Sunday, October 4, 2009

Still Life is a Party

This summer, some friends and I were sitting in the sun on the deck at Doe Bay, drinking coffee and reading magazines. We were on the kind of weekend getaway where coffee bled into lunch, and lunch bled into afternoon cocktails, and the next thing you knew, it was time to do it all over again. Flipping through a design mag, I saw a still life painting with sparkly oysters and a black velvety background. Apologies to the artist because I forget exactly who it was, but it looked something like this, or this. It was exactly what I needed for my blank wall—it was sensual and inviting, told a story and begged to be a guest at dinner parties. But, as a friend pointed out, that painting was at the Louvre, and I probably couldn’t afford it.

So we decided to have a Still Life Party.

Here’s the concept:
  • Everyone brings an object for a still life - flowers, overripe fruit, crusty bread, whole fish, a skull, a vase, a leather satchel, a revolver, etc.
  • I set up romantic little areas with nice lighting
  • We drink wine and arrange still lifes and take pictures
  • I will pick my favorite and have it painted at Storybrush
I feed everyone. They deserve it for being such good sports
Because I have the most amazing and creative friends in the world, the still lifes were incredible.

For dinner, I wanted something baroque-esque, easy enough to eat with just a fork as I can’t seat 14 people at a table, and hands-off enough that I could be making still lifes before dinner. After a brainstorming session over lunch with my mom and her friend Vickie, we came up with this.

Still Life Party Menu

To start:
  • French cheeses
  • Salami
  • Homemade pickled peas, beans, carrots and asparagus
  • Smoked black cod
  • Crackers
Main course:

  • Endive, romaine and radicchio with garlicky dressing
  • Lasagne duchi de ferrari from Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s first cook book, or as we like to call it, Noah’s lasagna because it calls for 8 different kinds of meat.
  • Crusty Italian bread

  • Pluot crumble adapted from Orangette’s recent post. I was a little late in the season for the Italian plumbs that she called for, but I used Washington pluots instead, and their fiery red color was a beautiful substitute.
  • Crème fraiche whipped cream
  • Fernet-Branca


Fernanda said...

This is fabulous Abby! this is a very creative excuse to get together with friend, I love it! :)

2twins said...

Completely engrossing--and yet not in the least bit gross, despite all the 'nature morts' (still-lifes.) Win! :)