Dinner Party No. 3 - Pie & Sky

I'm halfway there - halfway to my ultimate goal for 2017 of hosting six dinner parties. Sure it's late October and I've got about eight weeks to host three more if I'm actually going to get to all six, but I think that managing to throw three in one year is a pretty good start. The truth is that hosting people takes space. Not just literal space - that is after all what outdoor parties are for - but it takes schedule space, mental space, budget space. It takes priority. These are all things, all commitments, that stand between you, and me, and hospitality. I think we know that it will cost a little bit of money and a little bit of time and a little bit of giving-up-other things in order to throw a little party.
I think we know that it would be easier to not put the effort into executing something we could just continue to talk about. But when you shove aside all the voices telling you that you'd do better to try again later - oh, it's a good time.

Last week I came home very late every night and on several of these occasions I noticed shooting stars. Being the amateur astronomer that I am* I Googled what was going on and came up with the 
very interesting news that Friday night was to be the peak of the Orionid meteor shower. Then, because I actually hate puns but still make terrible dad jokes, I decided that the weather was clear, the stars would be bright, and we were going to have a Pie & Sky dinner party. A Facebook invitation later (classy) and I got my small clutch of friends committed to driving all the way out to my house for the evening. I may have mentioned chili and lots of pie. There might have been bribes. I admit to nothing. Suffice it to say, my friends came out, took photos in our conveniently-situated cotton field, sat around the fire, introduced us to star-tripping, and laid blankets on wet, cold grass to look at the stars until finally someone mentioned they had a test to complete before midnight and the party drifted apart. I didn't get a lot of photos because the sun went down before I had a chance. But that's all right - I enjoyed the moment so much more for not being stuck behind a camera lens. I love parties like these. Sometimes the best bits of life happen at random, on a night when the sky presses close and spills stars into your lap.

But what did you eat you want to know? The menu ran casually this way:

- white chicken chili
- chili based off this recipe but amped up by half a pot of coffee thrown in, and some dark chocolate vinegar. Don't question this.
- pepper-jack cornbread
- Martha Stewart's chocolate mousse pie in this crust
- a peach-raspberry cardamom pie
- an apple pie
- a blueberry crumble pie
- whopping ginger cookies
- hot apple cider

I love the fact that literally the only reason some of those people came out was because pie was involved, and though we nominally ate the chili, the pie bar was the place we will remember. See, everybody likes pie at Thanksgiving and everybody wants to come to the long spread of pies and pretend like they actually have room for as much pie as they can eat. The beauty of a non-Thanksgiving pie bar is that you actually are hungry. And more hungry + more pie = more happiness. If you're looking for a really easy party theme, I can recommend the star-gazing theme. There's something wonderful about hot food, good old American pie, and beautiful stars that makes you stop for a moment and realize how simple a beautiful life can feel. Try it - and as a helpful aside if you can't make it to see out the end of the Orionid shower, the next meteor shower is the Geminids shower which peaks December 13th. Cheers!


  1. Shooting stars are so magical. Add pie and friends into the mix and I have a hard time imagining a better evening. :)