At my church there are a dozen or so dedicated ladies who serve lunch every Sunday to the whole congregation. Yes. For years. As a small thank you, my girlfriend and I prepared lunch for them. It was a beautiful lunch and I'd like to share some pictures and some of the recipes.
First course was Carrot and Orange Soup served in my gorgeous Arte Italica soup bowls. I am thrilled whenever I get to use these beauties. Leek Bread Pudding was the main course, a Thomas Keller recipe I found on Epicurious. Very delicious. We served it with green salad and baked tomatoes.
Dessert was the show-stopping Swans! I remember having this wonderful dessert at a swanky restaurant when I was a little girl. Probably it was the old Tail O' The Cock on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, CA., now long ago closed. My father ordered it for me, with a glass of milk, and my goodness, it was pure bliss. I have never forgotten that giddy feeling and my dad's smile when the extravagant dessert was placed in front of me.
I use the recipe from the 1972 version of Joy Of Cooking, but it's just a basic 4 egg pate a choux, (recipe found everywhere) But then the fun starts, and it really is pretty easy, I promise. On a greased cookie sheet with pastry bag and 1/2" round tip, form a 3 inch "S" for the necks. The bodies are about 4"x2". Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10-20 minutes until golden.Turn off heat and let them dry out for about 10 more minutes. Remove from oven, loosen from pan and let cool. With serrated knife, cut the top third off the body. Remove and discard the uncooked sticky bit from inside. Cut the top in half lengthwise, these will become the wings.
Fill the body with vanilla whipped cream, stick in the neck and wings, dust with powdered sugar and swim in a pool of chocolate or raspberry sauce. Now serve (to gasps of delight!)
I have made these more than a few times over the years, which prompted my husband one night to say these immortal words, swans again? Very funny, mister.
Table cloth and napkins are from my collection of Le Jacquard Francais linens. Glasses are mother's Waterford, gifted to me. Pink plates are vintage English flea market, Johnson Brothers.
Nothing is quite as sweet as a ladies lunch!
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