Thursday, October 15, 2009

An Autumn Dinner for Grandpa

We celebrated a Happy Birthday with the Composer's father tonight, our annual gala dinner with Separate Courses, a basket full of birthday cards and wishes, and a Not Chocolate cake. Always a lovely evening for us all, and a chance to tell this gracious man just how important he is to us.

• Savory Mushroom and Bacon Tart (oh my, this was delicious. Duh, there were two sticks of butter in the crust!)
• Mixed Lettuces Tossed with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette
• Soft Dinner Rolls
• Rosemary Garlic Roast Lamb
• Roast New Potatoes
• Platter of Steamed Green Beans, Carrots, and Yellow Squash Spears
• Spiced Applesauce Cake with Clouds of Cream Cheese Icing

Today was also the day that the Composer and Daisy and I went to Felix's school to pick him up for fall break and go to teacher conferences. That took pretty much all day. We went from teacher to teacher collecting accolades, then raced home with about ninety minutes to prepare dinner. Fortunately the girls had the rolls rising, the lamb roasting, and I had made the tart crust earlier (and the cake was finished, whew). So after we all madly chopped, sauteed, and steamed for half an hour, all was under control and we could set the table and take a breath.

The older I get the more I realize that it's almost never *convenient* to go to a lot of trouble for something. You just have to do it anyway. And enjoy.


Tracy said...

Amen! Never convenient, but oh, so worth it. I'm sure the Composer's father appreciated every last detail.

Enjoy Felix during break!

Tracy said...

I'm sure it just yesterday that you posted about your FIL's birthday dinner. Is it really a year since then already?

Your menu sounds divine. The Composer's Father is a blessed man!

Xenia Kathryn said...

How wonderful! Your last comment is a keeper! I think I need to save it and post it to my refrigerator, especially when I'm feeling particularly daunted by showing love via hospitality.

It must be nice to have such wonderful soux chefs in the kitchen! Looking forward to when my little ones can help me beyond scrambling eggs (though I can't complain; it's a start :D).

Lynne in NC said...

Thank you sharing this special event. What a wonderful way to celebrate. The menu sounds delicious!

whatever ~ cathieb said...

menu looks devine!
love reading about your family
thanks for shairng!

Shelley said...

A 'convenient' life sounds very lacking to me, somehow! Putting oneself out to demonstrate a depth of affection sounds much more fulfilling!

Mrs.Rabe said...

I love your last paragraph! It is always easier to do the minimal, but not nearly so special or fulfilling!

Renee said...

Sounds like a Wonderful Day!


Isla said...

What a delicious looking cake, and, yes, it's worth it. And how wonderful you have your girls there to help you. :-)

Anonymous said...

Please share the bacon and mushroom tart and the roasted lamb recipes. We raise and show 4-H lambs so I'm always looking for good lamb recipes. Barbara in AR

Mrs. FSG said...

How lovely! I looked back at your other dinners for Grandpa (thanks to Linkedwithin) and they are all lovely. You are really talented at being a hostess. I love your beautiful simplicity.

YayaOrchid said...

I too would love a recipe for your roasted lamb! The menu is exquisite and elegant!

Anna said...

Roasted lamb:

Combine 2 t. salt and 1 t. pepper with 1 t. chopped fresh rosemary. Set aside. Thinly slice two large cloves of garlic. Make little slits all over the top of the lamb leg, and stuff the garlic in. This is really fun, but only if you're wearing latex gloves.

Then rub the entire affair with your seasoning mix, drizzle olive oil over the top, set in a 450 oven which you immediately turn down to 325, and roast for about 2.5 hours for a seven-pound leg. We like ours on the done side.

And right this minute the leftovers I am heating up smell really good!

YayaOrchid said...

Anna, thank you so much for sharing! I can imagine how wonderful your kitchen smells. It just sounds like a perfect meal!

Susan said...

I love the whole post, but the last paragraph takes it beyond cool to very wise.


Paris said...

Good advice, that last part. Have you read "Hospitality Commands"? The premise was hospitality=hard work. But worth doing.

Anonymous said...

Your dinner sounds wonderful . . . my stomach is growling and what a wonderful celebration!
I love your statement at the end . . . never convenient but enjoy! That is so true!

Polly said...

How lovely, and how wise your last tidbit is. So true! I also like your cake decorating habits. I can't pipe icing worth a darn, and decided that fruits and items from nature were easier and more charming anyhow!

Kathryn said...

A special dinner is always how we let someone know how special they are, we even have a "special" plate for that person. I love it when you share these types of posts, I always feel the peaceful happiness of your home~

Saminda said...

Wow Anna, thanks for that last statement - so true I think, and good if I could get that into my head, even at this busy stage of life with little ones, and just "do it anyway" :). Your setting and that cake look so delicious!

I had a very strange dream last night where I actually visited your Schoolhouse. You had decided to make your home "open" to the public, your children were tour guides while you just carried on doing your thing as strangers wandered through!! Open pots of paint where Giles was repainting a room, food being prepared in the kitchen. :0) All very nice, but I WAS disappointed that your house was actually situated in the middle of the suburbs and had a rickety wire fence bordering your tiny block along the back, just a few feet from the back deck! :) SO strange. Maybe I'm spending too much time in blog-land just before bed??!
Blessings Anna,
Saminda. xo

Lisateresa said...

We like lamb here, too, but tend to have chops at Easter time. If I ever cook a leg, I'll refer to these instructions. These yearly dinner posts always look so nice!

Rona's Home Page said...

What a lovely thing to do.

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