52 Dinners - Week 40: Lizzo, JVN, and Moroccan Chicken Pastilla
Many of us fail to celebrate our successes when we should.
But thankfully kweens like Lizzo and Jonathan Van Ness are making self love a bit more en vogue, so indulge me as I pat myself on the back and toot my horn. Last night I made a multi-course Israeli feast for 26 people.
I worked my ass off all week, putting in countless hours single handedly preparing 30ish different items inspired by recipes from the cookbooks of Mike Solomonov.
I put my heart and soul into each dish, using almost entirely Vermont ingredients, with veggies from our garden and from 1000 Stone Farm and meat from our friends and neighbors.
Everything turned out absolutely perfectly, and I honestly can’t remember the last time that I felt this much pride or sense of accomplishment (or exhaustion). My only regret is that I wasn’t able to take the time to shoot many decent photos.
We started with cocktail hour on the porch of the party barn, where I served Moroccan chicken pastilla with cinnamon and almonds, little latke with house-cured gravlax, and grilled watermelon with pistachio and feta while guests sipped on a Jerusalem Fizz (arak with grapefruit and mint).
Then the curtains parted and guests were invited into the dining room to find a seat. Dinner was served family-style, and it lasted for about four hours.
I managed to find the right balance of chef/host/manager and it was all executed seamlessly. I couldn’t have done it without my fabulous servers Ally and Sarah, and of course Bailey.
Our buddy Steve recently built me this charcoal grill out of an old propane tank (with Queen Anne legs!) and it was so much fun to fire up last night.
I can guarantee that we’ll be doing many similar dinners here on the farm next summer. This is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my time and energy. Not only am I really good at it, but it brings me so much joy to be able to create these special experiences for people.
I'm so grateful that I get to frequently cook Israeli food for Kingdom Direct, delivering farm fresh food to hungry Vermonters. Get yours: