How can you measure success for a dinner like this? Everything came out perfectly? Everything got to the table at the correct temperature? The kids didn't all beg for Cokes despite the fact that we'd made what we thought was some very cool fruit-juice punch? No....by those measures, we wouldn't have been so happy with the results. Nothing's perfect, and kids just love them some Coke. So how did I measure success? By the fact that at least one person from every family asked me for a recipe, and where to find their own local Green Market. That was awesome.
What wasn't perfect? The playlist I'd made didn't really work; the kids needed to put on the TV, and D got absorbed in a Monopoly game that lasted for hours while I was busy playing hostess. We neglected to put pepitas in the pumpkin soup, ruined the mashed cauliflower, and forgot to tell people about the creamed onions until well into the second set of servings. But none of that really mattered.
We had about 25 people over in our modest Gowanus apartment and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves--they all left with a generous bag of leftovers. The last guests left around midnight, and we ended the evening by cleaning while listening to our playlist. We were thankful we did it when we woke up to a clean house the next morning.
The last thing I made before the guests arrived was a yogurt dip for the crudite. I made it with a Lebanese strained yogurt called Labne that we got at Damascus Bakery with lemon juice, paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, scallions, and a touch of sugar. A great alternative to a sour cream dip--the same consistency, but a lot healthier.