Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dinner Party Disasters: True Stories of Culinary Catastrophe by Annaliese Soros and Abigail Stokes

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The blurb:
What do you do when the lobsters in your lobster bake pull a crustacean Houdini and escape into the ocean?  When your attempt at cantina cuisine ends with the arrival of the fire department at your door?  When one of your guests drops dead in the doorway?

In Dinner Party Disasters, Annaliese Soros (the ex-wife of financier George Soros and a highly regarded hostess in her own right), collects the funniest, most horrific disaster stories ever to befall people gathered for the seemingly simple purpose of breaking bread together.  In some cases, crisis is converted into triumph; in others, disaster prevails.  In all cases, however, guests and hosts experience an evening they will never forget.

Sidebars offer exceedingly practical solutions to the problems, ranging from the ordinary -- how to create the right ambiance using light and candles, or how to manage a drunken guest - to the somewhat unusual --- how to clean and gut a game bird should you have to shoot your own.

Analiese Soros' Dinner Party Disasters is a small carefully edited volume with 90 short pages of teaching anecdotes.  Soros collected 18 believable stories from hosts and hostesses.  Told with self-depricating humor, we get practical advice on how to keep one's guests at ease even during the most difficult and embarrassing moments.   Grace and humor help to keep disaster, if not at bay, from ruining an evening.  It's a tiny gem of a book with lovely illustrations and an interesting parting gift of a list for an "Anti-Catastrophe Pantry".  

  • ISBN-10: 0810993368 - Hardcover $14.95
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (May 1, 2007), 96 pages. 
  • Review copy courtesy of the authors.

About the Authors:
Analiese Soros moved to New York City from Germany in 1955. Not long after, she became interested in entertaining upon attending a dinner party given by a Brazilian friend who somehow produced an incredible eight course meal from a kitchen the size of a broom closet.  The competitive Analiese immediately hit the cookbooks, and has been entertaining ever since.  Her skills as a hostess have been utilized frequently for evens in support of her musical interests; she is a longterm supporter of Young Concert Artists, the New York City Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera, among others.  She was married to the financier George Soros for eighteen years.

Abigail Stokes is a writer, teacher, and serial entertainer who lives in New York City.

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