Recipe Source: Kochilas, Diane. The Greek Vegetarian. St. Martin's Griffin, New York,1996 p. 31
I know that I've mentioned this party before, but what the heck, I'll mention it again. The party really kind of exemplifies why I think social media is ultimately a good thing instead of symbolic of the downfall of Western civilization, despite being distinctly over thirty. I was online one night, and I was doing research. My research caused me to come across something completely random and really kind of esoteric, and i found myself glued to this piece of information for hours and hours. I couldn't tear myself away. I told my husband to order pizza. I ignored the game. I just wanted to keep reading. So what did I do? I posted to Facebook, laughing at myself about it of course. Six of my friends immediately popped back up saying, "Actually that sounds great, can you give me the URL?" (Some of these were folks I haven't seen since my undergraduate days - another benefit of Facebook, really.)
Then another friend posted, "That does sound interesting, it's kind of how I feel about plague." Now, I've been fascinated by infectious disease and how it affects history for a very long time, but it's something that I've always been told is Not Acceptable Conversation in polite society. I was raised to keep this sort of thing very strictly to myself. But when E. made that post, I knew that I wasn't alone. And then another person posted, and then another. And then another. And I thought, "Why don't we have a plague party?" It wouldn't be a big deal - just an opportunity for like-minded individuals to get together and discuss ideas, exchange books from our collections, that sort of thing.
It wasn't supposed to be a dinner party. (It was, but that's beside the point.) Since there was going to be a party, though, there needed to be food. The thing is most of the guests who were planning to show up have dietary restrictions of some sort, and often the dietary restriction was related to grains or gluten. Two of the guests were doing the "paleo" thing, which I haven't read a lot about but apparently involves complete abandonment of cereal grains. It wouldn't be the right health decision for me or for my family but it's helped both of them with some of their health issues so I want to be supportive. Others have gluten issues. I decided that a crudite platter would probably be fine, with a selection of dips. I'll admit I used store-bought guacamole, much to my shame. I was running out of time. I did make this whipped feta dip, though, and it seems to have gone over nicely.
I made a few changes. They are minor changes, because it is a very simple recipe and there isn't much to change. I increased the recipe. I increased the lemon juice, and the olive oil. I changed the spice to sumac because I really like sumac. I also learned that my immersion blender has once again gone to that big appliance cabinet in the sky and needs to be replaced. Sigh.
Whipped Feta Dip (makes enough for a crudite platter for 10 people; approx. $0.63/serving)
1 pound feta, crumbled (the quality of your feta does matter; you don't have to use ultra-expensive stuff here, but cow's milk feta will not taste very good.)
Generous 1/2 cup lemon juice, or more to taste
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
1 - 2 tablespoons sumac or spice of your choice
- An immersion blender and mixing bowl combo would work best here, but as I mentioned I couldn't use those. I used the stand mixer with a whisk attachment and felt very silly for it.
- Combine the first three ingredients in your mixing bowl.
- Whip to a nice whipped texture.
- Transfer some of the finished product to your serving bowl and sprinkle some of the spice over it.
- Refresh as needed during the party.