Thursday, December 18, 2008

Potluck party

“When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things - not the great occasions - give off the greatest glow of happiness."
-Bob Hope

Last night was our annual company Christmas party—my last one—pause to celebrate! In light of the economy, this year we decided to just have a potluck dinner at one of my coworkers’ loft, instead of the usual company-paid restaurant dinner and creative activity. Easier said than done when you’ve moved an hour away and the party doesn’t start until 7pm.

After I finally got away from work yesterday evening at 5:15 and finished up a last minute trip to the supermarket at 5:45, I gathered up all of my cooking supplies and ingredients and settled for the next best kitchen, other than my own—the church kitchen. I boiled my potatoes in a giant industrial-sized pot, heated the stovetop of two ovens, and ran around opening cabinets, thinking they’ve got to have some salt and pepper stored around here.

I planned to document my progress with photos, but mashing potatoes and sautéing green beans for twelve people in an hour leaves little time to snap photos. This is the only one that I captured.
I also brought fancy jewelry and different boots to morph my day outfit into my night outfit as they always demonstrate on makeover shows; however, those makeover experts never take into account the fact that you might have bits of mashed potatoes flung at your versatile clothing in between a day of work and an evening out. Just in case you’re wondering, I think I picked all of the food off of me before I entered the party.

And what a dinner party it was… I’m not usually a fan of potluck dinners—I’m just too picky (“Hi, I’m Jana, and I’m a picky eater.”) But this dinner, it just came together—it made a real meal, a real yummy meal. I work with some really good cooks--perhaps I'm figuring this out a little too late. There was mojito chicken (the juiciest, most melt-in-my-mouth chicken I’ve ever had), marinated pork loin, mashed potatoes (not the best I’ve ever made, but still complimented the rest of the meal), green beans (my best and favorite recipe ever—I mean, it’s got nutmeg in it, who doesn’t love nutmeg?), and corn pudding. And for dessert, pumpkin pie, chocolate flan, and thumbprint cookies.


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