12/6/08

4 Courses - 4 Homes!


Yesterday smack-dab in the middle of the day I was caught up in errands, rushing around buying last minute parsnips, rutabagas and a few other miscellaneous items for our Progressive Dinner tonight. Distracted by the Christmas rush and frustrated with the traffic I had a few seconds to quickly text my son Elliot who was at school, with a Christmas gift idea that had just popped into my head.

He texted me right back, "No thank u Mi Mi what do u want?"

That made me pull the car over right then. Not only was my 16 year-old son not thinking about himself, he was thinking about me! The text changed my whole perspective as I texted him back that I loved him.

My mind immediately moved from material to spiritual. It also moved me into a thankful mode, as I remembered back to the last 2 Mexico mission trips that changed my son's outlook on life and how fortunate we really are. It also reminded me of the one Mexico mission trip that I took as a young woman in my 20s, which was a life-changing experience for me!

Even in these teenage years, my son is getting it. I will admit he's learned through tangible experiences far more than I ever knew at his age.

Yes, Elliot’s text stopped me dead in my tracks and got me thinking in the right direction.


So salmon, green beans, parsnips and rutabagas were purchased yesterday, for preparation for my part of the meal, and a new silver candle for the center of the dining table (oops, I broke my rule of not buying anything new!), as the busyness of the day consumed me while I crossed off 8 destinations from my "to do" list.

Finally, in the quiet of the evening last night close to midnight, I was able to enjoy one of my most favorite elements of entertaining. I set the table in preparation of my guests coming tonight.


Tonight is a night that my husband and I look forward to all year long. It's been a tradition for 5 years to be one of the couples of this progressive dinner group, as we partake of 4 courses in 4 different homes.

I'm the lucky "main course" chef tonight. And the beauty is: I only had to come up with 3 dishes - not 3 courses! I'm using old "standby" recipes because not only are they tasty, but they are familiar!

The other positive aspect of having a progressive dinner during the holiday season is that each home is festive and uniquely decorated. Even the Christmas music being played is different - some classical, some jazz, and even traditional. Each home has an elegance of its own and an exceptional flavor of food!


As we progress from house to house, I already know how we’ll be celebrating. We’ll be celebrating the Babe from Bethlehem, and the anticipation of His birth. We’ll be toasting the gift of many years of friendships.

And significantly important will be this: the way we connect, how we talk, and why we love.

Yes, it will be 4 delicious courses, around 4 amazing tables!

Have you ever been part of a progressive dinner group, or is it something you’d like to try? I'd love to hear your story!


(marinating salmon – YUM!)

31 comments:

Lori said...

What main courses did you make? Sounds like fun!

Lori said...

Clarification :obviously salmon, but did you make 2 other dishes, or 3 dishes of salmon?

Carmen said...

I have never taken part in a progressive dinner party, although I have heard about one from a friend. It sounds wonderful. Your table is beautiful. Enjoy!

RosyRose said...

Not one like this...I really like the idea a lot! Would you want to ouline the specifics so some of us "wanna be's" could copy you:)

Holly said...

I haven't ever taken part in a Progressive Dinner, but what a great idea! I am going to have to give one a try. I don't know you, but I just wanted to say thank you for the beautiful inspiration that you share. Really, what a blessing you are to so many. You make entertaing do-able and remind us all what this life is really about. Thank you so much & Merry Christmas!

K :) Family Historian said...

Several years ago, I did one with a total of four couples who were all going together on a cruise in January of '06. We started at my home for appetizers, moved to the next for soup and salad, then the main dish, and finally dessert and cards at the last home. We kept an Italian theme running throughout each course. It was so fun!

ohio12 said...

I cannot believe this. I think that you have the same dishes as I do. Of course, in my case, it is my only set! Are they Mikasa?

I wanted to say too that I liked your post about toning things down this year. I have decided to do that too. My husband works a lot so in order to spend more time with him, I told him not to put up the outside decorations this year. We would rather have him for those two Saturday mornings (one to put up, one to take down) than have the decorations this year.

Kim said...

I have been involved a couple of different times in a progressive dinner. The first time was with my junior high youth group (and we walked from house to house). Then, I was involved with another progressive dinner with my small group, during my single years. Both were special in there own way. I would love to start this tradition with friends!

Mary said...

Hi Sandy,

This sounds like so much fun - do you actually move from house to house in the same night? And do you all live relatively close by?

You are such an inspiration!

Maryann said...

I love the idea of a progressive dinner. Your table is beautiful :)

~j~ said...

Sandy, the table looked absolutely gorgeous and good call on the silver candle, it's perfect. I loved,loved,loved, that story of E!
and i love even more that it made you pull over! :)) that's awesome.
xo
j

Anonymous said...

Mi Mi??

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

I was involved in a progressive dinner once years ago.

My son also blessed me on Thanksgiving day when we were sharing with friends and other family what we were thankful for.

He shared something he was thankful for...about us, his parents. A quiet and reserved 12 year old boy, sharing something so real, in front of so many others and for it to have to do with us meant so much.

Moments such as these are truly ones to treasure!

Heather said...

We do progressive dinner groups out here and they are so much fun!
I just love the perspective that you got from your son's sweet text! If all teenagers could be as thoughtful! it comes from good parenting!

Miss G said...

What a wonderful post. I love that there is such a continuing theme out here in blogland of each of us trying to really focus keep our minds balanced and to have the right perspective of this season. Thank you for your words.

I can remember in high school first hearing about progressive dinners and thinking that was the absolute end all be all of great ideas. We had a "progressive dinner" after prom. My date and I went with four other couples. Actually everyone but me went to the same church so everyone knew each other. After our prom we went to one friend's parent's house to change out of our finery and into comfy clothes and hang out a little bit, we came to my parents house for fondue and cards, we went to another friend's parent's house to hang out a while longer, then we went to one last friend's parent's house to watch a movie (during which most of us fell asleep all over the living room) and then for breakfast before going home. It was a fun experience and we were all with parents instead of out at some hotel with a bunch of other high schoolers. Kelly

Lora said...

I hope you had a great time! I have participated/planned a couple of progressive dinners (one for a large Sunday school class where we actually had 3 sets of dinners going simultaniously!). Last year was our first one with our current small group and we are doing it again this coming Friday. We are having 3 courses/3 houses.

1st course is appetizers/finger foods. 2nd course is salad/main entree/sides. 3rd course is dessert and that's what I'm hosting. After dessert we also do a fun gift exchange.

Rhonda said...

Our Christmas Party for our Youth group for the past few years has been a progressive dinner. We asked them this year if they wanted to do something different, and they didn't. They love it. They have so much fun driving from house to house. Last year one of the girls made up Christmas music cds for each of the drivers so that the kids could sing while in the cars.

Jen said...

We have done Progressive Dinners at Christmas with Sunday School in the past...they are alot of fun.

Robin said...

Our Sunday School class does a Progressive Dinner every year. We always host the appetizers at our home. This year the date is on a school night so I have bowed out. I'm a little bummed not to be hosting, but with two little ones underfoot I realize my limitations. I would drive myself nuts trying to get everything ready in just a few short hours. So this year I will just be a guest!!

Blessings,
Robin

Your table looks beautiful!!

linda t said...

Oh Sandy, I agree, those Mexico Mission trips were life-changing for my kids too. I thank God for the new perspective... they started looking outward... the importance of serving, giving, sacrificing... thinking of as others as more important than themselves.
We are so blessed Sandy.
My heart is overflowing...

Melanie said...

I'm with RosyRose, could you give the logistics? Did you go to the other homes prior to your course being served?

Chris said...

A few friends in my neighborhood are having a progressive cocktail party this Friday. It sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Hugs,
Chris

Sarah Herman said...

Every new years eve about 18 of our closest friends hold a progressive dinner from 7-12 midnight we start w/ appetizers then move onto the next house for main course then onto my house for dessert and to ring in the new year. It is a lovey way to ring in the new year surrounded by dear friends. I hope others are inspired to do a progressive dinner, it is a great way to start entertaining without the stress of preparing a whole dinner.

RefreshMom said...

I love progressive dinners. We used to do them with our high school group, but I do want to do the "grown up" version. I think it's a great solution for people (like us) whose houses aren't big enough to host 10 for dinner; I can't seat a big group, but could manage appetizers or dessert. It shares the cost and the time involved and lets each home share the "host" honors, especially at Christmas when things are decorated, you pull out the special dishes, etc.

I've been on a few of those life changing Mexico missions trips too.How exciting to see your son "getting it." I pray the same for mine one day...

Christy said...

I love progressive dinners. They just don't seem to happen as much anymore... everyone is too busy I think. I love your idea of doing this at Christmas. Perhaps next year, I could talk a few of my friends into joining me on this.

Great story about your son too!

duchess said...

Sounds like a great idea & your son just melts my heart.

willzmom said...

ble looks lovely-as usual. I have been a part of a progressive dinner-I prefer apps or dessert-and they are so much fun. Thanks for sharing yours with all of us.

Haley said...

I love progressive dinners they are so much fun..... one year we did a regressive dinner and it was a neat twist.... we had dessert first!

Grace said...

wait a tick--he calls you mi mi? i love it. :)

Betts said...

Progressive dinner are popular here with snowmobile riders here, but we're not a part of that. Since we're rural, the distance between houses can be troublesome in planning something like that, but it sounds like fun.

Live.Love.Eat said...

This is such a wonderful idea. I really love it! I hope to do this some time as we get to know more people in our area.