Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Feast of Midwestern Delicacies

Surveying the damages after everyone had left!

The second annual Erwin winter shindig was last Saturday, and the only casualty was a clear plastic platter.

At the party's peak, when about two dozen people were crammed into the kitchen scrambling for food, it felt like I might be a casualty, too. But of course everything went smoothly, with enough food and beer -- the essentials -- for everyone.

This year's theme: A Feast of Midwestern Delicacies. The menu:
  • Cincinnati-style chili, with spaghetti, cheddar cheese and oyster crackers
  • Chicago-style deep dish pizza
  • Sausage gravy and biscuits
  • Fried cheese curds
  • Green bean casserole
  • Cheesy potatoes
  • Homemade bread with herb butter
  • Spinach salad
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Buckeyes
  • Graham crackers with vanilla frosting
  • Freshly fried donuts
We didn't have too much left over -- enough sausage gravy for a couple of meals, some Buckeyes, a few spoonfuls of the casseroles. And a lot of salad. Our guests must have known that true Midwesterners will always go for the chili before the salad.

The two dozen friends who appeared traveled from three of New York's five boroughs and three states -- a co-worker came from New Jersey, and one of my college roommates, Sarah, even came from Philadelphia (more about that next week!).Surprisingly, quite a few had Midwest connections -- they either grew up there, went to college there, or both. I was happy to see how many people wore theme-appropriate shirts. I wore my "OH How I Love You" Ohio shirt, but my favorite was probably Sarah's-- a pink t-shirt that proclaimed "Ohio-licious." I wish I would have taken a photo.

Five hours after the party started, after a good half of the crowd had departed, I finally got out my photo and snapped a few shots. Oh well. I enjoyed the party nonetheless, and I guess I don't need pictures to prove it.

Last year's party was smaller, with just a few of my coworkers. This year we opened it up, and I'm glad we did. It was fun to see all of our friends all mixed up together -- my coworkers, Paul's coworkers, college friends, other friends and even friends of friends.

I'm already contemplating next year's theme.

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