As the days darkened and the end of year came near, we prepared to host our third and final dinner series meal. We planned and prepared, visited new grocery stores, and tried to make a meal that would help us usher in the coming winter. It has become kind of a tradition to include a winter meal in the dinner series ventures, and even though it seemed a bit of a departure from the topics of the previous two, it seemed like a good way to end the year!
We planned a menu of hearty dishes and fragrant drinks (recipe links below), and tried to create a warm atmosphere for our guests. But we wanted to remind them that winter was around, and so for the first course we asked everybody to join us outside at the park to eat soup! Somehow, being out in the cold made the rest of the dinner feel more intimate. Once inside, we sat around the table with candlelight as our only light source. After eating a delicious bean and leek cassoulet with fresh greens, we gave everyone a parchment present with hake and vegetables inside. Finally, for dessert, we passed around small cups of homemade eggnog and chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons.
The meal was our least curated event, apart from the food and some small decorations; we didn’t have a set topic or obvious theme. It was a simple meal, but it was full of warmth and liveliness. As we sat with old friends around the table along with some new ones, we reminded ourselves of the reasons we hold these events; to share with each other, make new friends, and create a family around the table.
Rosemary Gin Fizz
From A Cup of Jo
A seasonal cocktail that’s easy to make and wonderful to drink! We tripled this recipe for cocktails for 13 people, and we didn’t have any trouble finishing it. The sprig of rosemary in the glass accentuates the wintery feeling of the drink!
From the NYTimes Mag
Although the store-bought kind is delicious, this homemade eggnog will be a unique treat for dessert. Fresh nutmeg is essential to this frothy drink! Try to find it in your local spice shop where you can just buy a couple pieces at a time.