Yesteday was Boy1's family birthday party. Husband's parents, sister and brother-in-law (with their 3 kids), and Husband's cousin V and her husband A (and their two boys, the oldest is my godson) came for the day. Boy1 got a magnetic dart board, a small pinball machine, and a small pool table. His room looks like a pub for short people.
I cooked a lot. And while planning the menu it seemed simple and saturday I worked in the kitchen preparing things that could be done in advance. So how it is that my poor mother-in-law slaved by my side all sunday morning, I cannot say.
-bagna caôda (hot olive oil with anchovies and garlic) with crudités and country baguette for dipping
-tuna mousse with breadsticks
-lemon and pecorino crackers
-daube de boeuf (which is similar to a boeuf bourgignon but with different wine, orange zest, nutmeg, onions and carrots)
-cream and sheep cheese stuffed potatoes
-Normandy apple tart (which is a regular apple tart minus the jam glaze plus an egg yolk, cream, and brown sugar base) for the adults
-Sour cream fudge cake decorated with m&m's (at Boy1's request) for the kids
A few comments about the meal:
At the last minute, I had doubts about the tart, it looked like it had too many apples and not enough cream. So during just before serving it I made a batch of salted butter caramel and poured a couple of tablespoons on top of the tart slices. It was really good.
The cake was served a couple of hours after the tart and ended up being for the adults and the kids.
During preparation of the breadsticks and crackers, my mother-in-law said, "You do realize, don't you, that you can buy these instead of making them yourself?"
People were VERY hesitant to taste the bagna caôda. Husband, of course, showed everyone that it was safe to eat. After tasting it the first time, everyone invariably sounded very surprised when they said, "Hey, that's really good."
Daube is also a slang word meaning crap. At the end of the main course someone of course had to say, "Your daube is not a daube."
I had originally planned to make a lemon tart instead of an apple one, of course. But friday night, a friend with many apple trees gave me a lot of apples. So I decided to move forward into the unknown land of two desserts without one of them being lemon if the other one is chocolate.