It’s been a minute or a month, or it’s been the season. We’ve been doing our thing, and I thought I would pop back in here to share. Every fall, I like to host a Harvest-type dinner, and this year we hosted a small intimate dinner for eight at our dining room table. I like to use the barn, yet I just didn’t have it in me to cart all the gear to and fro, so the dining room table in the house was the ticket.
I planned the menu several days in advance, ran off recipes from the printer, inserted them into a small binder, and took that thing with me while shopping for supplies. The shopping list was inserted in the front sleeve of the binder for quick visibility and to protect me from leaving it somewhere, like a cart at the store. I make the rounds at several stores, always trying to get the best ingredients I can put my hands on, as that is where it all starts.
The cooking starts a few days in advance, whether it’s a dinner for eight or twenty-eight. You can never do enough prep up front. I’ve learned over the years to build in my non-negotiables like a daily walk or a quiet cup of coffee first thing in the morning, even though I’m often at it all the way up until the guests arrive. I just haven’t figured out any other way than to go all in, yikes.
Here is the menu I chose: Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts, Salad with Warm Goat Cheese, Coq au Vin, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, French Vanilla Tart, Vanilla Ice Cream. Everything came together nicely, and it was wonderful to serve family and friends like family a lovely meal. My serving of good food and my husband pouring great wine keep our kids coming back to join us at the table, even as they progress through their second and third decades and build their own lives. Shared meals keep us close.