Monday, November 30, 2009

Food and Friends

This fall has been much milder than last year. In fact, one year and one week ago, Freda and I saw a deer laying at the edge of the water on the other side of the lake, being 'guarded' by two bush wolves. We walked around the lake with the dogs to scare off the bush wolves and give the deer a chance to escape. Unfortunately, the deer had broken one of his front legs when he broke through the ice while crossing the lake, and was probably exhausted from swimming across the ice encrusted lake. Click to read the full blog entry: The saga of the young deer.

One year and one week ago was also memorable for another reason - that was the day that Freda fell through the ice and was rescued thanks to the efforts of our neighbours Emma, and her mom Colleen. Also, Emma and Colleen would not have been around to help Freda if it wasn't for Maddy visiting at our next door neighbours. We were too traumatized to think straight last year, but we needed to say a special thank you to our neighbours for helping Freda. So I decided to make a special meal and invite them over.

This is what we had on Saturday (after the Christmas parade in Carleton Place).

This was the appetizer - baked brie. It looked yummy and it was very yummy!! I served it with Triscuit crackers, which was a nice accompaniment. This was the first time I had done anything with phyllo pastry, or made this dish before, so I was very happy that it turned out.

I guess I got busy with things and forgot to take photos of the other dishes. The other dishes were maple glazed baked butternut squash, roast beef (sirloin tip), and spinach and tomato salad. For dessert, I made a four minute chocolate mousse which was so very delicious! I garnished the mousse with some grated milk chocolate and it was pretty as well. Yum!!

Actually, making the "four minute" mousse took me about two hours - but that includes the measuring and the cleanup :). Obviously the "four minute" part of the title must exclude the measuring and cleanup. It took me so long because I kept messing up the meringue. The first time I put the sugar in the meringue before I started whipping the egg whites and of course it wouldn't make stiff peaks. The second time, I crunched up the sugar too much in the coffee grinder (I cleaned it out thoroughly first) so the meringue was just kind of gloppy. I was crunching up the sugar because I couldn't find caster sugar in any of our regular grocery stores. The third time I was lucky and it worked out.

But what to do with the extra meringue? I thought of the Pecan Sandies I had made before. So I grabbed some pecans, chopped them up a bit, mixed them into the egg whites and plopped them on a tray into the oven. Except for making them too big, they were perfect and were super delicious!

This is Freda with our heroes, from left: Emma, Maddy, Freda, Colleen. Thank you very much!!! And thank you also to Steve who didn't mind that a soaking wet person was sitting on the seat of his new truck when he had only had it for two days!!

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