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Sunday, November 20, 2005

What do we do when we get bummed?

Yeah, you know it: we eat. Arguably not as good for us as, say, exercising. Or, oh, I don't know -- reading a good book. But there you have it. That's how we do it in this family. And as adoption referral delays and rumors swirl around us, we resolve to turn a deaf ear and turn to comfort food. So last night was Cooking Party #2 with friends Roy & Stephanie and Dominic & Darlene. Have you had one of these? It's a great way for people who aren't seasoned cooks (yes that is the politically correct way to refer to people like me who can't hardboil an egg) to be able to have fun and eat great food without any pressure. Roy & Stephanie (the real chefs in our group) hosted the first one a month or so ago, and this time it was our turn. Whoeeeee! Basically the host and hostess pick the menu and divide up the ingredient list, each guest brings a portion of the ingredients, and then you break into little teams to make each part of the meal while drinking much wine. (Free tip: don't let husbands and wives be on the same team.) To prep for the fabulous event, I pulled out my dusty kitchen recipe binder (you know the kind where you stuff magazine clippings of fabulous recipes you are going to make "some day" when you learn how to cook?), found 3 amazing-sounding dishes, and got TubaDad's enthusiastic approval. Seared ahi tuna with ginger shiitake cream sauce, bacon-wrapped green bean bundles, and pineapple hawaiian baked rice. Dessert? Well it was the chocolate fountain, of course. We weren't allowed to even consider any other option because the little machine is now famous. (Actually, now that I think about it, the gang might have been more excited to see the chocolate fountain than us. Hm...) The dinner turned out great. The sauce on that tuna was world class, if anyone wants the recipe I can email it. Unfortunately I was so caught up in the fun that I forgot to take any pictures until the fountain course (is that the technical term for that particular course?), so this is all you get. Here's little Amanda enjoying dessert to the fullest. She didn't say it out loud, but I'm pretty sure she was thinking "this chocolate river is tons of fun, but it's really hard to get all the chocolate in my mouth!" So there you have it. Cooking Party #2 was a blast and we didn't even think about the referral delays all evening. If you're tense about adoption math or your job or just about anything, these parties are a great way to relax and have fun. Oh, and it doesn't really matter what you make or how it turns out -- just make sure you have plenty of wine, great friends, and a good sense of humor. That's the real recipe for a successful cooking party.