Oh, my Lord. They were all there. In the post directly below you will note my fear that Julie Hendrix, Donna Stokes Rogers and Wanda Woolen would show up at the Women of St. Paul’s meeting earlier tonight, expressly to steal the thunder away from my Goat Cheese, Peach and Bacon Bites. In fact, as I approached Susan Cowperthwaite’s front door, Wanda was right in front of me.
I think she had a killer nut bread and cream cheese spread, but I was too disoriented to be sure. I immediately headed for the bar to get a glass of Pinot Grigio to steady my nerves. As I headed to the kitchen to warm up my Bites, I ran into Julie Hendrix. No! This can not be happening to me! She has this amazing salad, with spinach, hearts of palm, sun-dried tomatoes and tortilla strips. I set out my Bites and surveyed the rest of the competition.
Damn (I’m going to have a lot of rosaries to say for this), but Fran Osteen made gougères! Who does that? “Yes,” I imagine her thinking, “I’ll just whip up a little pâte à choux, load it down with some Gruyère, and pop them into the oven. No sweat.” I am ashamed to say I ate four of them. In a row.
And then Donna Stokes Rogers arrives. I can’t see what she’s brought, but she looks down at my Bites and I could swear she smiled and winked at me. As if to say, I’m here now. Show me what you’ve got. In the nicest possible way, of course.
And that wasn’t all. Somebody brought hot pimento cheese dip. Someone else brought Charleston crab dip. And then there was the marinated Gulf shrimp, homemade bread and butter pickles, lemon curd tartlets and Marida Stearns’ infamous Cheddar and fresh mozzarella slices drizzled with a savory marinade involving peppers and Who Knows What Else that makes them irresistible.
There was so much food that it spread from the dining room table to several sideboards and a kitchen counter. I headed back to the wine table to fortify myself. I was over-matched. Way over-matched.
However, I will say this. When it was clearly time to leave because my consumption of Pinot Grigio was reaching alarming proportions, I went to retrieve my Bites tray. They were all gone. Every last one of them. I did not check on the remainders of the other trays, fearing they too were gone and my supposed victory was hollow and meant nothing.