I actually got to take part in two salon challenges this time. While we were in Portland, Sarah and Jefferson took the challenge, and everyone there was new to me. It was Sarah’s birthday, and we made little lamb meatloafs (meatloaves? how often to you put that one in the plural?) with spicy yogurt sauce, feta mint corn and roasted vegetables. We started off with oysters, and finished with ricotta chocolate mousse. I didn’t take any pictures, because it was 130 degrees in the kitchen, and the camera would have slipped right out of my hands. But have you had oysters? They make my heart beat really fast. They are thrilling. It was a lovely dinner.
A few weeks later, I threw my party. The challenge was local, and of course I chose that because in late August, I knew it would be a cinch.
There were some good friends there, and some hopefully to be friends, and a poor unsuspecting couple who called me for some work advice and ended up getting invited to dinner. I applauded their courage at coming over even though they had never even met me, and altogether it was a fabulous group.
And what did we eat? It was a cold and rainy day, and we started off with gin and tonics with local gin and far away tonic and lime. I made two galettes, one with the old favorites: roasted potatoes, red peppers, onions, and brebis blanche. The other had caramelized leeks, Monterey chevre, roasted turnips, and prosciutto. There were little pickled vegetables and roasted garlic. And I roasted a big box of tomatoes and made a stew with summer squash, onions, herbs, and local lamb chorizo. We had sourdough ciabatta with two different herb butters. Green salad with beets and goat cheese. And for dessert, mint and blueberry ice cream cake with maple whipped cream and lemon verbena tea from the garden. Recipes to come, I promise. But I’ll give you a few pictures to tide you over.
It’s in my nature to give unwanted advice, and sometimes I get pushy. I know, I’m working on it. But don’t just take my word on this one, throw yourself a dinner party. I’ll post the next challenge on October 1.