Okay. I have been wanting to talk about Jan Karon’s new book since the day I finished reading it…which was a week after it came out earlier this month.
BUT I also knew I wanted to do this meal to celebrate the book, and it has taken some time to get it done. We have had a lot of schedule “disruptions” this month. (You probably didn’t know that my husband accompanied our sons on their 2 week roadtrip/move to Seattle. I wanted to wait on his return before doing my Mitford meal.)
For quite a while, the idea of doing an entire meal from recipes in this book has been spinnning around in my head.
That was before I knew there would be another Mitford book to enjoy. So I when I did hear about Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, I knew it called for this celebration dinner.
I don’t know if it was the fact that we haven’t had a Mitford book in over 5 years (Absence makes the heart grow fonder), or if this newest book was truly that well written, but whatever the reason, I LOVED it! In fact, it is now my favorite of Jan Karon’s books, and reading it was like being with old friends again. Truly.
If you have read them, you probably adore all the characters, and they begin to feel like friends to you. So for this meal, I used a craft paper runner with the names of characters from the books lettered around the border.
I know it is not Christmas, but I needed a piece of Mitford to use in the centerpiece…so out came Lord’s Chapel from my Hallmark village (snow and all!) If I had owned the summer village pieces, I would have definitely used them, but I only have the Christmas ones. (I think the summer ones are very hard to find.)
Here is the menu I ended up putting together from recipes in the cookbook. (I try to do a trial layout of the table and the serving table before a dinner party to make sure which platters and serving pieces I will need.)
And here is the table almost ready with the food.
Cynthia’s Roasted Chicken was very tender – full of garlic and lemon goodness.
Puny’s Squash Casserole was delicious, but I will say if you are going to reheat it for leftovers – don’t use the microwave. It really needs the contrast of the crunchy topping (crushed potato chips) and you will only get that by reheating it in the oven. Also, don’t be a big klutz like I was. I had crushed the potato chips in a ziplock bag, and when I pulled the casserole dish out of the oven to add the topping for the last 10 minutes of baking, I accidently let the bag touch the very hot oven door. Bad idea. The heat immediately melted a hole in the bag, and all the crushed potato chips came out on the open oven door, the floor, and my feet. Not fun. (Thank goodness my husband came to the rescue with the vacuum cleaner.)
I could eat Emma’s Green Beans with New Potatoes every day of the year. (My favorite vegetable combination.) And Cynthia’s salad with its toasted almonds was yummy. I would recommend adding two teaspoons of sugar to the dressing recipe. (When there is fruit in a green salad, I like a sweet dressing.)
Believe it or not, for this Mitford meal we did not have the famous Orange Marmalade Cake. It just seemed that apples were more fitting for September…and they needed to be Sadie Baxter’s apples. (I actually used Granny Smith apples.) The Mitford cookbook has 4 different versions of apple pie, but I chose the Baxter Apple Pie on page 3. I am a big lover of pie crust, but this recipe did not call for a top crust – so I just added my own.
It turned out perfectly.
I wish all of you could have been here to enjoy the meal…especially all you Mitford fans. If you have the cookbook, perhaps you would like to make your own version of a Mitford Meal. I am thinking of something with Velma’s chili and perhaps Harley’s brownies for a future meal.
Have you read Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good? If so, what did you think of it? I know everyone does not love Mitford like I do. My mom – who reads fast paced mysteries – thought it was enjoyable but too long. I, on the other hand, would never think it is long enough. A daily installment would be wonderful to me.
Until next time,