Now that all is said and done, I have to say: it's pretty cool. You get the fun of menu planning, garnishing and fancy prep-work, without having to clean! That's right. No floors to scrub. That's always the bugaboo about entertaining, to me: I swear I'd have dinner parties every Tuesday night if I didn't have to launch an all-out civil war against crud, scum, and dander beforehand. Hosting at someone else's house exonerates one from the scrubbing, and leaves all the good parts.
Greens and cheese frittatini
Cheese board with grapes and fancy olives
Tossed green salad (from the garden)
Potato salad for a crowd (feeds 24!)
Assorted pizzas: I made a vegan one, a kid-friendly one, and an over-the-top gourmet one. I couldn't help myself.
The pizza flew off its platters as if on wings. Kids ran around the table, errantly grabbing chunks of watermelon and giggling as the juice ran down their chins. People returned like migratory birds, again and again to the cheese board, for one more sliver of manchego, one more gorgonzola-stuffed olive. Exclamations rang like bells.
In all the giddy madness of the day, I forgot to snap a picture of my friend. She's a good one, an important one. She was my chaperon one fateful night in February, the night I met my husband for the first time. Housemate par excellence, bridesmaid par excellence, creative genius with flowers and film, snappy dresser-- and now new mama-to-be. It's been a whirlwind of life, knowing her and being her friend.
Watching her walk off into this next very important part of her life, I want to give her the world: the magic cranky-baby cure, the softest blanket, all the right books to read. But I know the best I can offer is grateful smiles and hugs, and a really big bowl of potato salad.