Monday, October 16, 2017

This Year's Birthday Feast: Italian Farmhouse


Our annual feast to celebrate the Composer's father--this year it was all Italian farmhouse-style (inspired by a library book). 

Food centerpiece was a beef tenderloin roast. I patted it with chopped garlic and rosemary, laid on bay leaves, wrapped the whole thing in bacon, and (thanks to Daisy for the smart suggestion) pinned it all together with rosemary sticks.



Clara made an incredible arrangement of herbs for the center of the table.



Let's talk about this mad polenta. I used "Dixie Lily" cornmeal because the name is so charming. Made it up into mush, stirred in an unconscionable amount of butter in which I had sauteed garlic, then stirred in fontina cheese. After in cooled in a pan, we turned it out and Bella faithfully fried it up in some olive oil. I do not exaggerate when I say that Felix took a bite, then started crying.



Salad was farmer's market lettuce with tomato, hard-boiled egg, prosciutto, and Parmesan,


Here's the menu . . . 


And here's the family.

8 comments:

elizabeth said...

I love these special feasts you create! God bless you all!

Propagatrix said...

I will be there tomorrow morning to Hoover up all the leftovers (with my face).

Polly said...

Polenta that makes a grown man cry! Mine never gets very firm, so I end up serving it from a casserole dish (lots of butter, cream....). So I've never had the opportunity to *FRY!* it. Sounds delicious!

I really like Clara's arrangement of herbs, so perfect for this time of year. I'm guessing she used floral oasis to hold things in place?

Margo said...

oooooh how lovely! What cookbook inspired this? Does it have the polenta recipe? I was just thinking I wanted something luscious and creamy to serve next to plain beets.

Anna said...

Cookbook was Italian Farmhouse Cooking by Susan Loomis. Margo, it does have the polenta recipe and it's fantastic. Polly, you probably just need to cook it longer.

I think Clara used a frog in the bottom of the dish to hold her stems in place.

Melissa said...

How very elegant and wonderful to celebrate his life.

Maddie said...

Did someone make Daisy's plaid dress? I'm in love with it!

Rebecca said...

This just epitomizes a birthday celebration in my mind! And the china is very like some my grandmother had, which we used for similar family gatherings. I'll have to get my hands on that cookbook! My mother used to make polenta, and I liked it, but we only ever ate it in mush form (with ratatouille). With garlic and butter and being fried...oh my!

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