If I was the lyricist of the Sound of Music, I would have included potluck dinner parties in "These are a few of my favourite things". Because although 'raindrops on roses' are pretty fabulous, they pale in comparison to the delightful experience that dinner parties provide. The chance for everyone to show off their culinary chops (or lack thereof) and share recipes gives insight into the people you've known for ages in a way conversation alone never could.
When it comes to potlucks, I'm always quick to volunteer to do dessert. Dessert is fun and provides room for plenty of creativity without infringing on gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, vegetarian territory. Also, even if you don't do a great job, everyone will most likely enjoy what you've made. Mediocre dessert is still better than no dessert at all. Which brings me to the chocolate strawberries I made for the dinner party I attended last Thursday.
I had planned to get them done Wednesday night after my student council meeting, and had thought ahead to ask my roommate to bring me back toothpicks when she went home the previous weekend. This way, the strawberries could chill in the fridge all Thursday and be ready to serve by dinnertime. Unfortunately, Murphy's law would never allow such an organised plan to follow through. My meeting ran until 11:15pm, I couldn't find the toothpicks and my roommate had already gone to bed (8am class, gross). So I improvised. I thought spaghetti would be a great substitute for toothpicks to hold up the strawberries until they set, which worked, sort of. I got about a dozen of them done before I called it a night and stuck them in the fridge, forgetting a very simple fact. Spaghetti cooks and softens in water, strawberries contain water. Therefore, spaghetti left in strawberries turns to mush, which would leave strands of weird mush for my guests to discover. Thankfully, I had a few hours between classes the next day to de-mush the ones I had made the previous night and dip many more with actual toothpicks and forgot the incident by dinnertime. Moral of the story, don't attempt to replace cooking implements after 4 hour meetings.
Chocolate dipped strawberries
Yield: 30-40ish strawberries
- 30-40 strawberries, washed, dried THOROUGHLY, and preferably chilled
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup white chocolate chips or wafers
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Sprinkles, marshmallows and whatever else your heart desires
- Toothpicks! And a large box/styrofoam
- Melt chocolate separately in the microwave in about 30 second increments, stir in between trips to the microwave
- Stir 1/2 teaspoon of oil into each type of chocolate
- Stick a toothpick into the hull side of the strawberry and dip
- Sprinkle with sprinkles, drizzle with more chocolate, be creative!
- Flip the strawberry over and stick the other end of the strawberry into a large box or piece of styrofoam to set
- Chill in the fridge until serving time ( You probably don't want to make these more than a day ahead of time, they're finicky)
- (optional) While waiting, eat all the ones you deem ugly. You can't show up to a dinner party with an ugly dessert. . .