Dinner Party Menu, 11.15.12

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I've always wanted to keep a dinner party diary, which would list who attended, what we ate and how it all worked out. However, I never manage to get around to it. Maybe someday I'll invest in this handsome, leather-bound entertaining journal from Graphic Image ($97, graphicimage.com), but for now, I'll just start making blog entries to keep track.

What about you, would you keep a dinner party diary?

Last weekend, we hosted my husband's family: Both brothers, their wives/girlfriends, his parents, his cousin and a friend of hers from high school. With a Christmas tree occupying one corner of the room we couldn't squeeze ten people around the table (even with the leaf), so we had 5 at the dining table and five at the coffee table, which worked out just fine.

Here's what I served on November 15, 2012:

Marcona almonds, brie cheese, wafer crackers and mixed olives.

Gigot a la Moutarde (Herbal Mustard Coating for Roast Lamb) from Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume I
Green Beans Gremolata from The Barefoot Contessa Foolproof
Provencal Tomato Gratin from The Barefoot Contessa Foolproof
Potato Gratin

Butterscotch Eggnog from The New York Times

The leg of lamb (a classic Julia recipe) was about 5.75 lbs, which was more than enough for 10 people (we had two nights' worth of leftovers). I somehow decided we needed 3 lbs. of green beans, which was way too much; 2 lbs. would have been plenty for 12. The single recipe of the Provencal tomato gratin was perfect size-wise (almost nothing leftover). The eggnog, for which I spent a small fortune on Ronnybrook heavy cream, wasn't as dazzling as I remembered it, and it was just as huge in size as I noted in my original post about the recipe. If I make it again, I'd serve it with some kind of crispy cookie.

I set the table with a white tablecloth with lace insets, but forgot to get flowers before everyone turned up (oops!). We used the stainless flatware and wrapped it into napkin roll-ups, which I put at the end of the buffet, since we were doing a more casual seating arrangement.

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