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Plan Z Pre-Work

Why I Will Have A Headache Tomorrow

Do you think it is odd that I keep having largish dinner parties wished upon me? Some are born to dinner guests, some achieve dinner guests, and others have dinner guests thrust upon them.

I suppose I am still just a girl who cain’t say no.

On Tuesday Steve’s cousin Holly (you remember- pretty, nice Holly whose lovely young husband died last summer) left a message saying that she was coming to Minnesota on Thursday and would like to stay with us for the night. Delightful, we said. And, she added, remember when we said that we would like to have her Minnesota friends over for dinner sometime? Wouldn’t Thursday be great?

So I am expecting somewhere between 9 and 15 people for dinner tonight. Surprise!

It will be fun (I hope) and it was just the thing, actually, to shake me from my funk. Sorrow be damned, there are bathrooms to clean! And oh sweet crabapples, cat hair to corral. You would expect these cats to be bald by this point, I swear. How can there be any fur left upon their sleekit bodies when the stuff gathers on the couch by the bushel? Stupid shedding cats.

But back to my dinner… I made the dessert on Tuesday (an old Fine Cooking standby that combines cheesecake and something fudge-like into a nice make-ahead wheel of goodness.) Yesterday I put together two salad dressings, bought a case each of wine and champagne, and assiduously ironed my napkins and placemats. As I still don’t know how many people are coming I decided to just make some spicy shrimp pasta (see recipe, bottom right.) I figure I can just keep adding shrimp and linguine to the pot as they roll in the door. Eeeee-zzzzzzz. Salad, bread, some cheeses… done. Besides, did I mention the champagne? That’s the whole party right there.

Although while I am thinking about it, how much pasta do you think, per person? Let’s say we get 12 (plus three little kids), what do you think, three pounds of linguine and two pounds of shrimp?

I am embarrassed to admit this but I am surprisingly nervous. I am REALLY REALLY REALLY shy (no, really) and I haven’t met most of these people. What if I am weird and awkward and everybody shuns me? And then there is the pressure of feeding them at a reasonable hour and hoping nothing tastes gross…

Not earth-shattering problems I know, but we all have our worries. Lemme know about the food quantities, if you have a second. Also, if you would like to reassure me that everybody will like me and the pasta will turn out fine and it is okay if we set up a card table at the end of our real table that would be nice too. WHAT a relief that the table is always set for a formal ten… (Hi Mollie!)

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