Wednesday, January 30, 2008

First Dinner Party

October 1969

The lovely sterling silver serving pieces looked a little out of place on the tiny table that came with our furnished mobile home. They were wedding gifts, and it was their debut. Mine, too. Our Tyrolean tablecloth, Blue Danube dishes and entertaining skills were on display for the first time. Mom and Dad were coming for dinner.

It was cozy; so cozy that Dee had to stand up and move his chair so I could open the oven. I garnished the Barbecued Spam Roast with lovely green sprigs of parsley and nobody mentioned that the rice was so crunchy we were in danger of breaking a tooth. The peas weren't done until it was time for dessert.

I discreetly crumbled the sunken Bundt cake into my new parfait glasses and spooned ice milk (the less expensive brand of ice cream) over the chunks, so that it appeared it was supposed to be served that way. Mom was very complimentary and Dad's claustrophobia subsided long enough for a nice visit in our humble home.

I received my thank you in the form of a care package. Three years before, my brother Tom had shot a very ancient deer. After the first obligatory meal, my folks had stashed the venison downstairs in the freezer. Since then the meat was thawed out only for the dog when her regular dog food was in short supply.

Now, after all this time, Dee and I were the lucky recipients of several packages of freezer-burned deer steaks, accompanied by a note from my dad which read, "After a delicious meal we can see that this meat needs only the special touch of a gourmet cook."

The next time they came to dinner, guess what I served?

12 comments:

MissKris said...

One of our first homes was a mobile home, too...12x60. We rented it for a couple years from a lovely old couple, the grandparents of our best man! It was nestled back in two acres of Douglas Fir 'forest' and we were allowed to build a kennel for our black lab, grow a garden...it was heaven! Then along came our daughter and we quickly outgrew it...had to move. But it's a place of some of our best memories ever. Once we invited friends over for a pheasant dinner and ended up serving nothing but the side dishes and dessert because that meat would NOT cook thru, ha! But our guests, good friends of ours, just laughed and the evening was great. Venison used for dog food?!?! Mercy, it's some of the best meat in the world!!!!

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I cannot imagine serving ANYONE spam. I don't know that I've ever even actually tried it. Is it good? Remind me to tell you the story of the pink gravy I served to your son. It's legend around here.

Rebecca said...

Geez, I haven't thought of Spam as anything edible since I was a kid. My mom used to serve it...can't remember whether I liked it or not :)

Ashlee said...

I've never had Spam...they serve it at the McDonalds down in Hawaii. I guess it's considered a delicacy. :0) You should teach them how to bbq it.

Nancy said...

Marty,

Once, years ago a friend of mine was asked by her husband to have the boss and his wife over to dinner. She agreed and decided to make something very special for them to prove what an accomplished wife their employee had.

First she bought a beautiful whole ham and baked it. Then after it cooled a whole day she cut the ham into chunks and pushed all the chunks into her hand held meat grinder. Then, she made a loaf out of the ground ham and added a lot of spices before baking it again.

She was delighted with her efforts until she took it out of the oven to serve and realized that she had made SPAM.......

Bridget said...

I've never had Spam. What is it exactly? I want to hear about that pink gravy Stie!

Marty said...

Spam was cheap. That was the reason for it's existence in my cupboard anyway.

In those days it was less than a dollar for a can. You used a key (which was attached to the bottom of the can) to grab a piece of the aluminum and wind it up to open the can.

It came out in a tiny loaf covered with a clear jelly. It looked like dog food, which is probably why my dad thought we needed a step up.

It tasted a little bit like ham, I guess. Mostly it tasted like whatever sauce I used to disguise it.

Our venison was far from the best meat in the world. It was from a deer that was already old and touch when it was alive. Then it sat in our freezer for three years and the butcher paper adhered to the freezer burns.

We were on the lowest end of the food chain, and I'm sure people shuttered when they were invited to share our very meager offerings!

Polly said...

sounds like we all lived in a trailor and ate deer meat. I remember a party I gave in our trailor where a deer roast was the main course. (probably from the same deer as you had, only a few year older by now. We had to put so much tomatoe sauce and other things on it to make it edible. If you have to disguise food that much don't eat it!

Kay Dennison said...

Our first dinner guests were my in-laws. I had panic attacks because I so wanted everything to be perfect. It went extremely well and the upshot was that my mother-in-law called the next week to tell me that such a lovely dinner deserved a lovely dining room set and she wanted to take me shopping for one as our Christmas gift.

She passed away recently at 88 and she was wonderful to me the 28 years I was married to her son. I've missed having her in my life.

gab said...

Do you know Spam is Sammy's new nickname?

Beverly said...

We ate Spam all the time when I was little (that's how I designate my childhood, as little. I really liked it then....

Jenibelle said...

My sister won a SPAM contest once. She put fried SPAM into a broccoli salad instead of bacon. No accounting for some people's taste! She did win a trip to Hawaii though for her ingenuity. We live in a great world!!!