Breaking Bread (or Cake)

The topic is dinners and dinner parties and I must have had something in mind when I came up with the topic many months ago, but I no longer have that train of thought.So here is where the tracks now lead.

I like dinner parties. I have had a number of them and would love to have more; we’ll see.

I have a very dear, older friend who loved to throw dinner parties. She is as Irish-American as they come, but she makes a mean lasagna and a brutal enchilada…even her ‘mild’ ones send my taste buds screaming, but they are delicious. We have attended many luncheons and breakfast-meetings-eatings at her house but once a year she would host a Christmas-time dinner at her house with my husband, sons and me, along with a mutual friend and her family, whichever of her children happened to be in town, with or without children of their own plus her youngest, who was my kids’ age. Unfortunately, the menu would always be a bit adult and the kids never truly enjoyed the fare.

One November I was in the grocery store with my then pre-teen sons who were wandering the aisles. The oldest came rushing back to me, grabbed my arm and said, “It’s the Bucket Woman! She’s going to invite us to one of her Candlelight Suppers!”, as my aforementioned friend came around the corner and indeed, asked us to that year’s dinner. I could hardly keep from laughing while we spoke.
[I am very sorry if anyone reading this has never seen the British comedy “Keeping Up Appearances”, as you are undoubtedly wondering what my son was talking about. Trust me; it was funny!]

I tell tales in my sorely neglected food and entertaining blog when it seems to fit what I am trying to impress upon the readers .In it I try to show people that anyone can entertain; there is nothing to be frightened of, as so many people seem to believe. I want to show that anyone can overcome many problems which need not become total disasters.

Years ago I had proper, (but funny), Eastern European friends who had several staid VIP guests from overseas in their home. The couple had a fire in their kitchen, but put it out quickly and did not say a word to the others. The fire had involved sugar and the guests all commented on how wonderful the dinner smelled and how they could not wait to eat or see it!

One example I used in my blog was when I mishandled a rather fancy bundt, (ring),cake that was to be a dinner party’s dessert. My mother did her usual magic in the kitchen with the rest of the food, all I had to do was the dessert .My brother-in-law’s boss and family were to be our guests. After something of a rocky start in life for my brother-in-law, the man had taken him under his wing, and his younger wife had taken a great liking to my sister. This was the first real formal gathering of families. We wanted everything to go right….but I broke the cake just before the people were due to arrive.
Since it was cracked badly, I sliced it, and disposed of the jagged broken pieces,(I believe I may well have made quick work of them orally). I placed them on a fancy serving plate and arranged them rather artistically, if I do say so myself. I really don’t have to, because the boss’s wife made quite a fuss over how nice the plate of cake looked and how conveniently it would be served. She thought it was a splendid way to offer the dessert! And I would have gotten away with it, too, had my sister not decided at that point to make the true story of me and the cake the night’s entertainment!

Let’s hope this does not befall the cake where I am headed, as today I am traveling to my cousin’s daughter’s wedding. I will be in my mother’s home state of Pennsylvania for the first time since I was twelve…(never mind the year!) I will be meeting extended relations in person for the first time. I will be seeing two cousins probably for the last time,as one lives well into New England and the other, much older one, is seriously ill. I h ave not seen either of them for many, many years.

My cats will not answer the comments, and my neighbor, my sons and a friend are going to be in a and out to check on them, (but not the computer).I may not get back to answer any comments until late Monday. I am taking my tablet and will have WIFI in the place I am staying, but the road trip will be long and I will be talking up a storm with family. (And I am going to try to drag my husband with me. If not, he will be here but not answering comments, either!)

So, talk among yourselves! I wish you happy dinner parties! Does anyone else have a great memory or a near-disaster of a dinner party to share?  I’d love to  read about them.

Do you even LIKE dinner parties? If you don’t like to entertain, please drop by my other blog;
you may find something to inspire you.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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9 Responses to Breaking Bread (or Cake)

  1. Love how you “fixed” the cake! That’s brilliant!


  2. I love dinner parties! I haven’t been to many, and I haven’t hosted any since I was in college, but I like to get together with friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t marry a guy who likes to be sociable. So I do the virtual socializing (and go out with my friends), and that takes care of most of the other headaches of being a host – the house can stay messy, and the food – well, who cares? And I agree with Kate – that was a very creative solution to your cake problem! I’m not sure I would have thought of that.


  3. jeff7salter says:

    sounds like you enjoy entertaining and you probably have a flair for doing it so well that all the guests — even those not as enchanted with that type of dining — are made to feel comfortable.
    It takes a lot of grace to be a wonderful hostess


    • Really, it’s not hard, Jeff. Confidence is the hardest part, which I have tried to instill in others. Then knowing your guests is the next step. A host needs to serve foods that make the guests comfortable. whether it is a nine course meal , fried chicken and mashed potatoes and ice cream or a vegan buffet.


  4. pjharjo says:

    I enjoyed your blog, Tonette. Got hungry when you talked about the “brutal enchilada,” and had some laughs, too! 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Wouldn’t it be funny if your dh did make comments for you here while you are away? LOL!


    • Looks like n one else answered, Janette, so here I am. I had a fantastic time despite the weather not cooperating, thanks.
      I’m glad I amused and inspired you,(or at least, your appetite!).


  5. Iris B says:

    I know Hyacinth Bucket …. LOL … always good for a nice laugh.

    Glad you had a good weekend!


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