I have the pleasure of playing hostess to the Julia Child Supper Club this month. Since we have been feasting on delectable foods from…
MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING by Julia Child since 2009,
and have twice ventured into….
THE FRENCH LAUNDRY where we were inspired by the most UN-believeably delicious creations!
This time we are creating foods from AD HOC AT HOME by Thomas Keller.
Thus far, my guest cooks are grumbling, and I am laughing and thinking, “They’ll NEVER allow me to make a menu again!”
Here’s the most recent commentary made via email.
Hallie, about making a Cobb salad
“OK, so far I have peeled and started the 5-7 hour roasting process for the tomatoes, and I have peeled two heads of garlic cloves and they are currently cooking in oil which has to be stirred every five minutes for approximately an hour. Just so you won’t think I’m sitting around twiddling my thumbs!”
And,upon arriving with all the salade parts, “I don’t think people are going to appreciate all the effort put into each component of this salade!”
Diane about making the Opera Cake (NOT a Keller recipe BTW) and her remarks later when I asked for the link to the recipe. “Here it is but YOU DO NOT WANT TO USE THIS RECIPE!!
“First I made the sponge cake two days ahead. Then I had to make the various layers, which took hours, since there were failures along the way.”
I did point out the reason the Opera Cake takes so long to make is because Opera’s are EXTRAVAGANTLY LOOOOONNNGGG productions!
Me about the tri-tip rub awakening at 4:00 am the morning of the supper
“OMG!!! I wonder if the meat will be inedible because I didn’t measure the Piment d’Espelette…is it going to be too spicy?!!!” I quickly opened the jar of piment d’espelette to taste and was ever so relieved to find it to be mild!
There are reasons I am apprehensive about the spice! as you will note if you read the link to a post on the Hide A Heart blog!
For Amusement, Let’s Get Started
On Thursday, I ordered the Piment d’Espelette from Amazon and had misread the delivery date. The meat had to be rubbed on FRIDAY and refrigerated over-night!
This meant a trip to a local UPSCALE grocery in search of the product, and luckily found. I also found celery root, only because the produce man was there and when I told him I needed 6 pounds, he exclaimed as he placed 3 celery roots on the scale weighing 1 pound, “What are you making?!” Between us, we decided 4 celery roots would be sufficient to serve 8 people. And good thing too, because I have bowls of left over celery root!
Next, I picked up 4 large onion, as the recipe indicated 3 large for serving 6 people. I have bowls of onion left over too, so clearly MY idea of large onions, and Thomas’ idea are largely misaligned!
I put on a pot of coffee and began trimming the 4 celery roots at 5:00 am, then went on to slicing onions.
Many years ago my friend Peggy gave me a mandoline,
so after quartering the trimmed celeriac root, the recipe directed that they be shaved into thin pieces…thus the reason there are bowls of paper thin celeriac root all over the kitchen..who had time to snap a pic?
ADDENDUM: ALWAYS….I REPEAT, ALWAYS make onion soup with celeriac and creamed onions! FABULOUS!!
Things went more smoothly from this point forward until…..
Let Me Set the Scene
It wasn’t perfect, but it was REAL!
Two guests got the time wrong and arrived an hour late, which for a weary toddler in attendance put her in need of being taken home. One guest quietly talked and laughed with his imaginary friends, another guest, who is recovering from pneumonia, coughed through the entire meal, along with one of us having a chronic cough and another recovering from a cold, AND 25% of the diners left before the main dish, salad and dessert were served!
When it came time to plate the entree, one guest decided to carry all the dinner plates at once to the kitchen, and three were fumbled and broken into bits leaving the carrier wearing socks standing ankle deep in the midst of broken plate shards, just as I was checking the meat thermometer. Simultaneously, somehow a bottle of very lovely wine is toppled over, sending another guest hunting for towels and both of us shrieking to the sock-wearer “DO NOT MOVE!” At this point I pulled the meat from the oven, and dashed for the broom and shoes.
Good Grief!!!! Do NOT let Murphy through the door!
As you can imagine, the shards required cleaning up before ANYTHING could proceed, but after calamity, all else was ecstasy.
The Ecstasy BON APPETIT
L’Appetizer Grits Cakes
Le Cauliflower Soup
Le Cobb Salade
Salute three of the five Chefs, frivolity and delectable feasting!
Through all the grumbling, and sweat, and tears, and fears, and failures, we’ll do it all again in March!