Recommended wine for today’s entry: My friend Beth and I tried some d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier, an Australian white wine that would go well with seafood or cheesy appetizers. It got a 90 rating from Wine Spectator and winetasters.blogspot.com noted its grapefruit and pear flavors and its “long and buttery” finish that is “a tad bitter,” … but “in a good way.” I would agree with their assessment.
Ahh…what a busy weekend! The weather was absolutely beautiful and yesterday we went to a perfectly executed open house at our friends’ Rick and Becky’s. It was a great day for a soiree on their arbored terrace that I have coveted for years. They are both wonderful cooks and the food was varied, tasty and even amazingly aromatic. Whenever we attend a party at their house, though, it leads to a marital spat on the way home.
My husband and I, over the years, have come to a divide on the issue of entertaining. It’s not a question of whether or not to host a party — we both still love to have people to our home and ply them with strong drinks before subjecting them to food that is often less than stellar. It’s the food that’s becoming an issue.
We have tried using caterers, but I have sworn off of them after the last one made a comment about letting my guests know that any dog hair in the food drifted there AFTER delivery by the restaurant. Then I got a little huffy and asked if it ever got tiresome to haul food to people’s houses on Saturday nights and does his car reek of food and wouldn’t it be weird if he had to deliver food to a party that he was scheduled to attend. There is a chance that he spit in the seafood chowder before he left so I didn’t eat any of that.
So after that little spat I decided that I’d do my own cooking.
The thing I like best about parties is grazing. Because when you have a delish glass of wine and a wide variety of nummy nibbles, you can pack on thousands of calories before you bloat up and feel full. So when I entertain, I like to make a wide variety of finger foods.
But my husband has a much … trashier simpler view of entertaining.
Every time we have a party, he suggests these festive and extravagant menu selections: hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken drummettes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cookout or a wedding reception — this is all he thinks anyone wants to eat at a party.
Here is how our last party planning session went:
Me: I’m thinking of making the brie and raspberry cups, mushroom turnovers, shrimp puffs, …
Jeff: Why do you always make so many things? All anybody wants is spicy chicken drummettes from Walmart.
Me: YOU are the only person who wants spicy chicken drummettes from Walmart!
Jeff: Well, I’m not sure I even remember what they taste like because last time you said you’d get them you got the wrong thing.
Me: (Now getting way pissed off) I TOLD YOU THAT I ASKED FOR SPICY CHICKEN DRUMMETTES AND THAT IS WHAT THE MAN PUT INTO THE BAG! HE MUST KNOW WHAT SPICY CHICKEN DRUMMETTES ARE BECAUSE HE IS A PROFESSIONAL CHICKEN MAN. MAYBE YOU AREN’T SURE EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED!
Jeff: I think you just got whatever was sitting there. I think you just pointed and said, “I need a pound of those things … whatever they are. It doesn’t matter to me, because I don’t eat meat.”
Me: That is SO NOT TRUE. I asked for it exactly like you said, then the professional chicken man said he didn’t have any ready, so I watched him drop your stupid drummettes into the boiling vat of grease and then I had to wander around Walmart for ten minutes while I waited for them to cook. That is how we ended up with Little Debbie Nutty Bars, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, dog shampoo and the new manicure kit. And the sheets and salad spinner. You know, ten minutes is a very long time when you’re in Walmart.
Jeff: But you brought home chicken PLANKS, not chicken drummettes!
Me: OH FOR GOODNESS SAKE, YOU STUPID FREAK (this is how they taught me to resolve conflict when I was a sales manager) … WHO CARES WHAT SHAPE A STUPID PIECE OF DEAD CHICKEN IS? IT IS ALL THE FREAKIN’ SAME THING. YOU WILL JUST DOUSE IT WITH HONEY MUSTARD AND THEN SWALLOW IT AND THEN YOUR STUPID STOMACH ACIDS WILL BREAK IT ALL DOWN AND …
Jeff: Shut up! You’re making me sick. And no, all chicken is NOT the same.
Me: Of course it is. Haven’t you seen the Kids Cuisines, where they took the little chicken nuggets and cut them into smiley faces? Same taste as McDonald’s chicken nuggets. A wad of chicken is a wad of chicken. And I’m sorry to break this to you, but people think you are a major sissy when you keep chirping on about “drummettes.” A “plank” sounds much more masculine.
Jeff: I give up. Just make the stuff you want for the party. You totally rock in the kitchen and you look really good while you’re cooking.
OK, I made up the last sentence.
But I’m right, aren’t I? Shape doesn’t matter when it comes to chicken.
I think that it’s about time someone said it out loud.