Party Food & Projector for Painting

I never go out. Almost. Never. Ever. I am going into San Diego for a party tomorrow at the new digs for Beany and Mr. Beany. Because of settling deeper and deeper into having no car, reluctance to spend money and generally not traveling or anything else at night; this is a big deal. So I have been teasing myself this week about what a big baby I have become. I have driven all across this country bunches of times in my life. I spent years partying and often through to breakfast in Syracuse and in after hours clubs in New York, when we'd see people going to work when we left the club. Those days are over, but I am trying to pry myself from my comfort zone nonetheless.

The only thing threatening my little adventure is a wicked cold that keeps acting like it is clearing and then it gets worse. Because of congestion, I suspect it might be some alergy. That would suck big time for a garden coordinator - I don't mind saying. But, I feel feverish too.

Meanwhile, the happy part after too much background. I made grape leaves today with the son. M actually did most of the preparation with me just giving directions from my comfortable seat. Today we experimented with a kind of dessert version of the grape leaves recipe. I found a great website last week or so called Honest Fare and stumbled on this fig, walnut and goat feta filled grape leaf. Had to try it. I added some dried cranberries, yogurt cheese ( lubany) and a hit of Vietnamese pepper sauce.  Please explore this site, this recipe for yourself. It is a treat.

Rather than the regular lamb and rice grape leaves we fixed a vegetarian version and we modified it from the past recipes. For the filling I used brown rice, chickpeas, mushrooms, eggplant, onion, lemon, pine nuts, yellow curry and dried barberries (Zereshk). The last was to give it a bit of a Persian twist. My only complaint was that I used bottled grape leaves as usual and they seemed a bit tough. With the Lebanese version I could count on slow simmering in a pot with lemon water and chicken parts in the bottom. After 45 or 60 minutes the filling cooked and the leaves softened. My recipe will merely be heated through as all of the ingredients were precooked and assembled. Maybe Beany will have an idea prior to serving.

So, the food is ready. I am also taking an overhead projector to them for a painting project. Maybe I can call it a house warming gift. I got it free from the school district - where there are more available. I will take a change of grubby clothes in case I can help paint something.

Sat. am Update: Woke without much congestion and no fever. Yea!
Sun. Update: Had a wonderful time with rich conversations and connections. The food was utterly delicious. My grape leaves were not much of a hit, but that was okay because it left a bunch for my gracious hosts. Their home captivated me. It's a California bungalow built for military wives during the war years. I loved the fixtures and design details. Space planning is clunky - as it was in those years, but a good place to settle into and put one's personal imprint.

Photos from Honest Fare (those are not my fingernails).


Anonymous said...

i hope you feel better. those treats sound and look scrumptious! congrats on beany's new hardy! a party sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...

It is also a real chance to meet a whole different crowd of people. I woke feeling clear headed and excited. Good sign.

rzdavid said...

M-m-m walnuts and feta! That sounds good with or without the grape leaves.

katecontinued said...

In my world, can't go wrong with figs or dates - the nuts and feta are the frosting.

Funny, my last comment appeared as anonymous.