Evening for Twenty Part I

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I love to design and to screen print and I love to cook and to eat delicious food. I especially love to do all of these things in good company. Quite often I get a bee in my bonnet to invite friends over for dinner. This gives me an added excuse to do all of these things. Last night I hosted a particularly fun evening for twenty friends and will post about the experience a few times; there are just so many details to share!

But I have to start somewhere…first I created a menu and an overall aesthetic. Being Fall its easy to use lots of yummy orange and warm neutrals and I kept finding myself using this musty little pink that I have a soft spot for. The intent of this dinner was beyond social, I also used it as a way to introduce and test out some new print ideas from the studio, Fall Leaves Window Treatment, Waba Dining Chairs, reupholstered and refinished in glossy dark forrest green and  Balooga Stripe Napkin designed by Renee Jampol. I also wanted to show off a couple of talented friends and invited them to participate. Photographer Jaime Alvarez hung some of his pictures to decorate the room. Chef Matthew Davis made a selection of his finest charcuterie and Rob Chimchirian, an engineer and Tom Reynolds, a business operations analyst, my husband, made their American IPA home brew to serve with dinner.

The menu:

Himachi Crudo with Plum Brandy Shave Ice and Pomegranate Seeds
Fall Root Vegetable Salad with Warm Walnut Vinaigrette: Roasted Fennel, Celeriac, Parsnip and Acorn Squash
Clear Vegetable Broth with Fennel Fronds, Poached Egg and Gougere
Charcuterie Board by Matthew Davis: Five Spice Duck Sausage Poached in Jasmine Tea, Chicken Liver Paté with Cherries and Pistachios, Smoked White Fish Salad with Creme Fraiche, Lemon and Capers accompanied by whole grain mustard, cornichon, bagel crisps and toast points.
Squash Risotto with Chestnuts and Brown Butter Sage

For dessert we had Julia Child’s free form Apple Galette that I doctored up with Almond Frangipane below the fruit, and I always use Jaque Pépin’s Grand Marnier Apricot Glaze for the top. Yum! This was served with Black Pepper Sherbert and a home apple brew that my husband and I made together for this dinner—started a couple months in advance by hand pressing farm picked apples. It was a perfect end to the dinner, sweet but balanced by the Orval yeast in the beer and black pepper in the sherbet.

I leave you with a few images and a strong recommendation to test out this menu on your own. It works! And now I am off to work on the mounds of dishes that are sitting in tubs to soak in my kitchen.