You’ve got to try this dinner party thing, I’m serious. Like newspapers, and playing outside; this is one tradition that we should keep around.
I actually got to take part in two salon challenges this time. While we were in Portland, Sarah and Jefferson took the challenge, and everyone there was new to me. It was Sarah’s birthday, and we made little lamb meatloafs (meatloaves? how often to you put that one in the plural?) with spicy yogurt sauce, feta mint corn and roasted vegetables. We started off with oysters, and finished with ricotta chocolate mousse. I didn’t take any pictures, because it was 130 degrees in the kitchen, and the camera would have slipped right out of my hands. But have you had oysters? They make my heart beat really fast. They are thrilling. It was a lovely dinner.
A few weeks later, I threw my party. The challenge was local, and of course I chose that because in late August, I knew it would be a cinch.
There were some good friends there, and some hopefully to be friends, and a poor unsuspecting couple who called me for some work advice and ended up getting invited to dinner. I applauded their courage at coming over even though they had never even met me, and altogether it was a fabulous group.
And what did we eat? It was a cold and rainy day, and we started off with gin and tonics with local gin and far away tonic and lime. I made two galettes, one with the old favorites: roasted potatoes, red peppers, onions, and brebis blanche. The other had caramelized leeks, Monterey chevre, roasted turnips, and prosciutto. There were little pickled vegetables and roasted garlic. And I roasted a big box of tomatoes and made a stew with summer squash, onions, herbs, and local lamb chorizo. We had sourdough ciabatta with two different herb butters. Green salad with beets and goat cheese. And for dessert, mint and blueberry ice cream cake with maple whipped cream and lemon verbena tea from the garden. Recipes to come, I promise. But I’ll give you a few pictures to tide you over.
It’s in my nature to give unwanted advice, and sometimes I get pushy. I know, I’m working on it. But don’t just take my word on this one, throw yourself a dinner party. I’ll post the next challenge on October 1.
We had: pesto with basil from the garden and pine nuts which, while not local here, were totally local where they were purchased (Laura brought them from Santa Fe last November, when I made a pecan-pine nut pie), pasta made with local eggs and flour (half Hudson Cream, which is KS; half ground that very afternoon by my Aunt Laura); roast chicken with rosemary and garlic; steamed green beans, also from the garden (I'd picked a pound and a half that morning); and cobbler with five pounds of local peaches. Oh, and my uncle's home-brewed beer! My next dinner party will be in NYC…looking forward to it. Also, I totally want to come up and cook with you some weekend.
i know this is a blog about FOOD, but can i just say that new camera is really pulling it's weight? nice effing pictures. i remember thinking of your fancy butter this night the way you described it in the next post- using bread as a means of getting it in your belly. it was a delicious meal.
Oh, Anna, that sounds fabulous! So glad you're moving across the country- now I get to be closer to your next dinner party… And my kitchen is open to you anytime.