Tilting toward the sun, ChezHelvetica celebrated the Summer Solstice with Scandinavian-inspired revelry and best possible friends – the Cava4 (as #5 was in Scotland)! Our tea party started with Crab Toast, a luxurious combination of French Baguette toast slathered with brown butter mayonnaise and sweet Dungeness Crab. Sparkling Breathless Blanc de Noirs paired perfectly with this course.Glazed Fresh Orange Scones with hints of Vanilla and Cardamom, doused with luscious Lemon Curd, and Pineapple cubes followed.
A traditional symbol in European celebrations are flower crowns so we played musical chairs, moving to the other end of the table with our overflowing blossoms and greens to create our crowns. Sweet Lemon Iced Tea energized this very focused multi-step creation.
The sweet send-off were Strawberry Tartlets. Ground Almonds, Walnuts and Pecans cradled a Strawberry, Lemon Verbena and Honey filling (topped with rich Whipped Cream) for a distinctive new taste. SUMMER HAPPINESS!!!
Shape things the way you want! While these words of wisdom apply to life in general, ChezHelvetica applies this concept to culinary creations. Fortunately, a co-chef with experience in Kodiak Cake design cooks up the best shape for any occasion. Valentine’s Day showcased beautiful heart shapes fringed with Navel Oranges, Raspberries and Organic Blueberries, then doused with sweet Maple Syrup. More recently, round cakes framed Medina Farms Strawberries and Blueberries, laced with home-made Lemon Curd. Thanks to dear friend Susan who gifted me with Meyer Lemons from her garden and Ina Garten/Food Network for the great recipe, the rich sweet/tart curd dressed our pancakes with enough left over to share with neighbors. My Aunt and Mother surrounded these tables virtually through their beautiful crystal gifts!
Q. How to thank a dear friend for an exquisite painting? A.A workof art for a work of art – fare trade! While ChezHelvetica’s centerpiece Cobb Salad doesn’t match the effort taken to create the beautiful canvas, the overture was heartfelt. Robert Cobb’s classic Brown Derby recipe received a new coat of culinary paint with the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market‘s freshly-picked Romaine Hearts, Curly Endive, Rotisserie Chicken and award-winning Point Reyes Farmstead Blue Cheese. Safeway‘s Farmer John thick-sliced Bacon, Open Nature Cage-Free Eggs, Kalamata Olives, and Trader Joe’s Avocado and Pearl Tomatoes completed the platter – all dressed in Stonehouse Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Dijon Mustard and a touch of Organic Cane Sugar. (Sadly, I found the perfect Chives purchased to garnish the Salad untouched in the refrigerator the next day…) Wild Mountain Raw Honey showered Medina Farms Blackberries, Strawberries and ToryFarms Oranges, also sweetening Mighty Leaf Ginger Tea, as confidantes shared exciting secrets in the new chapters of their lives!