How about that? I got so wrapped up in all the amazing victories of the past week that I didn’t slow down to write about any of them, or even follow-up on my earlier post. Pardon my lateness, and allow me to indulge.
Last night, Aaron and his girlfriend Colleen invited Michael, Stefanie, Angela, and me over for a multicourse dinner of small eats, which of course turned out to be a wonderful parade of food. We hung out around the island as Aaron and Colleen dished out plate after plate, proving themselves to be the perfect prepping and cooking pair. We had a cheese plate with apples. Lavash with goat cheese, broiled figs, and honey (perhaps my favorite item on the menu). Corn chips with cheesy tofu, broiled corn, avocado, olives, and tomato. A perfect salad with Deborah Madison’s creamy shallot dressing. (The salad was made of field greens with celery, feta, hard boiled egg slices, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, and maybe something else, too. We loved it.) Seared tuna with saffron aioli. Beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce. Soba noodles with peanut sauce and cabbage. Blooming jasmine tea. And ice cream with homemade biscotti.
Can you imagine what a mess this would make in the hands of a lesser chef? Aaron, though, is a bit of a wizard in the kitchen, a fan of mise en place cooking, and also a conservationist through and through. In his charming fashion, his tidy ecological footprint carries over to everything he does. After serving this wild spread of food, his kitchen was perfectly clean, as shown in this picture of us, taken immediately after our meal.
Another fun food night happened at my place with eight of us on election night. With the stakes so high, we were all on edge and unprepared to face the possibility of a McCain win. But many things did bode well. Stefanie showed up with her fabulous Obama cake, which sent out good vibes into the world as she was baking. Vanessa reported that astrologically, Obama’s victory was written profusely all over the stars. And although Tamas, Elysia’s Hungarian husband who has lived in the States for the three years, couldn’t even vote, he showed up sporting the proudest array of pro-Obama gear. Obviously, we are all thinking positively, so we tried to chill out, enjoy dinner, and follow the early lead-up to the final results.
I made a spinach salad with goat cheese feta, pumpkin seeds roasted in chili powder, and dried cherries. This is a great combination that went over well, and I’m sure to make again.
For the main course, I made had penne pasta with pumpkin, cream, parmesan, and sage, which was the first time I made a Rachel Ray recipe. So far, so good. I can’t complain about the girl’s food.
After dinner, we piled like clowns into one car and headed to the Crowne Plaza for the official DFL Victory Party, which turned out to be a historic and seriously inspirational event, with 1,000s of people of every stripe socializing in and out of hotel rooms and a massive central room with numerous stages, food and drink, big screen TVs, and barely any room to move.
One minute, we were ticking off states one by one, and the next minute, the screen flashed out an Obama victory . . . and elation took over the crowd. We cheered and rejoiced. We hugged strangers and started to cry. We drank out of some guy’s champagne bottle, and then we cried some more. We took a 101 pictures, and stood enthralled by our first black president’s victory speech. We got a little silly, but hey. We were erupting with pride, relief, anticipation, and hope. It’s November 2008, and Barack Obama is our new president.