September 5, 2010

Labor Day Weekend: A Lesson in Labor

In grade school, I didn't exactly excel at group projects. For a presentation on Turkey (the country), I wanted to be in charge of the research, the binding on the folder, the diorama, the presentation and, of course, the extra touches: serving the class baklava. Passionate? Enthusiast? Control freak? All of the above. Similarly, I always want to do it all when it comes to entertaining. Not just to be bossy, but because I love it. Yet I can burn out and it becomes expensive, especially with weekend guests. So this weekend I saw how it can be done another way. We assigned all of the guests lots of jobs. For this meal, Chuck made the margaritas, Marsha the guac and Jill the beans. Everyone pitched in with cooking and clean-up. Way less stress! I realized, it's okay to include others in the process; if we hadn't, I would never have tried Jill's incredible 'cowboy caviar' (a post to follow!). And I still had plenty of fun menu planning and cooking. Highlights: Enchiladas stuffed with dungeness crab and bay shrimp and my mom's favorite summertime appetizer, padron peppers. Salty with a little spice and the risk that you might get a really hot one. So here's to bringing back the potluck...every once in awhile.
The Menu

orange margaritas
chips, salsa and guacamole

chilled watermelon soup
alongside pimientos de padron with sea salt

oregon bay shrimp and dungeness crab enchiladas
with a roasted tomatillo and poblano sauce
drunken black and pinto peans
grilled corn on the cob with lime, chili and queso fresco

kahlua flans


Nutpi said...

Cooking is sometimes more fun when done together but sometimes also more complicated. It sound like your day turned out just perfect! The dishes look absolutely delicious and it is times like this that I miss having a bbq.....

Erin (Blue Egg Kitchen) said...

This is a ridiculous menu--in the best way; it's at once relaxed and elegant, not easy to achieve in practice. Really wish I had tasted it myself. Love your take on Mexican with a local (bay shrimp, dungeness crab) twist.

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