Sixth Grade Friends 2003, charcoal on paper, 42 x 50 inches
I am fortunate to have groups of friends who like to eat together. The best meals are those to which we all contribute. At our house, I am the principal meal planner and preparer, so dinners shared with cooks/friends are a joy. And not just for the varied dishes everyone brings but for the company.
Six of my art girlfriends came for dinner last week. Sherry, Jane, Jen, Teresa, Ana and Karla. What a wonderful band of artists. We talked about artist residencies and travel plans, upcoming exhibitions and our children. And we drank wine and laughed.
We each made part of the meal ─ a sort of potluck but with a plan. I prepared the main dish, smoked salmon, and the others brought veggies, salad, wine, and dessert. The photos are of the leftovers. I was too engrossed in the meal and the conversation to remember to take pictures.
With Bud’s instruction, I smoked 3 ½ pounds of salmon on the Weber. After preparing the fire and wood chips, it took about 50 minutes to slowly cook the fish. I did this before everyone arrived so I wouldn’t freak out over the simple but unfamiliar preparation. I garnished the fillets with chopped parsley and dill and wedges of lime and lemon and served the fish at room temperature, my usual preference.
Sherry brought delicious braised purple carrots she had made with Jamie. Here’s the recipe in Sherry’s words:
Jane brought a cauliflower and chickpea dish that I remade a few days after our dinner. The recipe is from a book by Gwyneth Paltrow. A similar cauliflower salad is here ─ Busy day dinner
Toss cauliflower florets from a medium head and 2 cups drained, dried off chickpeas in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I used cooked Rancho Gordo beans but canned would do. Roast in a hot oven, 400°, until tender and browned, about 35 – 45 minutes.
Have ready a vinaigrette made with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon rough mustard, the kind with seeds, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil.
Mix the hot cauliflower and chickpeas with the vinaigrette. When ready to serve garnish with a good handful of chopped parsley.
Ana Maria made the salad, a delicious mixture of baby spinach, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and toasted pepitas. This is similar to the salad in Soup for a snowy autumn night
And for the finale to a glorious meal with glorious friends, Teresa and Karla brought dessert ─ Teresa’s apple tart served with ice cream. (Photo by Karla)