“Heavenly Hosts”, aka the 3rd Annual Volk/Watson Christmas Extravaganza can be described as follows:
A selection of dishes with divinity in mind. From the angel food cake to Philadelphia cream cheese sundried tomato spread, each recipe has heavenly associations (ex: the Philadelphia cream cheese commercials) and is fit for angels. Of course, not all angels can digest dairy, so there are always alternatives, even healthier alternatives for all those eco-friendly angels. The “raw” dips are not heated above a certain temperature, are vegan, and are made with nuts soaked in water to remove digestive enzyme inhibitors, for any inhibited angels. Then there are the “Land of Milk and Honey” dishes (ironically, naturally dairy-free) – the Prosecco zabaione (Italian custard) and melomakarona (Greek semolina cookies soaked in honey syrup).
The other dishes are the personal heavens of the Volk/Watson family.
My dad’s heaven: pork vindaloo
My mom’s heaven: dairy-free, gluten-free dark chocolate hazelnut torte
My brother’s heaven: Well my brother likes most things, and I refuse to make sushi with farmed antibiotic-laden Atlantic salmon (unsustainable, at that) so I’ve created a heaven for him of baguette (the manna of heaven) with Quebec Oka cheese, caramelized onions, smoked herring, crab, and fig jam. That way he can mix and match.
My heaven? Saag. Indian spinach. It’s sweet and slippery and delicious. The onions, mustard seeds and asafoetida are amazing, and wrap it up in a fermented rice and lentil dosa and I’m a happy, happy person.
Here are the pictures. The rest of the food included daifuku (Japanese red bean desserts that I broiled), chicken mochi with a sweet soy-sesame dipping sauce (soy and szechuan peppercorn studded meatballs wrapped in savoury rice pastry), frozen grapes (what’s heaven without branches of grapes?), home-made caramel (life – and death – are not worth living without caramel), and bottles of natural wines (again, grapes). I think that was everything? Here’s most of it in pictures:
The Zabaione was incredible…mmm…prosecco foam. The intense sugar of the dried fruit sauces and honey sauces, and caramel…and the mild sweetness of the saag with the chew of the dosa…the crunch of the dips, the sweetness of the fig jam with the caramelized onions and macademia nut ricotta, the basil walnut…the Szechuan peppercorns. Oh I love Szechuan peppercorns.
Couldn’t have done it all without some great help. Thanks to everyone involved, and thanks to everyone who came and enjoyed the party. Merry Christmas. Recipes to come.