A Meal of Titanic Proportions

On Saturday, April 18th… 103 years and 1 day after the RMS Titanic tragically sank after colliding with an iceberg on her maiden voyage destined for New York City, I am cooking a 7 course menu from the last meal served in the 1st Class Dining Room, for 10 people. This will be the inaugural meal for the new Sanderling Drive Dinner Party Group. On many, many occasions my husband Jay has requested this meal… My usual response is, “are you crazy”, “it would be too much work”, “NO”. When one of my neighbors mentioned starting this plan to share hosting a dinner with some of our neighbors, the Titanic meal came to mind and I offered to be the first hostess. So…today is Thursday, yesterday I cooked my beef stock for 7 hours and today I will be making the court bouillon to poach the salmon in along with a long list of other tasks to accomplish today. I LOVE cooking! This will be a daunting challenge for even a seasoned chef. It will not be a perfect meal because there are always things to improve on. I have scaled back the menu from 10 courses to 7…since I don’t have a sous chef and I would like to enjoy dining with my guests. Each couple attending is bring a wine to pair with their assigned course and a champagne toast will kick off the evening. If you would like to take on this task, no fear… there are lots of places to look online for assistance! The recipes are available along with suggestions on how to break down all the tasks into an organized, hopefully efficient plan. I’m depending heavily on this. You can look at http://downtonabbeycooks.com/2012/04/05/game-plan-for-hosting-a-1st-class-titanic-tribute-dinner/ , and I am also relying on a great blog: http://www.thedragonskitchen.com/2012/04/complete-first-class-titanic-menu.html and… I did get a used copy of “Last Dinner on the Titanic” it is a great resource for all things Titanic. It even has that timetable I mentioned, and most likely I am behind schedule. We will have period music playing and even though my home most definitely not super fancy… I am polishing my silverware and have put all 4 leaves into my dining table. We mailed out the boarding passes to our guests and cleaned some thing that only usually get attention during the holiday :).  I am hoping that after Saturday evening the only mention by my husband about the Titanic Last Dinner will be, “that was great”. One  good thing… I can finally use the lovely chef’s toque that my friend Suzanne bought me for Christmas!

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     more pictures and updates to follow.

Life > Lemongrass > meatballs

2014-03-12 08.13.13I love cooking with lemongrass… in all forms. I buy it fresh whenever I see it and I alway keep a “tube” of it in the fridge. Look in the fresh produce area of your grocery store for herbs that come in squeeze tubes– almost as good as fresh and they are so handy when I am in the middle of a recipe and missing fresh herbs.

Lemongrass: lemony, yes… light, fresh, tart. I use lemongrass in most of my Thai or Vietnamese dishes, it provides so much flavor, especially when combined with ginger, garlic, citrus juice and fish sauce. One of my favorite dishes is Lemongrass Pork Meatballs in Lettuce Cups.

Dinner a few night ago:

Lemongrass Pork Meatballs in Lettuce wraps

Rice Noodles with red peppers, scallions and shiitake mushrooms

Pickled radishes and shallots

Lemongrass Pork Meatball
1 lb ground pork
1/2 chopped cilanto
4 TBLS finely chopped lemongrass
2 shallots minced
black pepper to taste

The great thing about these meatballs is that they are mostly pork… no breadcrumbs or fillers. They are juicy and tasty and go great with hot or cold noodles and with lots of fresh herbs.

Mix all the ingredients together and either saute in a pan with 2 TBLS oil or bake in a 375 oven for about 20 minutes. I like to saute them so I can keep a close eye on them and make sure they stay juicy.

The SECRET SAUCE
It is only the most magnificent sauce ever! Vietnamese table Sauce goes on everything…

1/4 C of fish sauce
1/4 C of lime juice
1 stalk of lemongrass finely chopped
3 TBLS brown sugar or light brown sugar
1 clove of garlic
1 TBLS of freshly grated carrot
2 tsp finely chopped Thai chiles (adjust for your heat tolerance)

add all the ingredients and let set for 30 minutes or more… I keep a jar of it in the fridge.

PICKLED EVERYTHING
You can do a quick pickle very easily…
fresh veggies along with a mixture of vinegar, sugar and spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise, peppercorns, etc.
Heat up the vinegar and sugar and spices just till the sugar dissolves and let cool. Add your choice of julienne veggies like: onions, radishes, cucumbers, etc and let them sit for as little as 20 minutes… I keep a jar of “pickles” in the fridge and add them to salads, sandwiches and meatballs.
ENJOY! Bon Appetit :)

The Goods

So many goods… Here in Savannah, Ga. Good atmosphere, sights, food, shopping. spending the weekend, loving the weather and the company:) and that it is only a 5 hour drive from home, but it’s the “Deep South”.

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The Title Eludes Me…

Girl with Geese

NOT

Maybe it is due to the exuding energy of new creative ventures… but usually, the title for a new piece of art or in this case blog titles,  pop right up. One of my artist friends said in passing, “I never stay with the first idea because it’s the one that everyone thinks of” hmmm… that could be true.

For me, I love spontaneous! Starting a new “project” art, event, even cleaning out a closet… which I said I would never talk about, is often exhilarating. It’s that starting thing… big white canvas, planning an adventure, even creating a fabulous dinner, I LOVE it.

I have the weirdest (in a healthy fun way) thoughts. Usually the first thing that comes to mind when I have an inspired idea for art or writing, is either very strange or funny.  Sometimes, I crack myself up… thoughtfully. Most of the time I can control the circumstances of silliness. Occasionally not.

SONY DSCgirl in the blue dress! if you don’t stop laughing I will stop this bus (schoolbus) and you will be removed! luckily, I was not the girl in the blue dress… but my best friend was, and whatever I was talking about was very funny and the more I said, the harder she laughed. I would have walked home with her…of course. For some reason this event comes to mind when I think about fun and funny things and being silly and happy. I know exactly why this has been a significant personality trait throughout my life…hmm, another title to add to the list.

I am excited today. I LOVE the direction my mixed-media art with painted paper is taking. I am happy to have finally started this new blog :) So… out for a run this morning and I should just be listening to music and breathing, but I have titles. Titles for new blog posts, and titles for the 3-d girls that I was cutting and sanding and gessoing yesterday.

COMING SOON

  • seriously…it’s good to not always be serious
  • flower child
  • ferret dog
  • head in the clouds
  • open-hearted
  • bird-tamer
  • pink=love
  • dancing queen
  • teaching Grace to swim
  • we’re gonna need a bigger studio
  • top three… ten is boring