With every passing day Brandt and I realize how precious life is. We are so fortunate to enjoy good health and happiness and we’re committed to celebrating as much as possible. Therefore, we make a real effort to help others celebrate especially on birthday’s of significance. Last evening we did just that with a “Celebration of 0’s and 5’s”. I’ll just go ahead and get this out of the way…by all accounts the house was lovely and a good time was had by all!!
Our dear client, landlord and artist and most importantly friend Terry Woodard created a FABULOUS party starter that was enjoyed on a splendid spring evening in the Serpentine Garden. The Lillet Rose Spring Cocktail is one part gin, two parts Lillet and two parts sparkling grapefruit juice. Terry put a flower in each glass…SPECTACULAR!!!
I tried desperately to create a festive birthday party atmosphere. When most people think of birthdays its lots of color and balloons or it’s a Dora or Barbie theme or all pink, purple or yellow. I promise I tried to be bright but when shopping for flowers I couldn’t get beyond my signature Chartreuse, White and Black. I did throw in some citrus for contrast and texture.
I used City of Vancouver and Green Wave French Tulips, Albino Germinis, Wimbledon Roses with Pussy Willow and Steel Grass. The black Tina Frey “trough” is elevated on three square cylinders that hold Black Queen Anthuriums. The food was a collaborative effort and while I don’t usually mention names in the blog I must give credit where credit is due.
Tropical Gazpacho and Steamed Shrimp
Kirk Whiteside did a masterful job with a tangy cold soup that did a tango with a skewered steamed shrimp. The agility of the guests was tested when attempting to two-fist the soup and their beloved cocktail with no hand to manipulate the skewer…did I mention a good time was had by all!!!
Gorgonzola Two Ways
We have found Cambazola to be a crowd pleasing cheese. Here I sliced a wedge and filled it with Quince Paste. Also, on the marble slab is a Gorgonzola spread…cream cheese, butter and gorgonzola.
Poached Salmon and Eye-of-Round
Yancey Tallent did her masterpiece Poached Salmon. It’s always the first platter to be completely annihilated. I did a Grilled Eye-of-Round thinly sliced carpaccio style with capers, shavings of parmesan and Poggio Antico extra virgin olive oil. You can see the black anthuriums floating in the vases in the background.
Broccoli Salad and Chicken and Wild Rice
Sharon Leicham took us all to heart of the south. I felt like I was a First Freewill Baptist Church and Louise Timbes had brought two new recipes. There’s just nothing as good as southern comfort food. Southern Comfort…great name for a restaurant!!!
Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes
I did purple, red and white fingerlings roasted in duck fat with salt, pepper and Herbs Provence. I offered chopped bacon, guacamole and wasabi creme fraiche for accompaniments.
Teresa Seal created this Parmesan Pancetta Torte that was a slice of heaven. Think Bacon, Egg and Cheese to the tenth power. Simple ingredients, smooth and creamy on the palette but a delightfully complex finish. She made two that quickly disappeared…if she had done three there would’ve been a request for to-go boxes.
Spring Slaw with Lump Crab in Endive
Carrie Muldavin did this work of art. Her slaw is one of my favorite things she does so I asked her to add lump crab to it. Not only was it delicious but she created a platter that was deliciously beautiful as well. She LOVES pink!!!
I really was trying to have a simple Sunday Supper but with everyone’s contribution I guess I got a bit carried away.
With help from The Neon Pig in Tupelo, MS and Dickey Farms in Potts Camp, MS I did a presentation of charcuterie and vegetables paired with savory accompaniments. The flowers here are Green Goddess Callas (the tallest I’ve ever seen), more Germinis and Green Muscari.
Left to right on the top row is Prosciutto with Muscadine Pepper Jelly, Roasted Peppers, Seared Souse, Roasted Peppers and Taso Ham. Then on the bottom row is Butter Poached Mushrooms, Pickled Onions, Savory Pickles and Mixed Olives.
Also on the ends of bar we had asparagus, haricot vert and sugar snap peas with Louvan’s IGA dip on the left and Roasted Baby Heirloom Tomatoes with Pan-fried Pork Belly and Garlic Aioli.
AND, OF COURSE THERE WAS CAKE!!!
Mis Muffn’ in Germantown, TN did these stunning cakes…of course, in the signature colors. with an 0 and 5 as toppers. I won’t show the mess I made cutting them so you’ll have to trust me to know the one on the left is lemon cake with lemon mousse filling and on the right is strawberry cake with fresh strawberry filling. They were amazingly moist and just the right combination of butter and sugar to finish off a wonderful celebration of living.
Happy birthday to Delia, Gary, Bucky and Marcy…we love you!!!
Pardon me if I’m a bit redundant but The House Was Lovely and a good time was had by all!!!