Sunday, January 17, 2010

Food as Art - Beat the Bleak Party

After a rather indulgent girls' night out in Las Vegas on Friday, I was moving a little slowly on Saturday night and disposed toward a quiet evening at home. However, our fabulous neighbors Michael and Amèlie were throwing a party, and I figured I could get it together enough to stumble next door for a little neighborly cheer.

Plus - how could I possibly resist this invitation?


When we arrived, the dining room table was covered in Chinese to-go boxes. Half of them contained a salad of lettuce, cheese, and kiwi fruit dressed in a light vinaigrette. The other half contained homemade gazpacho which I later learned had been made by Amèlie's mother and shipped to Austin...from Florida.



There were so many of these little containers that I thought it was the extent of the evening's food. Oh how wrong I was!

A short while later, two men came into the dining room carrying...this:



"What is that?," you ask? That's what she we said. Turns out that it was a massive, real, discarded log that Amèlie had rescued and spray painted silver, into which she had then drilled scores of holes and inserted skewer after skewer laden with cheese tortellini, fresh basil, artichoke hearts, marinated cheese, olives, and tomatoes. Stunning and delicious.

Then this came out:


This smaller log carried skewers of large shrimp alternating with either tomato or...something fried (I didn't get one of the skewers with a fried nugget, so I'm not sure what it was).

At some point, somebody removed the large log. It soon reappeared covered with skewers of cheddar, turkey, tomatoes, cornichons, and olives.


I wandered behind the scenes and happened upon another neighbor, Gail, and a relative of Michael's preparing the final log for presentation:


Oh, happy day! Potstickers and egg rolls. Mmmmmmmmm.

Come here, my pretty.

After all the fried bits had been devoured, the table was cleared and a white parachute was draped over it. The room was abuzz, and not only because we had collectively drank about 100 bottles of wine. Amèlie and a couple of other guests began to spread fluffy, colorful bits of cotton candy all over the table. You've got to love an adult party that includes cotton candy.


On top of the bed of cotton candy, they scattered massive quantities of cream puffs and malted milk balls, then they punctuated the display with Pocky.

Sugar buffet!


This display reminded me of the truffula trees from Dr. Seuss' book, The Lorax.

The bar for neighborhood parties has definitely been raised. Thanks, Michael and Amèlie, for a fabulous, bleak-beating fête!


  1. Man, I've got the wrong neighbors.

  2. MNAngler, you have great neighbors! Any neighborhood that travels together is a winner in my book.

  3. Amelie B is so creative! your pix are fab!!!!

  4. Great pix! The only aspect you *don't* capture is the 5 lbs added to my hips :)

  5. Wow! I'm definitely in the wrong 'hood. All my neighbors are at least 85. Sometimes it looks like they're having a party, but its the 24hr nursing staff changing shifts. Sigh.

    Will be keeping eyes peeled for a good log...

  6. FANTASTIC! I was supposed to be there but stayed in due to bronchitis. Next chance, I will go even if !'m nearly comatose. WOW!

  7. You have raised the bar of being a guest.
    Now all future guests will have to out-blog you!

    Fantastic eye!

  8. You really captured the feel of the party! Yummy food with an amazing presentation.The guests were also delightful. It was well worth the drive from San Antonio.

  9. Wow. Pretty food on sticks. Can there be anything better? I'm moving to your hood.

  10. Yes, the food was terrific, but I need to say what gracious hosts Amelie and Michael are. They took the time to make sure that their guests felt welcome and comfortable even though they might have been around dozens of people they had never met. Thanks!


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