Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bite By Bite

A professional volunteer (such as yours truly) goes to a lot of "events." Fundraisers mostly, these gatherings are in lovely homes, around pools, in galleries. They sometimes support a charity. Sometimes they are related to a cause. Other times it's about a person.

For me, it's about the food.

I've always been about bite-sized bits. Love 'em. Since learning that not all restaurants serve the entres wrapped in paper and their drinks in paper cups with plastic lids, I discovered the meals that could be made out of the appetizer section of the menu. Later in life, I learned I was into what those in Spain call "tapas." Who knew I was so cross cultural while chowing down at Fridays?

So party food hits me square on the palate. Take the napkin and fill it with the array of tiny morsels wrapped in wontons, tidied up with tarts, rolled to perfection, or dipped for your dining pleasure.

I feel therefore it's my duty to report a recent trend.

Two events less than 24 hours apart netted me a bounty of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.

While keeping you posted on culinary trends might add a few pounds to my ever widening hips, I know an obligation when I see one and I'm ready to take one for the team (as long as it's not softball, see below).

And though I've come a few miles from Greenfield and now wear a cocktail dress and make small talk with the best of them, I must confess a fact. Every time I see that asparagus and realize its cost as well as that of the upscale ham that hugs it so tightly, I can't help but think of Grandmother. She used to pull to the side of the country roads so we could stop and pick the wild asparagus that grew freely there. She'd then come home and add some Campbells Cream of Something and top it with some cheddar and Saltines and voila! we had ourselves some asparagus casserole. The ham was reserved for biscuits the next morning.

Gotta tell you ... might have traveled a few miles but if she were here right now and set one of her kitchen treasures before me, I'd eat every last bite.

Bite-sized bliss comes in many forms.

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