Birthday dinner party
For some reason, have failed to blog about the birthday dinner of last week. I am turning 26, phew, so decided to have my friends over, for a dinner format that has actually not been done yet among ourselves (b/c we either have potluck + dancing parties at Tania's, or party's at Ced's with way too many people such that the host doesn't even know all guests beforehand!).
We took a lot of pictures with my camera, not of which came from my initiative. Sabina and Tania brought wine, Talal, chocolates (truffles, did not dare touch them yet), Alex, DVDs (did not end up watching), and Sayena + boyfriend Nick, wine from the Greek island of Cephalonia/Kefalonia from which Nick's family comes from. The place where we usually get our smoked salmon (cut in front of you from the fish! which is stored in a smoking cabin in the backstore!), on Victoria close to Van Horne, steps from Metro Plamondon, was closed due to Jewish holiday (but aren't the owners Greek? Greek Jews perhaps?), so I instead got "old-fashioned" smoked cooked salmon for my guests, from Délices de la Mer at Marché Jean-Talon, where my brother's childhood friend Mathieu works. I made my tomato & chick pea salad. The labneh mix with oven-baked pita bread slices was a hit, although Talal pointed out rightly that the proper way of doing it would've been with crushed dried mint, rather than fresh shredded mint.
Main dish was a leg of lamb, perfectly garlicky. To prepare it, I made slits in the meat, where I inserted whole branches of rosemary with crushed garlic. I bypassed the wine or beef broth. I added coarse salt to cover the fatty surface of the piece of meat. Cooked it for 30 minutes at 425C, and another hour for 375C. Microwaved veggies for decoration, and the health factor.
Any hope of healthiness would be destroyed by the time of the cheese platter. That day, I went to Fromagerie Hamel at Jean-Talon, and got a couple of cheese. I took a St-Agur (for Wee, his favourite), a goat crottin made in France but aged here in Quebec, a Maître Jules, and a 4-year old Cheddar. My father got a Spanish cheese from the Pyrenees that is made of ewe's milk, I think, but we forgot to open it.
Of course, the best was saved for the end, a delicious strawberry shortcake made with the freshest Chantilly cream. I don't know if it's just canned cream (I guess they would not dare do this), but it wasn't the same as the over-sweet creams of wedding cakes I promptly discard. No, it was light as a cloud, and had just a hint of sweetness.
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