Breakfast For Dinner - with lots of Champagne!
Sharing some Sucessful Party Ideas...
Unbelievable as it might seem, I am now forty years and one week old. To celebrate, as regular readers already know, I spent a fantastic six days in New York with my family and Fred. They all spoilt me rotten. As if that wasn't enough, I couldn't return to San Francisco without throwing a blow-out party with the generous help of my Bay Area friends. I just couldn't let the opportunity pass me by: Hitting a new decade is a great excuse for a par-tay! I rented a 10,000-song state-of-the-art karaoke setup and declared that the evening's theme should be Breakfast, Brunch, Champagne and Cocktails.
I had ambitious catering plans which were thwarted by the arrival of the karaoke machine early on Saturday afternoon. I should have been in the kitchen, cooking, but I couldn't help practising my singing instead. (Believe me, I needed it). The dish above was intended to be several layers of crepes sandwiched with fruit and cream. Instead, for the sake of speed, I ended up quickly caramelizing the crepes with the help of some sugar and my handy blow torch, covering them with a cloud of whipped cream folded with some excellent Blis Maple Syrup, and then topping them with raspberries, tayberries and some candied pecans. [Batch number two, the first lot burnt whilst I turned my back for a
My lemon poppy seed muffins also suffered a Karaoke-induced inconsistent fate. There is only one variety of muffin on this plate but the colour of each was determined by how much too long I left each batch in the oven whilst wharbling away to myself. Silly me!
The Fatted Calf - my favourite Bay Area Charcuterie artisans - have recently taken posession of a new smoker. I wasn't prepared for what a difference this would make to their bacon. Taylor seems to be cutting it thicker than ever and it is beyond delicious. If you live in the Bay Area you owe it to yourself to check out The Fatted Calf's bacon at your earliest convenience. You will thank me. This batch of bacon was diced up to go in a custardy Portobello mushroom and bacon bread and butter pudding. Mmmmmmm. Other rashers were left whole and put out on the table for nibbling. They didn't last long...
Dozens of wonderful friends arrived with their own versions of breakfast dishes for the pot luck. Soon our table was laden with french toast, berries, blueberry scones, tortillas, smoked salmon open sandwiches, herb and pinenut scones, strata, shrimp, amazing homemade stickier-than-sticky buns, strawberries, waffles with nutella, sausages on sticks and all sorts of other delicious goodies that had all the guests, and me, groaning with delight. We washed it all down with copious bottles of Veuve Cliquot and other sparkling wines that people were kind enough to bring along, Kir Royals made with Hangar One Framboise, freshly squeezed orange juice, Bloody Marys made with Hangar One's rare Wasabi Vodka and experimental ingredients like freshly grated horseradish and English Mustard powder. [I don't think I ever did get to sample the result of that particular, peculiar mix].
I wish I had managed to photograph everybody's wonderful contributions to the meal but, you know, real life got in the way of blogging potential. The lights dimmed, as yet unknown superstars oiled up the karaoke machine, the eating the drinking and the dancing started and we partied on into the small hours. Photographs of people (and food bloggers) losing their inhibitions in front of the karaoke machine are not really suitable for sharing on a food blog. You'll just have to believe me when I say everyone seemed to be having a very good time indeed...
PS. Thanks again to everyone who joined us in such good spirits and helped me round up a wonderful week of celebration in perfect style. It meant so much to me that all my friends were there. I am a lucky girl, I have wonderful friends. I thank you all. And thanks also, to all of my readers, who left such treasured good wishes as comments on my special day too.
Links, Resources and Further Reading
Bay Area Resources:
Buy Fatted Calf Bacon on Saturdays at | the Farmers Market in SF or Berkeley.
Framboise and incredible Vodka | from Hangar One and St George Spirits.
Raspberries and tayberries | from Yerena Farms
Where to rent Karaoke in San Francisco? | Nick Foster for excellent service.
|Archive Alert! On this day in 2005: Rice at the W in San Diego|
Food | Eat Local | Party | San Francisco | Bay+Area | Karaoke | Breakfast | Brunch Breakfast For Dinner - with lots of Champagne!