Thursday, February 28, 2013

Planning is Paramount

Once early on in our relationship, we had a few friends over to dinner. It was truly a disaster for mouse. First, she discovered at the last minute a few key ingredients were missing from the pantry. We'd planned on eating at a certain time, but due to a cooking snafu dinner was delayed by hours!

As mouse recalls she was roasting a chicken, the recipe clearly stated how long it should take to cook -- not sure if the oven or the recipe was off, but according to the thermometer it wasn't half done at the appointed time! We ran out of wine and mouse was running around to find snacks so that our guests didn't waste away. When the chicken was finally done, it was incredibly dry -- and much too small for our guests!

Friends, thankfully were quite forgiving. Important dinner guests, clients or bosses do not need to be -- they don't have a huge vested interest in you and with clients well, it's very precarious. Business deals can be won or lost over a meal -- even shoddy service in a restaurant can effect it.

The problem was in part because mouse had little experience cooking for groups. That chicken in the store looked huge (compared to the others). Now mouse knows if she were to attempt it, she would roast at least two chickens (depending on the number of guests and allow plenty of time -- remember poultry can stay out one hour or a bit longer before carving.

Another time, fewer guests and a larger chicken (yea mouse seemed determined to get the chicken right) mouse pulled it out the fridge after the recipe and several websites assured mouse it would only take 24-30 hours to defrost, and found it was frozen solid! Solid!

We had chicken twice that week. The first, served to again friends was dry -- after purchasing a replacement chicken. But the one cooked later in week was perfect!

That's the other point, only make things for special occasions that you're completely certain and confident about. If you want to try something new, try it at least three or four times before subjecting unsuspecting important guests to it. If its something you've made infrequently, try it out a week or two before the big day. Just to work out the kinks and that includes side dishes, dessert or appetizers. Even if you're trying a new cocktail -- make a batch and see how it tastes. Sometimes also, it's important to remember quantities differ when making one drink and say a pitcher. Sometimes you find you want to hold back a little of the alcohol or add a shot or two more...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Working on Details

The invites are out and accepted (a small part of mouse wished they'd refuse) now it's time to settle on a menu.  Order the rib roast and figure out how big it needs to be.

For practical reasons, we shortened the guest list.  Honestly, we simply cannot fit 16 people around our's just impossible.  It would be uncomfortably tight -- elbows and knees.  Family and friends might not mind being so cramped but we simply cannot expect others to.   We will simply have to host two parties.  One a sit down dinner for the most important (gosh that sounds horrible) and a cocktail type party for everyone that doesn't make the cut....HA!

Wow that really sounds pretentious!

This means two unique menus.

We'll be hosting a dinner for 12 (including us).  The cocktail party another evening for around 20 or so people.  All the foods offered should be relatively kosher in nature (Jewish guests are well aware what they should and shouldn't be eating).

The formal dinner will be March 21, a spring gathering and yes mouse considered preparing lamb in honor of the change in season, but two guests dislike it.  Everyone loved the idea of beef (since many shun red meats it becomes a treat -- like bacon...mmm bacon...totally miss that).

More to it develops.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


This is a companion place to The Power Exchange blog we maintain. It's a place for mouse to freely discuss party ideas and other obligations of her slavery, mothering, and being a wife.

It's a way for mouse to address her fears...of people. It's weirdly convoluted. But mouse is afraid deeply so of being an embarrassment to Daddy. It should be noted for the official record that he hasn't any such fears. He dislikes entertaining because he finds it rather taxing on his nerves. He prefers to stay aloof than to be at the center of anything. However, it's a requirement more or less for his job.

It's an obligation he's graciously been shirking for sometime and it just cannot be ignored any longer. For some reason, while people seem to not mind the occasional restaurant gathering, it's not acceptable really to invite people out. It's awkward when the check comes (even if the server is prewarned NOT to deliver it to the table). It seems most people prefer to be entertained at someone's home,

We're invited out each month it seems twice, but only recently did we actually begin accepting the invites. Well, Daddy began accepting them -- truthfully it was something mouse was in the dark about. Little bit of peer pressure -- colleagues wondering why he refuses.

He enjoys very much his coworkers, and they do understand how intensely guarded and private he is.
Not very concerned about the cooking's more about being scared about everything else one must do. And this will be happening much more frequently. At least once per month Daddy explained. These dinners could actually affect his career! No pressure there!

So, we're hosting our first really important meal next month! 8 couples and none of them "friends" but people Daddy is quite aquatinted with. Perhaps they will become friends? Really mouse can only hope. Two couples have been to our before...they seem very nice...but the others...just no clue.

Let the countdown begin....