Speaking of Greg and his simple dishes that amaze and delight our guests much to my chagrin, he made the most beautiful mussels for our party last weekend. He has several tricks to making perfect mussels: One is to buy the rope grown variety in 2 lb bags. These are a bit more expensive, but they are grit and beard free and taste delicious, or so I've heard. He then takes the cheapest white wine that doesn't come in a box and pours it into the bottom of a large pot to about the depth of 1-2" and adds fresh crushed garlic. Bring that to a boil and then add the mussels, cooking for about 3 minutes or until they just start to open.
He brings them to the table in huge bowls and of course, everyone stops talking and stops feasting on whatever I made, and hovers over the bowls, shoving hot mussels into their mouths with abandon. We have a pretty diverse group of friends and party guests, which make out parties pretty great, and I've noticed how mussel eating levels the playing field. I watch with amusement as doctors and entrepreneurs gleefully suck down mussels with homesteaders and lobstermen, everyone dribbling white wine juice down their fronts, licking their fingers and smacking their lips. Its pretty great to watch, almost as much fun as playing cranium.