We had some friends over for dinner the other night. Since there were just four of us, I decided to get all fancy, polish the silver, and serve the meal in courses.
I planned a local winter menu. We started off with bowls of Pureed Carrot Soup garnished with homemade creme fraiche, accompanied by a basket of Olive Focaccia and Cranberry-Pecan Sourdough slices. For the salad course, I made My Favorite Salad, using Fuji apples and toasted pecans with a raspberry vinaigrette. Pork chops in a creamy shallot sauce, roasted beets with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and pan-roasted baby potatoes from my garden made up the main course. Our guests provided the dessert and entertainment; delectable chocolate thumbprint cookies and classical guitar-playing.
After dinner, we sipped our herb tea by the fire while we listened to a selection of traditional Christmas carols. The perfect finish to a lovely evening with dear friends.
If I had my way, I'd forego all the holiday gift-giving frenzy for more occasions like this; good food, uplifting conversation, and the sharing of talents with family and friends.