Lucky enough to live on the same street as several of our friends, we participated in a progressive dinner party.
As you may imagine, a progressive dinner party is the kind where we progress from one house to the next for each course. It’s helpful if all the locations are within walking distance (apartment buildings are especially good for this kind of party).
For maximum ease, we left the theme totally open for personal interpretation.
Ol’Milwaukee hosted appetizers.
Michelle hosted the main course,
Erin from Hearty Splash hosted the cheese course and
James and I were responsible for dessert.
Two guests per household meant a total of eight guests.
(Eight guests who’d tried for an ENTIRE year to find a date.)
Ol’Milwaukee greeted us on his sunny porch with champagne while he finished prepping the ingredients for Bo Ssam, the most impressive, hands-on appetizer I’ve had the luck to enjoy.
It’s a Korean recipe, one he got from the [exquisite] Momofuku cookbook.
It’s some dang tasty fatty, barbecued pork, served in lettuce wraps, with a ginger, kim chi, scallion mix, hot sauce and (the reallly awesome part) an oyster.
We put Ketan to work shucking the oysters while the rest of us enjoyed the music and company.
(It’s good to have friends who know how to shuck.)
One hour and a half of luxurious mouth cramming later, it was time for dinner.
Michelle did the heavy lifting of the main course with a perfect lamb curry. It was a great dish for the kind of party given the time constraints (we weren’t sure when exactly each course would be served). In a clever move, she and her guest had set the table before they arrived for appetizers. Great thinking ahead that I need to remember for the next progressive party.
It was a peculiar mix of sadness and anticipation when we left Michelle’s for Erin’s house. She handled the cheese course and then hosted our dessert course as well. My parents were in town and the babies were sleeping and we decided to save on mess. Don’t worry though, we’ll host so someone else gets a break from cleaning at the next progressive party.
Question: Are there two words more excitement-inspiring than “Cheese Course?”
I made a Rhubarb Crisp based off of Mark Bittman’s Apple Crisp recipe.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Helen Jane Style
3 stalks rhubarb chopped into 1/2″ pieces
1 pint strawberries, sliced
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into little pieces
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb pieces, strawberry slices, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon and granulated sugar. Spread the gooey fruit in the bottom of an 8″ square baking dish.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the brown sugar, butter, oats, flour, remaining cinnamon and salt about fifteen times. If you don’t have a food processor, soften the butter a little and smush through the dry ingredients with clean fingertips.
Evenly spread the oaty topping over the fruit.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the topping is browned and the fruit is tender.
Serve with vanilla ice cream. The good kind of ice cream.
And then go plan a progressive dinner party of your own.