Fall 2012 Detente Dinner

Say what you want about liberals, but I found one who can cook.

Sunday was our first ever Detente Dinner. I told you about it. I told the folks on Patch about it before when I was looking for another attendee. (Found one, by the way, but the morning of the dinner she emailed to say she couldn’t make it, so I really still could use another.)

The goal was to get a few from the left and a few from the right in the same room over good food and find common ground.

Short answer: We did.

Longer answer: We have so much more to discuss!

We spent a little time getting to know each other. Then spontaneous questions came forward. Who was the most influential person in guiding our interest in politics? (A surprising number of grandparents in that answer.) How many of us were card-carrying members of a political party? (To my surprise, everyone except the Libertarian. We had a good laugh there.) Had we ever voted outside of our party? (Yes, from almost everyone. Tommy Thompson was an example provided.)

Things we are for: civility. Things we hate: robocalls, sound bites, all the money in politics these days.

One idea came out of the discussion for a project I’ll be starting this week. One of the FD’s (that would be female Democrats) mentioned she really thought she ought to review her party’s platform again. I realized I hadn’t looked at the Republican one much, either. Though we’d both heard sound bites from the conventions, we don’t like sound bites, so we need to do our own homework. I thought it might be a good idea to compare voter issues between parties in the next few weeks, so that’s what we’ll be doing, and I’ll be using the published platforms for the source.

The evening went so well we decided to try it again in January or February. There is room if you’d like to be involved.

We did a good job on the talking. But the food!

As promised here are a couple of recipe links, and one family favorite for baked beans.

Pineapple and basil sorbet. This one always makes my oldest smile. I leave basil flecks in mine instead of pureeing it to the bright green you see in the recipe photo.

Roasted potato salad with bacon. This one was tucked back on the table and didn’t disappear as I would have thought. I was forced to eat leftovers at lunch on Monday. 😉 Seriously, though, my favorite is a maple cured bacon I pick up at our farmer’s market here in Brookfield and the vendor wasn’t there last Saturday. I *sniff* had to use store-bought bacon.

I’ll leave you with our family’s favorite baked bean recipe. This is from the Volunteer Council Tulsa Philharmonic Society (now defunct) cookbook titled Sounds Delicious. I worked on the cookbook committee a lifetime ago by testing some of the recipes and later as committee chair. (I’m not from these here parts. I’m not sure I’ve brought that up before.) I think the symphony conductor at the time submitted this recipe.

Blowout Baked Beans

8 – 10 servings, prep time 20 minutes, cooking time 2 hours
Oven at 350 degrees

53 ounces canned pork and beans
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons catsup
1/2 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder (Dang! I just realize I left this out yesterday.)
6 ounces beer (may be flat) (Right. Like we ever have flat beer in this house.)
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco (I never use it.)
2 strips of bacon

Combine all ingredients except bacon in 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake approximately 1 1/2 hours. Lay bacon strips on top and bake 30 minutes longer. Mixture should be thick.

May be prepared outside in slow cooker (up to 6 hours) while barbequeing.

Ok, I’ve done my part. Go forth and eat well.


  1. I really enjoyed it! Thanks for inviting me.

  2. I tried a version of fried potato salad w/bacon (nueskes), what could go wrong. I dressed the potatoes at the table and the first 5 minutes it was delicious, thereafter just a batch of slightly soggy fried potatoes w/ really good bacon bits. Fatal sin of home cooks-being too cleaver by half.


    bacon and pork ?

  4. I had a great time. Looking forward to the next meeting. Hope you enjoyed my Socialist Chocolate Mousse. Lol. 🙂

  5. I always compromise my values for chocolate. 😉

  6. Keith Schmitz says:

    Glad you all could come over. A truly enjoyable evening.

    Detente starts with dinner and we pulled it off!

    Would be happy to provide the pulled pork recipe, but it has to conveyed orally.

    Looking forward to January.