Thursday, December 4, 2008

48 hours and counting

And as you will remember, the Hostess is in thick of possibly the greatest hostessing experiment ever conducted in Northern Westchester: Catering one's own holiday nibble party for 70 guests. In Hostess Heaven, a number of Bedford hostesses who contributed to my abilities are clapping while several others of the live-variety are animated with fear on my behalf saying, "Are you crazy? Why would you do that?" and, "You know you can call William Nicholas, I won't breathe a word to anyone."

Crazy like a perfectly capable hostess, maybe. Crazy, like a hostess who has turned over desserts bought at William Nicholas only to discover a wide swath of mold. Crazy, like a person quite certain she can do the job better.

Crazy busy, also. As you know, the menu is finger food and this is hands-down the most labor intensive of all party types. And at dawn today the height of the food work began:

1. Pork shoulder in jerk sauce I made earlier in the week went to braise forever. These will eventually become the pulled pork in the mini tostones and jerk sandwiches.

2. The plantains were peeled, sliced, and fried-blanched off for the same mini sandwiches:

That's my coffee. It was really early.

3. Pineapples were trimmed, cut, bathed in maple syrup, butter, and lime juice and then dipped in brown sugar and lime zest before being grilled off.

4. Provolone and salami were cut and prepped in like-size bites to be added to the marinade from #5. for the mini-antipasto on rosemary skewers.

5. The marinade for the anti-pasto was finished and the cheese and salami added. They will marinate until Saturday when they will be strung on the rosemary.

6. The rosemary skewers were cut into 4" lengths and lower leaves stripped:

7. The shallot thyme cheesecake for the cheeseboard was made and baked off.

8. The cream cheese frosting was made and red velvet cupcakes were defrosted and
iced. Here they are waiting for their hats:

Then they were wrapped with Christmas ribbons and tried out in their stands. I hate it. Still thinking on this on. Try this exercise at home, you will have new respect for the Martha Stewart Living food stylists:

Understanding that these are not on the display where they will be served and that the tiered tray was undecorated and you are looking at the aesthetic WIP, there was still a lot to refine: I went through four platters until I finally found a Spode of the perfect size and I settled on small faux-holly to lace the bottom tier.

9. The lime meltaways were baked off and coated.

10. The pulled pork was transferred, covered, and placed in the fridge. I find it easier to deal with once it is refrigerated. The cooking liquid was separated for tomorrows sauce reduction.

Now I need to rest. Because I also cleaned and moved furniture, danced and ate apples on the floor with my eighteen-month old while laughing at Dora, emailed by deployed hero of a husband all kinds of pictures of all this happy activity and my daughter using the big dog as a pillow, and marveled at how much a my nearly seventh month along pregnancy can slow me down...

Good night, Pals. I surely have enjoyed visiting with you, as always.

1 comment:

Liz said...

When is the party? Looking forward to seeing the final nibbles.