The antibiotics have kicked in and we are finally recovered from our first dinner party. Last weekend, we did nothing. No social plans, just big dinners with the family and MI-5, season 4, which I have fallen asleep to for the last few nights now. This challenge is going to be harder than I originally thought.
Our next dinner will be for old friends of Steve: his grad-school mentor Stuart Ewen and Stuart's wife, who was Steve's first boss in the American's Studies department at Suny Old Westbury. They've had us over a couple times a year in the past decade, and this is the first time we've returned the invite. Usually, we head up to their large three-bedroom Upper WEst Side apartment, crammed with books and memoriabilia of a life of left-wing politics and New York intellectual life. We drink vast quanitites of great wine, smoke marlboro reds with Liz, eat STuart's signature dish--Osso Busco-- argue and gossip, and jump in a $20 cab back downtown, worse for the wear, but we always have fun.
Stuart and Liz, are like many of our friends without young children, night people, so an early dinner with them is out of the question. Note to self: hire a babysitter for the morning after. Since the four of us share a special love for Italy, I am planning a Roman menu, based on Mario Battali's short ribs braised in red wine, topped with horseradish, parsley and lemon zest. I'll ask them to bring the wine, since they might know more than we do, and are sure to bring some great ones.
Tonight Steve is giving a reading uptown, so I have the two little ones all day and night. We're going to Passover at Laura's apartment, which is always daunting because A. there are no other kids or parents, 2. It's a 3rd floor walk up, bad stairs, and hardly any lighting in the hallway, and my stroller is enormous. And again, with the cosmopolitan eating style of dining late, we probably won't eat until 7 or 8. But Laura, being an ex-caterer and a current party planner, has exceptional taste and I know the food and wine will be excellent. If only the babysitter hadn't called sick with Bronchitis! Game-plan: feed the kids early, bring DVD's.