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

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Thanksgiving 2010

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

We are finally recovered from Thanksgiving (I think). It was a wonderful time with fabulous friends and I bet you want to hear all about it. Lets do it!

Just between you and me, I had no intention of hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, but when bestie Diane said she was coming home, I knew that called for something special. We bought the turkey, planned a few dishes, invited a few friends, bought a case of bubbly. Then our incredible friends from Black Tie Barbecue told me they were holding a smoked turkey with my name on it, I decided to go ahead and roast the turkey we had at home and freeze the meat for the Christmas party nibble ingredients.

Do you remember the photo of those smoking turkeys? Unbelievable.

More thankful fun inside!

Paella-palooza 2010

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for the details of our paella party. Here you go!

The party started the day before when Vickie arrived and Jeff, Crystal and Teague joined us for some brainstorming about the fire and flow of the party. Pizza and beer followed. A pre-party is always fun.

Sunday we all woke early and Eric got the fire started. Early, y’all. It was blazing by 10 a.m. and was ready for the paella pan by 3 p.m. And then Eric cooked. And cooked. And cooked some more. We have realized that the paella still takes about 3 hours to prepare. But we were ready this time.

That fire was super hot

The Party Continues Inside

Prepping Paella for 70

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I bet you are getting ready for Labor Day. Me, too. Eric and I are hosting around 70 of our nearest and dearest for paella in the backyard. Someone asked me the other day how I do it. My response was that it is just as easy to cook for 70 as 10 friends. You just add extra chicken. lol

Remember last year’s paella soiree? We learned a lot from last year’s bash.

First, we will build a big wood fire this year. No wimpy propane for us. And we will start the fire early. Eric plans on having the fire up and roaring by 9 a.m. so we can eat at a decent hour. Last year it took 3 hours for that paella to cook and everyone was half in the bag by dinner. Now everyone will only be 1/4 in the bag by dinner, so that’s an improvement.

Secondly, we are asking our darlings to bring wine, beer and booze. That stuff skyrockets a party budget. Everyone is in a bit of an economic crunch these days, so our buddies are happy to contribute.

Thirdly, this year we will buy cleaned and deveined shrimp. Holly and I spent a billion hours peeling and deveining the four pounds of shrimp last year. Not this time.

Dessert will be paletas, or in english, popsicles. As I write this, the strawberries are bubbling on the stovetop with sugar and strawberry nectar. They will go into our popsicle molds and I will start all over again tomorrow with a new flavor. Maybe Mexican chocolate would be good. And easy. Pretty much just chocolate milk with cinnamon. That would be good. When you are making 70 popsicles, easy is key.

Here’s a link to the recipe we’re using. It says it will feed 25-30, but don’t you believe it. It will easily feed 60. With leftovers. Seriously. Maybe 25-30 linebackers.

Some of my favorite shots from last year.

Rick, Teague and Eric discuss the browning of the chicken

I love the look on Eric's face as he stirs this monster...

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Toni Braxton – Spanish Guitar