Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Menu

Jamie Oliver's "Sexy" Salad (figs, prosciutto, mozzarella, basil)

Grilled marinated tri-tip of beef
Tiny tomato salad
Lemon cappelini
Gratin of leek, fennel & cauliflower

Rhubarb/polenta cake
Whipped cream or marscapone

I must give enormous kudos to my youngest child who helped make Father's Day incredibly lovely and stress free. First, she laid supper the most beautiful table outside on the deck, with flowers and plants and different kinds of candles, pretty silver knives and forks, white napkins and my favorite sunflower plates. As it was the longest day, we felt it was our duty to eat outside, under the stars. She put candles everywhere, along the wooden deck rail, on the table, by the pool and the evening was kind to us and remained relatively mild. (Many people don't understand this about Los Angeles but because we live essentially in the desert the days are very hot but the nights cool down, especially in the canyon where the sun is shaded earlier in the day).

Next, she made lemon pasta, inspired by our visit to Darren's house in Milbrook last summer. It's very simple - spaghetti or cappelini with lemon juice, zest, olive oil, chopped basil, parmesan, salt and pepper.

We marinated a tri-tip in garlic, red pepper, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil, seared it on the hot grill and then let it cook slowly on a medium heat on the barbecue.

Her simple salad of tiny tomatoes of different colors, cut in half and tossed with a little good olive oil and salt was delicious and very pretty - like tiny jewels of tomato yumminess.

I changed the recipe for Mrs Leshem's gratin by adding leeks to the fennel and cauliflower and cooking it slightly longer. It's a great recipe and fun do a little different each time. Potatoes are also good in this recipe.

The Rhubarb Polenta cake credit goes to Mrs Trefusis who kindly sent me the recipe.

Father's and Mother's Days are always a bit tricky. Like horses, you can lead children to water, but they're on their own when it comes to "thoughtful" presents for their parents. Minks made a little shadowbox with a picture of the Maharishi and her, dancing. The 19 y-o, less thrilled to be home for a family supper, managed a card and a large bunch of sunflowers, which are the Maharishi's very favorite flowers and put a large smile on his face. The bright pink ribbon part was Minky's idea, though. The best part was that the children managed quite brilliantly to hold it together and not fight the entire evening, my perma-glued grin in their direction and my imploring "darlings please don't fight tonight, for my sake" like a tragic character from a 50s melodrama notwithstanding.

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