Shopping for a dinner party is easily one of the most tedious party of throwing a dinner party (only beaten by washing dishes). However, we just realized that thinking about it differently, framing it as a quest for ingredients can make it an adventure. For the Greek party, based on Googling, there wasn’t a clear winner for one store where we could get all of the ingredients we needed.
After dinner where we were brainstorming the Greek dinner, we walked by Jerusalem Market by chance. Amazingly, it’s open till 10 pm. We took a quick look and liked what we saw so we bought phyllo for the Baklava prototype. They had at least three types, and the owner advised us which one was best for dessert. He was shy at first, but he and his wife turned out to be super helpful. The store is compact, but they have a full range of Middle Eastern products.
We returned for the lamb. I called the Friday before the dinner party (last minute, I know), and they had just gotten their lamb in that morning. They also butcher it for us on the spot (two legs-one on the bone and the other butterflied. It was a little surreal to see the owner’s wife sawing the leg of lamb on a Friday night when we’d normally be at a bar. By that time, they knew were serious about cooking and offered us the bones for stock. We also managed to sneak in a couple questions about Baklava, and bought a piece of their pre-made version for a dollar in order to compare.
I also bought a jar of tahini. Their smallest jar looked so big to me. I thought it was a lifetime supply. We ended up running out during the dinner party. Shows you how much we know about Greek food. So, it looks like I’ll be back in the near future.
Final note, there’s a market on 22nd and Irving with Greek owners that I wanted to try, but they don’t sell meat. Another party, another time!