Wednesday, June 6, 2012

progressive dinner in the n'hood

last summer, i got the idea to reinvent the progressive dinners i remember my parents attending with church friends. i mentioned it to two other neighbors, and we decided it'd be a fun way to meet more of our neighbors. we finally got around to it this past weekend, where each couple invited 2 other couples within our few-block radius.

we started at our house for cocktails + apps before walking the 2 blocks to SJ's. from there, we headed to Annalee's for dessert + coffee. we had a blast. even cricket, who wasn't sure about entertaining a bunch of people we'd never met, had a good time!

our theme
southern fare (it's just so easy)

the menu
apps: caprese skewers, melon + mint, and pimento cheese pinwheels (stay tuned for that recipe. easy & delish!)
cocktail: john daly (firefly vodka + simply lemonade)
i gave everyone a plastic tumbler to keep as their "roadie" for the evening. the cups were color-coded by couple so we knew who "belonged" with whom.

main course: chicken + pulled pork sliders with slaw + veggies. SJ was able to cook these in a slow-cooker so they would be safely cooking while we were at the first house. YUM!
cocktail: pomegranate punch

dessert: banana puddin' (with nilla wafers, duh)
cocktail: coffee bar with all your fave libations

the neighbors
at first, i felt like a total slacker because i didn't have anyone to invite. why? because i don't know my neighbors. all the more reason to host this party. but who should i invite? well, i hand-picked two houses on our street, where we've seen the neighbors & think we could get along with them for some reason or another. so, i left handwritten notes in each of their mailboxes, addressed to "neighbor" for lack of a better name. i didn't hear back from either of them so i was afraid the mailman stole my invites. i was a little disheartened that none of my invitees were going to attend. but then, eureka! i got a call Friday afternoon to confirm two attendees from across the street. YAHOO!! we CAN make friends!

we had a great group of people, including a last-minute add-on who closed on his new house in the hood the day prior. hopefully he's not regretting his new mortgage after a night with the resident lunatics.

the verdict
a roaring success!! we spent about an hour, to hour and a half at each house. at least until the late-night. we met new couples who we'll actually recognize on the street. and now we know our neighbors!!!


  1. I love it - and I've been wanting to do one in our hood. Tell me this - do you like your drink dispenser and has it been reliable (non-leaky)? If so, let me know where you got it!

    1. It was a lot of fun, Katy! I love my drink dispensers. I have the one in the photo (about 1.5 gal) and 3 larger ones (3 or 4 gal). They're all glass with metal spigots, which is key. I hear the plastic spigots can be leaky. I've had them all for about 3 years and haven't had any trouble with them, except I broke a top. Oops. I bought the smaller one at a home decor store in Louisiana, and I found the larger ones at Costco several years back. I haven't seen them in a while, though. I suggest looking for one with a sturdy metal spigot if you're in the market!