Monday, December 12, 2011

Progressive Dinner

I love the holiday season! For the past few years our street has had a Progressive Dinner around the first of December. This is the third annual event and I must say it gets better every year!

In case you aren't familiar, a Progressive Dinner is where each house will host a different course of the meal. Usually there will be 3 or 4 women who pitch in to help at each house so it's not so much money and hassle on one host. (Who am I kidding here with my political correctness/gender neutrality--we all know I mean hostess because honestly...what dude is gonna go through this kind of hassle to impress the neighbors?)

But anyway-our little party started with cocktails at the first home while we waited for everyone to get off work and get into "party mode". After about an hour of cocktails, all of the neighbors had arrived so we all strolled over to the next house for appetizers.

For the appetizer course we had delicious mini crawfish pies, brie cheese and crackers, a vegetable tray, and some bite-size sandwiches. Let me tell you-the crawfish pies were divine. As in, the Heavens opened and angels sang "Hallelujah!" in perfect unison.

We moved on to the Bullard home for our entree and of course, we were not disappointed there either. Shrimp and grits, salad, and french bread made the perfect meal on a cold December night. I love Shrimp. And grits. So when you put them together it is nothing but spectacular.

Side Note: This is also true for Champagne and Orange Juice.

After our entree, we stumbled (because by this point in the evening "stroll" doesn't seem to be the appropriate descriptive word to use) on down to the McCain residence for desserts.

This is where yours truly comes in! I contributed to the party by making Magic Bars. Normally I am not a baker. I love to cook, but my expertise is more in tune with the appetizer course. I have made enough dips and apps in my life to qualify as an expert, trust me! This year I was put on the dessert course, which is totally fine except that it took me until the day before the event to actually commit to what dessert I would make. Since I don't own a mixer and the other baking necessities, I was limited to what I could create.

I know, it's a travesty that a self-proclaimed Southern belle like myself doesn't own a mixer. But keep in mind that I am married to the man who once asked the Dauphin Island ice cream truck driver if he had any biscuits and gravy. There isn't much of a need for sweets in our household. Now I could just learn to make my own bacon...

Thankfully, the only real baking skill that Magic Bars require is the ability to crush a sleeve of graham crackers-and that I can do! And although my Magic Bars weren't the favorite, I did hear quite a few compliments on them. The winner of the dessert menu was Amy's delish Oreo Truffles. I did help her make them, though, so maybe I can claim a small victory in that.

If you live in a neighborhood, let me encourage you to start a Progressive Dinner each year around the holidays. It's such a wonderful way to bond with your neighbors! Being the Nosy Nelly that I am, I always enjoy getting a glimpse at the way other people decorate their historical homes. And of course, who doesn't like to see everyone's Christmas decor!?!?

The only problem is that it makes me realize how much work we still need to do on our little slice of historical relevance.

But oh well! In the words of Scarlet O'Hara, "I can't think about that today, I'll think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day!"

Because even if I can't make a Red Velvet Cake from scratch, I can always quote Gone With the Wind.

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