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Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 1 of 50 Days of Celebrating 50 Years

The BIG CELEBRATION started with a dinner for my book group based on our latest read, "Babette's Feast," by Izak Dinesen. (This is actually a short story from the book Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard  by Dinesen.) My son is a chef and created a menu based on the Feast prepared by Babette. Babette had 12 at her table, I had 10. I did line up candles down the center just like Babette.

This is Al's version of "Blinis Demidoff".  It is made with  Salmon roe, dill sour cream,and a blini. A blini is a little buckwheat pancake. This was served as an hors d'oeuvres with champagne as my friends arrived.

Chef Al is showing the Salmon Caviar.

Lolo decides to try this delicacy!
The most unique ingredient in the meal was turtle. This is a BEFORE picture of $50 worth of turtle meat.  Our chef removed all the meat from the bones and then cooked it and diced into teeny tiny pieces before making it into "Potage a la Tortue et girolles" (Turtle Soup with Chanterelles.)  Chef had been watching the chanterelles in a secret growing spot and we were lucky enough to have them grow to the perfect size just before the feast! The soup was served, just as Babette did, with "Amontillado Sherry." (I did have to go to several liquor stores before finding this exact sherry.) Chef told us that the perfect finish to the soup was pouring the remaining sherry from our glass into our soup bowl when we were just about finished. It was delicious, of course!
Sorry I somehow have no pictures of the soup.

The third course was "Salade de epinard avec gateau au fromage de chevron." (Spinach salad with a small cake of goat cheese.)

Course number four was "Paté de Canard e Faisan fumé en croute et Morilles a la creme." This is an incredibly rich puff pastry filled with a duck/pheasant mixture, complimented with a morel cream sauce and a side of sour carrots and accompanied by the red wine, "Ménage a Trois Red."

Finally, the dessert course arrived with either a glass of a sweet white wine, "Funf Moscato", or a hot cup of decaffeinated coffee.
Bhabas al rhum aux corinthe
Creme de epice et framboise

This is Rum-currant savarin with whipped cream and macerated strawberries. What you can't see is the savarin (it is the little cake) is filled with a cardamom custard. It was the perfect finish to the evening. We were blissfully satisfied but not stuffed. It helps when it takes nearly 3 hours to eat the meal!

We were served by these two delightful young people. They were dressed up in black and white. This is after they were paid in their other black and white!
Thank you to Lolo and D!

"May my food my body maintain,
May my body my soul sustain,
May my soul in deed and word
Give thanks for all things to the Lord."

We began our meal with this prayer, taken from the story, "Babette's Feast." I close this blog with the prayer wishing all of you well-fed bodies and souls.

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