The Dinner Party


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The Dinner Party

Sometime ago a friend suggested that I write something about food.  She is a foodie!  So, today I decided to muse about last night’s Dinner Party.

The last several days were devoted in large part to preparations for last night’s event.  The impetus was Jeanette’s birthday and our eighth wedding anniversary, both of which fall on the same day.  We decided that the best way to celebrate was to cook and entertain.

Making pies

Making pies

First off, Jeanette wanted to bake cheese pies, part of her family tradition.  These are a mixture of Ricotta cheese and “cheese-in-a-basket” encased in a crust and shaped like a calzone.   I had never heard of “cheese-in-a-basket” but the stores carry it here around Easter.  We were away at that time, but Jeanette had some friends buy it for her.  Now it was time to bake.  We used three pounds of Ricotta and three Cheese-in-a-baskets to make eight pies, one of which was served as an appetizer at our dinner.

coating pies with egg

coating pies with egg

My job was to make the  dough.  At first I used too many eggs which made it moist and tacky.  Not good.  But, by adding more and more flour I eventually got it to the correct consistency.

In the process we made a mess of the kitchen.

Kiko supervising

Kiko supervising

All the while we were supervised by our dogs.

lancer

lancer

Cheese Pies

Cheese Pies

Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco

The pies having been baked, the next task was the preparation of the Osso Bucco.  Several days before the dinner Jeanette assembled thirteen veal cuts of similar size.  She tied them with string so they would stay together while they cooked.  (That did not work)  I grated the  zest from twelve lemons which we slathered on the veal as part of a marinade.  They were marinated overnight.  The following day they were baked, submerged in a mixture of veal stock and chopped vegetables.  The Veal cuts were then transferred to trays in order to be browned right before being served.  I think you can get the picture that Osso Bucco is a lot of work.

Ricotta Cheesecake

Ricotta Cheesecake

For dessert Jeanette made a wonderful cheesecake.  It was almost like a souffle.  All of this was not doing well with my attempts to lose weight.

We cooked the veal and baked the cheesecake the day before the dinner.  And, I put the leaves in the table and made place setting for eleven:  silver, napkins, glasses, etc.

Finally, yesterday, the day of the dinner we did the final preparation.

Caprese salad

Caprese salad

Jeanette assembled the caprese salads, using wonderful roasted plum tomatoes she had prepared the day before.

Saffron Risotto

Saffron Risotto

And we cooked the saffron risotto.  That is a chore.  Stir! Stir! Stir!  It takes time and a lot of stirring but it is worth it.

I had made place cards with the names of our guests so they would know where to sit.  I had a book of illustrations from the twenties from which I scanned images and typed in the guests’ names.  These were a hit.  Several took their place card home with them.  I was amused.

place cards

place cards

The dinner came off well as far as I can tell.  We had no disasters and the Osso Bucco and saffron risotto with peas was wonderful, as was the salad and the dessert.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.  Wine helps that!  And no one wanted coffee.  All in all a CLASS A success!

More to come

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lotion in red

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Mizz Oni

Mizz Oni

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About Thomas L. Tribby

Professional artist: painter, sculptor, print maker. Maintains a studio in West Palm Beach, Florida
This entry was posted in food, life style, travel, Uncategorized, work and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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