Most Memorable Dinner

Don’t worry. The revolution won’t occur until after the next economic crash.


In my heyday i got great pleasure out of cooking elaborate dinners for friends, and i turned out some good ones.

The one i remember most fondly, though, was for my friends Jeanette and Ron.  Both previously married and divorced, they’d been living in sin for several years when her daughter by her earlier marriage got old enough to ask whether they were married.  Oops.

Oh well, why not?  So they ran down to city hall and for just a few minutes and a few dollars picked up a certificate to brandish.  On the way home, there being no rush to consummate the union, they stopped by my place for dinner for eight of us.

And since it was a Special Occasion, i pulled out all the stops and served quite a few courses.  I can’t recall all the courses now, but i started with Julia’s Potage Crème d’Oseille (Cream of Sorrel Soup) from Vol 1 of Mastering the Art of French Cooking served cold because it tastes better that way.

Next course was a cold appetizer, artichokes i’d boiled, gently opened up enough to de-choke, and filled with caper mayonnaise and a few bay shrimp.  (I used the leftover egg whites to make the shell for my chocolate pecan pie for dessert.)

Can’t remember the other vegetable courses, I had on the stove in a holding pattern a pot of spinach braised in butter, also from Julia’s Vol 1, and while we were eating the soup and appetizers, i sauteed in butter and olive oil a pan of diced potatoes à la Julia.  Put those on the table in bowls, whirled around, stepped back into the kitchen to fling open the oven, and extracted the entree, Tranches de Jambon Morvandelle (Ham slices in a Madeira cream sauce).

Then i lifted the lid off it and, standing there ten feet from the expectant table, shouted “Oh shit!”

I would like to say that i’d planned this to provide some levity, but even though there was levity in abundance, some of ’em falling out of their damn chairs, it was unplanned.

Nor was there the disaster i’d thought i was looking at.  All that had happened is that the top film of the sauce had broken, a problem that was fixed with a quick stir.

I got a lot of compliments for that dinner, pretty much equally divided between those for the food and the ones for the entertainment.

Meanwhile, speaking of entertainment, a culinary offering at my local Lucky’s.

boxed water


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