Notes From Swan's Nest


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Party Menu and Projects

It didn’t take long for me to settle on a menu for Saturday’s launch party at Swan’s Nest. Since we’re celebrating the national release of my television special, A Home for Christy Rost: Thanksgiving, I thought it appropriate to serve recipes from the show, plus several seasonal and buffet-friendly items from my cookbooks.

So, here’s what I selected: Roast turkey served with little rolls and condiments, Italian Sausage Cornbread Dressing, Autumn Roasted Vegetables, Sweet Potato and Apple Gratin (a dynamite recipe I developed recently for my Texas television cooking show, Just Like Home), Three Cheese Macaroni, Brown Rice with Apples, Dates and Raisins, and Green Beans Amadine with Roasted Garlic. I also have a selection of cheeses for guests to sample with a glass of wine while they settle in.

Last evening, I sewed four fabric snakes and filled them with dry pinto beans to help stop drafts under the exterior doors. They appear to be doing a great job. Next, since the sewing machine was already out, I decided to sew the lace curtain I’ve been meaning to make for the downstairs powder room for the past year. Nothing like an impending party to get one motivated to complete a few projects! During the process, I found that laying the lace on the dining room wood floor worked like a charm for keeping the lace edges straight as I measured and pinned the hems. I just followed the seams of the boards. Of course, crouching on the floor late at night isn’t the best position for one’s lower back the next morning, but the lace curtain looks fabulous.

Today I completed my grocery shopping and baked two recipes of cornbread for the dressing, plus a graham cracker crust for the Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake I offered to contribute to Angel’s dessert buffet. I also managed to hang the remaining lighted pine swag on the front porch railing, despite frigid temperatures. Afternoon sunshine helped make the job bearable, and I only had to run into the house twice to warm up my hands. By six o’clock this evening, it was zero degrees outside and still dropping.

Tomorrow will be a big day in the kitchen – a good place to be on a cold day. I prefer to make as much of my menu in advance so I’m not crazy the day of a party, which factored into my menu selection. Nearly all of the recipes for Saturday’s party may be prepared in advance and will only require warming or baking in the oven before serving. At least, that’s the plan. I’ll let you know how it goes.