Friday, November 30, 2012
It's In The Genes
My grandmother, and the brother she lived with after my grandfather died in 1980, have both recently moved to assisted living places. They don't have a lot of room in their new homes, and they'd accumulated a lot of stuff over the years.
Some of it went straight to the trash, some went to my parents' bar (if anyone needs any Wolfschmitz vodka anytime soon, my parents have the hookup, thanks to Uncle Jack's vodka martini stash), and a few of my grandmother's things went home with my brother, sister, and me.
I brought home some cool things I packed up with the blog in mind, including liquor bottles from the sixties and an awesome traveling bar case with the tags still on.
My grandmother is not well known in our family for her exceptional interest in the kitchen. My mom loves to cook, and is a good cook. But that's not something that goes back for generations.
My grandmother is, however, amazingly social. I love going out to dinner with her and she's at her brightest when she's in a room full of people.
So while paging through a cookbook put out by the California wine growers, I was thrilled to find a bunch of little notes and marked-up recipes Nan used for dinner parties. Including the schedule above, which she made for a party she hosted on February 2, 1972.
In case you can't read it, here's how the schedule goes:
Guests to come - 6:30 PM
Put chicken in - 7 PM
Beans - 7 PM
Potatoes - 7:05 PM
Rolls - 12 min
Serve - 7:30 PM
The menu includes chicken cordon bleu, baked stuffed potatoes, green been casserole, spiced crab apples (a - not on the timeline and b - crab apples?) and rolls. For dessert: parfait. And parfait it is.
Is it as fancy or intense as one of my pre-party spreadsheet timelines? No, no it's not. Did my grandmother spend the day before the party carefully making thoughtful hors d'oeuvres from scratch? No she didn't. Has she ever infused her own vodka? Ha.
But you know what? I'm sure that party was at least as fun as anything I've hosted in my house.
Who am I kidding? It was WAY more fun.