For a housewife, hosting a dinner party is the equivalent of an employee's performance appraisal or a student taking a final exam. A dinner party is the ultimate test of domesticity. The pressure is on and everything has to be perfect.
It's possible I was taking my role as hostess a little too seriously. Regardless, our most recent instalment of Dinner Club went off exactly as planned.
I felt it was important to establish a theme for the evening. Being a fan of the Surreal Gourmet, I decided to plan an evening of edible art and put my focus on the presentation of the food.
I decorated the table with a collage of famous works of art, torn from the pages of a cheap art history book I grabbed from the Bargain Books section of Chapters. It wasn't good for the health of the book but it was a conversation piece.
I didn't want to take the food too seriously, I'd have to be a better cook than I am to pull off anything sophisticated. I decided to shoot for a tongue-in-cheek menu of dishes I thought were fun and funny. After all, if I'm not entertaining myself, I'm not going to have much luck entertaining our guests.
We started with meatloaf cupcakes, frosted with mashed potatoes and decorated with chive sprinkles. I added some wild mushroom gravy as a savoury garnish. I thought they ended up looking pretty cool.
After our cupcakes, we cleansed our pallets with a little champagne gelatin. It was like fizzy Jello, and who doesn't love fizzy Jello.
Our champagne was accompanied by "chicken salad". This dish got a good laugh. Confession: I swiped the idea from Bob Blumer's website. He's THE surreal gourmet and I bow to his originality. I wish I'd taken a better picture but you work with what you've got.
When I was first searching for a theme for the party, I stumbled across this dessert idea and it ended up inspiring the direction of the entire dinner. Behold...candy sushi.
I had been worried that the presentations wouldn't come together properly so I was really relieved everything went as smoothly as it did. With the stress off my shoulders, I was free to enjoy my company.
It was an evening of good friends, good conversation and lots of laughs. It flew by and I can't wait to do it again.
Perhaps a random round of golf followed by Mexican food?..saaaaay Thursday?