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An ESADE Acceptance Celebratory Feast

April 24, 2007

So how dumb am I? Last night I put together a Mediterranean-style feast in celebration of my housemate’s acceptance to business school in Spain. I made crostini with tapenade and artichokes and aioli and marinated olives and delicious cheese and little chocolate tarts and plated everything and it was lovely and then I forgot to take pictures. We were just so excited! My excitement is mixed with extreme sadness at her imminent departure, but I’m still excited for her.

I suppose it’s really just as well, because this was about the most semi-homemade dinner I’ve ever made. But I was proud of myself for putting the whole idea together in the grocery store in about 10 minutes, and Crystal was overjoyed, although at that point I suspect she would have been overjoyed no matter what. So, I’m not going to write up anything long and fancy, but I do some quick words to share.

I topped the crostini with a bit of ricotta and tapenade, and I think this is a new favorite snack. The ricotta’s mildness cuts the salty tapenade really well, and they look lovely together, the dark, oily, olive black on white. I wish I had thought to buy some fresh parsley and chives and other herbs to mix into the ricotta, because that probably would have been phenomenal. Maybe tonight…

I tried to make aioli from scratch, and I have no idea what I did wrong. It absolutely refused to thicken, and all I had was olive oil egg yolk soup. I want to try this again, because I am determined to get it right, but I don’t have any clue how to fix the situation next time around. What I did do was pretty delicious though: I roasted about 3 gloves of peeled garlic with some olive oil. Then I added the garlic with the oil into about half a cup of mayonnaise, stirred it well, and let it sit for about 20 minutes (I probably should have let it sit in the fridge, but I’m no stickler for food safety…). It was outstanding.

The artichokes were awesome. I think I’ve only ever had mediocre artichokes before, because I never could see the point of all that work for so little food. But wow…I am a changed lady. I’ll be cooking these again, with pictures, so I’ll talk about them when there is more visual stimulation.

Chocolate tarts? Easiest cooking cop out of all, and to be honest, way more a nostalgia thing than a delicious treat. I bought a box of Jell-o chocolate pudding, some pre-made miniature graham cracker crusts, and some banana chips. Voila. Chocolate tarts with crunchy banana topping. Jell-o chocolate pudding doesn’t really taste very chocolaty, but it definitely tastes like childhood.

After a bottle of cava and stuffing ourselves with cheese and olives and snacks (and watching Heroes, which I don’t regularly which and which confuses me because of that) we were three happy ladies. But I? I’m still a little sad. My dearest lady friend, my pseudo-wife, enjoyer and complementer of all my cooking and appreciator of my dish-doing, will be leaving me for a whole other country. How will I possible find another housemate, not to mention drinking buddy/commiserator/insight-giver, nearly as worthy and wonderful as she is?

Alls I know is there best be a ton of tinto drinking before she leaves for schoolin’.

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