Oscar menu set for four small plate courses

The bride does not like to cook. She used to pretend to like to cook because when she’d get home from work and I’d be cooking. I’d have an open bottle of wine. So she’d come sit across the bar and drink wine and snack on my latest appetizers and even chop a few things at times to put up a good appearance. But then we got sober and the wine went away. So did the Bride at dinner time.

To be fair, the bride cleans up. She doesn’t mind this at all and virtually never blasts me for all the pans I may have used. She cranks the ’80s hair bands and spends about three times as long as I would cleaning. Doddering, I call it. Only I don’t have to clean, so I don’t call it that out loud. I only say, “Wonderful! Thanks baby.”

But, despite her lack of interest in cooking, the Bride does very much like to eat what I cook — and can be a little finicky at times as well — so she does take a big interest in planning what we will eat, especially on big events.

When it comes to big events, Oscar Night is right up there. So while I was thinking of making my grandmother’s famous Big-4 Inn ravioli and apple rings, five emails with various food ideas magically appeared in my email inbox.

The ravioli will wait.

I began preparation last night, baking bread and cookies, making homemade pesto, biking to the store for produce… all the usual stuff. Because not only do I have to prepare the four-course, small-plate menu the Bride dreamed up, but I have to be her guest, as our party is being attended by two. If I’m busy in the kitchen, well, I think two is necessary for a party (to be honest, I’m not sure the Bride agrees. She will be enraptured with the Oscars. I’m ancillary. I can accept that one night a year…. still I’d rather watch too).  So I need to get everything prepped early.

Anyway, if you need some last-minute ideas for your party, here’s my menu. Photos to come later.

Course one: 3 p.m. when the Bride gets serious about “who are you wearing” and I can be out of the room all I want.

  • Baked Baby Portobellos with pesto and avocado stuffing.
  • Toasted and roasted: Toasted Pomegranate Italian Bread (an Effin Artist original, see photo above) topped with roasted tomatoes.

Course two: 4 p.m.

  • Eggplant Pizzas
  • Toasted Ravioli

Course three: 5:30 p.m. as Ellen dances on the stage.

  • Steak and Pepper Skewers
  • Sweet Potato Fries

Course four: 7:30 p.m. as the big winners hit the stage

  • Homemade Mint Ice-Cream Sandwiches. (both ice cream and cookies made from scratch… bring the A game).

Enjoy the big night. Check back for pictures of the menu and updates on the ballot contest.

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