Every few years I do a holiday dinner for friends where I go all out cooking latkes and soup and all the fixings. Yesterday was such a day. It didn't go as well as I am used to. Generally, I start fixing things a few days before, so the latkes are pre-made and frozen (not commercially, but by me), the dessert is done, appetizers, etc. But for various reasons, not the least being a full freezer and fridge, I had to cook everything in one day. And as often happens when one is in a hurry, things didn't go so well.
It all started with the dessert. I decided to do that first. It was a galette of apples, currants, and pine nuts in Calvados brandy. I decided to use a frozen pie crust to speed things up, and defrosted it the night before. The problem was that it leaked juices and butter onto the oven, which caught on fire. The house was filled with smoke, and Jeremy ran out and pulled out the plug! That meant I had to clean the oven, a laborious task, and figure out how to start the thing back up again. The touchy smoke alarm went off, even after the oven was clean.Then Richard rigged up a device to keep the tart from leaking onto the oven, and things went well. It was ugly (looked like a heap of junk) but tasted good.
Then the curried sweet potato latke recipe a friend from synagogue gave me didn't work. The latkes didn't cook, or they shriveled up and fell to pieces. I ended up with tasty bits and pieces, not latkes. For the other variety of latkes, I just used my usual recipe, which is no recipe at all, and threw in zucchini and parsley. They were perfect, as usual! Thank goodness!
The two soups turned out fine. And R ran out at the last minute and bought some crusty bread. I didn't have time to make any, as I usually do.
So we had a lovely dinner with Denise and Ray. Denise is my yoga teacher, and she is a very special person. She is funny and smart, though not formally educated. She kept us all in stitches. Ray is a very nice quiet guy, and he and Richard got along well. I hope that they will visit again.
Denise gave me a lovely Indian box and dreydl and a beautiful basket full of fruit she grew in her garden. We had a great time.