Friday, August 15, 2014

A Big Old Fancy Dinner




For Christmas we gave the Composer's parents a dinner party--we would host and plan and cook; they would show up with their friends and enjoy. For whatever reason, we didn't get it done until now (just under the wire, as almost all my help leaves within days!).


My theme was Southern food gone fancy. So we started with "Dixie Plates" for the first course--half a deviled egg, tiny pickled shallots, celery with pimento cheese, a skewer of fried okra, and a tiny biscuit. Just a taste of each thing.


For the salad course I made a variation of the beloved green pea-mayonnaise-bacon salad and served it in cucumber shells in a nest of butter lettuce.

The main course was a beef tenderloin with roasted beets, mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach, and fresh corn pudding baked in poblano peppers.


For dessert we made individual Pavlovas and served them with homemade vanilla ice cream, summer fruits, whipped cream, and raspberry coulis. 

Okay, that was a lot of work. Clara did dishes for two hours (her choice, we would have helped!). But so much fun to see everyone enjoying themselves, and for our parents to feel honored. Worth it.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ummm. Sounds and looks delicious. What a unique present! Am sure the parents were delighted...

Cat

Rose said...

Experience presents are the best kind. I'm sure Father and Mother Composer loved it. The "Dixie Plates" sound like fun, southern antipasti as it were. Please share "the beloved green pea-mayonnaise-bacon salad', we love green peas.

ALoadofOldTat said...

What a wonderful generous gift from you all.

Anna said...

Rose, we just tossed thawed frozen green peas with enough mayonnaise to bind, and folded in finely chopped hickory-smoked almonds and minced green onions. A squirt of lemon juice to finish it.

Lynn said...

adopt me!!! Wonderful idea

Julian said...

That is very sweet and thoughtful. What a neat present to give someone! What other gift ideas did you use? Christina

Rose said...

Thank you Anna. We don't have hickory-smoked almonds but I'm sure the tamari ones will work fine.

Xenia Kathryn said...

Wow, what great food concepts, and such a nice gift for your in-laws! Careful, you might get requests to open a restaurant or at least a full-on caterer :) I love seeing your merge of creativity and hospitality. It's so inspiring!

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

What an elegant gift! Your family sounds so wonderful.

Melissa said...

What a lovely present for the Parents (something I need to remember to do for the elderly). And wonderful timing for the grandchildren to be able to help before they all take off on their own, such memories!

Kate at Wonderful Life Farm said...

A truly beautiful gift from the heart!

Heather said...

It sounds and looks very lovely and memorable. What a special time to have together!

Farrah said...

How wonderfully Southern! Which child does that china pattern belong to?

I love how your Christmases go all year.

Anna said...

Those are Bella's dishes. I love that they have square salad plates.

Anna said...

Those are Bella's dishes. I love that they have square salad plates.

Polly said...

Delicious! I love planning the occasional elaborate feast for someone special. Right now I'm puzzling out the menu for the bittersweet feast I plan to make in a week--for my best friend and her family, who are moving to a new city in 13 days. (I am counting every single one of them.)

My stepmother's china also has square salad plates! Not the same pattern, but so unusual and fun to enjoy at Thanksgiving.

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