Yesterday, Matt and I catered a bridal shower for our friend Katy. My wife Kelly and his wife Sara were organizing the event and we were asked (not drafted!) to cook for it. Never having organized such a thing, we took it as a challenge. Matt and I both reckon ourselves as foodies, so we aimed high and made an ambitious but not totally off-the-wall menu. We wanted more than just your typical whitebread creamcheese pinwheels and little smokies and fruit pizza.
We made a list (collaborating via Google Docs) and organized our menu according to party flow and audience tastes. For the more exotic ingredients (the dates, the endive, some of the cheeses) we went to Whole Foods. Everything else was Kroger. We even organized the shopping list for maximum efficiency in the store. Matt came over on Saturday around 3PM and we started cooking after the grocery run around 6PM. A little break for dinner and we wrapped close to midnight. We still had some cooking to do on Sunday morning – mostly for the stuff that needed to be fresh. Overall we split the responsibilities (including cleaning) pretty well while also trying to keep the ladies out of the kitchen.
Here’s our menu:
Cheese tray with crackers, grapes and sliced apples (Cabot Cheddar, Dutch Havarti and Red Band Smoked Gouda)
Caprese (fresh, sliced tomatoes with fresh sliced mozzarella and fresh basil leaves)
Chicken salad with apples and pecans served in endive cups
Whole grain baguette rounds with sliced meats (pastrami and roast beef)
Polenta rounds topped with hot sausage topped with sauteed scallions, apricot jam and parmesan cheese (recipe)
Medjool dates stuffed with almond and chevre, wrapped with uncured applewood-smoked bacon (recipe)
Mini-quiches in wonton cups (recipe)
Everything went great and I think Matt and I worked pretty well in the kitchen together. Matt is clearly the more precise and exacting cook than I am, as evidenced by his perfectly-cubed chicken and apple salad and attention to detail. Me, on the other hand, well, I figured hand-made is hand-made. The mark of a custom job is the imperfection, right? Odd how that stuff translates into our web-development “real jobs”.
In any case, it was a real honor and a lot of fun to give Katy a proper shower with good food. Can’t wait for the wedding!
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