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Monday, December 15, 2008

I will not be the #&%-hole*.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Parties are the new bars. Friday night, we were invited to a party. This party was a little bit different from a bar, because it was really far from my house. We chose our house based on its proximity to our kids’ school our church charming shops our dear extended family bars. Neither we nor my hard drinking über-responsible** brother-in-law and sister-in-law wanted to drive. In fact, when my husband suggested we draw straws, I said, "FIne. But if I lose I'm not going." Ergo, I started calling car services.

One such service offered a stretch limo at the low, low price of $75 an hour. This included bar service, television and something that was vaguely described as "mood lighting." That didn't quite seem like what we needed. Next I called Aiken Limousine and Transportation (1-877-648-5466). The word "transportation" indicated to me they had normal cars and I liked that they had a toll-free number, because it made them seem like a legitimate operation. The price was totally acceptable, our driver Landa-rhymes-with-Wanda was awesome and the car, which I pictured as a Honda Accord, was a glamorous Lincoln Towncar, no mood lighting, thank goodness. We've been discussing selling our cars, canceling our insurance and using the car service all the time. But I digress.

I called the day of the party to find out if I could bring anything. The hostess, a good friend who lives way out in the country, has asked me to pick up last minute necessities in the past, like ice, because I live in civilization near stores.

"Well," she answered, "L. is bringing tomato pies and deviled eggs, S. is bringing dessert, K and D are bringing a pork roast and V. is bringing her artichoke dip, so we're all set."

I screeched into the phone, "Why didn't you tell me it was a potluck? Did you think I couldn't handle bringing a dish?" Well, I didn't really screech, because the Wellbutrin takes the edge off nicely. But you get the picture.

My "friend" informed me there was one other person showing up empty-handed, our friend K. She only asked people to bring something if they offered. I had no desire to be the #&%-hole, so I cut her off and announced I would be bringing something. Exactly what was yet to be determined. Let K be the #&%-hole, I figured. She has thick skin.

I called my sister-in-law, who was bringing her famous artichoke dip***, to discuss. Always a positive thinker, she decided this had potential. We could make a game out of turning one guest into the #&%-hole at every party. And then make fun of them, mercilessly. There was even discussion of creating a special hat, which the #&%-hole would be forced to wear. We worried for two seconds about hurt feelings. My sister-in-law concluded any one of them would just say, "Haha! Party for me!" and wear the hat with pride.

So, we didn't make the hat, but I did make the appetizer, a personal favorite. I've shared it before, but now I have pictures. Here it is, yo.

Smoked Salmon Endive Appetizers

I started at the Gourmet Shop, where I bought about a quarter pound of their smoked salmon, which is the best in town.

Gourmet Shop Smoked Salmon

I paused in front of the Viking Pbrrrt and wished I had one. My Pbrrrt broke recently and this one is just like it, but with special features, such as a little bowl attachment that turns it into a tiny food processor.

What I want for Christmas.

Next, I called three different grocery stores to locate Belgian Endive. I live in a small-ish town and it behooves me to call so I don't waste time. I bought a bunch of Belgian Endive. Then I went home and started working.

Belgian Endive. You love it.

Get a bunch of Belgian endive, cut the bases off and make a bunch of little boats out of the leaves.

Belgian Endive, cleaned and separated.

In a mini food processor, mix a handful of chives and mint (which you should be able to find in your yard as they are weeds)

Gratuitous photo of mint and chives.

and equal parts mayonnaise and cream cheese, until they're totally blended.

Yum. Almost.

Put the mix into a zip-loc bag and cut one corner off, so you can squeeze little dollops into the endive boats.

Almost there...

Now put a piece of smoked salmon on top of each one. Yum.


Take the leftover mush and put it in a little container to use as a sandwich spread, such an improvement over mayo alone.

Leftover sandwich spread.

Take the mis-sized bits of endive and make your husband eat them. He's old and needs the fiber. It'll keep him regular.

Leftovers, because your husband is old and needs fiber.

When you bring an appetizer to share, you won't have to hide your #&%-hole face at the party.

No pictures, please.

Namasté, y'all!

* I would say "a-hole", but I said it on the radio Friday and my parents weren't happy.

** My husband once described how he felt jogging down, early on a Sunday morning, to retrieve one's car from a bar parking lot. Equally responsible and irresponsible. Avoiding a DUI is wise. Drinking so much you can't drive is not. But we are what we are. He jogged down there extra early so no one would see our car on their way to church. Hiring a car service inspires that same feeling. Should we really feel proud of ourselves for knowing ahead of time we'll behave badly? Is there maybe a lesson on self-awareness here?

*** Mountains of parmesan, several dollops of mayonnaise and a jar of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped. Stir together and cook in a 350° oven until it's a little bit brown at the edges. So good!


Otis said...

I'm in my mid-30s (damn it sucks to say that) and Saturday night, we actually arranged to be driven downtown and left without transportation.

So, you're not alone.

Don Mills Diva said...

Oh my gosh - I am drooling at the thought of that appetizer - you can bring that to MY party anytime!

Unknown said...

Our friends once convinced this guy that the party they were going to had a cross-dressing theme. I wasn't there, but I think he happily wore his dress the whole party.

Anonymous said...

My favorite line from this entry: a handful of chives and mint (which you should be able to find in your yard as they are weeds).


A. (hole)