We had our first party.

On Sunday of Columbus Day weekend, the Worcester County Poetry Association hosts, with the owner/curator, an open house and guided tours of the Stanley Kunitz Boyhood Home.

We live in the Stanley Kunitz Boyhood Home and, since this was our first Columbus Day living here, we decided to make it a little extra special for our friends and loved ones. We had a party. Our party was an opportunity to not only spend more time with our friends who were coming to tour the home of Stanley’s formative years, but to also introduce friends who hadn’t yet met. I’m all over the map on a regular basis, geographically and creatively, so this was an east meets west kinda thing.

2013-10-13 10.18.33While I admit party planning is hard, I have some training. Mom has always been the host-with-the-most. She showed me the ropes. This event’s date and time was set in advance. The main course was established by guest request. They know my cooking. The difficulty appeared on Friday, when I was rolling turkey meatballs and pan frying sausage / opening cans of crushed tomatoes and tomato paste / writing my list of other stuff to get, make or buy.

“I haven’t planned dessert.”

“I forgot to call the first choice bakery to make extra bread.”

“Will there be enough?”

“What if <insert temporarily frantic thought here>!!”

All worked out, but OMG! there was some fear that my closest friends might not enjoy themselves. I walked right through that fear with only a few droplets of perspiration, thanks to my debit card. Money can’t buy happiness but it can procure help. The help that I needed was bread and dessert. Previous shopping had provided the appetizer pieces and parts and the prep for those happened smoothly on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Another nicety is that Spencer is a huge help! 


three-cheese-bread-loafBread: I chose the country miche and three-cheese loaf from Panera. This bread is perfect for this type of event. The consistency, flavor and size is great for a sandwich, dipping, dunking or with a light coat of butter on the side of the plate. I chose thick slicing.

2013-10-13 15.37.13

Dessert: A bouquet of delicious “minis” from Wholly Cannoli, as well as sugar free turnovers and fennel taralles, started the options. Finger sandwiches were very trendy at one time long ago, today finger pastry is the way I go. The variety chosen by my personal pastry companion and pictured here is:

  • two-bite canollis
  • canollis filling filled cupcakes
  • miniature red velvet cupcakes
  • tiramisu
  • two varieties of whoopsie pies
  • dynamite bites
  • cheese cake bites
  • mini cheese cakes (confetti and blueberry)
The final menu didn’t stop here because two friends brought scrumptious extras that increased the food excitement.
  1. imagejpeg_0Chez Shelly provided a large supply of Bon Appetit’s latest Minestrone variation featuring white beans and butternut squash and a fresh pesto that was FABULOUS!
  2. John and Judy, our workshop leader friends, brought locally famous italian cookies from Gerardo’s Italian Bakery.

As mentioned in my previous post, there are a few crucial checklist items to review and be sure to keep consistent:

  1. Planned food that all enjoy. (check)
  2. The right mix of people. (check)
  3. Leftovers.  (check)

All invited had the opportunity to bring some portion of our meal/experience home with them. Yes, we even have take out containers and nice bags for easy transport.

We had a great day and the messages of gratitude in the following days has Spencer and me in pre-planning mode for the next party.

Photo Credits: Panera.com, Spencer Hensel and Samsung Galaxy

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