An old friend from Cleveland, Judy, posted a comment to my first post in February about Soup Night. It was wonderful to hear from her again! Another friend reminded me that by writing this WeBLog, I must be keeping my New Year's Resolution of staying in closer touch with friends more often. She’s right!
Judy made me nostalgic of my days in Cleveland when my late husband and I used to have company a lot. As usual, I went overboard with the food at every affair. But that's just me. It’s what I do. At one event we had a pool tournament. We divided our guests into teams and they played pool in the basement tournament style, while those of us who were waiting our turn to play, enjoyed a pizza bar upstairs.
I made homemade individual pizza crusts. I just bought frozen, raw pizza dough, thawed it and made 6” to-7” crusts and par baked them, just until they were no longer raw, but had no color on them. I laid out every kind of topping you can think of. I fried up crumbled Italian Sausage and drained it well on paper towels before I put it in a bowl. Sauteed mushrooms, bacon bits, sliced fresh sweet peppers, olives, red onions, several kinds of cheese and even had a bowl of small raw shrimp to toss on top. It was like a salad bar of pizza toppings. I even had a bowl of pizza seasoning I blended myself to sprinkle on top, with herbs I grew in my backyard and dried. Each person built his own pizza and it baked for 4 minutes. I had huge ovens so we could get lots of pizzas in at one time. I noticed that everyone was sharing their creations with each other to see who made the best pizza! That was a lot of fun, and we ate LOTS of pizzas! But it was our friends who made the party fun!
Judy's comment made me want to say something about having friends over. She told me that she and her husband like to have friends over too, but they take the easy way out; wings, pizzas, etc. That made me think a little. It really isn't the food, it's the friends! All the food I make is something I do for myself. At home, there is only my husband and myself so there’s only so much cooking you can do for two. A party gives me the chance to prepare things I like to make that normally we would not have at home, like the dips, and brie wrapped in pastry, and guacamole, and all kinds of other stuff that you would normally only see at a party.
The last Soup Night of the Season was a great success! I made several items I love to make along with the two pots of soup. We had 17 people. And although the food was good, like the pizza party, our friends are what ultimately made it such a success. Lots of laughter and conversation all evening. Can’t wait for next season!
So go ahead! "Take the easy way out". Serve your favorite neighborhood pizza shop's pie, and get some wings from your favorite wing place, or buy a 4 foot sub sandwich to cut up and get some potato salad. It's a wonderful way get together with friends and share good times!