Archive for November, 2014


November 24, 2014 Colonial Dinner for Friends

November 24, 2014

Dinner PlateMany apologies to WOO readers for my absence in the last few months. In addition to working on my company’s website after hours, most of my free time has been spent working on my article about my reenacting Henry David Thoreau’s trip up the Concord in 1839 with his brother. This will (eventually) debut my new writing blog, “Shyfox.”

I did take time this last weekend to cook a Colonial-themed dinner for friends. I used the cookbook from the nearby “Wayside Inn” (my favorite restaurant) as a springboard for the menu, but then, as always, went my own way.

A couple of years ago, when things were really bad for me, one of the few things that put me in a happy space of mind was designing the first dinner I would cook for friends when I finally had the means to do so. I remember dreaming up this menu between the rare temp jobs I had at the time. Back then, I kept the house freezing cold as I hadn’t the cash for heat and I had to remember to breath away from the computer screen so as to not cloud the screen with my breath. The warmth I derived…then, was from the knowledge that I still had a few generous souls in my life that were kind when I needed it the most. The menu I dreamed up was a hope…a promise to myself…to pay at least a few of them back, when it was, at last, possible.Colonial Dinner-Friends-sm

Colonial Menu:

Corn Chowder with Baked Rolls
Molasses/Bourbon-Glazed Ham
Wild Rice Pilaf
Brandied Wild Mushrooms
Kale and White Bean
Mixed Salad w/Blue Cheese, Toasted Pecans & Fruit
Baked Cranberry-Apple-Blueberry Crisp w/Vanilla Ice Cream
As I was building the meal I was found myself amused and even more blessed when I found at every stage, fragments of friends not present at this particular meal, infused in the very ingredients and even the tools I used: the beautiful knife set and pans given to me by my sister and brother-in-law that I use in every culinary endeavor; top-shelf spices given to my by my former student, Regan; the finest rice from Yoshio; a delightful blood-orange olive oil and cranberry-pear balsamic vinegar as the salad dressing, given by friends Chris and Sara…recently moved to Texas…gone, but not forgotten.
Salad Plate_sm
I was further amused when I remembered…oh, yes…this week is Thanksgiving.  My Thanksgivings (when I’m not actually working) are usually solitary and would seem rather Spartan to most people: a few bites of some soy-based product; maybe some stuffing, a good glass of wine, and I’m set.
As a chef and a lover of fine food, it is almost sacrilege to say, but it’s not the actual making and eating of food I’m most thankful for this Thanksgiving. It is for the honorable people I sometimes get to cook for…and for the ones that make it possible.
[…speaking of which: much thanks to the most able and charming sous-chef in the world-young Katie-for all your help on Saturday. Thanks to Dan Winkler for the photos.]Dessert Plate_sm


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