This past Tuesday I hosted a get together for people interested in discussing our local upcoming election. It was a small group - no more than 15 total - but my instinct to find something for them to nibble on caused some consternation on my part. I was also grappling with a recent work trip that would get me home the night before I was to have people over, the day of being a work day. Thankfully my brother stepped up to help clean the house while I made some game time decisions that would make my life less hectic.
See, I initially thought that, it being Fat Tuesday, I should serve something seasonally appropriate: vegan muffaletta. First, there's no such thing that I can find. Second, I've never really had a muffaletta. This is all beside the fact that I wouldn't have the time to roast the veg and make the olive salad let alone buy the ingredients.
I found refuge where I often do as a first class compromiser: Trader Joes. I picked up dates, weirdo potato-lentil curls and some cashel blue cheese (seasonal for St. Patty's!) and parmesan to stuff the dates with and called it a day.
My guests were somewhat fed and my genetic calling to never let someone into my house without feeding them was satisfied. Most importantly, everyone had a chance to ask questions about the local issues they are most concerned with. Food is a back-drop to this kind of event, but I find that a little bit of hospitality goes a long way.