Sorry the blog’s been a bit sparse lately. I really do like to update four days a week, but life’s been busy. H. and I re-started our home-buying process, and while I like to be all “the journey is the destination” and all that hippie bs, the truth is that this journey is hella annoying, frustrating, and stressful. So if I’m not updating WLTV on my regular schedule, just assume I’m standing in an empty living room somewhere trying to figure out where my furniture would go.
So I’ve been busy, but I haven’t been too busy to have a small dinner party. Having people over for dinner is so much more attractive to me than having a party, because eating and having long conversations are two of my favorite things. Last Friday, I invited my BFF Cat and her husband over to eat dinner with us. Cat is the absolute perfect guest–she always shows up early (but not too early), she always brings something, and she always helps in a very unobtrusive way (usually just by keeping me company while I finish things). I’m sorry if she’s not your friend and she can’t be your dinner guest. It’s seriously your loss.
Want to know what I served? Here you go!
For the main course, I made this braised pork ragu that I’ve been dying to try for months. I do not like to make fussy or show off-y things ever, but especially not when I’m having people over. It just stresses me out too much. The pork ragu was the perfect low-stress meal. I prepared it ahead of time and just heated it up when they were on their way over. Bonus: it takes a cup of wine, which means you’ll have some wine leftover to drink.
I stuck with my go-to basic green salad. If you candy the walnuts and mix up the dressing ahead of time, it’s no work at all to throw together. The walnuts make it seem a little more interesting.
I also made garlic bread sort of like this. But you probably already know how to make garlic bread.
Most importantly, I made Joy the Baker’s Man Bait Apple Crisp for dessert. It’s the best, and super easy.
Related to dinner party links: 5 Ways to Deal With Dinner Party Guests Who Won’t Put Down Their Phones. I’ll admit that I’m old and crochety and I find it unspeakably rude when someone texts through their entire hangout with you, barely making eye contact. That being said, if someone ever told me to put my phone in some weird phone basket, I would be like, “Um….no? Are you trying to steal my phone?” By the way, this isn’t a statement on Cat, who is a perfect guest and only brings out her phone for emergencies or to show me emails I sent her in 2004 when I was a stupid baby. But I think we all know people like this, right?
And that article from The Kitchn led me to my new favorite advice column, Ask a (Sensible) Midwesterner. As a sensible Midwesterner myself, I agree with all of her advice.
Image from Dinner: A Love Story