Every year when the old year turns to the new, we have so many first-of's to memorialize: first baby, first dip in Lake Michigan and first chowevent 2004!
We did not have to look past January 1st to witness our first event. Charmingly it was a pleasant charitable event serving dinner to homeless people at Inspiration Cafe.
Dinner was served by VI/Rob, Condiment Queen, Chowhounditas, Joel, Leek's husband David and our new friend Mike. We offered the following to our guests:
Mike G made banana bread which welcomed our guests.
Ann Fisher and her Mother prepared an antipasto tray of two kinds of olives, roasted peppers, salami, marinated artichokes, pepperoncini peppers and cheese. These were arranged on a tray and each guest could choose what they wanted. Ann also prepared a green salad, which was offered at the same time as the antipasto plate.
Our guests had a choice of main course: Ourpalwill's wonderful meaty lasagna from the New York Time's recipe: homemade sauce, Italian sausage, homemade meatballs -- the recipe called for a 4 hour prep time, quite an impressive product! Cathy2 provided the alternative mushroom and spinach lasagna straight out of Cook's Magazine. Vegetable side dish was Leek's green beans with tomatoes, onions, green peppers and italian seasonings. Ann Fisher's Mother kindly mashed garlic and kosher salt into sweet butter for the homemade garlic bread
Dessert was a vanilla Panna Cotta sprinkled with cinnamon and topped by the jewels of winter: Pomegranate seeds. The Panna Cotta set just before serving time, but it was a bit of a nail biter! Alternatively, Cathy2 prepared a german apple cake.
AS we never have enough help, CAthy2's sister Laura and her cousin Aaron helped out in the kitchen along with Chowhound PDaane. Ah before I forget, all those working in the kitchen had to wear hairnets, which turns everyone instantly into a "Cafeteria Matron."
After serving approximately 30 guests, we then served ourselves. We reconvened later at Hopleaf for a few beers and (high octane) Ciders!
A wonderful, productive way to begin the new year!