Asking if someone has allergies or preferences when you’re planning a dinner or party is a newish thing for me. I never thought about it until I was diagnosed with Celiac and I never ever expect anyone to ask me. I’m here for the company!
It really hit me to ask this question after I went to my friend Donna’s fiftieth birthday party. It was a HUGE party, a gorgeous evening with fantastic food, and the weather was perfect. But you know what I remember the most about it? Her kindness.
She had the caterer pull me aside and tell me, “We have gluten free items here for you tonight, and I want you to know what they are.” You never forget sweet gestures like that and I want to reciprocate.
I decided to pull together a weekend gathering with friends, but before I did I asked my friend Ellen what she and her husband enjoy for dinner. Any allergies? She gave me such a great answer and I ran with it!
-Not a big heavy meal
-Nothing too spicy
-We love to GRAZE!!!
I launched into my Amazing Grazing party mission with full-out enthusiasm. I personally love GRAZING. A grazing party is an entire meal of small bites or appetizers, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. We opted for laid back casual with food that is simple to pick-up and eat, rather than needing a knife and fork. We had utensils on hand for the lamb chops, but none were necessary. 😉
Prima Donna cheese with crackers and chips
Brie with papaya
Italian olives and salami
Chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce
Roasted cauliflower with Portabellas
Lamb chops with rosemary
We even grazed on the alcohol. First we toasted and slowly sipped Veuve Clicquot champagne that Andy and Ellen brought. They also introduced us to one of the BEST wines I’ve ever tasted and a lovely addition to the evening: Papillon Bordeaux Blend from Napa Valley. So delicious. We all shared a little of each.
For dessert we split tiny 3.6 ounce vanilla Haagen Dazs cups and served with demitasse spoons and Woodford Reserve bourbon.
The party went off without a hitch and with effortless grace. The best part was the company… and sharing little tips on life. It’s the bright insight into what makes life right! All the more smarter and wiser because of an AMAZING grazing dinner.