seasons greetings and egg nog

Not so many blog posts in the last several weeks...we have have busily been cooking and flowering. Taking a moment to reflect this evening about recent projects and what we are looking forward to in the coming year...

Writing this blog and getting feedback is an enjoyable part of our everyday practice. Over the next year we plan to write more and hope to have more interaction through this forum. We encourage both sharing of information and inquiries.

It has been only about six months since we started hosting Home Restaurants... this has been a great addition. Great satisfaction comes from working with farmers that we have known for years and meeting new ones, cooking for small groups and being able to accommodate particular food needs, tasting and learning more about wine, spending time with good friends who we work with and meeting our guests and talking about food and other things. When we had our restaurant we were in the kitchen busily cooking and our interaction was solely through our food, it has been a joy to erase the boundary between the kitchen and dining room.

We are pleased that we already have dinners and a lunch booked for January, the nights of January 22 and 23 still have some spaces available. We are also thrilled that we have been asked to cook and host one of this years Alice Waters, Sunday Night Suppers scheduled for January 24.

The 2010 wedding flower calendar is starting to fill and I am excited about the variety of events that I have scheduled for the coming year. First one is a wedding in early January at 6th and I where I love to work. The anemones, tulips and ranunculus that I got for events this past week make me excited about spring flowers that are just beginning and will be at their best for the next several months. I also have some quince with buds that I hope will be open by January 7th for an event. The Dutch flowers and the recent snow have made me start to think about spring planting and our plans to expand the 1508 garden to the roof this coming year.

On December 23rd we catered a large holiday party and made eggnog. I have a recipe that was my mothers and John has his fathers recipe...we combined the two and the result is decedent and delicious. We used eggs from Path Valley Cooperative, Trickling Springs Dairy heavy cream, Homestead Creamery milk and Sazerac Rye Whiskey...resulting in the best batch ever...

Egg Nog
6 eggs separated
2 cups sugar
2 cups whiskey (we used a good quality rye this year but have also made it with bourbon and Armagnac)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 gallon whole milk
1/4 cup rum (optional, part of John's dads recipe)

Beat egg yolks until light yellow and then beat in the sugar until dissolved then beat in whiskey. Cover the mixture and let stand at room temperature for at least four hours.
After egg yolk mixture has rested beat egg whites to soft peak and fold into yolk mixture. Then beat heavy cream until stiff and fold into entire mixture. Mix in milk, chill and serve.

Enjoy and Happy 2010!
Sidra, John and Martin-Lane