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Wednesday Food: The Housewarming Cometh

This weekend my sister and I host our first homewarming party together (until this summer we hadn’t cohabited since 1998.) Preparations are afoot: flags are being made, recipes determined, seating possibilities drawn up, dignitaries contacted, etc.

While many of the fetes we’ve hosted have revolved loosely around a theme, I’m struggling now for something more than “uh, here’s our housewarming party.” A few children will be wandering around so ‘cocktail’ isn’t quite right; ‘barbecue’ is misleading as our grill is too small to accommodate the people we need to feed. My only interest in themes is that they help dictate a menu so you don’t end up with competing, unrelated items, i.e. lasagna, grilled fish, and beer can chicken. If beverages are in the works they are subjected to theme considerations as well– caipirinhas and grog are not going to be great friends.

There are a few things that are on my mind in anticipation of the weekend. I give you…

The Bolden Tenets of Hosting

Inclusive Repast: let no meateater, vegan, or sweet tooth search elsewhere for their heart’s delight.

In Beverages We Trust: create or find a recipe for a signature drink then show a few people how to make it, but supply provisions for equal-opportunity drinkers; this means wine keys, bottle openers, ice, and mixed stemware are important. It would behoove you to provide mixers, people are often generous enough to bring a bottle and you don’t want to be stuck sipping rum on ice.

Teetotalers Are People Too: offering a drink besides water or coke is good karma to those refraining.

Litterbugs Not Allowed: avoid real flatware if you are serving more than six and lack a dishwasher, but find recycled disposables or even better, use paper that can be thrown in your compost.

Contingency Chili: like in mountaineering, no one goes to bed hungry. Because then they will likely be hungover and hate you forever. If this happens to you, the host, and you only got a taste of the 12 pound pork butte you spent 9 hours smoking, self-loathing will ensue. Plug in the crock-pot and make a batch of chili that can feed the late night stragglers or be frozen for later.

Thus far we’ve determined a menu of…

  • Rosemary and lavender lemonades
  • Chorizo stuffed dates
  • Mediterranean lentil and couscous salad, with herbs and feta
  • Spring farro with asparagus, peas, meyer lemon vinaigrette (v)
  • Home pickled veggies
  • Grilled sausages with caramelized onions, sweet and hot peppers
  • Strawberry handpies

No signature drink yet. If you have a Springtime cocktail recipe idea I would be eternally grateful.

I suppose the theme has determined itself. Springtime Rumpus sounds right. Check here for last year’s thoughts on hosting and shenanigans. If you’re in Santa Monica on Saturday, by all means, stop by.


May 9, 2012 - Posted by | Wednesday Food


  1. I’m so sorry to miss this! The Bolden tenets are admirable stuff indeed. Only slightly off-topic, may I recommend Immanuel Kant’s rules for dinner parties?

    Comment by Josh K-sky | May 10, 2012

  2. Fear Not! I have a cocktail for all seasons and all occasions. Perhaps you’ll recall seeing a tumbler of the caramel colored elixir in my hand most times we are together. A simple recipe…Pour a generous portion of the E&J VSOP over ice and add a whisper of ‘natural’ sierra mist. Finish with a twist of lemon and VIOLA, a sweet and delicious concoction that will pair nicely with each and every item on your menu. I only wish I could be there to partake. Enjoy!!

    Comment by The auntie | May 10, 2012

  3. I always knew it would come down to Immanuel and me. Note: 3) what happens at the dinner party, stays at the dinner party; and 4) c. more playing of wit, please! No doubt old Immy was awarded class jester.

    Comment by ebolden | May 10, 2012

  4. This sounds amazing — like Josh, I’m sorry I won’t be able to make it.

    Comment by jms | May 10, 2012

  5. One could argue that putting too much into preparation might give the party a fragile overtone.

    Comment by TeeTown | May 18, 2012

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