March 9, 2006

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CookOrDie: Domestic goddesshood

I hosted a small party to thank some of my friends for truly extraordinary acts of kindness. =) Calum, James, Steve and Yeow-Tong have been absolutely amazing, and I wanted to do something special for them, having invited myself over to their homes, roused them out of bed, dragged them out on adventures, and raided their larders (respectively).

So: my first real party.

I splurged on flowers, buying pink-and-white carnations and a small African violet. The guys probably didn't notice it, but it made me feel wonderful. =)

For appetizers, I arranged prosciutto ham on a large plate and drizzled olive oil over it. I then surrounded it with insalata tricolore (halved cherry tomatoes interleaved with soft mozzarella and sprinkled with fresh basil). I also served bacon and cheese potato soup.

For the main course, I baked an extra-cheesy lasagna. Minor whoops: I boiled the entire lasagna package in my excitement, not realizing that I was supposed to boil only twelve noodles. Duh. That's okay, I can have mini-lasagna rolls tomorrow, although I've run out of ground beef so that might take a little magic.

For dessert, I served the apple pie that Calum taught me how to bake. Calum was surprised at how flaky it turned out. Apparently, flakiness is a good thing.

I also wrote them thank-you notes on monogrammed Crane cards. =)

Everything was very well-received, and James' parting compliment was: "Sacha, you're a domestic goddess." =) I had a lot of fun preparing everything for them, and I greatly enjoyed the conversation afterwards. I'm thrilled to see that they get along, although some are still a little nervous in company.

James remembered the deal I made two dinner parties ago, and insisted on doing the dishes this time. Aww! =)

How to make things better: ditch store-bought garlic bread and make my own. Also, improve timing of bread so that bread and pasta are out of the oven at the same time.

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Random Japanese sentence:

イヌとは対照的に、ネコはごく最近になって飼い慣らされたものである。 In contrast to the dog, the cat has become domesticated only in recent times.