When we first arrived in California from London seven years ago, I met some random parent on the school yard. We were chitchatting aimlessly, as you do, when apropos of nothing she confided: "My passion is tabletop". I immediately imagined, as you do, she and her husband inflagrante on their mahogany dining table. Normally I would have said: "EEEww, that's not a good visual!" but I was new to Oakland, maybe this was usual here in wacky East Bay? (Plus I wouldn't have said it like Hannah Montana using verbs like "visual" as a noun.)
I was relieved to realise, when she started going on about forks and plates, that her tabletop passions where just that: she loved "setting the table" as we kiwis say.
Terrestra and as usual, in lieu of namecards I wrote names with a silver Sharpie on magnolia leaves, from the tree out the front.
Hors deuvres are triple cream cheese(whoooah, calories) from Seal Bay, New Zealand from Village Market with Feijoas and starfruit, found, amazingly, at Safeway. Feijoas have a wonderful sweet and sour taste that is unlike any other fruit. We try a slice dropped into our glasses of Pol Roget, brought by Gary and Ross. Farid, Mary (my only kiwi friend here) arrive. Farid brought his wine in his caramel leather wine bag . You know when you see that bag you are in for a treat. This time it carries Carruades de Lafite 1999 from France, and Bricco Manzoni Langhe 2001, from Italy.
I made pork tenderloin, marinated and cooked in raspberry chipotle (use the Fisher and Wieser sauce) a no fail sweet and spicy dish. And butternut squash whole cut in half with apple puree over the top. Cy (six) cut lettuces from his vege garden which seems to have shot up in just days. Ross is from the south so he bought dirty rice, a Cajun dish. You can find the recipe in Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking. The "dirty" colour comes from from the chopped liver and gizzards. I was delighted to hear that as I love innards of all sorts. Has a hint of hint of fire and a lot of earthiness. Even better for breakfast.
Here's the tabletop debris the following morning. Look at me, performance artist. How very Tracy Emin. I could charge people to watch my dinner parties, followed by next morning clean-up. Brilliant!
Not sure why, but I always find a pair of my shoes on the table the next morning. Often they are not the same ones I wore the night before. I suspect a stage in the evening is reached when I simply must show off some of my shoes.
Or maybe it's their passion for tabletop that gets the shoes trotting down here by themselves in the middle of the night...