: views from the Hill

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Walk around in the neighborhood

A few neighbors had a walk around in the neighborhood last evening from 6 until, well, after getting home and clearing up our messes, it was 2 a.m.

The first of more I hope.

The original idea was something K and I hatched when she was new to the neighborhood and didn't know anyone. She'd dropped in at a party next door hosted by P & Y and introduced herself.

We both left at the same time and I invited her in to take a look around. We talked about how entertaining it would be to have a party where everyone could poke noses into each other's places instead of having to wait until the place was for sale and the agents were showing a real estate open house.

But then we were gone, and then K was gone and then we were gone again and then P and Y were gone and we were ...

Finally in February Y and I were talking about it again.

"We'll be gone in late March/early April. March isn't good."

"Let's just choose a date and a few people and we'll plan a smallish gathering and expand it to include more neighbors later if we have fun."

"How about later. How about April. How about the weekend after taxes are due. Okay by you?"

"Okay by me."

"If the date's okay with K, we're on."

And it was. ...

We sent out invites. Y sorted out who would be where on the walk around. We all gathered at K's down the walk where she and M, who lives in the same building, provided cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 6p. Then, on to A's next door for salad (and to catch a glimpse of S and B's brand-new (as of Sunday) baby) and then to P and Y for tapas and then here for more tapas and then down to the next walk down (in the pouring rain) to J's for dessert and coffee, hosted by J with help from J and G.

Fun time was had by all.

Tapas here were empanadas: (1)cashew chicken with a honey/soy sauce (2) homemade pesto and toasted pine nuts (3) marinated beef with onion and peppers (4) sausage and peppers and cheese.

The pastry was kind of tossed together because I couldn't find the butter pastry recipe I remembered so I checked what ratios Christopher Kimball used for fat to flour (he used part butter and part vegetable shortening) and made up two batches of pastry. Chilled in frig. Rolled and filled and pat-a-cake pat-a-cake. The pastry ingredients for both batches combined were simply 5C flour, 1 pound butter and about 12T cold water. Easy peasy.

The cooking of the various fillings, the cooling of same, the making of the pastry, the rolling of circles, the filling of the pastry circles and the crimping and the baking until almost done so I could finish the baking in just a few minutes after the party arrived here took far longer than I'd thought it would, but it all turned out as good as I'd hoped and there were a few left over.

Reheated empanadas for bfst. Ym.

We're already talking of another one. More neighbors. More fun. Next time!

Have to start planning now, though. I checked this morning. That original party where I met K and we started talking about a walkaround party? November 2005.

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