Sunday, April 18, 2010

Party time!

A week or two ago, I realized that our pantry and liquor cabinet were still way too full, considering that were looking at just a few days until movers started arriving and my desire to cook would evaporate. Then I started thinking that for one reason and another, we've been painfully antisocial during this tour -- we've seen some of our good friends once or twice, if at all, during the whole 20 months we've been in Norfolk this time around.

So I decided to solve both problems and throw a "clean out the pantry" party. We put out the word on Facebook and in person to some of Ruth's co-workers, but I didn't really know how many people we'd get. I figured that I'd make whatever I could from ingredients around the house and if we ended up with a bunch of leftovers, then at least we'd be able to eat all week.

I started cooking Friday with a pot of chili. My chili is pretty simple - I used a pound of ground beef this time, because it's what I had around. Then I added onion, mushrooms & garlic. For seasoning I throw in chipotle and ancho chili powders, a ton of paprika, oregano, sage and other random spices. I hit it with a 28oz can of diced tomatos and two 14oz cans of pinto beans and simmer it, covered, until the end of time. At the same time I prepped marinara sauce, which starts the same way - onion, mushroom, garlic. then I season with oregano, basil and some red pepper flakes, throw in all the canned crushed tomato in the house, and simmered for 20-30 minutes.

During the simmering I made pizza dough. If you have any fear of making pizza dough, read this article and you will be cured. I make mine with half whole wheat flour and half bread flour. I put the dough aside to rise, planning to split it and refrigerate it overnight...then I forgot it until the next morning. OOPS. Luckily I had no shortage of flour and yeast.

Then the next morning I got up and right after my run I put a dry rub on two racks of beef ribs and started them on an 8 hour cook in the oven - I didn't have time to mess with the grill, sadly.

Then I re-made the pizza doughs while cooking black beans and rice. The black beans and rice starts out with onion, red pepper, mushroom and garlic, the same seasonings as the chili, then I add two cans of Goya black beans, a cup of rice and two cups of water and simmer it until the rice is cooked.

Right before the party, I picked up our favorite hummus from Azar's on Colley and a veggie tray from the grocery store, I made two dishes of pasta with the marinara sauce and got some more veggies prepped to make veggie pizza later in the evening...

AND I was completely convinced that I would have WAY too much food and a month worth of leftovers.

AMAZINGLY, this was not the case. We had over two dozen people show, and every bit of the food was DEMOLISHED by the time we went to bed. Booze was no problem either, as we enjoyed margaritas and vodka shots all night long -- and I discovered that a houseful of drunk twitter friends at 11:30pm will take any bottle you leave out on the countertop and run away with it.

I wasn't even hungover this morning! It was a wonderful time and a great memory to leave this house with. There may be some pictures to post here later (of the early part of the evening -- in the interest of protecting the not-so-innocent, I won't be posting the pictures from later at night).

1 comment:

Sabalo said...

Heh. I actually felt bad -leaving- with things, but you did say that you were trying to get rid of it and I figured I could re-purpose the alcohol for a later, perhaps equally hilarious party. ;-)