I did try to restrain myself. I picked up chips and salsa, hummus and pita, veggies and dip, cheese and crackers and grapes. That required no skill on my part. Unless shopping is a skill. I suppose it is, a bit, especially since I was trying to keep within a $75 budget to feed twenty-or-so people. (It actually ended up being more like twelve-ish, ah well. Leftovers!) We had masses of onions and potatoes at home, though (we have a farm share, so every week this summer we get a random assortment of vegetables). What does that say? That says potato curry! And since potato curry takes about ten minutes prep time followed by 20-30 minutes cooking on the stove, I needed something to fill that 20 minutes. What else but the Thai chicken salad I love so well? An astonishingly easy recipe, well-loved by all.
So I cooked two things, and then put them away, and went to the show only a little late, and brought people back, and pulled the food out again and served everything up (with some very helpful folk setting things out and the like), and heck, since we also have masses of tomatoes from the farm share, and a big bunch of basil, we also sliced tomatoes and laid them out on sliced ciabatta bread and chiffonaded the basil to sprinkle over the top and drizzled it all with olive oil and balsamic. And then they made me stop cooking, which was just as well, since I was actually out of food at that point. Oh, wait -- I forgot to put out the olives. Oh well. Did I mention there were only about a dozen people? :-)
My mother would be proud.
It was a very fun time, and a lovely group of people, great conversations, and I'm so glad I've met all these cool South Asian women (plus one guy -- I wonder why these groups tend to be so overwhelmingly female -- an interesting question to pursue some day when I'm less sleepy). I want to see all of them lots more.