Archives for category: Dinner Party

Floral and Apples Centerpiece

We missed last week’s White House state dinner for South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Mrs. Kim Yoon-ok.   But the “celebration of a fall harvest” theme and the fact that Korean and American pears were part of the dessert menu is worth a Pear Twist quick recap.   Autumn harvest colors—red and orange—and fall foods set the tone for the October 13 East Room dinner.     There was a rectangular head table for twenty and round tables of ten each with its own color scheme and floral centerpieces filled with “hundreds of apples.”    Shadows of fall leaves and apples projected on the walls and ceiling enhancing the fall harvest feel.

Head Table

During the post-dinner reception in the State Dining Room, guests were entertained by the hot sounds of Janell Monae and the classical sounds of the Ahn Trio. Here’s the yummy 4-course menu, which included foods from the White House garden.

Table with Red Color Theme

First course: Butternut squash bisque, honey poached cranberries, Virginia cured ham, pumpkin seed praline, crème fraiche.

Second course: Early fall harvest salad on daikon sheets, masago rice pearl crispies, rice wine vinaigrette.

Main course: Texas Wagyu beef, orange-ginger fondue, sauteed kale, roasted kabocha squash.

Dessert: Chocolate malt devil’s food layers with pear and almond brittle.

American wines.

Table with Green Color Theme

Rosh Hashanah Dinner Party

Shana Tova!  Happy New Year—the year 5,772.  No, there’s no dancing in the streets of New York’s Time Square, no confetti, and no silver ball drop.  Yes, a horn is played—the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn. It’s Rosh Hashanah when many celebrate the Jewish New Year in synagogues and at a festive gatherings over dinner with friends and family.  As a faux foodie, I’m focusing on the food aspect of the season.

Apples and Honey

Like most holidays, this one is full of symbolism and traditions.  And there is an abundance of holiday foods in round shapes with sweet tastes.  Round challah loaves filled with raisins, cut and dipped in honey (some do dip it in salt) are part of the traditional holiday feast.   There are comfort foods galore including brisket, chopped liver and a head of a fish—or lamb—reflecting Rosh Hashanah, which means “head of the year.”   Kreplach, meat-filled dumplings, in broth; matzoh ball soup; and sweet carrot stew called tzimmes are menu musts.  Other sweets eaten are apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year and pomegranates, symbolic of a year full of good deeds.  Pomegranates also mark the custom of eating a new fruit, one not tasted before the season.  Most bitter or sour flavors don’t make it to the high holiday table.

Rejuvenate, celebrate, and appreciate good friends, family, and food…that’s expected during this holiday kicking off the year 5,772.