Sunday, July 23, 2006
We've recently moved into a new neighborhood (which would take several posts to highlight properly). The point of the mention is to bring up that we don't know our neighbors. At all. Now, our house is chock full of extremely gregarious people. Even our dog is uber friendly. While we have met a few neighbors, we just weren't satisfied with the scope of knowledge. Not being very passive people by nature (actually, we're all pretty scary if you're shy or at all introspective),we decided to throw a party. Invites went into mailboxes up and down our street for cocktails and snacks from 3-6 on Saturday.
Several fantastic neighbors called with regrets. One couple stopped by with regrets (and brownies!) But, there were still several neighbors unaccounted for. Were we having a party or just going to have cocktail hour alone? We weren't sure so-we expanded the invite to include friends, coworkers, real estate agent, etc.
In the end, we only ended up with about 15 people coming over but what a lively bunch! I met a few neighbors plus my husband's new boss and wife. There were a passel of kids upstairs. The house was ringing with laughter and that is the point.
Of course, I made enough food so that no one would be hungry if the entire neighborhood showed up. It is my pseudo-religious belief that tables are not fully utilized unless the boards are groaning under massive weight of the food. The upside of this belief system is that I can have my pick of leftovers for several days. I have big plans for the coming week for the pulled chicken and crab empandas waiting anxiously in the fridge for me to decide their fate.
The other nice thing about having people over, is I can make something that I've never tried before. If I don't like it, other people will either dilute the amount leftover or convince me to try it again. Yesterday, I made a Jicama/Cantaloupe salad that is so tantalizing, I thought I'd share the recipe. My version is based on the one from Cocina De La Familia by Marilyn Tausend with Miguel Ravago (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0684818183/ref=sr_11_1/002-6856473-3251234?ie=UTF8). Their cookbook was given to me years ago by my lovely friend ec and i have yet to be disappointed with a thing in it. Here's my version:
1/2 jicama fruit peeled and cut into slivers
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cantaloupe seeded and cubed
1 large tomatoe diced (or 2 small)
2-3 oranges-peeled, segmented, diced
2 green onions-sliced fine with some green parts
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp dried red chile
dash of kosher salt
Basically, you chop and dice everything and through it together. Do the jicama first since it's difficult to destruct-at least the first time you meet a jicama. Toss it with the orange juice and let it sit while you chop the rest. The result is a colorful blend of sweet and spicy.