Sunday, December 2, 2007

In the Beginning, Sort Of

I started throwing dinner parties in college

My senior year I had 2 housemates. One was engaged and never around on weekends. The other one and I decided that a very sophisticated and groovy way to impress guys would be to feed them. Each week we invited a different set of gentlemen to the house for a Saturday night dinner. Obviously, our motivation was to find love. That so didn't happen. We did, however, make some nice friends and have some very fun evenings.

We had one dish; you'd have to call it our signature entree. It was a recipe for chicken cooked in beer. Bone-in chicken breasts would be seared and then simmered in beer (which seemed oh, so elegant to us at the time). When the breasts were done the sauce was thickened with a roux and enhanced with the tres elegant addition of tinned mushrooms.

It was the 70s.

Despite the seemingly pedestrian nature of this dish, it was good. Served with rice and some sort of vegetable plus salad, it made a nice meal for growing boys. Then we'd impress them further with something like frozen ice cream crepes or a pie.

My university was "dry" but living off campus, I played fast and loose with that rule. While, strictly speaking, I could have been busted for having alcohol...even though I was 21 and even though the house was not owned by the university...it was a risk worth taking. That's part of what made the addition of beer so exotic. It was forbidden.

So was the Liebfraumilch or Lambrusco we'd serve with dinner. (The development of my wine palate...and the room-mate's...is another story. One must start somewhere. Imagine how cutting edge we considered ourselves when we discovered white zinfandel).

I digress.

Every Saturday we would clean the house, fold some napkins and prepare a lovely meal. We served that forbidden wine and entertained these various gentlemen with witty banter and sly jokes. We were, we thought, a pair of pips.

By winter quarter I had a boyfriend, acquired through completely other means, and the dinners stopped. The recipe was lost to time. Which is a little sad.

I should try to recreate it.

7 comments:

Auld Hat said...

I still find reasons to drink Lambrucso. I don't care how snooty I've become in my appreciation of wine. I also will never become too refined to enjoy a good beer soaked battered fish. Yuh-hum! Never tried it on chicken but, you know.

Lorraine said...

I'm going to attempt a recreation of the beer chicken tonight. I am not going to drink Lambrusco.

Willym said...

Is that why you learned to cook? To pick up guys? Fun so did I!

Lorraine said...

Not a bad strategy all in all, is it Willym. We both did alright!

Doralong said...

That's way, way too funny! Only because my former college roomie and I had the same strategy, before I found the Beast naturally.

But we did have some swell dinners ;)

laurelmoons said...

So were you able to recreate beer chicken? Inquiring minds want to know!

Buck said...

"and enhanced with the tres elegant addition of tinned mushrooms."

OMG, that is so funny because it's so sad and true. The things we thought were sophisticated in college boggle the mind.