Monday, August 08, 2005

World's Greatest Mac N Cheese, Classic Cars...

and more, graced the party yesterday for two dear friends of mine who've decided to get hitched. This was also the excuse to pay Ms. Ribs across the street for a real catering gig, which I have felt honor-bound to do since last October. It just took this long to get it together.

The warmup started Saturday morning when one of the invited guests was kind enough to drive down from Evanston and chauffeur me to Moo and Oink at 71st and Stony Island to grab the grub. Twelve pounds of chicken, four pounds of greens, five pounds of cornmeal mix, two pounds of macaroni, half a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, and some aluminum foil trays came in under $30, if memory serves. If you haven't been, you really ought to go, just for the blues blaring out of car speakers in the demo derby parking lot!

Ms. Ribs started preparations Saturday night. Alas, yours truly collapsed on the sofa post-shopping and saved the house prep for Sunday morning. Dawn graciously pitched in after we went to St. Joe's together for the 9 a.m. Mass, going early to give ourselves time. It was Dawn's first-ever Mass in English. Afterwards, she straightened up my yard while I hid the chaos inside and did some real cleaning.

The party menu was classic Southern: fried chicken, greens (w/two of the biggest hamhocks I've ever seen--thanks Moo and Oink!), cornbread, macaroni and cheese. "It's the best macaroni and cheese I've ever had in my whole life!" exclaimed one guest. A baker's dozen of us ate ourselves silly and I still have enough to make it worth taking some over to the Port shelter, where their cook is on vacation this week.

The Classic Car convergence came later in the afternoon, with the arrival of my friend we'll call Alejandro Magno in his coche, which I like to refer to as Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. He circled the block while I dug out the key to the parking pad gate, so he got to hang with the folks in the pink house and their lime-greenn 70s machine (sorry, I forget what it is exactly, but it's big). Mr. & Mrs. Green Car cast admiring glances his way, though.

Later I lost the key to the gate, again, and had to call Dawn's big brother for help. Of course the key appeared just as he arrived on his bicycle. Hopefully it was worth the trip, since Alejandro M. gave him a guided tour of Chitty's engine. Chitty is a 50s Buick. Dawn's bro pointed out the early 90s Buick that's been camped on my parking pad since they moved. They have grand plans for it. I just hope it runs well enough someday to be parked on the street without fear the city will assume its abandoned and tow it!


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