Have you ever been part of a progressive dinner with a group of friends or family? I remember my parents having progressive dinners with their friends and as I have gotten older I have realized that these types of dinners are not just for our parents.
Progressive dinners are done exactly how their name suggests. A group of friends start out with hors d’oeuvres at one couple’s home, next they all progress to another friend’s home for the main course and finally they progress to another home for dessert.
Last night we entertained 12 friends, including my husband and I, at our home for hors d’oeuvres and wine. I do have to say though I was not as organized as I usually am when it comes to entertaining. I had to work yesterday until 2:30pm and we were expecting guests at 5:00. My husband and son cleaned the house while I was at work but I had not planned a thing for the food and I had not shopped for any of it.
One of the many good things about working at a grocery store is that I can shop as soon as I clock out. I had in mind that I wanted four types of hors d’oeuvres. Over the summer I had experimented with making my own egg rolls as a way of using the beautiful purple cabbage I had grown in my garden. They turned out excellent and were so easy to make! I decided to make mini egg rolls for the party. I selected the ingredients and put them in my cart. Good that was one down. Three more to go. This group loves guacamole so that was an easy hors d’oeuvre to make. I selected those ingredients. Two down. Next I picked up some Kalamata olives from the deli and swung around to the meat department and grabbed a bag of frozen pre-cooked shrimp for shrimp cocktail. Three and four down.
By the time I checked out with my groceries it was 3:15 pm. Yikes!
I finally got home at 3:45 pm. I had an hour and 15 minutes to make the food and hop in the shower before guests started showing up.
Luckily the first guests didn’t arrive until about 10 minutes past 5 so that gave us the extra time we needed to get everything ready. What was even better was that my first course buddy brought the wine and added mini bite sized spanakopita to the mix of hors d’oeuvres. Perfect!
We all had a fabulous time at each home. Progressive dinners are a wonderful excuse to get together. They are also economical because not just one couple is paying for the entire meal as well as preparing all of the food.
Good food, good wine, good friends, what could be better!
Photos Courtesy of our friend Steve Mayer