This morning I am recovering from a busy weekend. My husband and I spent most of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday preparing for a party we hosted Sunday afternoon. (Note to self, a Sunday afternoon party, following two morning services, may not be the best planning - although it turned out well for us).
The party was a thank-you event for the Search Committe members and their families, for the long hard work they did on behalf of this congregation, and my husband and me. We had about 17 people, some of whom do not eat dairy or meat, and one who is allergic to peanuts/nuts. I planned carefully, and served:
Appetizers: homemade guacamole with chunky salsa and organic chips; veggies with a garlic humuus dip.
Dinner: chicken salad with yogurt/mayo dressing, celery, green onions, salt, pepper, and basil. A curry brown rice lentil dish served warm, a salad of organic greens with add your own toppings - mandarian oranges, strawberries, dried cranberries, honey pecans (on the side and ok for the nut-allergy person), croutons, and either a balsamic dressing or a raspberry vineagrette, whole grain bread, or whole grain pita, with roasted red pepper huumus.
Beverages: Pinot noir, chardonnay, ice tea, lemonade, or Pellegrino with slices of lemon and lime.
Desert: cherry pie or mixed berry pie with vanilla ice cream or strawberry sorbet or peach sorbet, and herbal tea.
No paper goods were used. Instead I used my mother in laws china, and my husbands grandmothers china, my mothers silver, and real glass wine glasses for all the beverages. Tables were set with table clothes, cloth napkins, and in coffee cups and saucers I planted flowers for a table decoration - they were really cute.
So, some of you on Facebook have asked for the brown rice lentil recipe. I made enough for 20, so you will have to reduce, but be generous will the ingredients you like most.
Curry Brown Rice and Lentil
oil for sauteing
3 cups uncooked brown rice
1 small can tomato paste
chopped tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes with liquid
7 cups of water
cinnamon to taste (I used about one tablespoon)
curry to taste (I used green curry, about a tablespoon, maybe more)
salt and pepper
1 cup dried uncooked lentils
1 cup of raisins
saute onion in oil until tender. add brown rice and saute for a few minutes, add water, stir to blend. add tomato paste, seasons, lentils, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 30 minutes. pour into a baking dish, add raisins and diced tomatoes. blend well. taste for seasoning.
At this point I refrigerated the dish and baked it the next day so I could serve it warm. But regardless the final step is to cover and bake the dish, making sure that it still has enough liquid in it to finish cooking the rice and lentils - I add another 6oz of water, after letting it sit for a day). Then I baked it for an hour, less time if you make a smaller quantity and bake it while still warm from the pan.
The dish has a delightful blend of sweetness from the raisins and spice from the seasonings, as well as being good for ya!
I took the recipe from Vegetarian Times, but adapted it significantly. In the original recipe they did not use curry or chili powder or diced tomatoes, and added instead pine nuts, which I did not use.
So today I need to finish cleaning up from the party and rest before I return to work tomorrow. This week the Bishop is coming for the official "Service of Welcome" (AKA "Installation"). And then we have Pentecost with a baptism followed by the parish picnic. Another busy week! But then we move into the summer schedule, and hopefully a slightly slower pace.
That's my week. What about yours?