Last week I created a dinner for ten, as a fundraiser for our local Soroptimists supporting women and girls in education and entrepreneurship. We called it “Entice with Spice” and this was our menu.
I am not a caterer, but it was the brainchild of Wendy McGuire, former owner of Ganosh Gourmet (ganosh = gnosh, ganache + ganesh because Wendy is truly multicultural in kitchen and in life). Wendy promised to help, and I put my trust in her, even as she trusted me to take the lead in offering a rich experience of spices.
We began with appetizers by the fireside and a chat about Ayurveda, focusing then on food and spicing for your body type, the medicinal value of spices, sampling the six tastes, and some of the best spices for each dosha. Intricately enticed, the guests moved to the dinner table where we served a sumptuously spiced meal to delight every sense.
Having just met Erin Gleeson at The Front Porch when she came in for a book signing and taste samplings (Thank you Sally!), I was inspired to borrow those same drinks and appetizers served. It lent perfect holiday color, while aligning with the “Indian Raj” theme that delighted our gin- and scotch-loving guests with twists on their usual.
Here are the recipes:
Drinks (inspired by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast)
Appetizers (also inspired by Erin Gleeson)
Ginger Miso Consommé
Digestive Tonic (fresh mint and lemon infused bitters)
Plates of Indian Treats
I think they liked it. They were kind enough to write.
“Wow, we’re still basking in the warm glow of what surely ranks up there as one of the most interesting, beautiful, original and downright DELICIOUS evenings ever! Thank you both so very much for including us – it was perfect in every single way!”
“It was wonderful!!! We fully enjoyed the evening and our guests have been raving about what fun it all was. The next day I babysat two of our granddaughters came over for the day and they loved seeing the party things. Thank you again for donating this lovely experience for Soroptimists.”
Big thanks to our hostess Gail for her generous gift to Soroptimists, and a big thanks to Coronado Soroptimists for all you do to support our communities, and for the Ruby Award that gave launch to our Sophia Camp.
I send out immense gratitude to Wendy who offered her kitchen when our house burned just as the three days of prep began, and whose patience, expertise and heart really made this the magical night that it was.
Thank you Shannon Jones for these gorgeous photographs. Thank you Sally for the invitation to meet Erin, and for all the ways you inspire me, and thanks to all of you who bring beauty, nourishment and love to our world. To me, beauty, friendship and delight is the best medicine of all.
If you would like Erin’s Forest Feast Recipebook, please leave a comment below. I will pick a name randomly and send it out next week. How do you celebrate this season of light?
Happy Holy Days. I wish you all love, joy and peace.