Once again, we launched a party in the face of a blizzard.
- Squash soup (the squash roasted over a garlic head and a small handful of thyme; the garlic and squash pureed and stirred into freshly-made chicken stock, enriched with a little butter). Could have used some creme fraiche, but how to serve it at the stove?
- Picadillo (pork shoulder, boiled with onions and spices, cooled in its broth, shredded, then sauteed with onions and a freshly-made puree of chipotles, roasted garlic, and tomatoes). A lot of work spread over two days, but a big hit.
- Savory almonds (sprinkled with salt water, roasted with thyme and savory). I think they're a yawn -- and they never did brown as expected. Linda says, "yummy".
- Vanilla walnuts. Also a big hit. Haven't made them in ages — since 1986, I think. From the Frög cookbook. Those were the days.
- Bourbon pecans.
- Meyer lemon tart. Also known as Mrs. Pedicaris's tart, thanks to its obstreperous pate brisée crust. I thought, “perhaps too lemony”; Linda says, “no such thing.” Two lemons gave enough more juice than expected for the four lemons originally specified, but everything came out OK in the end.
- Chocolate tart with hazelnuts. Valrhona Caribe this time. I got the cream really hot — OK, I forgot it for a minute and it nearly boiled over — and this time there was no problem with setting and subsequent chocolate soup.