So, I thought I had…

So, I thought I had it all under control. I cooked the chicken curry for the biryani in advance, the potato curry, the shrimp for the shrimp toasts, the mushroom stuffing, even boiling the eggs and sauteing their onions. I did everything I could in advance, at David's. On Saturday, Jed and I had lunch with Kate and Becca and Gavin, and borrowed extensively from their serving supplies (which we are still washing, two days later). We cleaned up, and I decorated, with candles everywhere, and sari fabrics draped hither and yon. I made the place cards in Chicago, as you may remember, as well as the take-away gifts (little jars of curry powder, wrapped in sari silk). I was as prepared as I could be, for a stress-free dinner party. And somehow, around 4-ish, when David arrived to help me prep the appetizers, I was already in a barely-controlled panic.

Why, oh why, does it take quite so long to make little toasts in the oven? To spread homemade mustard on each, then top them with shrimp and parsley? To slice boiled eggs and lay them on toasts, to top that with chili onions? To mash potatoes and toast naan? Even to ladle out mango chutney and quick-fry papadum (actually, that last took all of five minutes)? And never mind frying cutlets and then finishing them in the oven. Let us not even speak of frying onions and potatoes for the biryani rice (which, thank the gods, was just remembered in time, before it would have started to seriously burn). Why is one sous-chef never enough? David was a hero, but it's a good thing Sarah and Simon arrived early, in time to mound mushroom stuffing into mushrooms and arrange them on a plate, with lemons from Jed's new lemon tree. (There was some thought of sprinkling breadcrumbs on top and broiling them, which I think would have been tastier but one more thing happening in the kitchen would have sent me right around the bend at that point.)

That said, it was a splendid party, and I have splendid friends, and I am splendidly happy about my little cookbook, now available for pre-order on Amazon -- or, of course, you can request it to be ordered at your local bookstore. So all's well that ends well, even if most of it did end up in my tummy. :-)

These are the entrees, mostly brought by my guests -- I only made the ginger-garlic lamb (not actually in the cookbook) and the biryani rice. My guests are fabulous!

There were many pretty people at my party. Kate is just one of them. :-)

Fire in the fireplace, enough food to feed an army for a week, the company of good friends, a book for sale. What more could a writer ask?

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