I spent most of last week worrying about making a dinner party on Sunday. When I lived in Chicago I made frequent, large parties. I had a wonderful kitchen, large dining room table and all the other necessary paraphernalia. Most of it went bye-bye in the big house sale before I left. I made one party, not a sit-down dinner, in New Jersey, celebrating my birthday, getting a master's degree and being laid off and retired from a job I wanted to quit. Since then, very little cooking and no parties.
My neighbors have been wonderful to me and I wanted to reciprocate in some way–thus the dinner party. I have a terrible kitchen, but a nice size dining room with a table and six chairs I acquired after I moved. My first problem was a table cloth or some other table covering. Since I was going from a comfortable six to an intimate ten, placemats weren't going to do it. I looked at table covers and runners in IKEA; nothing pleased me. Finally decided to go through my stash of fabrics and found three yards of something I had originally used at least thirty years ago to cover my dining room chairs in Chicago. The selvages were fringed so I finished the two ends by fringing them and used it wrong side up, which made it look more like a table cloth. I only had seven dinner plates, having split those with my EX. IKEA had glass plates for a dollar each–I used five of my old white plates and five of the slightly smaller glass plates. Fortunately, I still had enough glassware and silver. Then there was the menu.
Robin and Steve were invited and they would not eat meat at my house; I don't keep kosher. I thought about making an all vegetarian dinner, but wasn't sure about the rest of the guests. I also considered small appetizer kinds of things; decided it was too much work. My energy will only go so far. After a week of deep thought I decided on salmon with yogurt sauce, squash and pear crumble, bulgur wheat pilaf with dried apricots and a green salad. I made three shopping trips, but did all the work on Sunday and even had time for a nap. My recipe ideas came from the internet. I don't know where I'd be without my computer. And it makes me feel great to know I can still do it.