Monday, June 14, 2010

Dinner for Struggle

It's been very clearly established that I feel fairly negative about most people most of the time, and it's true, I do. However, I feel very positively about most FOOD all of the time. And while I'm perfectly capable of eating large amounts of food all by my lonesome, I tend to try and get someone involved in the process with me, in order to, you know, fulfill social protocols, avoid drinking alone, and dispel all those nasty rumors that I'm building bombs in my basement. So when my friend Jacob (hi, Jacob!) announced that he would be coming into Struggledelphia for a brief interlude I saw no reason not to kill two birds with one stone and have a dinner party, giving me an opportunity to make an enormous meal, invite over tons of people, and, and this is the genius part, avoid actually having to deal with any of the guests.

You see, I'm a little controlling when it comes to cooking. Maybe it was the five years I spent working at a chef right here in Struggledelphia (and as a result if anyone needs a new acid dealer they should let me know, I know at least three!), or maybe it's my secret belief that if I put a knife in the hands of a stranger it gives them a tactical advantage over me should something go down, but I have spent at least 65% of every dinner party I have ever thrown sweating my make up off in the kitchen cooking and cleaning as outside on my patio youthful revelers carouse and quaff. And, to be perfectly honest, part of me really enjoys just that, the act of preparing and creating and watching other people enjoy the product of that process. And another part of me enjoys the fact that whenever I disappear for too long, my friend Mariel (hi, Mariel!) starts to call for me like a baby bird, and then everyone else notices I've been gone and drags me back out to ply me with wine and, (horror of horrors!) socialize. Well, if you can't avoid people, at least surround yourself with the least dreadful of the bunch. And make sure they bring the wine.

So to help out all those who are in search of dinner party guidelines, I've included a few helpful tips, along with photographic illustrations. After all, if I can manage to make it through a night with other people, open flames, food, knives and a gin-based Sangria (don't ask), YOU should be just fine.

1. Be an excellent cook. Or hire one.
 2. It's not the 1950's and 60's anymore, please avoid making Jello-based desserts. I love Mad Men as much as the next sane human being, but come on, people, there's love and then there's crazy. You wouldn't just go around stalking the object of your affection, would you? Walk that same line with pastry, and you should be fine.
3. I know there is a recession on, but serving your pet as the main course is tacky. At least have the class to capture and kill someone else's. It can be a group activity, and thus solves the problem of bored guests should that come up.
4. I don't care how bad you are in social settings, resist the urge to try and escape by any means necessary.
5. Finally, give your friends some love. Especially if they are the ones keeping your wine glass full, and not making fun of your apron.