Kitchen Table Dinner Series: One

Rain was coming down in great gusts, so the festivities all took place inside. Er… except for the Weber kettle-bbq I had fired up in the open garage, which was used to roast green chilis and late-season tomatoes. (It was also meant to roast beets, which it did, before I walked away and forgot about them, and they turned to charcoal.) Out of 24 invites we had 18 in attendance, although one had to beat a hasty retreat early, having lost a crown in one of the downright Paleolithic ribs we’d all been noshing on. 

Kitchen Table Magazine hot peppers
Kitchen Table Magazine cherry tomatoes
Kitchen Table Magazine roasted beets

Later on, after the bulk of the guests had gone home, we were discussing the cost of doing these dinner parties and Sarah K. brought up the idea that’s been lingering in my own head, to charge, say $20 and a bottle of wine, OR, bring a food dish and a bottle of wine. I still paid out for this party, but much less so than meals past, when I cooked everything on the menu. Food for thought. [Also note, the pork butt is a pretty good value, compared to say, beef bavette steaks or lamb chops.] 

Seriously, the ribs were Fred Flintstone-huge, and unanimously the hit of the night. Heck, they even had a longtime vegan nibbling a few bites. I paid my son Carter $20 to bus tables and help on dish duty, and he did pretty great, when he wasn’t running around battling my sister’s boyfriend Jay. I think the rain made for a better party, as it kept everyone in close proximity. I like that intimacy.

My main contribution was an 8 lb pork butt, cooked Carnitas style, sourced from Laurelhurst Market & Butcher Shop, Portland. It turned out great, and I ate leftovers for a week. A late-game addition was glazed carrots cooked in a ginger ale reduction, sourced from an Eastern European guy out of the back of his car in the Woodlawn neighborhood. Other food items follow, in no particular order. I’m almost certainly missing something. I failed entirely at noting the beverages which were brought and consumed. Mostly wine.

Kitchen Table Magazine pork brisket
Kitchen Table Magazine pork brisket

Meanwhile, that list: Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue Cheese, CA; Assorted charcuterie from Laurelhurst Market & Butcher Shop, Portland; Mixed olives and Marcona almonds from New Seasons Market; Diablo Steve’s smoked beef back ribs, sourced at Old Salt Marketplace (RIP) w/two house-made hot sauces—BBQ Sauce #1, Hoisin base, w/roasted garlic, ginger BBQ Sauce, and #2, tomato base w/mustard, horse radish; Salmon dip and grilled veggies from Flying Coyote Farm, Sandy, OR; Fire-roasted tomato & green chili chunky salsa; three loaves of garlic bread made from Piccolo Como from Grand Central Bakery; Hand-picked chanterelles/bacon risotto w/parmesan; Cauliflower/béchamel casserole; Grilled seasonal veggies; Chocolate olive-oil cake; Chocolate chip, butterscotch, coconut cookies by Steve.

Kitchen Table Magazine roasted carrots
Kitchen Table Magazine roasted veggies
Kitchen Table Magazine fancy mushrooms