I’d forgotten that the chicken recipe I intended to make needed several hours’ marination (Nancy’s impressively showy Chicken Marbella is indexed under Main Dish: Poultry). Ron - truly my secret weapon and right arm - came to the rescue with his easy-to-make barbecue sauce (indexed under Sauces: Ron’s BBQ). I basted a pan of skinned, boneless chicken thighs with it, baking them uncovered at 375 deg. F. for 35-to-40 min. They emerged from the oven moist, flavorful, and nicely browned.
After the main course, we concluded the meal with one of my very favorite desserts, which I served in turquoise sundae dishes. You’ll find it indexed under Desserts: Grand Marnier Fruit Bowl.
I wanted a warm, informal feeling for this dinner, so minimized the use of silver, serving both the chicken and vegetables (broccoli, carrots, and asparagus, drizzled with melted butter) on long, thin wooden trays. These are light and easy to pass around, don’t take as much table space as standard serving platters, and require no hot pads underneath them. I have two of these trays in different sizes, and have found them very functional over the years.
|Don't forget to serve water - a basic with any meal|
|A simple center piece flanked by two smaller candles |
balances the length and breadth of the table
|I ringed this center candle with acorns and twigs|
to hint at the informal mood of the table
|With the placemat adding a casual touch, the table |
offered a largely monochromatic color scheme
|A long, thin platter saves space. Chicken grippers are fun!|
|Serving potatoes in a tall bowl with |
a narrow base saves room at the table
|Maggi: Leaving room for seconds|
|Bonnie: Watching as Ron serves|
|The ill-starred broccoli: No one complained|
|Robin: The conversation flowed like wine|
|Bob: Chuckling through the meal|
|Ron: Our genial host|