Monday, August 16, 2010

The "So You Are All Off to University" Party

Yesterday was the "So You Are All Off to University" party. 21 spirited 18-year-olds pushing out as our next wave of recruits. For us, we were privileged to see a sliver of their worlds. The slivers from last night were nice ones. They all looked great. Healthy, fresh, enthusiastic, well-dressed. They sounded great. Articulate, competent, so sure of themselves, so ready. The WERE great. Helping prep. Managing the refreshments. Topping the water. Teaming on plating. Torching. Serving. Clearing. Sorting. Stacking. Washing.

I remember that summer between high school and university. I was so pumped about moving out and trying that new challenge. But I knew a price to pay was leaving good friends behind and watching them head elsewhere.

So came our motivation for hosting a "So You Are All Off to University" party for a group of his friends. I was thinking a full table of 8. I didn't realize that we would need to turn our place into a banquet hall. The number 21 did not deter us from our menu. Nor did it deter us from still doing it ourselves. Other than borrowing a few folding tables, I marveled that I could plate and glass that many people for 4 courses. How did we end up with so much stuff?

We just stayed out of the way and let the teenager host - doing the welcome, sharing the details of each course, keeping the timing, leading the serving.


Mini Bite Jamaican Meat Patties

White Bean & Artichoke Spread on Rice Crackers with Red Pepper Jelly and Roasted Red Pepper Garnish


Carrot with Coriander Soup with Leek Crisps and Black Pepper Garlic Croutons


Avocado Whip (under the chicken) with Southwestern Chicken Scallopini and Pico de Gallo with Peach. Accompanied by a Champagne Risotto Cake with Spicy Aioli and Greens with Southwestern Dressing


A choice of:

Classic Crème Brulée

(The teenager requested this shot for T.B.!)

Meringue Nest and Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries with Whipped Cream and Chocolate Shavings

Dinner was followed with talking, piano, guitar, singing, crying, more talking, cards, late night walk, more talking, hugs, man slaps.

Departing is such sweet sorrow.

[Post Script:  I should mention that we had sketched out the menu about a week before the party and when I saw She Eats Bears' Wednesday post, Corn, Jalapeno and Green Tomato Fritters, a few days later, I knew it was a sign that our main course was a go.  Lots of similar mixes of flavours.  And Marysol had given it a test run.  We did risotto cakes instead of the fritters.  I was tempted to put her fritter content in the cakes but the teenager said he wanted to do them as planned. (Next time!)  We did like the guacamole idea and came up with the avocado whip to go with the chicken.  Her multi-coloured tomato salad had us searching out heirlooms for our pico de gallo and triggered us to consider adding peaches.  All that to say Marysol continues to be inspiration.  Thanks for that!]


  1. Man slaps?

    Reading the menu you tweeted on Sunday made my mouth water. The photos are making my mouth water again! That soup looks gorgeous!

    So jealous! When I graduated high school, my parents looked at me and said, we'll celebrate when you finish university. When I finished university, they gave me a copy of the want ads :P

    Congratulations to the teenager! And, good luck to him on his upcoming new challenges :)

  2. Now you've made me nervous. Man slap is not a common phrase?

    The teenager said the best part of the meal with the avocado whip with the southwestern chicken scallopini and pico de gallo with the added peach. And I think it worked because of that layering on of flavours. That is a different taste experience from something with blended flavours.

  3. thank for the inspiration ps. I really, reallyreallyreally do appreciate.



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