Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pre-Game: Birthday Dinner

Tonight's meal is all about not working too hard. Time is of the essence. Time spent by the fire eating and drinking is of the essence. Time standing by the stove is not of the essence. Thankfully, a favorite of both of ours is easy and luxurious. Buckwheat blinis, smoked trout, salmon roe, with capers, red onions and sour cream (I was going to get creme fraiche but this local sour cream looked really good). Deep fried oysters with a traditional remoulade. And your very basic shrimp cocktail, which I never tire of. Cocktail sauce? But of course. Champagne? Chilling. Apricot vodka (which I haven't tried yet)? On deck. Some good beers? On the porch, perfectly cold. Dessert? You know, I just bought something small to stick a candle in. After all that, dessert isn't really necessary, right? Maybe just a nice, thick and honeyed ice wine that's been gathering lots of good old dust.

Post Script: The meal was fabulous and if you haven't made buckwheat blinis, well, plan on doing it very soon. I will now make them regularly. I love buckwheat. To be very honest, there was one hitch to the night and that was a teething toddler who woke up just as we were going to tuck into some fresh out of the Fry Baby oysters. Steve sadly had to eat them alone (not so sad, I'm sure) while I went to try and put Z back to sleep. But all in all, as you can see by the dark and fuzzy pictures below, the evening fulfilled its destiny.

Buckwheat Blinis, Joy of Cooking:
Heat 3/4 cup of milk and 3 tbsp. of butter, so that butter melts. Let the mixture cool down to about 11o degrees and add 1 1/2 tsp. of yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir up and add to flour mixture, which is: 1/2 cup white flour, 1/2 cup buckwheat flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar. Whisk well, cover in plastic wrap and let sit somewhere warm for an hour. You can cook them immediately, or beat them down and cover up, then refrigerate for up to 8 hours. (It's better to let it sit for a little while.) Remove from fridge for twenty minutes, stir down. Add two large eggs. Let sit another 5 minutes. Use a heaping teaspoon for each blini.


  1. The table looks great and your plans sound spectacular. I hope you have a great holiday!

  2. So far, so good, Christine! Thank you! I hope yours is equally spectacular.

  3. Your dinner plans sound great! Love the table setting. Have a great thanksgiving dinner :)