Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.
This Week's Challenge
Well, it's holiday party season. It's a lovely time of sharing and gathering and, for hosts, of silent dread. Will I overcook the roast? Will Uncle Arnie tell his six favorite racist jokes again? I love the holidays, but every year, running on fumes halfway through cooking dinner, telling myself I'm a failure for screwing up the duck and for letting Jeremy horrify poor Esther with his unmatched well of raunch, I wonder why I endure this.
Of course, enduring the holidays is as much a tradition as celebrating them. And so this week, your challenge is this: Make a drink for when you need to calm down before the guests get there, or for when you're celebrating their departure.
And, of course, bonus points for the best holiday drinking stories.
Be sure to tag your post: SKC holiday host drinking
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for creativity, execution, appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, and touchdown-to-interception ratio.
AND NOW, LAST WEEK'S WINNER!
Last week's contestants created dishes commemorating formative political events of their lifetimes. And the winner is ...
Rebecca Farwell! For a five-course dinner in honor of Nixon's resignation, rich with culinary and linguistic punnery -- 18 minutes of missing linguine! A caught-red-handed lobster claw! -- that, all wit aside, sounds spectacularly delicious.
AND HOW ABOUT A HAND FOR OUR CATEGORY WINNERS?
In the Most Gracious Dinner Party Host category:
Kathy Riordan, for the Checkers Gala, featuring the amazing, cross-language punny Agnew Stew: "Oh, hello there. You look great. Here, try one of these. I was just telling Martha about Wyoming."
And for the category of Most Obvious Contempt for Mike Huckabee:
John Blumenthal, for discovering a Cro-Magnon archaeological dig in the former governor's yard. "Skulls, fragments of primitive tools and remnants of petrified human vomit were found on the scene." And it goes downhill from there.