Sunday, February 5, 2012


I seem to have come full circle from my last blog post, "Duck Night", in which I chronicled my ever-fascinating dealings with having company over for dinner (I know, what would you all do without my riveting monologues?)((All, what, 3 of you?))
Well, Duck Night is a distant memory and now, less than one week afterward I am met with the query of what to serve to our next dinner guest who is coming Tuesday evening. And right now, I am drawing a complete blank.
Decisions are so much harder when you don't have a duck in the freezer, beckoning you to roast it to a turn (Pride and Prejudice reference anyone?).
I do have an elk heart in my freezer, but that doesn't beckon. It looms.
One way or another, I am not serving my guest elk heart. However, nearly everything else that I can find in my local grocery store is still on the hypothetical table. Chicken? Steak? Stuffed Manicotti? Homemade perogies? Barbqued Salmon?
I think I can narrow down my indecision to two main reasons: first, Duck Night planned itself, what with the duck being the reason for the company, the risotto going so well with the entree and the dessert being a fantastically easy make-ahead dish that never fails to wow. Second, this particular dinner guest knows all my tricks. He was privy to the original Duck Night two years back, and while it has been over a year since he has dined with us, I believe I have fed him steak, seafood, homemade bread and my finest goat cheese (mmmmm goat cheese...)
I love to treat my guests when they come over. Sure, I like to take pride in my cooking and to experiment and branch out, but ultimately, it's all about them. When I go to a restaurant, I rate my experience based on whether or not I could have made the same dish better at home. If no, then it was a good meal. I've gone to restaurants, ordered the White Wine sauce on pasta with shrimp and found to my dismay that it was all flavor with no subtlety and none of said flavor was 'wine'. I make better sauce at home.
In the same way, when people come to my house, I want to treat them to something that they wouldn't get at home - and not to say that I want to make something better than they would, but I would always hope to make something that they wouldn't try making on their own. Like, for example, duck. Honestly, who makes duck? (Really, you ought to try it. It's delightful.)
Anyway, perhaps what I need to do with this dinner is to reverse engineer it. Instead of starting with the main course and meal planning towards dessert, I'm going to pick a dessert and work backward. I know this guy likes creme brulee, and I've got a couple versions I've been dying to try. So, what goes good with creme brulee?
I'll let you know when I've figured that out!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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