Monday, May 19, 2008

So how was your last dinner party?

Yesterday, had the fun of attending a dinner party of a friend of mine, Paul Cassedy. Paul grew up in the Alexandria/Washington area but is now in Baltimore. He says that he is called one of the last of the Edwardians in that he loves the tradition of the formal dinner party. This “modest” event took place at his home, a 1910s-era row house. There were 16 guests so it took the parlor and dining room both to hold the long table that we set up. Talk about breaking out the china and the glassware! Each place setting had seven utensils and four wine glasses. Among the Edwardian features that Paul continues as a love of pickled items so the first course were all homemade pickles of various veggies along with spring sausage of meats like elk and bison. At this point, the music arrived. The duo,“Zephyr,” consisted of a lute player and a singer who serenaded us with Renaissance songs. Then came the turtle soup, which traditionally has an accompanying pickled hard boiled egg. Then a salad. Then the entree, a roast of wild boar with a mole sauce and saffron rice. By this time, we are on our third different wine. To cleanse the palate, we had a sorbet of lemon and vodka graced with basil and sage. Then came the cheese course of various types of cheeses and then a mixture of berries soaked in Grand Marnier . Paul is surprised when people say this is a lavish affair. This is just a group of friends getting together. I’ll let you be the judge!

3 comments:

Danifesto said...

You know me too well. I can't turn down an opportunity to judge! It's a blessing and a curse!
Okay when your friend claims the dinner was a low key affair he's either a) hopelessly out of touch with the rest of the world or b) pretentious or c) insane.
I'm guessing b... :)

Dr History said...

Actually, I think it had more to do with a sense of recreating an earlier tradition of genteel Southern hospitality that Paul remembered growing up. It wasn't that long ago that events like that were much more commonplace. They just stand out today

Kris said...

Seems to me we need to work more fervently to bring back both the handshake AND the dinner party. That said, when will you be back in town?