This month our group of indomitable players embarked upon Blithe Spirit, by The Master himself, Noel Coward. The brilliantly wicked "improbable comedy" surrounds the supernatural and a stolid British gentleman who can't seem to stop arguing with (or indeed get rid of) two of his dead wives.
Before we got to the curiousness afoot, we toasted with frozen shots of my own creation, the Blithe Spirit. Baby flooded the punch bowl with dry ice to set a vaporous, otherworldly mood, evoking an emanation perhaps, or any sort of protoplasm. I adjusted my cocktail recipe, though--as we didn't have coconut-flavored Malibu rum, I used what dark rum we did have and switched it up with Zico coconut water poured into the mix along with Simply Limeade instead of Rose's lime juice. Add a judicious amount of orange juice and do throw in fresh mint leaves too.
As our evening of theatrics continued, Fresh Direct played its own part. I began to lay out the spread, with a few battery-powered votives scattered about...
A view of the table from the perspective of a mischievous fern!
Martini glasses and a host of pearls spilling out of them seemed appropriate to decorate a veddy British table. Pearls do lend to one a fair amount of courage, don't you find?
An upturned mirror was the best I could do for a summoning crystal ball.
Funnily enough, at least a few mysterious events did occur, such as the sudden, murky rain storm that poured down and thrashed about, forcing us to close the windows--and the ice-filled wine bucket that gurgled inexplicably while we read over certain lines!
Tonight's Menu Mousse Truffee-chicken and turkey livers in duck fat and truffles with Carr's water crackers.
Cucumber Sandwiches--I didn't make my usual Benedictine sandwiches with cucumber and cream cheese. Fresh Direct had tzatziki with cucumbers and yogurt already made, so I used that. I did still cut off the crusts of the white bread though.
Potato Salad--thanks again Fresh Direct!
Watercress Salad with Wild Mushrooms--I tossed it all with the ready-to-go Delouis fils shallot vinaigrette.
Chimichurri Marinated Flank Steak--it arrived from Fresh Direct ready to cook. All I had to do was put it in the oven heated to 350 degrees until the meat thermometer reached an internal 135 degrees and I let it sit out of the oven so it could further climb to about 145 degrees for pink, medium rare perfection. We ate it at room temperature, suited for summer.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream--a homemade delight, courtesy of our dear friend.
Chocolate Mousse Cake--well, what to say, but thanks again Fresh Direct! What an evening of high spirits!
After weathering a soul-shredding career as a theatrical agent that lasted entirely too long, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currently the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he writes a weekly restaurant review column which also features Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chef's and bartenders on the island. In 2010 he was published in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook. He toiled as web editor for industry leader Interior Design magazine for several years and has also written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation’s top drinking schools, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood recently published his first novel, the pale of memory, available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com. He is in the midst of writing a second.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox