Holiday Host's Diary #2: Bed, Bath, and Slab Bacon

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My party for forty in my 650 square foot apartment is just four days away.

Here's some sources that I count on when I'm cooking for a crowd:

  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • While I am not a fan of big box stores, my weekend trips to Bed Bath & Beyond will make serving this large crowd more affordable.

    My partner and I want our guests to eat off "real" plates and drink from glass glasses. Ever year, we re-stock our supply of Nuance Stemware Sets. They're just $9.99 a dozen. With the 20% off coupons that are floating around this time of year, that's $7.99 or just 66 cents a glass.

    But don't buy the red wine glasses from this line ...The red wine glasses in this line look dumpy and un-generous. I use the white wine glasses for red too. Don't forget to open the case and look for broken ones before you buy, just like eggs.

    At Bed, Bath & Beyond, I also picked up some serving spoons for $7.99 each and 15 glass plates for $.99 each. They aren't stunning stuff, but I didn't want to over-spend on something that we'd only use a couple times of year. The cut glass look of these cheap plates will blend with my clear glass Fostoria American good dishes.

  • Citarella
  • I tested my Christmas Estouffade of Beef recipe on Sunday. The recipe requires slab bacon. Slab bacon is different from standard pre-sliced bacon and isn't available in any of my local grocery stores. I knew it was available at Schaller and Weber uptown, but I was so happy to save a trip. I found Schaller and Weber's slab bacon hiding in the deli case at Citarella in the Village.

    Is the stereotype true that guys hate asking for directions? I really don't like asking people in stores where things are, but I'm sure glad I asked the butcher at Citarella for slab bacon or I never would have known they carried it.

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  • Global Table
  • I'd like to have pretty salad servers. I'm convinced they will encourage more people to dig into the salad. Since I'm under budget on glassware, I'm heading to Global Table at lunch to see what I can find.

  • Western Beef
  • My Christmas stew recipe also calls for pigs feet. I went to Western Beef last night and bought a pack of pig's trotters and four beef chuck roasts of 5 pounds each. Yes, I would have prefered to serve beef from a place like Niman Ranch, but their roasts coast about three times more than the meat I bought at Western Beef. The meats goes for a 36 hour soak in coganac and red wine tomorrow morning.

    I'm making some changes to the menu based on your suggestions from my last party post. I'll finalize the menu and post that tomorrow.

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