Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This year's cookie party

Must've been a success - it happened on Saturday, and I am only just writing on Tuesday <grin>

There were less people than other years, but it snowed all day, and there were numerous tales of how long it took to get out of the driveway, and not having the strength to shovel out the driveway after getting plowed in for the 3rd time. And a few people were sick - there's a cold that so bad you can't get out of bed, going round.

Still, an awful lot of food got eaten: a big chunk of smoked salmon and most of a 2nd chunk, all the marinated mushrooms, 4 strombolis, lots of pickles and olives, a log of goat cheese with sun-dried tomatoes on top, 3 breads with mascarpone-ricotta-cream cheese and pesto and roasted peppers, 3 loaves of french bread and pounds of cheese & crackers, a dish of hot spinach dip, and 3/4 of a dish of hot crab, 2 dozen crostini with blue cheese, hazelnuts and honey, 3 pounds of hamburger meat made into cocktail meatballs, 40 or so sausage rolls, 30 or so spanakopita, 60 little wienies in poppin' dough, 2 14-inch leek & Camenbert tarts, almost all of 2 9-inch squash, sage and goat cheese quiches, 45 olive pastries, and I even replenished the cookies, which I usually don't do - I put out a whole bunch of platters and then that's it.

I spent Sunday morning cleaning up, with a short detour to the Kohl Center to hand out pins to December graduates. The Kohl Center is our hockey arena with Dale Chihuly installation; he's a UofWi alum) and then started packing cookies to ship at about noon, and went on and on until 8:00; I thought I was going to be there stuffing cookies into ziploc bags for the rest of my life.

But now I am in the giving food away mode - I shipped 12 boxes yesterday, 2 more to go today, and dropped off cartons and containers of cookies on several people's doorsteps. Took a big cookie tray to a meeting last night, and another to Mark's office today, and today I also brought squash quiche and fruit cake to a baby shower. With every gift I feel lighter.

I liked the olive pastries; the recipe was in my Waitrose Food Illustrated - it's a cheesey dough wrapped around a green pimento-stuffed olive. I converted it to American, and used softened rather than chilled butter - they keep butter at room temp, anyways, and I did not chill the dough as instructed before wrapping the olives, only after. They make you want to have a martini, or at least a glass of white wine. They reminded me of what my mom always called West Point Cheese cookies - a savory cookie, like pie dough with cheese in it. Mom always made them for our big & little people's party at Christmas, in the shape of snowmen.

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