The party was a success—even though a few of the dishes decidedly weren’t…

For my contribution, I made a Spiced Tomato Aspic from “The ABC of Salads” cookbook. It ended up looking like congealed blood and tasting like straight tomato paste; it was so tomato-y that I could barely finish one bite. I also made a Red Hot Salad, which was even worse than the tomato aspic! Luckily the last dish I made—Pork Roast from the “Siamese Cookery” cookbook, turned out amazing. I cooked the roast in my doufeu and the pork was rendered, yet again, meltingly tender. The pork had very subtle Asian flavors, but it was delicious. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

For drinks, I served Crater Lake Vodka and Plymouth Gin martinis and boxed wine. I had a hard time deciding which boxed wine to buy, so I went with the cutest packaging. Considering it was Chardonnay AND from a box, I was pretty impressed. The wine was very drinkable and inexpensive, and the next day, I was happy there weren’t any bottles to take out to the recycling.

To round out the menu, my guests brought:
Rumaki (marinated chicken livers and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon), which were really delicious and a huge hit
Celery sticks filled with Kaukauna cheese spread and cream cheese
Tuna noodle casserole, with potato chip topping!
A delicious coffee cake
Coconut cake, with a meringue frosting
Orange Jell-O with canned mandarin oranges and cool whip topping

Even though not all the recipes turned out, we still had a great time and it was fun to test out some strange recipes. Now I’m toying with the idea of recreating TV dinner menus, like Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes and those strange and oddly delicious desserts.

Siamese Cookery Pork Roast

4 pounds pork shoulder
pineapple rind
2 teaspoons cumin
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1. Mix together cumin, garlic, pepper and salt and rub into the roast. Place rind of pineapple over roast, cover and bake at 300 for 3.5 hours.

2. When roast is done, remove and discard pineapple rind. De-fat the liquid and return to the pot. Combine soy, vinegar, brown sugar and parsley and pour over roast. Cook, uncovered for another 30-45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.