May starts tomorrow. Isn’t that amazing? Winter is gone and spring is well and truly sprung. There are real leaves on the trees. The sun is warm in the afternoon. It is going to be nice enough to have a tiny, and socially distanced, cocktail hour on the back porch with another couple of vaxxed friends. Dr. Fauci would approve of our medicinal wine. We are coming back.
It has been such a long time since we socialized. Zoom calls, which were charming when they were relatively novel, were great for the first couple of attempts. I loved seeing whatever spot in everyone’s house had the best WiFi: Emily’s dining room with elegant molding, Daphne’s comfy and cozy front parlor, Maura’s tidy spare bedroom. But it was impossible to exchange an amused look, or arch an eyebrow, without the whole group noticing. And really, everyone was looking with horror at themselves. Those lock-down hairdos were not flattering. Black is not as slimming as one might hope. Have I always guffawed like that, or is it a habit developed during the pandemic?
The first people we will have over will not be our dearest friends, or even our relatives, so it will be a good time to practice niceties and work out the rusty kinks in our social skills. Thus the invention of the cocktail hour – it smooths away some of the rough edges, and renders us slightly more attractive for a short period of time. When we can then slink back to our lairs, and reassess our places in society.
Washington College, back in our day, had a healthy May Day tradition of streaking. I don’t think we will indulge in either real or virtual streaking this year. Maybe next year, when things are a little more normal, and we have lost the weight gained while bingeing on Grey’s Anatomy and Game of Thrones. This year we will keep our slimming black outfits on, while showing off our new haircuts, and enjoying a thankful libation. Tra la. It’s May.
It is an opportunity to drink Prosecco in the form of mimosas. Deelish. https://cookieandkate.com/2017/best-mimosa-recipe/
We won’t be entertaining a crowd, but sometimes it is nice to have a little bowl of punch all made and ready for guests. I have a vintage, thrift shop, sterling, sailing trophy that I use for a punch bowl. I like polishing silver in anticipation of an event. There is something festive about punch. Especially with floating strawberries, which are right in season now.
Is it too early for an icy blender drink? That is a ridiculous question. Of course not. Haul out the blender and rustle up some ice: https://www.thespruceeats.com/may-day-cocktail-recipe-760543
The best food at cocktail parties is finger food. It is hard enough to hold onto a drink, so who can manage an additional plate, napkin, and fork or knife? I know I have little inclination, or skill, for that balancing act. There are only so many flat areas on our back porch, anyway. We can line up a few platters of treats, and then retire to our respective corners during this tentative foray back into society.
With Cinco de Mayo happening next week, it is the perfect time to have a little Mexican food: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/g19876275/mexican-recipes/
I love fresh pink radishes, especially outdoors, dipped in a little Maldon salt. This recipe is more sophisticated and swish: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/radishes-with-herbed-salt-and-olive-oil-56389336
It used to be that pigs-in-blankets were essential party food, especially when we were entertaining other parents, who had their children in tow. There aren’t any children coming over this weekend, but we can remember the delightful times we had with them: https://www.marthastewart.com/1047656/pigs-blankets
A little more elegant, and very spring-y, are asparagus spears wrapped with Prosciutto ham and phyllo dough. No silverware necessary: https://food52.com/recipes/3998-asparagus-wrapped-in-phyllo-and-prosciutto
This event can be a nice little bit of practice for our re-introduction into society. I am looking forward to some real life, real-time experiences. It will be good to see your smiling face again.
“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”
― Ernest Hemingway