It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I'm not talking about Charles Dickens' take on the French Revolution, I'm talking about this past weekend.
Our neighborhood has a homecoming party every fall because we live so close to a high school football field, we couldn't avoid the big game if we tried. Even former neighbors return for the event. We caught up on what is going on with each other, ate, paused to cheer when the home team scored and then returned to visiting. Did I mention that we ate? A lot? There were tossed salads, pasta salads and fruit salads. Did you want bread or rolls? Was that your second or third helping of broasted potatoes? At the end of the main table was barbecued chicken and barbecued ribs. To say our section of the street smelled good would be an understatement. Desserts were on a separate table with brownies being the favorite of everyone there. The poor souls who parked on our street and walked to the game were probably starving after smelling all of this, and you know the concession stand food couldn't possibly compete!
The trucks on the field are pulling the floats around. The plastic chairs in the street were preventing anyone from parking directly in front of the house hosting the party and thus obscuring our view. The home team won by 31 points, surely due in part to our enthusiasm.
On Saturday night, by brother-in-law and sister-in-law had their annual Oktoberfest party for their kids and grandkids, our family and a few close friends. This time the eating began with crackers and dips, spinach dip in bread bowls, and an easy sausage appetizer that I'll explain later. My sis-in-law had home made chicken noodle soup and home made chili. My brother-in-law grilled hotdogs and brats. There was sauerkraut as well as the usual assortment of cold condiments to dress your dogs as we ate outside around a firepit.
Desserts included chocolate covered saltines, fresh from the oven apple crisp, pumpkin bread and strawberry ghosts. If you were waiting for the "blue" tie in, here it is....the bread was baked in blue Pyrex and the strawberries are on a blue plate.
Easy to see why this weekend was the best of times, right? But why the worst of times? Because I didn't use my Halloween plate and every dang calorie counted!
About the sausage appetizer, it was very easy and a huge hit. The recipe is from Gooseberry Patch's Harvest Kitchen cookbook. In a large saucepan, you combine one 16 oz can of whole berry cranberry sauce, 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam, 1 tsp cornstarch and 1/2 tsp hot sauce. Stir that together, then add 2 pounds of mini smoked sausages. Bring this to a simmer over medium high heat, then reduce to low and heat through for 15 minutes. I transported this in a Pyrex Portable with the microwaveable hot pack in the bottom. Since the carrier was green, I didn't photograph it.
And last but not least, here is my new blue bird. She wasn't invited to either of the parties but including her in a Blue Monday post should make her feel less neglected.
Please click the Blue Monday graphic on the right for information about Smiling Sally's Blue Monday posts.
My intention is to visit each participating poster and leave a comment, but I have to leave for a bit. If I haven't commented on your blog yet, I would like everyone to know how much I am enjoying this.