Remember the tasty-but-ugly squash pie mess I made the other week? This, my friends, is the real deal:
This is kolokithopita a la Kathy! (Say THAT three times fast!). My aunt Kathy makes the best squash pie everrrrr. And spinach pie. And white bean dip. And so on.
So. Kathy’s son, my cousin Chris is basically a budding real estate tycoon. He’s like 25 or 26 and runs his own business and is super successful and just bought his SECOND house- and is renting out the first. And in addition to being a real estate tycoon is super awesome and funny (and ladies, single!).
So today he had the whole family, along with a bunch of his friends, over for a housewarming party. At his house. And his POOL!
Here’re my sister and my cousin Kayla loungin’ poolside (Kayla, if she has the food gene, is hiding it rather well- that’s her dinner of a slice of chicken and grapes).
I far from captured the plentitude but here are a few highlights.
First, we have my grandmother’s recipe for cheese straws, made by Kathy.
You know how even though Cheez Its are disgusting and unnatural and make your hands gross but it is still really easy to eat an entire bag of them? These cheese straws have REAL CHEESE and no fakeness and are crispy and salty and rich and so intensely addictive. It is easy to eat 50,000 of them in one sitting.
Our contribution was made by my lovely mama: this recipe for Greek quinoa salad, which was totally delicious and I highly recommend (but it makes too much dressing! Don’t use it all!). Featuring tomatoes ‘n parsley from the farmer’s market. YUM!
I was bummed that I was working all day and missed both the farmer’s market trip and the cooking :( But I did get to leave early for the party itself!
My aunt Dena’s corn salad:
I love this stuff! Fresh corn, tomato, bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, probably some other stuff, and the piece de resistance, MANGO! It is SO GOOD.
Beautiful tomato salad:
My aunt Kathy, being the mother of the host, did a lot of the hostessing, as you can imagine. And brought scads of food, including this. Those beautiful tomatoes and basil? Homegrown. From my uncle Tom’s garden. Friggin unreal. There was also a green salad with his homegrown cucumbers, and the squash pie had his homegrown squash. THE BEST!
Fab marinated tuna, avec:
Fab marinated chicken.
At parties I always do my fair share of picking, but here is at least somewhat a representation of what I ate:
Starting at your 2:00, that is fruit salad (HOW have I not had any honeydew yet this summer?! Delighted to have remedied that); tomato-basil salad; corn salad; green salad with the homegrown cucumbers as well as hearts of palm (!); bean salad; quinoa salad (gee, my family makes pretty healthy barbecue food, huh? That’s a lotta salad!); and the tuna.
And then I looked down at my plate and went !!!!!!!! I DIDN’T GET ANY SQUASH PIE! So I ran and got a large piece immediately. And then another half piece. And then the equivalent of at least another piece in kind of… picking at it.
Kathy. You win.
However, I knew there was dessert so I was actually saving room. My family takes dessert pretty seriously. Today was no exception.
Just loooooooook at my aunt Nan’s gorgey tart! Wonderful crust, lemon curd, and fresh blueberries. Soooooooo great.
My sister’s godmother Joanne’s homemade key lime pies (at your right) and Nan’s sister Michelle’s strawberry shortcake.
SO GOOD! Had some of each.
Since my family picked me up at work at the bakery on the way there, we grabbed a few cookies for the road.
12 small butter cookies along with a buttery <3 for Kathy, who totally rocked the housewarming party. Thank you for a lovely day!
(Kathy, incidentally, is a total fan of my blog. And called me a week or so ago saying she and my uncle Tom were arguing about techniques over freezing the squash pie and she had to call me in as a “food expert”. Too cute! I said you don’t have to bake it before you freeze it; that’ll just make it soggy. Freeze it unbaked, then thaw and bake it. And it was friggin’ delicious, so I was right, fortunately!)