Last-minute menu planning, you know how it is. Tonight I'm cooking a surprise anniversary dinner for Lenna, my former boss at Mason's Office of Sustainability, and her husband Pete. This dinner came about mid-July when Justin was campaigning to get to Venice via Indigogo. If you donated $200 (in Virginia, it was more if we'd have to travel), I'd come over and cook dinner. They've come to collect. Well, technically, I do believe their anniversary was a month or so ago, but the timing was never right with my schedule, Lenna's schedule, and Justin being able to come down from Jersey.
Dinner is at seven. I'm still not entirely set on what I'm cooking, though this is what I've been thinking about for the past few days:
- Warm baguette with butter, radishes, and salt
- Whipped hazelnut dip with green fall crudités
- Cauliflower or parsnip soup with fried sage and toasted walnuts
- Wild herb ravioli
- Roasted multicolor carrots with carrot top pesto. (who knew you could make pesto from carrot tops? Blew my mind when I found out.)
As for dessert, I can't decide between:
- Plum cobbler with vanilla ice cream and fresh thyme. Simplest.
- Southern baked apple dumpling with a bourbon honey sauce. Sexiest.
- Pumpkin pie in a jar. Cutest.
- Apple or pear galettes with salted caramel sauce. Most French. (Frenchiest, if we're following a theme.)
- Apple rose tart with maple custard and walnut crust. Most complicated, but will be beautiful. May reserve that one for a Sunday afternoon baking project.
To imbibe, Lenna requested red wine, but I might sneak in a pear Haymaker in there, just because I love me some ginger beer and the pears will be lovely. Sprig of rosemary. Maybe fresh cider. Too bad I don't have time to make celery bitters.
All of this may change by the afternoon. I won't know until I see what's good at the farmers market. I'd like to include mushrooms somewhere into the menu, but that's probably because I love mushrooms.
I listened to Peter Gabriel and Justin Vernon discuss Peter Gabriel's interpretation of Justin Vernon's 'Flume' and Peter Gabriel's 'Come Talk To Me' while I flipped through cookbooks and old food magazines. At least, I think that's what they're discussing. It became white noise after awhile, which is what I really wanted.
If you happen to follow me on the Instagram or the Twitter, sorry not sorry for the influx of farmers market, vina cooking, and “oh look what I made!” photos today.
Happy Saturday, mes amies.