When my son told me that his girlfriend Olivia and her family were coming up to visit, I was delighted. I had never met her parents or her three sisters. I knew our time together would be short because they were flying here for a daughter’s college graduation and we had only several hours together. I planned accordingly. I wanted to have lunch ready and waiting for them, so as soon as they arrived, we could all relax and get to know one another over food. Afterwards, we could tour the farmstead.
With some suggestions from my good friend Gloria, the menu seemed perfect: simple yet elegant, nutritious but tasty, colorful yet dazzling, light yet satisfying, It is important when preparing food to always accent the enjoyment and to remember the details. I had nine people to prep for and whether it is nine or ninety, the same rules apply.
My first step was to write out a list of everything I would need for the table from the salt and pepper shaker to the centerpiece. Then I focused on the food and listed every ingredient in an organized manner. After that I set myself a time schedule. This may sound like a lot of work but believe me it only takes about fifteen minutes and is worth the time.
Around one o’clock on that spectacular Saturday afternoon, the family pulled into our driveway. I was ready with the meal and they were ready to eat. We were the perfect match.
|Winter and the sisters.|
Fresh Asparagus soup
Chicken Salad with ruby grapes, scallions, pecans, celery
Parsley/cilantro pesto with pine nuts
Spring Green Salad with cranberries and herb goat cheese
Orange, lemon, and lime slices
Lacy Swiss cheese
Vine ripened Tomato with Boston lettuce
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Beverage – S. Pellegrino
Chilled Berkshire Spring Water
|The soup I forgot to serve.|
All I did was in one pot add 10 stalks of asparagus, one onion, 4 cups vege broth, S&P, juice from one lemon. Cook until asparagus is soft and blend with soup blender.
|They matched my napkins and said "happy and fresh". Guests could add to water or squeeze on meal.|
|I had my favorite chef make these that morning.|
|So easy so good|
Just mix together cooked chicken, mayo, grapes, celery, scallions or onion, pecans or walnuts, parsley.
|Yes, every meal should have a salad or two.|
|Pesto served at room temperature. pesto|
|Keep a balance of formal/informal.|
|Setting chairs up for nine.|
|For the vegetarian.|
|More for the vegetarian.|
|Healthy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. muffins|