Housewarming Party

We had a large group of family and friends (mostly family) over on Saturday for our official housewarming shindig. I expected around 15 people, and my objective was to keep the food part of it as stress-free as possible, while still keeping it local.

Here's the crowd. We tested the limits for what our patio can hold.

I had a busy but enjoyable morning. I rarely get Saturdays off, so this was a happy exception. I went to the farmer's market on the square (the big one) to purchase supplies for dinner. Heading to market, I really wasn't sure what I'd be serving. I figured I'd see what was there and wing it. I came home with nine half chickens, 1lb of chicken wings, about 4lb of these new red potatoes (skins haven't even set yet), three kinds of nice artisan cheese, one small smoked rainbow trout, 1lb of shelled peas, a good amount of summer squash, some small spring onions, one beautiful head of radicchio (for garnish), and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.

The Saturday market on the square is amazing in its diversity and number of vendors. I don't, however, think that I would go every week even if I didn't have to work. There are usually a ton of people there (which isn't a bad thing really), and it gets really really crowded. Just walking down the sidewalk becomes extremely difficult if you are trying to move any faster than a snail's pace. This is OK for a while, but gets pretty old, especially whey you're carrying all of the things I mentioned above. I really wish that they would just close down the square to traffic so the market could happen on the street....wishful thinking I know.

On the way home I stopped at The Batch Bakehouse and picked up a few baguettes. After dropping everything off at home, I headed to Sun Prairie to pick up the ice cream cake I had ordered from Sassy Cow Creamery.

The day proved to be a little too hectic to take many pictures. Below are some shots of the finished feast. First, the hour devours.....

Eight year cheddar, farmer's cheese, and a round of soft sheep's cheese.

A gorgeous (and delicious) smoked trout. I wasn't sure if I should serve it with the head, but it seemed like the thing to do. It was a hit!

We ate the fish and the trout with the baguette from The Batch.

For the chicken I whipped up a large batch of my favorite apple-butter BBQ sauce. Apple butter, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. That's it. I have no idea what proportions. I just mix it until it tastes right.

Chicken on the grill. Dave brought over his new grill (or new to him at least, Meg his girlfriend found it on Craigslist) I didn't want to burn the BBQ sauce, so I dry-rubbed the chicken ahead of time, and he cooked it over low heat sans sauce. He added the BBQ sauce and more heat at the end. It turned out absolutely perfect.

Fresh summer squash on the grill is simply divine.

Mom brought this lovely garden salad.

My potato salad. I tossed in some local broccoli and carrots that I had on hand along with the peas from market, fresh garden dill, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Simple.

Grandpa brought this beefy potato salad, an old family recipe. Yum.

Grilled to perfection. No joke.

It was success! I was done with all the major cooking before anyone arrived, which was exactly what I was going for. It was local, it was relatively easy, and it was delicious.

It was dark by the time we had the ice cream cake, so I didn't get pictures. Black raspberry and chocolate ice cream with a bit of chocolaty cake in between. Wow.

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