Thursday, June 28, 2007

"It Does Not Say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty!"

So, like right now, for example. The Haiti-ans need to come to America. But some people are all, "What about the strain on our resources?" Well it's like when I had this garden party for my father's birthday, right? I put R.S.V.P. 'cause it was a sit-down dinner. But some people came that like did not R.S.V.P. I was like totally buggin'. I had to haul ass to the kitchen, redistribute the food, and squish in extra place settings. But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier. And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haiti-ans. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much.

-- Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), Clueless

James (the boyfriend of my friend Roger) has a wonderful talent for cooking some great meals. Okay, wait, maybe he just has a talent for cooking better than I can cook, which isn't saying a hell of a lot, so I just think his stuff is fabulous when it's really just normal, but I digress. The point is, he's been really generous with sharing the fruits of his kitchen, inviting me over to their place for dinners quite frequently. Usually, he'll invite a slew of other people (and make a night out of it -- we'll all sit around (there's like 8 of us), eat, and watch stupid television shows like So You Think You Can Dance or American Idol. Some nights he'll just randomly make an extra helping of food for me when he's cooking dinner for the two of them, then call me to let me know I can pick up some "leftovers" at my leisure. (They're not really "leftovers" since they never intended to eat them in the first place!)

Me being me, of course, after a while I feel bad that I'm mooching all these free meals off these guys so I feel the need to reciprocate. Miss Manners would be proud; I'm pretty sure that's her rule: when you attend a social occasion, it's polite to extend a reciprocal invitation.

I got my chance this weekend when, while out to dinner one night (lots of food involved in this post), James mentioned that he didn't feel like cooking this week, and he and Roger would probably be having dinners out all week. I leapt at the opportunity to suggest that I cook them dinner one night to make up for him having cooked for me so many times. Small wrinkle: my place is tiny, so I'd have to do the actual cooking at their place, probably using their cookware. But never mind that, the point was, I offered to supply the edibles and put in the kitchen time.

They happily accepted by invitation, and I was underway to making my friends a nice dinner. I had previously purchased a nice set of individually vacuum-wrapped salmon fillets at Costco, so I figured that's what I'd do: make a nice salmon dinner for the three of us, plus maybe one other guest.

You know what they say about the best laid plans.

Because James is used to having many people over for these dinner nights, what started off small escalated quickly. "Should we also invite A? and B and his boyfriend C? What about D?" Before I knew it, a dinner that I had envisioned for four ballooned to nine.

Cher, however, was lucky that all she had to do was re-arrange some food on a plate. The Costco salmon that I bought comes in a package of seven fillets. This is, of course, not enough to serve nine people without splitting a nice single-serving of fish. On top of that, I now had to get more of the rice side dish I was planning on making, as well as the salad and the appetizers.

Paula Deen I am not, people!

I made an emergency run to Costco last night. Picked up extra salmon. A large box of salad. Some grape tomatoes for the salad. Plus some green apples for the salad. Couldn't find asparagus for the side, so I got green beans instead. (Then ended up at Safeway later, where voila! they had asparagrus. Got some of that there.) Got home only to realize that I do not have enough of the rice dish (Near East brand rice pilaf -- love that stuff) in my cabinet -- will shop for that at lunch today.

I never thought I'd be the type to obsess so much over food, but I guess when it comes to impressing other people, it kind of is a big deal. You want to make a decent food that people will like. And when it's a full-on spread, well, it could win you quite the accolade among your friends.

And maybe this will actually lead me to cook just a little bit more.

Anyway, the dinner is tonight. Maybe I'll try to take some pictures and post them here later. Wish me luck!

No comments: