Andy and I are both introverts, and we get along well because of it. But I'm more social than Andy is - I like being around people, in small, conversation-centric settings, and I especially like hosting.
When we signed the contract on our new house, we were drawn to the big patio area with a shade sail over the top. A week later, a tornado came through Townsville, and the wind knocked a tree branch on to the shade sail, rendering it unusable. We will replace it, but luckily it's autumn, and the patio is really only sunny for about 2 hours in the middle of the day, thanks to a tree. For me, the patio is the perfect entertaining area, especially once we visited the second-hand shop for a table and chairs.
Having a patio and a new house strikes me as a good opportunity for a house-warming party, but less-social Andy is less enthusiastic about the idea than I am. I'm still working on a proper housewarming party, but last weekend we had a little get together with some people I work with. Visitors from Denmark, a long weekend, and nearing the end of semester all seemed like good excuses for me to do some baking and have people round for drinks.
I made "Elvis Blondies", from Vegan Bake Sale, which are of course peanut butter, banana, and chocolate. They were a bit underwhelming in the peanut butter category, but I was the only one with that complaint.
And coconut cookies, also from Vegan Bake Sale. These were really yummy, and super coconutty thanks to coconut oil, coconut milk, and shredded coconut.
Green fruit - honey dew melon and star fruit - were also popular. The flavour of star fruit isn't anything special, but how can you go wrong serving star-shaped fruit, really?
We rounded off the table with hummus and crackers, an easy party stand-by. It was exactly our kind of party - a dozen people, food, interesting conversation, and everyone was gone by dark, leaving us plenty of time to unwind. I think Andy enjoyed himself. So although our house hasn't been properly warmed yet, I think our patio has proven how enjoyable it will be for future parties. In the meantime, it's also a great place to read in the afternoons.