On Saturday, February 2nd, we held our fifth Ballet Cook Book dinner. The idea was created about a year ago by ballet blogger Ryan Wenzel. As always the host was food blogger Susan LaRosa. Usually we pick a date when I'm available all day, so Susan and I can prepare the menu. This time was different: I had a matinee show with New York City Ballet. It meant that as soon as I finished, I would have to quickly take of my makeup, hop on the train for an hour and then have only two hours to prepare all the food. To the further complicate things, two days before I found out my rehearsal schedule for that Saturday and saw I had rehearsal 6:30 to 7. Well, I was not going to make it for the cooking of the food and I would just get there for eating part. Luckily, my partner Michael stepped in and offer to help Susan to cook the dishes.
While the performance was happening, the ballet master that was supposed to coach my late rehearsal came to tell me we could do the rehearsal as soon as I was done with the show. So as soon as I finished that rehearsal, I took off my makeup and I was on my way to help with the cooking. At other occasions the cooking has been very involved and time consuming. However, having read the recipes beforehand, I knew they were easier and less elaborate.
When I got to the house, I saw everyone sitting, relaxing, and drinking! I was so puzzled. I knew the recipes were simple but I could not believe that they had done so much. This was the first dinner that we were not scrambling to finish all at the last minute. They were so happy to see me because they decided that I should do the soufflé. Luckily, I have done many sweet soufflés and actually enjoy doing them.
Plus, I don't find them as complicated to make as people think they are.
While I was cooking, they gave me some of "Great-Great-Grandmother Blackwell's Eggnog" to try. Boy, that's a mighty strong and thick drink. Grandma Blackwell was not playing! Then the guest arrived and it was on with the show. We all had drinks/eggnog and guacamole for a bit until the soufflé was ready. As I prefer stronger flavored guacamole, I found this one very bland. I think the mayo weakened it.
Everyone was very impressed by the look of the soufflé but even more impressed by the taste of it. "Delicious." "Divine." "It's so good!" These were comments that you could hear at the table. I liked the soufflé but what I couldn't get out of my mind was that anything would taste good with the amount of bouillon I had put in it...a minor detail that we won't mention to anyone.
Then we served the swordfish tarragon and the "Just Yammy" Yams, and once again everyone was impressed and delighted. I was glad that we chose the swordfish because except for Balanchine's dinner, we have prepared chicken as a main course.
Susan, our cake master, did the tarte a l'orange, she was so unhappy with it because she didn't think it has come out perfect. In my opinion, Susan did an amazing job with the tart, but the tart was way too sweet. So much so that I could not taste any oranges only sugar. I would have decided to only use half of the sugar from the recipe. However, we do our very best to stay true to the original instructions.