Forty-one years later, and I still remember our first…slightly disastrous…dinner party.

Thankfully, I was able to laugh then with everyone else and still think it’s funny. We had invited Bill’s parents, sister and grandmother to be our first dinner guests.

Bill and Penny cutting up as usual.  Lots of laughter.  Frank, Bobbie and Granny.  1967

As I vividly remember all these years later, Bill and I had spent the morning cleaning our little duplex apartment. It was late Autumn and between classes and working part-time for each of us, there wasn’t a lot of time to do housework.  But now, everything was clean and polished and ready for company.

I certainly hadn’t perfected “cooking” yet, but had a few things I could do pretty well by then. I had prepared “Phony Spumoni”, an Italian gelatin salad in a triple tier mold that morning, as well as potato salad, and set them in the apartment’s ancient refrigerator.

Using a covered stoneware pot we’d received as a wedding gift, I’d made baked beans in the oven, and then prepared Southern fried chicken. I don’t remember for sure, but I believe we must have had hot biscuits and a dessert.

Our dinner guests arrived. We enjoyed visiting a little while and then it was time for dinner. First, it was time to unmold the “phony Spumoni”. I took it out of the fridge and turned it over onto a serving platter and a bed of greens. Splatter…splatter…splat…went the top two tiers of the spumoni. The old fridge had not done its job. We scooped up what we could that looked somewhat chilled, but the presentation had lost its effect.

I took the stoneware beanpot out of the oven and set it on top of the old gas stovetop. It burst. Yep. Beans went everywhere.

We all laughed and laughed, then ate what was left intact: fried chicken, potato salad, soupy spumoni and biscuits.

 

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