Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Adopt-A-Family Holiday Party

This weekend Susan and I are getting organized for the annual Adopt-A-Family Holiday Party we host at our home. I can't believe it's only three weeks from today. Our party is scheduled for Saturday, December 6. With Thanksgiving between now and our holiday party, I always joke that every single plate, pot, pan, and piece of silverware receives a thorough cleaning.

This year will be the ninth annual party. The tradition started with Susan's college friends. Rather than purchase gifts for each other, they decided to do what their parents taught them and decided to share with others who are less fortunate.

How does it work?

Susan and I invite friends over for dinner on us. In exchange, our friends contribute a donation of non-perishable food items and/or daily hygiene items such as toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. These items are always in need at our local shelters. Yes, even in DuPage County. We also ask for a financial donation to purchase gifts for the family or families we adopt. In the past we have set a targeted donation amount. This year we opened the donation amount. We ask our guests to consider what they would spend to go out to a special dinner. Since we contribute to the Elmhurst Walk-In Ministry (a non-denominational organization) and the DuPage County Convalescent Center, all donations are tax-deductible. Each year I'm amazed at people's generosity.

Around 3-3:30 p.m., the early crowd drives over to Target and goes shopping. With lists in hand, we divide and conquer the store. Yes, guys buy the toys and the girls buy clothes. Just works out better that way. We return to our house and wrap presents.

Around 7:30 p.m. it's time to eat. This year's menu is:

Veggies with dip
Baked goat cheese (my personal favorite)
Cheese puffs

Main course...
Balsamic onions with blue cheese
Pasta with sun-dried tomatoes
Roast pork with fennel
Mustard roasted potatoes
Applesauce (from apples Susan and I hand-picked at Edward's Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove, IL)
Chicken potpie

A variety of red and white wines
Good beers (Fat Tire, 312, Matilda, etc.)
Egg nog
Numerous Pepsi products

homemade cookies
Chocolate mousse

I wish we had some fellow Humzooers in the area to invite. Hey ozthegreat, you're the only one close. The more, the merrier. And I'm sure it goes without saying that even if you can't join us on the 6th, if you want to donate, we are more than happy to accept your donation.

Happy (almost) Holidays
Susan & Bill

Sounds like a wonderful party and a fun way to give back to others.Please share some of your recipes. I'm especially intersted in the goat chesse and balsamic onions.
dannie   Saturday, November 15, 2008
I would also LOVE to have the balsamic onion recipe.
Snelly   Saturday, November 15, 2008
Make that Roast Pork be either a Smithfield or Gwaltney Brand loin or roast. Also, I am disapointed to see no Butterball Turkey from Eastern North Carolina. Do you limit the consumption of "adult beverages"?
BeanCounter37   Saturday, November 15, 2008
Perhaps that turkey can be at Thanksgiving.
Bill Pearch   Saturday, November 15, 2008
Sounds like an awesome idea. Even more important this year. The meal sounds fabulous and all the shopping and gathering sounds like more of a thanks-giving than any I can imagine. Great way of sharing and enjoying for the occasion!!
LGrant   Saturday, November 15, 2008
Bean, there's no limit on beverages. We have enough responsible people, so everyone gets home safely.

For those interested in recipes, I'll have to type them up. Most of them come from the Barefoot Contesa cookbooks. The balsamic onions come from the "Barefoot Contesa Parties!" book. Ina is one of Susan's favorites.
Bill Pearch   Saturday, November 15, 2008
Bill, you are a trusting soul. In NC the host and hostess are responsible for accidents by guests until they get home.
BeanCounter37   Saturday, November 15, 2008
What a great idea, Bill!! What a wonderful way to give back to your friends and the community.
Sarah S.   Saturday, November 15, 2008
I love this idea! Hope it's a great success!
ChinaCalling   Sunday, November 16, 2008
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