Well, I had to do a proper post about our fabulous dinner party Irene, Margaret, and I put together while I was home in Memphis.  As usual, we had too much good food, laughs, wine, and fun.  Any time you get a few close friends together into the kitchen, you can count on getting everyone in there doing something.  As a group, we created an incredibly fun evening with the best of everything.

Memphis Farmers Market picking cucumbers for Kevin Gillespie's Cold Cucumber Soup

Memphis Farmers Market picking cucumbers for Chef Kevin Gillespie’s Cold Cucumber Soup (Check previous blog for his recipe and homage)

To start, Irene and I went to the farmer’s market to get fresh vegetables.  Irene never wants to be in the picture, but I caught the back of her in front of the fresh fish truck, whose owner brings freshly caught fish up from the Gulf.  She won’t be happy about this pic.

Irene in front of the Fish Truck

Irene in front of the Fish Truck

Then Margaret and I proceeded to make Kevin Gillespie’s cold cucumber soup in this blender.  We had a mishap with this brand new blender of Margaret’s: It started suddenly before she could get the top on it, and well, you know what happened.  Any way, after a slight clean up, we made a soup that Kevin Gillespie would be proud of.  All the guys had a fit over it.  It truly is a wonderful recipe that anyone can make ahead and serve cold on a hot summer night.  I wrote an earlier post that has this recipe so you can try it yourself the next time you entertain or cook for someone for love.

The fun thing about dinner parties like this is everyone wants to be a part of the process. I asked Jack to help me cut the whole pieces of fish, and not only did he gladly help, he told me he also loves to cook and he stayed to help me prepare the individual fish in parchment paper. He was awesome in the kitchen….who knew? That’s the other thing….you learn more about people when you start working on a meal together.

The best thing about cooking is the host lets the chef pick out the wine. Of course, I picked out a lovely Pommard, probably one of Edward’s best old world red Burgundy wines. I love it because it’s is earthy, but not overpowering with fish, slightly fruity, with a fantastic finish and tannin balance. It was worth the effort just to sit and enjoy the amazing wine and great company!

Everything came out perfectly and we all settled in for a relaxing evening filled with tantalizing flavors, delicate textures, savory sauces, and finished it all off with the richness of almond infused chocolate souffle. As the delicious wine flowed, conversations flourished, we all laughed and enjoyed ourselves until close to midnight.

Talking about cucumbers

Talking cucumbers

Blender for soup...scene of the accident

Blender for soup…scene of the accident
Margaret and me mixing things up

Margaret and me folding egg whites for chocolate souffle

Irene and Margaret setting the perfect table for eight

Irene and Margaret setting a perfect table for eight

Fresh Grouper in parchment paper is done!  Even Jack came into the kitchen to help  me with the fish.

Fresh Grouper in parchment paper is done!