Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day, May Day

Today is Labor Day for most of the world, and unfortunately it fell on a Saturday this year. It's beautiful outside right now, and the forecast says it's going to reach 26 degrees Celsius. That's a might fine autumn day. I'm still at home for the moment though, thinking about what to do for the day. Most of the people I know seem to be out of the city for the day. What I want to do is go to the big book fair right down the street from me at the Rural Society. Apparently you have to pay to get in but once there books are really cheap and sometimes you can meet the author.

Last night I decided to have a little dinner party, if for nothing else than because I don't get to eat dinner with people very often. A few weeks ago my friend Tom had a dinner party and I said I'd return the favor by making some meat loaf, which I just recently learned how to cook. So Tom and a couple other people came over. Before we got started though, I was pre-cooking for about an hour and a half.

It takes a lot of time and dedication to put a full-on meal together, but I feel like it's worth it in the end. It's kind of therapeutic to do serious cooking for friends. Chopping and mincing onions, peeling potatoes, and making sure you have just the right amount of spices all take time and a careful eye. So it's not something you can do easily like popping something in the microwave and forgetting about it.

Last night was the first time I attempted to make mashed potatoes, and it came out really well, though it was actually a mixture, kind of an invention of my own. I put together potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots. I'll have to think of some clever name for it. Puré a la Jon or something. I had to kind of estimate with the meat loaf because the recipe was for half of the amount and I have no measuring cups or anything like that. But it all worked out nicely and I just checked it occasionally in the oven as some cauliflower was sauteing on the stove top.

Last but not least I put some garlic bread in the oven for a few minutes until it was nice and crispy. And voila, it was all ready to serve. My guests really enjoyed the food, as did I, and it gave me a good feeling. It's nice to know that you can prepare a decent meal, especially when you mainly live off of easy things like pasta, pizza, and sandwiches. With a bit of time and some extra money, however, you can really put together a nice feast.

The only problem was that the food was too good, and there was just about nothing left at the end of it. There is a little left over mashed-whatever, but only because I made so much to begin with. I'll take that as compliments to the chef. Next time I'll have to try another dish and hopefully find similar results.

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