entertainingfoodFood & Drink

Entertaining: A Preppy, Brunchy Cocktail Party—Just In Time For Fall

by Maxwell Tielman


Okay—don’t judge. When I was in high school, I openly and proudly identified as “preppy.” While there are dozens of groups that teenagers often try to fit into—jocks, goths, pseudo-rastafarians, ravers, scenesters, anime geeks*—my particular brand of “self expression” took the form of freshly ironed khakis, merino wool sweaters, D-ring belts, Birkenstock clogs, and neckties (daily). I’ve since steered way from this particular sartorial obsession (it was too much effort!), but I occasionally get the hankering to revisit my faux-collegiate days, especially when autumn rolls around. There’s something about fall weather—perhaps the return of knits and dark colors—that puts me in the academic (read: cardigan-wearing) mood.

While I’m no WASP, and my hippie-dippie art school education was a far cry from the Ivy League, style is often about lighthearted pretense and I love to pretend. So, this week, the rest of the D*S crew and I decided to don some argyle socks and get our Prep on with a tiny gathering at Amy’s apartment. Along with some suitably preppy decor (ties: they are for more than just necks), we whipped up some choice treats culled from Christine E. Nunn’s new Preppy Cookbook a veritable Bible as far as preppy entertaining goes. Bloody Marys and lox-covered hors d’oeuvres? I’m there. Check out the rest of the photos plus the recipes after the jump! —Max

*Side note: are any of those even things anymore? I can’t keep up with kids today and all their subculture shenanigans.

Above image: We created a prepped-out tableau using vintage books, artfully-hung neckties, pennants, and checked blankets. Silver platters and vessels (some filled with flowers) provided an extra touch of glamour.

This post is brought to you by The Preppy Cookbook, a beautifully illustrated cookbook from Christine E. Nunn, the owner of Picnic, offering more than 125 perfectly tested recipes that exemplifies the preppy lifestyle. Order your copy here.


Recipe: Smoked Salmon Cucumber Rounds

  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 2 ounces crème fraîche
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon, sliced into thin strips
  • 30 capers or 1 small tin of osetra caviar

Slice the cucumber into very thin rounds, about 1/16 inch thick. Lay the rounds on a platter. In a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, lemon juice, and dill. Carefully place a small piece of salmon onto each cucumber round, and top with a small dollop of the crème fraîche mixture. Garnish with capers or a small spoonful of caviar. Serve.


Recipe: Bloodies

  • 1 quart Clamato
  • 1 cup good-quality vodka
  • Juice of 2 large lemons
  • 1 tablespoon clam juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 8 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish of your choice (we chose blanched asparagus)

In a large pitcher, stir together the Clamato and the vodka. Add the lemon juice, clam juice, Worcestershire, horseradish, Tabasco, Old Bay and salt and pepper, tasting for flavor as you go. Refrigerate for 1 hour. To serve, fill glasses halfway with ice cubes and pour the Bloodies over the ice.


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