It's my daughter Gillian's birthday today. A round numbered one. And she asked if, instead of going out to dinner at some fancy shmancy joint to celebrate, whether I would make a special dinner at home.
With the fancy shmancy china and silverware and different size wine glasses for different wines for different courses.
So, okay, I have the china and silverware and wine glasses. All I have to do there is make sure I have candles for the candlesticks, iron the napkins, fill the salt cellars, set the table and so on. Ed will take care of the wine.
It's all good.
BUT WHAT SHOULD I COOK?
Something new and glamorous? Fancy shmancy?
Should I make a soup? Like Beet Soup with Orange and Mint (even the name sounds fancy doesn't it?).
For the main course I'm thinking maybe lamb. Everyone in the family eats that. But she really does like turkey. Unfortunately turkey is not the universal family favorite, so maybe no? Plus -- Gillian is our family carver, so could I really ask her to do all that slicing and deboning for her birthday dinner?
Another dilemma is that Gillian is not such a big dessert person. Or at least what people consider the usual kinds of dessert. This dessert thing would be easy if the birthday person was my son-in-law Greg. He likes chocolate cake.
Ed would always welcome chef Raymond Oliver's Normandy Ice Cream (coffee with Grand Marnier).
For me, birthday dessert is always apple pie.
We are celebrating in a few weeks, so I have some time to finalize the menu plus make sure I buy those candles.
If anyone has suggestions -- I am all ears.
In the meantime, should I also make some candy? Like chocolate dipped dried fruit?
Chocolate Dipped Dried Fruit
- 2-1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons orange-flavored brandy or rum
- 50 pieces (approximately) dried fruit such as crystallized ginger, apricot halves, candied orange peel (about 6 ounces)
Melt the semisweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate and butter in the top part of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Let the ingredients melt, remove the top part of the pan from the heat, pour in the brandy and stir to make a smooth, uniform mixture. Dip each piece of fruit in the chocolate mixture, shake off the excess and place on waxed paper or parchment paper to dry.
Makes approximately 50 pieces