50th Dinner Party During the Snowpocalypse

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During our crazy Texas snowpocalypse, when I was without power for a solid 3.5 days, I received a contact form about a small 50th dinner party later in the month. I quickly emailed the client to explain that I was available for that date, but was currently without electricity, was freezing and grouchy, and asked for some time leeway for our initial phone consultation.

Thankfully, she was understanding and gave me some time. After a long, hot shower, a decent meal cooked indoors and not freezing over a camping stove outside, I gave her a call. We ended up just chatting for about 20 minutes about life, the ice/snow shutdown, and personal backgrounds. Knowing I could spend at least an hour just chatting away, we needed to get on to the task of discussing the event she’d originally contacted me about. We went over dietary restrictions, likes/dislikes, and I emailed her some menu ideas. Planning with her was a complete joy.

Upon arriving at their gorgeous brand new home Sunday afternoon, I immediately felt at ease with the hosts and their guests, which made preparing and serving their meal so much more fun! They chose 3 appetizers to enjoy during cocktail hour: crispy lobster ravioli with beurre blanc dipping sauce; roasted grape, brie, and walnut crostini; and prosciutto-wrapped colossal shrimp. We then moved them to the dining room table for a Caesar salad, followed by Italian wedding soup. The star of the night, in my humble opinion, was the veal osso buco atop risotto alla Milanese, with sautéed Swiss chard and kale. I set out small spoons and encouraged the guests to get down in the bone for the marrow as they enjoyed the incredibly tender braised veal shanks. The plates that came back to the kitchen, and the pleasant eating sounds coming from the dining room, made me very happy. They ended the birthday meal with tiramisu trifles. My assistant and I cleaned up the kitchen and headed out. Driving home I was filled with utter joy at the execution of this dinner party, and thought my smile couldn’t get any bigger, until I rounded the corner on 1604 and the fireworks display over Six Flags began. What a fantastic surprise ending to this job…spectacular fireworks on the horizon!

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