I have to bring appetizers and desserts for 25 people for an after memorial service event in NY next weekend. What to take has proved a challenge, because the dishes have to be a) transportable by auto b) able to be cooked ahead and c) something approved by the hostess who has lots of food phobias. There will be children from 4 years on up, and most of the people will have fairly sophisticated palates. After much mulling, I have decided to make a cheesecake with smoked salmon (appetizer of course) which serves 25. It sounds absolutely delicious and there are few occasions for hors d'oeuvres for so many. I'm also making cheese straws with pimenton, which can be baked, frozen, thawed, and placed in the oven to re-crisp. Made these before and they're quite yummy. Third hors d'oeuvre will be made on the spot at the request of the hostess, a tried-and-true appetizer from the 70's and 80's, to wit, hot artichoke dip.
Dessert was even more problematical. The hostess wanted something not requiring knives and forks, and she doesn't like chocolate, blueberries or poppy seeds. Kids, this eliminates a whole slough of desserts. And remember it has to be made ahead. I settled on a lemon loaf cake, pecan pie bars, and a recipe from today's Boston Globe, a rhubarb crumble cake. Thank you Globe.
We have a cooler on wheels that has gone to Burning Man and on many shorter trips including to a family reunion in Georgia and to Tanglewood. Bless that cooler! I will let you know if the savory salmon cheese cake tastes as delicious as it sounds. It has leeks and will be garnished with chives since someone doesn't like parsley.
I have always been lucky, because Significant Other likes everything but coconut, beets and cinnamon in large quantities. I eat just about anything except runny eggs and offal. Sometimes we'll peruse a menu where EVERYTHING sounds delicious. When I was a kid I was ungodly picky. Can't tell you how many school lunches where I ate a roll, drank the milk and forewent the rest of the food. The worst, totally yucko, were stewed tomatoes with saltines in them. On a par with that was gloppy hamburger gravy served over mashed potatoes. The only thing I recall liking was the American Chopped Suey we got on Wednesdays.
Sometime between 18 and 23 I learned to eat practically everything. Life is better and certainly easier. So bring on the salmon cheese cake! Hurrah for rhubarb. Three cheers for chicken livers!