It all started a few weeks ago when the sweet Rai of “Ugly Fruit” contacted me in order to share a talk around a cup of hot chocolate. Although I was very nervous and stressed about meeting a total stranger, her request enchanted me. I really don’t regret my decision to kick myself in the butt, jump over my shadow and do something I had never done before!
Rai’s warmth and openeness enlightened me. We spoke and spoke and spoke for four hours about food-related subject and more!!! Being in the company of an interesting foodie like her really made me happy.
So, as Rai organizes “Themed Dinner Parties” at her home, she naturally invited me to the next potluck that was going to take place on January the 21st 2007 with other food-obsessed fanatics that she knows…
This “Theme Dinner” was under the sign of booze (alcohol). Well, don’t get me wrong, we didn’t get drunken as it was not meant to be a binge party! The alcohol was supposed to be in the food we ate (although we did drink some fine sangria, champaign and wine)… Regarding that theme, it was open to interpretation and everybody was free to prepare the drink or food of their choice. There was no limitation.
Although our group of foodaholics was smallish, it was composed of a good mix of different cultures (American, Swiss, English, Malaysian, Norwegian), ages and horizons. What we all had in common was our love for food, eating, experimenting in the kitchen and at the table! I must say that I’ve had a very good time there, I met great and interesting people and ate as if there would be no tomorrow. We had a gargantuesque feast and sat at the table from 4pm till 9.30pm!!! We swallowed so much fine food that we were nearly exploding, could not move anymore and had to roll back home!....
Here's how it went:
We started with Alison and Halvor’s “alien” starter, “Gin And Tonic Jello” which surprised us all with it’s interesting combination of sweet, strong, sour and bitter flavors as well as it’s fizziness. Every bite was like “woaw, that’s amazing and rather bizarre!!!”. I had never tasted anything like this before…
As a starter, I brought some homemade “Guinness And Rosemary Cheese Bread Buns” that were accompanied by a “Middle East Meets Italy Bean Spread” made with pureed cranberry beans, roasted garlic, cumin powder, paprika (smoked and normal), tahina paste, olive oil, ground black pepper and sea salt.
Rachel made a delicious “Sangria” which we gulped down greedily.
Then, we all sat down at the table and things got dead serious! Claudia from Alabama treated us with a delicate and fresh salad in order to open our appetite and add a healthy and vitamined touch to the highly nourishing and calorific supper that was going to follow!
Next came Rai’s trademark dish, an “Onion And Croutons Soup”. It had a very pleasant homely taste and was remarkably flavorful.
After having eaten that soup, we were very lucky to savor Mike’s uplifting “Fusion Duck” marinated in red wine and spiced with 5 spice powder and malt sugar. Delicious and very harmonious! We ate that dish with Rai’s two wonderful creations: “ Indian Spice Rice” which had a round taste, was perfectly balanced spice-wise and was awesomely perfumed, as well as a fresh and heavenly “Madagascar Salad” made with fresh pineapple, mango, green peppercorns, rum and orange juice. Yummy!
The dinner already started to weigh in our stomachs, but after a very short break, we continued with yet another duck dish made by Claudia. Her “Red Wine And Honey Glazed Duck” was wonderful. The meat was still tender and pink. It tasted so fine and was comparable to what one can find on a French table (“Cuisine Bourgeoise”). Rai’s rice was once again solicited…
By then, we were getting extremely full, but we still had space for dessert and the sugar tooths that we are craved for a sweet treat. A real foodie would NEVER leave without having eaten dessert!!!
Alison and Halvor baked a superb “Stout Cake” which’s ingredients were better kept secret lest you'd have a heart attack, since the quantities used were astonishing (1 kilo sugar, 500g double cream, 500g chocolate and so on… The list was long.)!!! It was rich, evil and "dirty" to please, moist, fudgy and hyper scrumptuous. Of course, this cake had to be paired with vanilla ice cream, for added pleasure!
To close our feast, we ended this supper in beauty with a very last course made by myself, a “White Wine Tart” (a speciality from Vaud) …
~ My "Wine Tart". ~
~ My "Wine Tart". ~
In conclusion, this “Dinner Party” was astonishing! The people were all very friendly, interesting and good cooks/bakers. We had a jolly good time blabbering, eating and drinking (not so much, though) 'till we were not able to move anymore. I think that I never ate so much in my whole life!!!!!!I am now already looking forwards to our next dinner which sounds very promising! I’m glad that such people exist and made/make me discover new specialities as well as new horizons…
A special thanks goes to you Rai for having created such a great event and making things possible!!!
(Party -Pic by www.realsimple.com)