Fall, Food, Friends

I have no Italian blood that I know of.  However, the Italian culture is very much a part of who I’ve become.  I love Sunday Suppers.  The Italian mothers cook all day Sunday and the family comes over to enjoy her labor of love. Sunday night just seems like the perfect time to celebrate the successes and/or let go of the stress from the past week…and to energize for the week to come. The thing that disturbs me is that we are so busy we have to schedule Sunday Suppers weeks in advance.  We have new neighbors that we’re really enjoying getting to know.  My and their travels have subsided and thankfully we were all available for a Sunday Supper that we scheduled a month ago…mercy!!!

P1030366We have out-of-town guests coming for Thanksgiving so I took the opportunity to give the loft a little fall makeover. The orange and yellow Oregon ilex certainly brings fall from the outdoors in. A few decorative pumpkins, painted gourds and stems of protea offer…in the words of Brandt…Fall Drama!!!

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Sunday supper should be simple so I kept the table simple, as well.  My personal aesthetic is void of color.  While I love color for parties and events my personal space is pretty much black, white, gray and brown with color only offered by art. However, what would fall be without color.  The centerpiece was a bramble of bittersweet with parrot tulips and green anthuriums tucked in low…again, simple but certainly seasonally appropriate and energetically robust.

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Cocktails and conversation were accompanied by pate and provisions. Recently we enjoyed a silky pate in a local restaurant. I decided I should try to recreate it.  While it’s not a tedious task there are several steps that are time-consuming.  The magic comes from two things: pressing the mixture through a chinois (twice) and adding butter and cream.  The recipes I found called for cognac or bourbon but I’m a Sherry fan.  The verdict was…well, I think someone used their finger to clean the jar.  I also offered Smoked Whitefish pate…not nearly as labor intensive but a good smoked fish is integral. There were poached dried plums in red wine and cinnamon, chopped dried apricots as well as marinated onions and whole grain mustard for layered flavors and textures.  We also enjoyed Blueberry Sparklers (prosecco and blueberry simple syrup) that went down WAY too easily!!!

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Dinner began with a wild mushroom salad with pancetta and parmesan chips accompanied by orange supremes, pomegranate seeds and blood orange vinaigrette.

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The entrée was pan-seared duck breast over winter vegetables roasted in duck fat and topped with fig and persimmon conserve.  The side dish is oyster dressing…fresh shucked oysters topped with a mix of spinach, bacon, onion, celery, garlic bread crumbs and cream.  I will do this one again!!!

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The hit of the night was dessert brought by our sweet friend Kirk. I love bread pudding but Brandt is not a fan.  He’s right in saying it just sounds like stale bread.  But, come on.  Add butter, cream, eggs and vanilla to anything and it has to be good.  This dish needs a title like Cranberry Spectacular!!!  We ALL loved it!!! Cranberry Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier doesn’t do this justice.  This was so moist and delicious I wishing I had some for breakfast.  Kirk studded the sauce with pomegranate seeds and topped the whipped cream with toasted pumpkin seed.  What an incredible way to finish a Sunday supper with friends; old and new.

So, here’s to Sunday Suppers, good friends and fall.  The house is lovely with the colors of fall so bring on Thanksgiving. And from all reports a good time was had by all.

 

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