November 15, 2015

Apple Weekend 2015

Last month we got together with friends and family for what has become a special tradition. Even with babies and families and with a few hours between us all, we know that at least for one weekend we will all get together and catch up and do some really good eating! This was the twelfth year. Our tradition is gaining attendees; Brenna and Cassidy's friends Aaron and Neary decided to not only come up from Boston for the weekend but also to each participate by making a dish for the big meal this year. Here are some pictures of the apple fun...
It was so cold! Willem was so distressed by his cold hands while trying to pick apples, that my mother offered him her socks and he accepted. He was quite a lot happier after that.
 Baby fun! These two are ten days apart.
And for the food...

Meg made a sweet-salty salad we gobbled up first of roasted squash, brie, candied nuts, apple, and dried cranberries, with a maple vinaigrette. Mmm.
Aaron assembling his soup right before serving. He knows Cass because they worked in kitchens together. I could tell he knew what he was doing by his perfectly diced pink chard I saw when I walked through the kitchen earlier in the afternoon. He is placing Hen of the Woods mushrooms into Lapsong Souchong broth along with the chard and flaky salt... I am sure I don't remember it all. But it was so interesting and thoroughly thought out. I ate every bite, mushrooms and all, and that's saying something. 
Bren made sweet-potato bacon cakes with fried beet curls and a bourbon-habanero aioli.
Matt made really tasty Cornish pasty with beer-braised beef short rib, Stilton mac and cheese, and pickled caramelized onions. The pastry opened up in the oven rather than staying sealed, so didn't have the look he intended, but it was an awesome combination of flavors. 
 Gord made butternut-squash risotto spiked with truffle oil.
I made this Smitten Kitchen blue cheese and red potato tart that I can't get enough of, using our potatoes. I paired it with some greens with this shallot dressing.
Cassidy made this fancy scallop and pork lardon topped with a cider reduction on wilted leeks.
Neary made the only (!) dessert: apple-cinnamon ice cream with a sesame brittle, paired (I think spur of the moment) with a whiskey that was a very nice end to the evening.

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