Question: What's the first thing you do when you want to have friends over for dinner and you're not a foodie?
Answer: Call and get a simple but delicious recipe from Mom.
You see, my Mom is an outstanding, fabulous, amazing, unbelievable cook and baker. Seriously. It's a little ridiculous. We grew up referring to her food as 'Penny-made' (her name's Penny), and if I had a nickle for every time someone said she should open a restaurant or a bakery or a pie shop, well... I'd be several dollars richer.*
The two best soups that Mom used to make for us were beef stew and corn chowder. I made the stew for the first time just a few months ago, before I moved out of my house in Georgia to start my cross-country trek back to Oregon, and it was amazingly delicious. However, I knew the stew would take more time to make than the chowder, and I also knew that my friend J isn't a huge meat and potatoes fan. In addition, both of my college friends who came to dinner had eaten Mom's corn chowder before and loved it, so I knew it would be a good choice.
I'd only made the corn chowder once before, a long time ago, so I called Mom up to be reminded of the recipe. Which, by the way, is award-winning. Which is why I'm not putting it up. It's a family secret. I will, however, give you a hint: it has corn in it.
So there you have it! An easy, surprisingly quick meal.
But Rachel, are you saying corn chowder is a complete dinner party meal?
No, no, no. Nothing of the sort. But remember: Not a foodie.
I don't multitask very well in the kitchen, you see. I'm too inexperienced - I do everything kitchen-related about ten times slower than your average home chef. There was no way I was taking on more than one dish and coming out the other side with everything unscathed.
But there's an easy fix to that: have a pot-luck! While I, as the hostess, made the main course, I asked my friend E and her husband to bring a nice salad (it was fabulous - spinach, apples and nice cheese of some sort with a homemade dressing), and I asked J to bring her famous Dilly Bread. I stopped by See's Candy for desert.
The dinner was fantastic. :)
Again, I don't do a lot of multi-tasking while cooking, so I'm afraid I didn't take any photos while I worked. I took a few for you today, though:
|A couple of the raw ingredients (more recipe hints!).|
|Terrible photo of the delicious finished product.|
|Dilly Bread! Unfortunately, no photo of the fabulous salad.|
Now, trust me: If I can make this corn chowder, you can make this corn chowder. It's delicious, and perfect for winter time. Super easy. All you have to do is become a close family friend to get the recipe.
*Because honestly, nickles don't add up all that fast.