I did it! Not only did I do it, I did it and then I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher when it was all over! Truly, I am a SuperWoman.
Got up this morning, picked up the apartment and vacuumed and dusted and cleaned the bathroom. Then went off to my two hour acupuncture appointment, got needles poked in me, went home and picked out the movie options for the evening and took a little nap, and then started the marathon last hour of prep.
Have you read the 1927 Etiquette by Emily Post? If not, you really should! Super entertaining. She has little nicknames for all her example people (Mr. and Mrs. Oldmoney, Mr. and Mrs. Gilding, etc.) and tells stories that are clearly based on real ridiculous rich folks. One of her recurring characters is “Mrs. Threeinone”, who has to be hostess, maid, and cook. Tea carts figure heavily in her suggestions. Anyway, tonight I was definitely Mrs. Threeinone. It was exhausting!
An hour before the party time started, I zipped over to my favorite samosa place and bought 5 beef and a dozen veg (80 cents each, so why not?). Then I came back, put the oven on warm and put them in so they would stay fresh. Then I heated up two packets of cumin rice and mixed it with the plain Jasmine rice I had made a couple days ago. Then I heated up 4 different versions of frozen palak paneer and put it in different bowls. Put them all out on the table like buffet, plus plates and napkins and silverware, covered them so they wouldn’t get too cold, put Chaloki out in little bowls for snacks, and took the frozen ladoo out to finish defrosting. And just as I finished the last of this, the doorbell rang.
Made the guests mango lassi (so easy! Mango pulp and yogurt and a blender), and gave them movie options. I ended up pulling out Veer, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Singham, Bang Bang, and Vivah. So, one “so bad its good”, one sweet story, one big fairy tale like story, one cop action film, one silly action film, and Vivah. Which is kind of its own thing. The group ended up going for Prem Ratan Dhan Payo because they wanted the big family romance. So I decided to heck with it, I’ll do Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham like I have been doing for Indian film intros for the past 12 years.
They loved it, of course, K3G never disappoints. Only downside is, I have shown K3G soooooooooooooo much that I kind of go on autopilot and lose the ability to read the room as to when I am talking to much or not. Opening scene, explain about star entries. Next scene, make a joke about retiring to a temple. Next scene, make a joke about circling cameras always revealing eavesdroppers. Next scene, quickly explain the Diwali story and how it relates to this film. Also, get confirmation that it really is Indian Bill Murray playing Rani’s father. And so on and so forth. I may have leaned towards the “too much talking side” just because my mouth starts going without bothering my head when I am introducing this film.
But, more importantly, they liked the food! Even went back for seconds. Yaaaaay! Success! All the “take the samosas out of the oven, put the frozen Naan in, put yogurt out on the table, check the heat of the rice” last minute rush around was worth it. They even liked the ladoos!
And the best part, I gained a new theory for K3G! You know at the end when Amitabh is all “why didn’t you come home? When did I say I didn’t love you?” and it’s SUPER FRUSTRATING and you want to reach into the movie and force him to watch the scene where he said those exact things???? One of my guests suggested, maybe he has a touch of dementia! Makes as much sense as the “he’s just a big ol’ jerk who pretends he didn’t say or do the things he said or did when it is convenient” theory.
And then they all left, after I lent my Amar Chitra Katha “Gods and Goddesses” book to the woman teaching the world’s religion class for tomorrow when she does Hinduism (in 45 minutes, that should be long enough, right? All the religions only get 45 minutes, there’s only like 12 classes in the whole year).
And then, and this is the really impressive part, I actually put the food away and did the dishes!!!! And learned the valuable lesson that the next time I do a meal like this, I should use all serving dishes that double as storage containers so I can just put lids on them. I only did that with one of the dishes, so I ended up making a mega-palak paneer all in one container. But whatever, food is put away, dishwasher is churning, I showered, and now I am all set with a clean apartment and left over snack food for the other 2 times I am hosting people this week (Valentine’s Day, and the day before Valentine’s when my one friend who can’t make it on V-Day is coming over).