[Sca-cooks] period finger/party foods and Robin's drunken night!

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Wed Feb 4 14:34:11 PST 2009

    Sorry I am a bit behind - this discussion took place a couple of 
weeks ago. My reasons are numerous. I even broke my big toe among other 
things :'(   - I can't dance, still see stars but they thump less! All 
Robin, kitten's fault as he moonlights on our hot tin windowsills these 
summer nights in Chile. I shut the window in his face so the stone 
flower pot slid off the table there as the table skidded toward the 
window and killed my big toe. Peter rushed me to emergency and dang, 
dang no swimming until the 15th! We are in the middle of summer here!
     Back to the subject -
    It was not pointed out that finger foods were made before forks and 
have been traditionally consumed in Arab cuisine throughout the ages. 
This influence is ever present in Spanish cuisine. We normally invite 
about 70 people once a year for this type of eating and less guests in 
between.  (When about 10 guests we ask each to bring solids and we 
supply the liquids. They compete as to who makes the best empanada, the 
most original dish, a regional dish, it is great fun and we get out of 
our rut of serving the same old thing learning from others.) We love it 
as generally it means only platters and utensils need washing and 
waitressing-butlering only involves passing the platters and wine/juices 
which is a  shared effort. Even buffets can be a bore as only the 
hostess seems to know where more plates, cutlery et all are. I find with 
finger foods all is more relaxed and people chip in more readily. 
Passing a platter once means they get to see who is at the party and 
with whom they want to strike up a conversation after they finish 
greeting everyone or when the platter is empty.   

    Just to name a few common items on our menus:
Veggies, eggs and cheeses:
white asparagus tips wrapped in serrano ham, endive leaves with an 
anchovy and grated cheese on top, thinly sliced eggplant fried like 
French fries, stuffed mushrooms, mini empanadas with spinach, mushrooms 
and or cheese, mini onion croquets, mini pastry cups of quiche, Spanish 
tortilla cubed and served on toothpicks, creamed spinach or artichokes 
with ricotta, olives wrapped in bacon, sliced tomatoes and goat cheese 
cubed on toothpicks, cheese boards with nuts and dried fruits left 
around on side tables.
smoked salmon canapes, salmon rolled in cream cheese, crab pie in tiny 
pastry dishes, cebiche in porcelain spoons, langostino brochets, 
langostinos served with a sauce, oysters, clams or mussels on half shell 
with lemon etc
mini meatballs served on toothpicks with a honey dip on the side, 
chicken and mushroom brouchets, chicken and spinach empanadas, mini 
chicken croquets, ham and pineapple cubes on toothpicks, mini roast beef 
alfajares, mini merenques, small pastries, and mazapanes

I don't serve all these items at one party and this only represents a 
fraction of our inventiveness. We select from each category and change 
all the time. We use a lot of medieval Al-Andalus dishes . . .

Too, when my spouse's family approached 100 members (good RC's) I bought 
a freezer in the January sales and learned to freeze little by little 
starting months in advance so I did not sleep through Christmas 
exhausted. . . and the budget liked that better. Now there are so many 
in-laws we moved to get rid of them! - More economical.

Sushi is very popular here. We do not serve it unless 10 or less guests 
as it is expensive if made by the right person. You know yo have to have 
the right temperature of the hands to make it. At our last get together 
kitten Robin, when 5 months, stuffed himself with sushi, smoked salmon 
mixed with lemon and mayonnaise and the cream birthday cake for the 
guest of honor, his godmother! He had a ball playing the appreciative 
guest/host just like his human Daddy..

At 4 a.m. Robin was not feeling so good. I jumped out of bed, as his 
meow sounded like a bit of a complaint, I picked him up in my arms and 
all he had consumed fell out the other end =-O  all over my night gown! 
We call it "Robin's drunken night!"

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