Derby may have left the gates and galloped past this year, but I do believe the memories will linger, at least for me. We had a real humdinger of a party--and behold the beautiful lilacs in the waning afternoon light!
And no, my horses didn't win. Orb ran fleetingly by Falling Sky and Slim Shady.
Of course, there were mint juleps! We actually froze them this year and served them right out of the blender and they were marvelous. Equal parts bourbon and simple syrup (2:1 water and sugar boiled with lemon wedges and cooled). A fistful of mint went into the blender filled with ice and we topped each individual icy pour with dark rum. Biscuits and tomatoes along with Benedictine cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches were sampled shortly thereafter, once our guests were duly situated. I took advantage of seasonal ramps and shallots this year, substituting both for yellow onions, to quite good effect. The more traditional recipe is here and the picture is below, our Pepperidge Farm thin white bread having been shorn of its crust, stuffed, sliced and stacked on a vintage cake stand.
The annual shrimp and peppers served over grits made their annual appearance, courtesy of Martha Stewart's Menus for Entertaining.
Grasshopper Mousse for dessert, laden with creme de menthe, was right out of a 70's dinner party. I wrested the recipe from the Leah Tinari, the owner of Fatta Cuckoo in Manhattan. Her mother was kind enough to pass on her secret. Our friend was kind enough to make it and bring it over. She said it's so easy and everybody loved it--and the recipe makes a ton! She also made Crack Pie, that is similar to Chess Pie, and served at Momofuku Milk Bar in our fair city. It was beyond. But that's a different post entirely.
2 large boxes of vanilla pudding mix
6 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups creme de menthe
1/2 cup creme de cacao
Package of Oreo cookies
Whip pudding and heavy cream together and gradually add both liqueurs. Whip until mousse-like and desired consistency is reached. Give it a taste and add a tblsp or two more of liquor for a stronger flavor. Place in a container and chill. Crush Oreo cookies in food processor.
Place some cookies crumbs in bottom of martini glass. Add grasshopper mousse, top with whipped cream and sprinkle on more cookie crumbs.
Our rosy centerpiece for the table!
Soundtrack: XTC, Skylarking; Sippie Wallace, Sippie; Atlantic Blues: Piano; Antonio Carlos Jobim, Sun Sea and Sand Favourites
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