Monday, November 24, 2014

No-Stress Dinner Party

The books are all over the place, there are a couple of unpacked boxes, and my fridge was pretty much empty.  But hey!  The furniture's all here, the kitchen's operational, and it was high time I invited a few people over.  Dinner party, anyone?

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.


Spoiler-free Instructions:

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.

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