Well, I've been on a blogging holiday for a while now. No particular excuse - just kind of lost momentum. I'm thinking of it as a bit of a break between the end of the Dark Days Eat Local challenge and the beginning of the farmer's market season. I had a trip to California in the middle of this hiatus, but that really wasn't an excuse either since I had computer access while I was there. I did get to meet one of my favorite local food bloggers while there. More on that later.
So, for Easter dinner yesterday, we had a small crowd of 13 people. With all the leaves in our dining room table (and turning it diagonally in the room), we have room for the 14 we expected. Fortunately for me, our guests brought major portions of the dinner, so I didn't have to spend all day in the kitchen getting ready. On the other hand, Grady and I did have to spend a fair amount of time cleaning up the house beforehand. But, that, after all, is half the reason for having guests, isn't it? To make you clean your house?
The featured item on the dinner menu was buffalo roast. This buffalo was not, technically, local. However, it did travel here on an airplane with the rancher who raised it. Jeff's sister and brother-in-law, Janet and Duke, work two ranches in Colorado. The bison run as a wild herd on the Zapata/Medano Ranch. Not only is the buffalo grass-fed and finished, but it was cooked by someone who really knows what to do with a good cut of meat. Such a treat for all of us.
Accompanying the buffalo, we had
"Aunt Janet's Potatoes" made by Ian
braised kale, and a green salad (both of which I got at the downtown farmer's market on Saturday)
Jeff's hot cross buns
rolls that Duke made
And, in case that all wasn't enough, Jeff made a lovely lemon poppyseed cake. And Tig had made lemon sorbet which she served in lemon shells - so lovely and wonderful!
So, all in all, a great evening - fabulous food and terrific conversation. Not to mention, plenty of activity with our two young friends (ages 3 and 5) who had had WAY too much Easter candy. Alas, no photos of the guests or the food because I've not been able to find my camera since we got back from California. :(
Lastly, here is the recipe (or one, anyway, Ian's version) for the potato casserole - a regular feature of Miller/Creswell holiday meals:
Aunt Janet's Potatoes
5 lbs. potatoes
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup jack (I always use more like 1/2 lb.)
1/2 cup cheddar (ditto)
2 large cans diced chiles (I often use about four fresh chiles of
1 bunch green onions, chopped finely
Salt and pepper (probably about 1 or 2 Tbsp. of salt and as much
pepper as you can stand)
Peel potatoes, then boil whole potatoes on high for 10 minutes. Turn
off heat and drain the potatoes in cool water for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add sour cream, melted butter, Jack and cheddar cheeses
(grated), chiles, green onions, salt and pepper into a large mixing
bowl. When potatoes are cool, grate them in Cuisinart (I usually
grate the cheese this way too, since it's already out). Mix potatoes
in with other ingredients, and then pour everything into a 9" x 13"
baking dish. Bake until bubbly at 350 degrees -- usually about 30-40