Monday 22 February 2021

Good food is all the sweeter when shared with good friends

 The day arrived for our hosting party!  We did a lot of preparing, cleaning, pre planning, planning, deciding lay outs and talking through timelines, to make it run smooth, and we are delighted because in the end it went great!

First things first, covid. I feel very lucky to live somewhere that the climate lends itself to being outside a lot, if not all of the time.  Also, it was really, really breezy (windy) yesterday which meant that even when we were indoors there was a huge amount of air blowing through the house.  We had all the doors open, and this movement of fresh clean air helped make things feel safe also.

Preparing: We cleaned all morning on Sunday.  Also included in that time was a run to the grocery store to get key lime pie (dessert), mayonnaise (for the key lime mustard) and cupcakes for a colleague leaving The Saint. Patrick kindly drove me down to the hotel so I could run in quickly with those and that was during the morning time also. Patrick figures it was 4 hours cleaning between the two of us.  I think it was more like five.  How can a small house need so much cleaning?  But I must say it feels nice now, the morning after, having everything spick and span.

And of course it was worth it, for all of THIS:

Fruits of our Labour! 5.5lbs or 32 crab claws (4 each)
After everyone arrived and were outside, set up with drinks etc., Patrick and I moved swiftly (all that communication and preplanning work paid off!) and set the table and laid out the claws on ice.  When everyone arrived in to eat there was a lot of oohing and ahhing, and lovely convivial conversation all about what a treat stone crab was.  It was really lovely and gratifying to hear how much everyone was enjoying the food. After all that was always the objective - to provide something lovely that people would enjoy.  Oh and prosecco, everyone had a glass of chilled crisp prosecco which is always a good accompaniment to crab claws.

I know I keep mentioning the preparation, but actually, a crab claw party is probably one of the easiest gatherings I've hosted from a cooking/preparing perspective. They are boiled fresh once we catch them and then immediately frozen.  So all you really need to do on the day is have defrosted them prior (18 hours in the fridge starting the night before!) and then lay them out on the ice displayed nice.  I made the devilled eggs earlier that morning in between the cleaning - but they are easy to make, in fact I enjoy it/find it therapeutic. And I popped the (Publix) garlic bread in the oven 30 minutes before everyone was due to arrive. Oh! I made a key lime mustard dipping sauce too - which is sooooo easy and delicious, and got lots of compliments!

Happy Birthday Emily! Celebrated with a Key West "birthday cake", lol

Even with it being breezy, it was just perfect outdoors

Good people! Love this gang!

The cooler behind us doubles up as place for ice and a bench seat. I like this photo of us!

Monday's are certainly easier after a wonderful weekend like this. 
I wish you all a fantastic Monday and week ahead everyone! 

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