The Donut Committee scheduled a meeting for dinner Tuesday night at Bear Face’s new apartment. It was perfect because Betty Deville just sent me this Cherry Tomato Tart recipe and I found this Raspberry Lemonade Marshmallow recipe and was ready to build a meal around the two. With the weather being as hot as it had been, I thought a cold grilled vegetable salad would be good and my favorite grilled vegetable is yellow beets. Preparation started Sunday with a trip to the Minneapolis Farmers Market with Betty Deville for cherry tomatoes, yellow beets, basil, and zucchini. I also picked up onions and garlic. Betty picked up some lovely flowers for a hostess gift and for herself.
Next, I made the marshmallows with the fry/candy thermometer Mojo Monster bought me and raspberries out of my garden that had been frozen for storage. I almost killed the stand mixer whipping the cooked sugar into fluff but I got them in the pan to set and Mojo Monster and I licked the bow, beaters, and any other utensils the candy touched clean. I left the set up over night and cut them up into cute little squares Monday. Definitely did not grease the pan enough. In the future I will likely use wax paper and a deeper pan to make the marshmallows come out cleaner and more cube shaped. I added lemon zest to the sugar and corn starch I tossed the cut marshmallows in because I didn’t think they had enough lemon flavor which greatly enhanced the flavor but made the mixture clump and hard to coat with. This is the first time I’ve ever made marshmallows and I really like them. They are easy to make and taste like candy but still also taste like real food instead of the processed ones you buy at the store that just taste like sweetness.
Dinner was scheduled for Tuesday but Bear Face and our dancer friend could not make it. I had all the produce, made the marshmallows, and was busy the rest of the week, so I decided to cook anyway. I made my standard pie crust instead of the heavy cream based crust the Tomato Tart recipe calls for on accident. I definitely will try their crust next time because I am curious about the heavy cream crust. I was shocked to see the tomato tart was supposed to cook for 1 hr and 40 min at 325 degrees. I cooked it for 1 hr 10 min and it was perfect. I also put onion and garlic in a dish of olive oil and roasted that in the oven with the tart. When I served the tart I brushed the roasted tomatoes with the oil. There was oil left over which will also be really good for dipping crunchy french bread in at a later date and time.
It was so hot outside I didn’t want to have the oven or anything in the house making heat longer than I had to so I set up my little Smokey-Joe grill out back and lit some charcoals up to grill the vegetables.
I grilled giant portobello mushrooms and sliced baby eggplant from Costco and yellow beets, yellow zucchini, and green zucchini from the farmers market, brushed with olive oil and with salt and pepper. I overcooked some of the vegetables that went on first and undercooked some of the vegetables that went on last. I am still learning about grilling over charcoal because the temperature fluctuates and varies depending on grill position and how long the coals have been burning. Over or under-cooked, all the vegetables were still palatable except for a few pieces of extra chewy eggplant which I ate anyway.
Pretty Boy was assigned cold cuts, cheese, and “fancy crackers” for his contribution to the meal. He brough sliced ham and smoked turkey, a sharp cheddar and a spicy pepperjack to go with the garlic peppercorn gouda Mojo Monster had in the fridge, and whole wheat crackers and sesame rice crackers.
Betty Deville was on the marshmallow accompanying dessert and drink concoction. She brough Castle Rock Organic Farms vanilla ice cream, A Gourmet Thyme pistachio shortbread, and a Chocolove dark chocolate bar. For drinks, she combined a basil lemonade recipe with a citrus white wine cooler recipe to make her own unique concoction of basil simple syrup, lemon juice, white wine, and sparkling water. With a slice of lemon in it, it was beautiful and delicious.
Betty Deville, Pretty Boy, and I had a delightful dinner in my kitchen hiding from the hear, where we did not discuss any of the agenda items the committee is supposed to be addressing. Oh, well.
After dinner, I packed all the leftovers into three big “snack boxes” for Bear Face and Pretty Boy. Bear Face got two snack boxes and even got mason jars of the drink concoction and ice cream. Pretty Boy got one snack box and took his to work the next day. He said the tart crust wasn’t as good but he still ate it all. For someone who doesn’t like tomatoes or mushrooms, I put together a pretty tough meal for him, but as always, he was up for trying a little and was quite surprised he actually like the tomato tart.
It was a great summertime meal with great people. I am excited to start planning our next committee dinner and Betty Deville is excited to start experimenting with herb-booze concoctions. We are getting into a nice pattern of getting together on the weekend to buy treats and getting together during the week to cook dinner. I hope it continues.