I love the way good food brings people together...It provides a certain joy, a thrill of discovery, a satisfaction of knowing. A great way for people to spend a few hours together and have fun while exercising their creativity and their senses. And so it was on Monday, our first French Food Camp in San Diego. It was like book club without the books: the ladies all got together and sampled and tasted, and chatted and inquired….how to do this, what is that, where is this from and so on. We started with blood orange cocktails, and a discussion of Champagne drinks. Here the blood orange juice and a few additions are waiting for an overpour of Champagne.
Our hostess, Margarita, is a multilingual wonder and I can’t wait to spend more time with her talking about her life and her interests. I took over her kitchen, with chickens and citrus and jars of quince sauce. After the guests left, I stayed up talking with her until the wee hours; gracias~merci~grazie~
After the chickens went into the oven, we assembled our desserts together: two cakes, to start:
After I did a frosting demo, the ladies did the cake decor, using fruits and flowers and the candied rose petals I had brought. I loved this group~ They needed no instruction, and got right to decorating the cakes…and they did a pro job of it~
This is the second cake; C doing a great job with striped cake and striped shirt to match~
Brava! They had the idea to grate chocolate on top!
The second cake was more free-form as I was out of whipped creme. It became another option; sometimes a lesser-dressed cake is ok; this one happened to be gorgeous with red rose petals on top arranged in the shape of a flower, with a chocolate heart for a center~
The side by side~
filing the pots~
a little bite will do, topped with whatever they liked from the assortment of fruits and nuts and more flowers~
and then it was to table~
a perfect little salad and Italian goat cheese starter~
Followed by lemon risotto made from an enormous stock pot of vegetable broth. There was much preparation, time and care put into this food, and two days for this stock.
I taught L from Spokane how to make risotto. It can be so different to read a recipe versus have someone show you how in person. I can still see the look on her face as she tasted her finished dish. Oh wait, she had that look before the cheese and butter were added. It wad awesome, even before it got plated and dressed up with more cheese and more lemon zest.
And then there was the discussion and demonstration of chickens..here is just one of our finished birds….
We moved on to a surprise palate cleanser of a trio of sorbets: quince-blood orange, heirloom strawberry, and rose. Shades of red and rose, flavors of ….amazing…natural…seasonal….
to this, in small glasses, we added Champagne, vodka or cognac. OUI~~
By 11pm or so, everyone was done, or out, or in Melody’s case, in bed.
Thank you to all who joined for the evening…merci mille fois to the beautiful Margarita; I’m sure I’ll see you soon and hope we can get the group together for another French Food Camp~~