Our winter feast has rapidly become one of the highlights of our year, with every course hotly debated. Elizabeth and I spent quite a few sessions flipping through cookbooks and looking up recipes online before coming to conclusions, and this year she helped me make much more of the meal.
Since we're able to hang out with Grandma J in person but no one else is allowed in our house, she was our guest of honour. We all got dressed up. I couldn't believe that Elizabeth still fits into her dress first worn for the winter feast two years ago! Admittedly it was huge then and much shorter now... Some of us even wore dress shoes. Elizabeth and Amelia have sadly outgrown theirs but luckily it was decided shoes did not matter.
The stuffed pepper recipe originally called for mini peppers, but apparently those are not available here right now because I actually went to three different stores and none of them had such things. So I settled for using parts of a pepper. I'm not sure the egg would have fit in a mini pepper.
We couldn't decide on a soup, so we asked Grandma and she suggested an Austrian speciality involving crepe noodles in a clear broth that she used to serve for diplomatic dinners. Unfortunately I didn't get around to making a homemade broth and the gluten free broth box I chose was curiously bland. None of the kids really liked it. We'll have to try again with some homemade broth.
I made half-size mini jellos this year as we'd found the quantity a bit too much last year. They were perhaps not quite as beautiful as last year as it's harder to make the flowers in smaller jello and I let the kids have free rein, but they were great fun to make. Michael especially enjoyed eating his, though his jello table manners require some work...
We were so focussed on all the other dishes that I actually kind of forgot about main course. Consequently I'd say it was the weakest part of the meal. Oh well!
I was surprised by how easy it was to make sorbet even though I don't have a special machine or anything. Hmm. I mostly did so because I couldn't bear to pay $13 for a tiny amount of sorbet and I didn't want a giant box while we're trying to limit sugar and get ready for lent.
The cheese platter last year was appreciated but boring. This year I had way too much fun selecting multi-coloured gluten free crackers. The green ones were RW Garcia kale crackers, the purple ones were Laiki black rice and the yellow ones were Mary's Real Thin Sea salt crackers. I also bought about nine different kinds of cheese. I didn't end up even putting it all out. We had a smoked cheddar and some goat cheese, havarti, gouda, brie and a few random others selected for variety.
We borrowed a beautiful candelabra from our neighbours Lauren and Ronnie and we pulled out special glasses given to us by Auntie Mary.
Starter (Hors d'oeuvre): Egg Stuffed Peppers
Potage (Soup): Frittaten Suppe
Poisson (Fish): Salmon Crostini
Entrée: Chicken with roasted veggies and beans
Homemade raspberry lemon Sorbet as palate cleanser
Salades: Strawberry kiwi feta salad
Fromage: Cheese platter
Dessert: Triple chocolate mousse bites
We finished up our evening with tea or coffee in front of the fire.