lisa and I are cooking up some swell treats for her patrons.  More on that story later.

Friday night after working all afternoon, I decided we needed a very easy dinner. You know, caveman easy.  I opened the pantry and what did I find?  Oh, the joy!  Pappardelle and Boar Ragu. Ok, not everyone has this in their panty, but you could. It was the perfect combination of swanky and embarrassingly easy. Boil the water, cook the pasta, pour the ragu in a pan, heat it up. Cut up some bread you might have about and call it dinner.  It looked and tasted fantastic on our chilly Friday night at home.

Hanging about in the kitchen waiting for pasta to boil

10 Minutes Later….

You need a quick meal when there is Wii to play and Zombies to shoot. This filled the bill. I got all of the ingredients at our local Italian Import store, Toscano and Sons.  If you don’t have a purveyor like this in your town, you can always order online. And think how surprised drop in guests would be if you served them this on the fly.  Always the host with the most, you are!

Saturday came very early as I had made a pinky swear to Miss Crystal I would get up and go to the Annual Grant Park Yard Sale with her.  We jumped in the Jeep and took off.  It was a day filled with treasures for me. Crystal bought one thing. One. Cheeky monkey. While I spent money like a drunken caveman.  I picked up a set of glass nesting bowls for $3, a BBQ set from the Sharper Image for Eric for $5, a couple of blankets (one red wool, the other a precious quilt for my guest room), binoculars, a tripod for $1!!  We also rescued a worn, heavy rattan chair from the side of the road (free!) which I will recover and repaint for the guest room as well.  It was so much fun! But we had to head home to get ready for the Annual Little 5 Points Halloween Parade with more friends and neighbors.  Here’s where the pictures get really good.

Men in Tights!

More Men in Tights.

Mr. and Mrs. Beelzebub

Something for the guys…

Here come the Zombies!
and someone very special…..

Even Zombies love beer

Captain Sisko and The Dude
Halloween brings everyone together!

Edward Scissorhands
Try drinking beer like that!

It really is all about the kids

One of my favorite friends, John Charles

Queen Dawn and Princess Megan

Best buddies, including yours truly (in the center)

This was the most spectacular costume of the day

Giant Puppets. Aren’t they cool?
We really loved the beer hall girl

(click to enlarge photos)

All in all, a perfect day. A very cold (48F) day but a perfect day nonetheless.  After the parade, Eric, Crystal, Teague and I all headed over to Manuel’s for a bite and a beer. It is one of Atlanta’s institutions and they serve comfort food to warm your soul and your tummy.  Then we went home to shoot zombies.  Let me tell you, shooting zombies works up an appetite, so I went into the kitchen and whipped up some beignets. They were so good.

Not too long after, Teague and I agreed that the first really cold day was much like the first day in the sun when summer comes. It just wears you out.  By 10 p.m. we were finished. Worn out. Time for sleep. But in the best possible way, after you have spent the day having nothing but fun with the ones you love.

Hug your besties today and tell them you love them. It’s always the right time.

xoxo, Patti

Very Special Note: New follower, MPB1204…it took me exactly 3 seconds to guess who this was. Hi, Parri!