A day in the life of a dinner party

This is probably a good example of a menu that we planned when we were hungry.  Like grocery shopping on an empty stomach, planning a menu in said state can lead to an overly-ambitious menu.  But it was raining and cold (in July!), so I didn’t have anything better to do all afternoon but prepare for an evening with friends.  And the process of making cobbler and biscuits, combined with the smell of the roasting chicken, took me to a much warmer, cozier place.

In hindsight, I may not have done a crab dip with this dinner.  It’s a “big” appetizer.  But we had fresh crab and we just had to use it somehow.

The menu

Raspberry Martinis
Hot Crab Dip with toasted baguette and crackers
Roasted Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Green Beans
Icebox Biscuits
Blueberry Cobbler with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream

Our day of entertaining

9:10 am.  Decided on the menu.  Debated between cobbler and peach ice cream for dessert.  Given that it was only 59 degrees outside, we went with cobbler.  Measured Crisco and put it in the freezer.
10:11.  Washed the blueberries
11:15.  Jon cleaned the crab (which was caught and cooked yesterday).  Yield: A generous 2 cups (+ the flakes of crab meat all over the counter).  Prepped the green beans.
12:03.  Jon cleaned the chicken.  I stuffed and trussed it.  Washed the cutting board.
12:42.  Took the cream cheese for the dip out of the refrigerator so it could soften. 
1:12.  Peeled the potatoes and got them soaking.
1:46.  Made the dip.  Had to unwrap 4 different mysterious chunks of cheese to find the parmesan cheese.  Why don’t I ever label those things???  Washed dishes.
2:15.  Prepared the dessert.  Took me about 30 – 35 minutes.
3:07.  Set the table.
3:36.  Ran the small vacuum around.
4:05.  Cut hydrangeas for the vase.  Note to self:  Run the vacuum after disposing of the old hydrangeas.  Ran the vacuum again to get rid of the hydrangea dust.
4:23.  Off to take a shower and get dressed.  Cleaned up the cat barf on the way to the shower (the result of buying her wheat grass that day at the store to help with her hair ball issue).  Oops, forgot that the chicken needed to go in the oven at 4:30.  (Cooks for 2 hours.)  Put my bathrobe on, back to the kitchen, put the chicken in the oven.
4:48  Started the biscuits.  Good thing.  They needed to rise 45 minutes. 
5:02  Washed dishes.
5:18  Jon realized a slug/snail has left its slimy trail on one of our picture windows.  Since we were doing drinks and appetizers in that room, out he went to clean the window.
5:37  Oops.  Realized I need an oven to broil the bread.  Had to hold off baking the dessert until I’d done that.
5:45  Crab dip went into the oven.  Set the timer for 20 minutes.  Oops, realized I’d need soft butter for the mashed potatoes.  Nuked a cube to expedite the softening.
5:48  Called “uncle” on the weather and Jon built a fire.
5:52  Sliced/buttered the bread.
5:57  Jon washed the whipping cream dispenser so we could make fresh whipped cream for the cobbler.
6:05  Muddled the raspberries.  Got the bar ready.
6:10  Guests arrived fashionably on time.  Appetizers and drinks were served.  (Raspberry martinis, because we had fresh raspberries.)  Started the potatoes boiling.
6:40  Took the chicken out of the oven; basted and covered.  Drained the potatoes.  Let them sit covered on the stovetop.  Biscuits went in.  Started beans steaming.
7:00  Mashed the potatoes.  Biscuits done.  Carved the chicken.  Realized we hadn’t selected of bottle of wine.  Stood in front of the wine cooler for a few minutes trying to select a wine.  Overcooked the beans, apologized.  Cobbler came out of the oven.  And dinner was served! 
9:30 pm.  Several martinis, 2 1/2 bottles of wine later, we were tired, happy, and stuffed.
10:30  Dishes were washed, kitchen was clean and we were off to collapse in bed.

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