There are, of course, lots of good things about entertaining. There’s the ensuing laughter that comes with being with friends and family. The food is generally good and often are things that you only eat when you entertain or are entertained. Like Pigs in a Blanket. Can you imagine how odd it would be if Bill asked me what we were having for dinner and I told him little smoky links wrapped in crescent roll dough? But they are yummy, and often make an appearance at a cocktail party unless the Barefoot Contessa is hosting. In that case, you eat Tartare de Filet de Boueuf or Pissaladieres. Not a single little sausage in Ina Garten’s refrigerator. Poor Jeffrey. I wonder if sometimes he wishes he could just eat meatloaf with ketchup.
But at least for me, one of the good things about entertaining is that it requires me to clean the house. I’m not ashamed to admit I take a bit of prodding when it comes to homemaking — unless it’s cooking. My specialty? You guessed it. Pigs in a Blanket. I make them fancy by sprinkling on poppy seeds. I’m pretty sure then people think the party was catered…..
Bill and I invited our neighbors in last night to see the house remodel that he worked on all summer long and into the fall. Like me, they also listened to months of grinding and hammering and cutting because he had his work station set up on our front porch. We resembled the Beverly Hillbillies, and owed our neighbors some wine and Pigs in a Blanket.
By the way, I’m being a bit hard on myself. I also served Brie en Croute (which I can spell but can’t pronounce), hummus, and deviled eggs. That fancy thing that I can’t pronounce is actually just brie that is smeared with raspberry jam, covered in pecans, wrapped in store-bought puff pastry, and baked. Ina Garten doesn’t even make her own puff pastry.
My signature cocktail (having a signature drink is something I learned from my sister Jen who believes you can’t have a party without a signature drink) was prosecco with a splash of cranberry juice, garnished with a real cranberry. I spent the evening in silent prayer that no one would swallow the cranberry and require the Heimlich. My prayers were answered. But only because, contrary to Jen’s firm belief in a signature cocktail, my guests all drank wine.
But back to our remodeled house. Though we still have some things to do in the house – primarily painting and carpeting the bedrooms, which will happen next spring – we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. All of the pounding from May through October was worth it. I don’t have any BEFORE shots, but suffice it to say that 25 years ago, when I walked into this house, I loved it immediately; however, I told Bill that I wouldn’t be able to live with the carpeting or the paint color. It only took 25 years for the change to finally happen.
But here are some pictures of the final (ish) result…..
Bill did an immense amount of work, and it’s as good a job as any craftsman would have done. The job required removing the carpeting, removing the pressboard that lay underneath, installing plywood before finally nailing in the hardwood. He did that in two big rooms, the staircase, and the upstairs hallway. In addition, he removed circa 1970 wall paneling and put up drywall on one wall, and remove wallpaper from another wall. He painted our fireplace, installed canned lights in the family room, and redid the mantle.
And he has Parkinson’s disease. Go figure.
By the way, he had his semiannual appointment with his neurologist on Monday, and got another thumb’s up. Thank you God.