Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Going Green

I’ve been volunteering at Anne’s high end thrift shop on Sunday afternoons. It’s such fun to see what treasures have come in from week to week. I love helping people with their “finds.” And I get to “play shop” as I restock the racks and shelves from things in the back, move around items to better display them, decide what price to put on things (oh such power). I am doing most of my Christmas shopping from the shop. I found just the perfect thing for my brother in law, and usually he’s the one I struggle with the most. Well second most to my father, who is usually really hard.

I was so excited to find these green plates this time around. A set of four for intimate dinners. They’d even go well layered with the new dishes I covet but can’t justify buying…yet…but this gets me closer! I had the gals over for dinner Sunday evening and so put them to use right away, along with the orange long stemmed goblet, also a treasure from the shop, that I used for candlelight. To complete the centerpiece I added my pot of paperwhites. They just bloomed and the house smells wonderful.

For dinner I made butternut squash soup, my first attempt. I used the basic approach (sautéed onions, broth and squash, roasted then boiled and pureed). Then I got creative on the seasonings. Used just the right combination of maple syrup (just a little) and Tika Masala spice (I was out of curry). I have to say it was really, really good. Guests thought so too. My attempt to make it really classy failed but I’ll do better next time. I poured a little fresh cream on top and tried to do “latte art” but the soup was too thick so it didn’t really work. I am definitely going to try again. I’ll make the soup a little thinner and maybe thicken the cream a bit with the frother first. The rest of the dinner was strictly ‘50’s comfort food with Rancho Dagwiddows (my family will know what I mean) and broccoli/cheese it casserole. Finished with de-caf eggnog lattes to go with the Tiramisu cake one of the gals brought.

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