So regular readers know that Uncle P gets together with a group of dear friends from college every couple of months for a themed dinner party. We've had ethnic nights (our very first such dinner was 'Homemade Chinese,' if I remember correctly); chocolate and vanilla; all soups; vegetarian; 'Everything Garlic' and 'Cinqo de Mayo,' to name just a very few. Not all of them have been successful though lately, we've been batting 1000. The list of what we've done in past 25 years or so, is starting to outnumber the things left on the list to try. I know we still have 'Man Food' and 'Carnival Treats' (among several others) left to try.
Tonight's theme was 'Cooking with Alcohol.' We started with appetizers: Beer Bread with Guinness & cheese dip and Drunken Wienies in Rum Sauce. Delicious and decadent. Soup was a shrimp bisque (my least favorite part of the meal - I'm not big on seafood dishes, especially soups) followed by the main course: Coq au vin, meatballs in a red wine marinara, beer-battered asparagus with horseradish remoulade and spinach sauteed with bacon, onions and white wine (the veggies were my contribution). All of it delicious and filling, though we were hardly done.
The drunkest part of our drunken dinner was dessert. While the alcohol had basically been cooked out of most of the food we'd eaten so far, dessert proved to be a whole other beast. There was a Walnut Caramel Pie with Port-infused Cherries; Rum-soaked Fruit Salad; 'Shots O' Cupcakes' and Pecan Bourbon Balls (both of the latter pictured above). The pie was yummy and the cupcakes divine (they had Bailey's and Jameson in the icing) but the Bourbon Balls were both delicious and powerful. The first bite was good, but the second hit you like a double shot and warmed the esophagus all the way down. More than one of those bad boys and I don't think I'd have been able to drive home.
Of course, the food is secondary. The point is an evening spent with people I have known and loved for a very long time. Those evenings are always too few and too far between, making them all the more precious when we do get to have them.
I came home and logged onto Facebook, where my buddy Pax Romano had posted about his meatloaf dinner, which made me sort of sad that our dinner parties are never quite like this:
Oh, who am I kidding? They're all just like that!