Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Coming Out Parties...

If you read my blog you know that Jim and I have been doing a lot of entertaining in the past 60 days or so. We had Jim's retirement party, 75 or so people, The 4th of July, 20 something people, the wedding reception, 120ish, and tonight we had our friends over from the bishopric that Jim served in in the singles' ward; another 7 people. We missed you, Connie! We have one more dinner scheduled so far on Monday night for four people. That is 286 people eating dinner at our house in less than 2 months. I guess technically we shouldn't count the wedding as we did not supply the food for that but I did work in the that counts right?

The table looked pretty in the evening with candle light, etc. This was midday and very bright and the color of the walls is definitely not what you see. I have trouble with this paint every time I try to photograph it. But I am showing it to you anyway, just so you can see the beautiful table cloth from the wedding reception last week. Connie generously gave us one for hosting. It looks great with our lighter brown dishes and napkins for the fall. I even ventured into putting out some little pumpkins! But then I am getting ahead of my thoughts here...

So anyway, for the past few years we haven't been doing much entertaining but we made it a goal to do it more once we retired and had more energy than falling on the couch after a hard day of work requires. Our heart was always willing but the flesh was weak.

So we have changed our ways! How are we doing so far? I don't know how we got out of the habit of getting together with friends often, but I think it might have been burn out after several years of having a family dinner here every single Sunday night. But whatever the reason, we are back. I love that we made a goal and are actually doing it.

I do love to cook for dinner parties and I find that the best number for me is about 8. That is really pretty easy and when I like to try new things. I love this size group because it gives you enough one on one time with everyone and you feel like you have really visited. The larger the group less I feel like that.

Jim likes to BBQ steaks but tonight I decided that in addition to that I would do kabobs and coconut rice, instead of the typical baked potatoes or potato salad, etc.

So I got a bunch of fresh vegetables and prepared them for marinading in a bottle of Italian salad dressing. I have made kabobs lots but what I learned from our daughter, Jen is...cook the meat separately don't put in on the skewers. Brilliant! This made great sense because the smaller pieces of meat cook too fast. Also I learned from her to cut the pineapples in long wedges and the marinate the in brown sugar, diluted by water to form a nice glaze when barbecuing.

I really like to have as much as possible done before our guests arrive so we can enjoy them while while they are here. So although this is quite labor intensive before they arrive, it is worth it in the long run.

Jim always likes to cook a couple of Polish Dogs as appetizers (for the men while they are waiting for dinner to grill. While he was doing this I was making the coconut rice (1 part rice, 1 part coconut milk, one part water. A little salt, a little butter) and getting the salad ready. It was a nice combination and something a little different for a change.

Rachel and Doug, Rog and Mike

Roger and Mike without his wife Connie
who couldn't be here tonight.
The lucky lady is off with grandkids!

Roger and Shelby!
The weather turned pretty chilly so I was glad we decided to just have appetizers outside and then come into the house for dinner. It was just so great to see them all. Shelba made a delicious peach cobbler for dessert. Thanks guys for coming over and we hope you had a fun evening! We sure did!

So that is enough babbling for one evening. I am still awake and it is almost 3:00 AM. This happens to me a lot after a busy day. I get overly tired and then I am done for! The brain just won't go to sleep. It'll save that for tomorrow when I need to be awake! Gotta love insomnia but at least I got the post done. Thanks for hanging out with me!


MCGROVER said...

As always it was a JOY to be with friends and partake of a meal prepared by the masters. I'm sure when Connie reads this post she will be "conflicted". We need to do this on a more regular basis. OUR TURN NEXT.

Sister Susie said...

What a spread of food! I would hate to think I might soil your beautiful tableclothes! I just know your guests have had a great time. How could they not with such a wonderful Host and Hostess!
Enjoy many more!
Blessings continue on you and yours,

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bonnie,
what a lovely tablescape. That choc.
brown tablecloth is really lovely with your gold dishes and punkins!!
All the food looks fabulous too!
I swanee, if we get anymore alike it is just too amazing, I am just like you I like to have as much done as possible, and a group of 6-8 is perfect to me as far as really getting to spend quality time together, which I adore, it is my #1 love language, and rings my chimes. lol
Wish you lived close we would have to have one of these!!
So glad you all had such a nice time, it is a great thing to be hospitable isn't it!! oh yea,
good for you on meeting your goals too.
Love ya, Nellie

Julie Harward said...

Looks like lots of fun and it is a bunch of work but it does leave wonderful memories for all! :D

Marie said...

I am sure everyone had a lovely time Bonnie! I am like you, I love to entertain and feed my friends! It is such a labour of love and one that I really enjoy! It would be so wonderful to have you and Jim over sometime! Now that's a thought worth pursuing! xxoo