For my birthday this year, instead of having the usual dinner at a restaurant, I thought it would be more fun to have people over for a get-together at the house. As every party planner knows, however, there is never a “simple” event. To avoid a last minute scramble, I started my preparations early this time. Since AK was preparing the main dishes (despite my suggestion that perhaps we should just do a restaurant order or catering), I just had to get the appetizers, drinks and desserts. To avoid a last minute scramble, I picked up many of these items during the week, so when Friday rolled around, I was self-indulgent and spent my entire afternoon/early evening at a nail salon followed by a spa facial. Once productive trip I made before enjoying “me” time: Picking up a few cheeses at the Palo Alto Whole Foods, whose cheese counter was slightly sub-par (the guy recommended a few cheeses that tasted like cheddar, and told me that he really dislikes blue cheese – what kind of cheese guru is he?). The selection this time included the tried and true fan favorites: Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam triple crème and Humbolt Fog, plus three new cheeses: Roomkaas from Holland (similar to gouda), Wesleyndale (Wallace & Gromit‘s favorite!) and one more I cannot remember (this is why I should not delay my blog-writing…my short-term memory does not go beyond a week).
My original vision of a leisurely Saturday with ample time to prepare for the party ended when I found out Friday night that AK’s recipe called for grits, and he had not been able to find it anywhere (who knew that once you leave DC grits would be such a rarity?). After some extensive Internet searching, we located it at Boulette’s Larder in the San Francisco Ferry Building. No problem, I said, as I added this errand to my list. On Saturday, I drove up to the city and picked up grits from Boulette’s Larder and bread from Acme Bread Company (the baguette and pain epi are delicious!). Then off to Sibby’s Cupcakery for the cupcakes (flavors: red velvet, latte, grandma’s tea cakes, chocolate with cream, lemon drop and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting). Finally, trip to Costco and Safeway for the dipping items for the chocolate fountain.
By the time I got home, it was already 3 p.m. (guest were arriving at 5 p.m.). Since AK was cooking away, I still had to clean the house and lay out the food. Ahh!!!!! Panic set in as I ran around the house frantically trying to finish – it was a race against time. Will they make it? I’ll have to finish tomorrow since it’s getting late.
(To be continued…)