January 4, 2009

January 4, 2009

Posted in entertaining, food tagged , , , , , at 11:32 am by allisonwonder

I’m having such a hard time getting used to writing/ typing “2009” instead of “2008”. It always takes me a while to adjust- good thing I don’t write a lot of cheques…

Wehad our company over for supper last night, and (if I may say so), the food was great.  We had Greek-Style Lemon Roast Chicken (recipe courtesy of Kraft Kitchens- bless them!) with rice, spinach “salad” (OK, fresh spinach leaves with dressing, but so good) and home-made bread. It was tasty, but I was mainly pleased with the timing of everything. I never know exactly when AJ will be home from work- if he’s supposed to be done at 5:00, he could be home any time between 5 and 6:15 (and he’d better call if he’s going to be later than that!). The guys came in at 5:55, and supper was ready at 6:10- no cold food last night. Also, I managed to have everything ready at the same time, which has always been a challenge for me. Having a consistent oven makes a big difference- when you know how long the chicken’s going to take to cook, it’s a lot easier to figure out when the rice needs to go on. Hooray for properly-functioning appliances!

I DO need a meat thermometer, though- that would make things easier. I used to have one, but it didn’t last long- I don’t even know how I killed it.

OH- and I was a good girl and did whatever dishes I could while I was working, so doing the plates and pots and stuff afterward wasn’t TOO bad.I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again: it’s a lot easier to get the dishes done when there’s a nice window to look out while you’re doing them, rather than a blank wall. Been there, done thet (twice, actually).

Was the house perfect? Nope. Did P. care? Definitely not.

As an afterthought, I decided to have a look at what Ms. Lillian Eichler of “The New Book of Etiquette” had to say on the subject. Apparently people didn’t have just one or two people over for meals in the ’20s or the ’30s- just dinner parties, luncheons, and tea, any of which could be formal or informal, each with its own rules. The closest thing I found was actually the “Sunday-Night Supper.”    “As a rule there is no maid service, the hostess taking this opportunity to show what she can do in the way of cooking and serving…with modern electrical appliances to help her, the hostess whould be able to entertain eight to ten friends at Sunday-night supper very easily, without scrambling from kitchen to dining room.” Lil, I don’t have ROOM for eight to ten friends, and I get to show off my cooking and serving skills (such as they may be) every damn night. At least the cooking didn’t have to be too fancy- “creamed chicken on toast is an excellent supper dish that can be prepared on a table grill… Some hostesses like to serve waffles for Sunday-night supper…”

I get the idea that maybe this book was written for a class of people I just don’t belong to- or were things just that different back then*? I certainly don’t know anyone who would consider cooking for 8-10 friends a novelty, what with the maid having the night off and all.

*Speaking of “back then,” here’s an interesting blog/ project I’ve just started reading: My Decade Year follows the adventures of a modern woman as she spends 100 days living as a ’50s housewife, 100 days in the 60s, 100 in the 70s and 65 days in the 80s.  It’s been interesting so far…