In New England, Fall is the prettiest season and one of the best places to enjoy it is on the golf course. The trees are a glorious reds, yellows and oranges and you can usually count on at least one seasonably warm autumn day to plan a golf outing. We do it every year and it is one of the most fun times all year even if you don’t golf. We have had many players who have never swung a club and are usually playing with a vintage set. I usually limit it to 10 couples.
We play a nine hole scramble with one caveat – Each team must use everyone’s drive at least twice. That way everyone feels they are contributing. I mix up couples so no one is playing with a spouse and make the teams as even as possible. I collect $20 per couple and award prizes to the Winning team and the winners of the most accurate drive and closest to the hole for both men and women. When the weather cooperates, most of us walk getting the most of the beautiful fall scenery and some exercise to boot! At the conclusion of the golf we made our way back to our house for the pot luck buffet. The conversation was lively as we laughed about our golfing “prowess” and vowed that next year we’d all take a lesson or two!
This year I provided grilled pork tenderloin. This is a real crowd pleaser, and if you purchase it at BJ’s or Costco you can buy a lot of them quite inexpensively. A friend served up marinaded chicken breast with white BBQ sauce. I delegated the rest of the buffet offerings to my guests. Our menu was minestrone soup which was a perfect party starter, serving it in paper coffee cups. We had two appetizers, two salads, a vegetable casserole and cookies for dessert. What was great was that it was the perfect amount of food – we had plenty with hardly any leftovers. I always like that, I hate filling my refrigerator with leftovers that never get eaten.
I find that those who don’t entertain much tend to have too much food. Either it is thrown out or put up as leftovers. Either way it usually is wasted.
TIP: When the food is gone, its gone. Don’t bring out more to replenish because chances are your guests have eaten all that they will eat.
I would like to share two of the recipes from that night:
Summer squash casserole:
My friend, Mary Ellen is always asked to bring this – it feeds a lot and tastes yummy. It coordinates well with most any entree. Preheat the oven to 350 and spray an Oblong casserole dish.
Slice 2 lbs zucchini and/or summer squash. Chop up one medium onion and add a cup of shredded carrot. Steam until tender, drain and set aside.
Mix 1 cup sour cream with a can of condensed cream of chicken soup
Add to this mixture the drained squash mixture.
Melt 1/2 cup butter or margarine and stir into 1/2 of an 8 oz bag of seasoned stuffing.
Spoon the squash mixture into the oblong pan and cover with stuffing mixture.
Bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered.
The White BBQ sauce can be used with pork as well and my neighbor Kristin actually marinade the chicken in it until ready to grill. She found this recipe in How to Grill Cookbook by Steven Raichlen We put the remaining sauce out to be spooned over the chicken if desired.
1 tsp coarse salt, or more to taste
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbls. minced onion
1 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, more to taste
Combine the salt pepper, sugar, onion and garlic in a small nonreactive mixing bowl and mash to a paste with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the mayo and vinegar. Taste for seasoning, adding salt or vinegar as necessary. Transfer the sauce to clean jar and store in refrigerator for 4 to 5 days