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A few weeks ago I got the urge to host a holiday dinner party for my friends, despite the fact that I live in a small apartment. My husband is an omnivore, and I half-considered serving meat, as all my guests would be omnivores and I didn't want to be "rude." But when I mentioned the thought to my husband, he told me to serve whatever the heck I wanted, that meat does not equal politeness. Such a wise man! So here's how it went.

I cleaned the living room and kitchen and spent most of the day preparing. I turned my desk into a bar with two kinds of beer, Red Truck wine, a bottle of vodka, a bottle of coconut rum, diet coke, tumblers, the crystal wineglasses we'd gotten as a wedding present, and ice cubes. People started showing up around 5:30 pm. I had made cucumber and avocado sushi rolls, crudites, and edamame for appetizers and put them out in these cute porcelain appetizer dishes I got at the Bargain Store for, like, $2.50 a set. My playlist was Frank Sinatra, Rusted Root, Blues Traveler and Dido.

The table was just a long folding table Jason (my husband) uses as a desk. I covered it with a white sheet and then a yellow crocheted tablecloth my mom's mom made for me. I also had a boquet of white 'mums and some green votives for decorations.

After everyone had mingled and snacked and had a few drinks, Jason helped clear the appetizer table and we moved it to the center of the living room. Everyone brought their chairs around and I set it with salad and bread plates from my good china set and silverware. My dad's mom had left me both the china and the silver, and this was the first time I had used it.
We had a simple green salad with balsalmic-maple dressing (homemade) and dinner rolls (store bought) to start.

When everyone was done Jason cleared the table again and set out dinner plates. I brought out the giant china serving platter covered with baked portabella caps covered with an almond sauce from How It All Vegan, and everyone oohed and aahed. I was going to make a fancy pasta dish too, but I decided it would be too much work, so I also had rotini and store-bought sauce. I didn't have a china serving bowl, so I used the covered vegetable dish as a pasta bowl. Refreshed the dinner rolls as well. Everyone cleaned their plates, and a few people took seconds. One guest told me he didn't think he liked portabellas until he tasted mine. He ate two helpings of the mushroom bake!

Then Jason cleared the plates again and I brought out a little china tray with homemade sugar cookies for everyone. Offered tea but no one wanted any. We nibbled cookies and chatted for a while, then played cards and board games until the guests left.

I was exhausted afterwards but it was so much fun and I'd definitely do it again! The store-bought dinner rolls and the wine were probably not vegan, and the china was bone china, but it was a meat, egg, and dairy-less dinner. The only bad part was it took four sinkfuls of water to clean all the dishes. Bah!
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