Dinner with friends
I think Kris and I had been talking about having dinner with her family for three years, and tonight we finally did it.
Her whole family is passionately engaged with food. Researching it, making it, writing about it, definitely eating it. Their kitchen is massive, with the largest center island/chopping board I’ve ever seen in a home. And the whole family contributes to the dinner process.
Shaun did the main dinner, making two of his favorites. First, pizza bread rolls. He made two kinds, one was vegetarian with lots of broccoli, the other was a sweet/spicy bbq chicken.
While waiting for dinner to bake, I browsed the kitchen, where a number of persimmons were hanging up to dry. This process is called hoshigaki, where persimmons are peeled, and gently massaged, resulting in a thick, chewy dried fruit covered in natural sugar crystals.
But back to dinner! I forgot to get a photo of the soup. This is also a specialty of Shaun’s, named Dada Soup. It’s made of ultra fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, pureed and run through a chinoise, resulting in a rich, nutritious and creamy soup, even though it’s completely vegan. His young daughter loves it, and this is critical, as she gets many servings of healthy fruits and vegetables from it. Tonight’s soup had a lot of beets and carrots in it, resulting in a deep velvety orange-red soup that might look like it had tomatoes and cream in it, but actually had none. It was really really good.
The pizza rolls…well, how can you go wrong with fresh bread out of the oven. We ate way more than we should have.
Nancy was in charge of dessert, and she made a delicious bread pudding. While dinner was being prepared, there was vanilla ice cream freshly churning, and we got our pudding a la mode.
Last but not least, a carefully pulled cafe latte from Shaun, using Blue Mountain Kona beans and a special pump espresso machine. There was even latte art.
I was so full, he understood that I wouldn’t be able to finish the cafe latte, but I was happy to have a go at it.
This family knows their shit! My gift to them was two year’s worth of Saveur magazine, which I hope they’ll enjoy reading as much as I did and maybe inspire them. They’re already the types to travel abroad to learn different culinary techniques.