If you have never been to a binge-watching party, you don’t know what you are missing. Of course, the subject of the binge has to be one of your obsessions like Paul Dinello is to me. Imagine inundated yourself with frame after frame of your favorite movie and scene after scene in glorious repetition. It is a crazy concept but loads of fun. Tonight I am hosting Strangers with Candy, aficionados welcome only. I am careful about my guest list and don’t want anyone mocking my taste.
The party will be one-dimensional in every sense of the word. What I will vary will be the snack menu. I usually have Chex mix, nuts, sweets, or ice cream. For something different, I am going to attempt the almost impossible—homemade bread. It is not an easy task, even with the best bread machine around. I will acquire this from my super talented mother who excels in the kitchen in a way that I do not. It has made more than a few fabulous steaming loaves. She has let me in on her secrets and has demonstrated the necessary skills to succeed. I want everyone to be full of accolades as they down the fresh pillowy bites. A little butter, a spoonful of jam and you have the makings of a masterful snack that everyone likes. I think people will say that it is the gesture that counts if they would prefer another option. I dare someone to avoid at least a smidgeon.
The bread is going to be basic white made with buttermilk and cream. If you let it rise properly and knead it to death, it is sure to come out quite fine. I think I am going to take a big step forward and provide the makings for sandwiches. There will be sliced cheese and deli meats and all the usual condiments: mayonnaise, catsup, and relish. I am going all out to provide a well-laden table that will beckon with its tantalizing smells. So as not to interrupt the movie, guests will have to make their sandwiches either before or shortly after. No talking during the film is allowed, and no clattering of utensils and plates.
Do you think making your own bread is too ambitious? Not when you want to wow a crowd! Making a cake from scratch is pretty mundane. Cookies are beyond boring. I have chosen to follow a more complex road, one that will bear fruit if I do my work right. I have to preheat the oven to the exact temperature so as not to under or overbake the bread. When it comes out of the oven, I hope people will be able to witness the marvel of the way it overtakes a room. What miracle ingredient is in it that makes it smell so divine. Binge night is sure to be one evening to remember. I may never do it again. You can do too much of a good thing.