Once a year, I throw a dinner party. It’s my all-out, Pre-Thanksgiving, come-very-hungry dinner party to see our friends before the holiday craziness sets in. Of course, we get together to exchange gifts, but after Thanksgiving, between family, friends, and company parties, it’s harder to schedule a weekend dinner with everyone. So I pull out old recipes, new ones, spread out appetizers, whip up at least 3 desserts, and make a beef entree (no turkey or ham here!). I feel like I would be bragging to say it’s a scrumptious feast of homemade wonders, but I do a pretty awesome job, in all honesty. And I enjoy it, too! I love cooking for other people and giving them a good meal. I love the look on their face when I tell them that, yes, I did make the cake from scratch, along with the cinnamon ice cream.
Of course, I would be a nervous wreck if I didn’t have T to help me with the cleaning. He vacuums, wipes down the bathrooms, gets the fur off the chair legs, builds the fire, and decorates – letting me go through my kitchen schedule without worrying. This year, we celebrated Festivus, too, so there was extra decorating to be done.
There are some foods that always show up on the appetizer buffet – shrimp cocktail, a cheese plate, and nut-related munchies. This year, I added bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. T voted for bacon-wrapped scallops, but I don’t like overcooked scallops or undercooked bacon (which makes for a tricky balance), so I vetoed his idea. Also, scallops are kind of expensive (sorry, guys, but I did provide plenty of other fine foods!). Here’s the thing: it’s actually kind of hard to find a recipe for bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. Maybe because it’s so simple. Because I’m lazy, and because it’s easy, I’m just going to tell you what to do in one short paragraph.
Go buy a couple cans of whole water chestnuts. Our grocery stores keep this in the “Asian” aisle. Drain them and then dry them with a paper towel. Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce over them until they are well-marinated. Take a pack of bacon (regular, cheap bacon – not the thick, smokey kind) and cut it in half. Wrap a water chestnut with the half strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. You need the toothpick, otherwise the bacon will shrink when it cooks and will kind of slide off the chestnut. Trust me, I did a test run with and without toothpicks. Now, spread them on a baking sheet lined with foil and broil them on low for 2-3 minutes, or until the bacon looks really crisp. Then, flip the chestnuts over to crisp the bottom for another 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and place on a nice platter. These will be good even when they get cold.