Party's over. The flowers on the table are volunteers from the terrace - the snakeroot and asters, which are three feet tall, now.
Two good, kind, generous friends came to dinner for the first time - we have been to several lunches in their gorgeous garden in New Jersey, and have been their guests on more than one special occasion. But how to repay the men who have everything?
The least I could do was cook.
They were good, and kind and generous and the octogenarian gave us stern advice for the decisions we make about where to live, and why. I tucked my tail between my legs. Then he offered his wonderful garden and kitchen to me if I ever want to cook dinner for rather high-paying guests.
What do you think?
I liked the first course best: two tiny baked potatoes each, slit and stuffed with crème fraîche and shaved bottarga. Carrot, cumin and curry soup followed, then a rather boring salad of quick pickled beets, orange and wild arugula (I know, zzzz - it needed nice nuts and more interesting greens), then roasted monkfish wrapped in happy-pig, no-nitrate bacon, with caramelized grapes and creamy-buttery puréed cauliflower, and finally some brûléed chocolate mousses, white and dark.
And cheese. We managed to fit in some cheese.