Last night we hosted a Rotary Fundraiser, at another Rotarian's house.
This fundraiser is called "Guess who's coming to dinner?" People sign up, pick one of the nights, pay, and then on the day of the dinner they are told the location. We don't know who is coming and they don't know who is cooking or hosting.
I've been missing my father. He considered one of my shirttail aunts to be a very elegant hostess. Her meals were simple but in courses, starting with a salad. The salad contained only greens. My father said he didn't approve of salads with anything but greens. After thinking about our main course I decided to start the same way.
First course: green salad. Spinach, finely chopped kale and red butter lettuce. The dressing is a balsamic vinaigrette with orange zest grated in and a little fresh orange. This is accompanied by a white wine. Before the white wine we had a toast with aalborg akvavit. I bought a bottle sometime: in my 20s? This is the same bottle. Just think how many times I've moved it: guess I don't drink much.
Second course: soup. Green pea soup. Butter, sauteed onions and then frozen green peas, cooked just barely. It tastes verdant: spring.
Third course: corned beef and cabbage, turnips and carrots and onions, with roasted potatoes. We baked some cabbage as well. This is homage to my mother. In high school she gave us each a 6 by 8 three ring binder and said we had to cook dinner once a week. We chose the meal and she would tell us how to make it. The first thing I chose is corned beef and cabbage. I have her delicious mustard sauce recipe with it. I also looked at James Beard, who states that corned beef is neglected and can be done well. With this a malbec red wine or Guinness, at room temperature.
Fourth course: cheese and fruit. Three cheeses. A brie, a local Mount Townsend Creamery Trufflestack, and a cheddar. Bunches of grapes cut into small bunches and two varieties of sliced apples.
Fifth and last course: Coffee. Chocolate truffles and marzipan from Elevated Ice Cream. Irish Whiskey, Jameson Stout Cask Edition. That bottle will probably last me 20 years as well.
It went well. We did enough prep and had the dishes out. We used the big plates initially as chargers, with salad plates on them. We cleared the salad plates for the second course and served small bowls of soup. It was fun and our guests seemed to really enjoy it.
These funds go to all the things our small Sunrise Rotary does: picture dictionaries for each third grader in the county to take home, Polio Plus, donating a Shelter Box to go to a disaster area each year, a incoming and outgoing exchange student, international projects, high school interact, work on local parks, and other things. It does give me joy to balance out the worry about US medicine.