Monday, May 12, 2014

And Violets on the Cake

We don't usually do much for Mother's Day, but my sister and I thought perhaps we could get all the family together for a dinner. We discussed going to a restaurant, but I suddenly felt that I wanted a home-based celebration and thought of a simple menu to keep me easygoing.  I also wanted to use my new cake stand and dome. (Oh! I suddenly realized I never wrote up the post about Ben's birthday which included a layer cake and accompanying "discoveries").

2 roasted chickens with rosemary, garlic and lemon with potatoes and carrots
roasted asparagus
angel biscuits with homemade beet jelly
poppyseed cake with custard and whipped cream (actual recipes I used on my Recipe Verdicts board)
kiwi, pineapple, and purple grapes

Aunt Mel for the win! (wishbone with Genevieve)
Melanie brought some of the food, the beet jelly was from Mom's cousin, and everyone chipped in to help ferry dishes back and forth and wash up. It was a lovely time and everyone said the food was perfect (I humbly agree - I was so pleased).

The chickens were absolutely succulent. I attribute this mostly to the local Amish farm where I bought them!  I put a sliced lemon and some garlic cloves inside them, sprinkled them well with salt, pepper, and rosemary, and roasted them breast up at 400 F for 1 hour with the lid on, and then another hour with the lid off. I wasn't expecting them to take that long, but I had allowed enough time for a long rest before carving, so they simply had a shorter rest. I made a quick pan gravy thickened with milk and flour, with an extra sprinkle of poultry herbs and pepper. The leftover carcasses and shreds are simmering into stock in my Crockpot down cellar, to be canned tomorrow.

The cake was delicious, but it cost me some swear words.  I made it the day before, and I didn't slice the layers horizontally because they were so fragile, but then the custard blobbed out the edges and the whipped cream frosting was quite soft, so the whole thing looked pudgy at the bottom.  I shut it up in the fridge and resolved to make it into a trifle with frozen raspberries early Sunday morning if I needed to.  Well, it held up, so we decorated it with violets and my husband took photos.

The violets are fading and the dandelions have gone to seed.  I'm so pleased with the ways we enjoyed violets this year. 


jenny_o said...

Lovely celebration! I appreciate family get-togethers so much in recent years. Yours looks warm and inviting.

Ben has learned to do headstands, apparently!

beth said...

Looks like the perfect mother's day! Love those headstands! :)

Zoë said...

My favorite way to celebrate any event!

I love the last picture in which you can spot 3 different activities going on: dish-washing, head-standing, and chit-chatting.

Hazel said...

It sounds lovely and the cake looks delicious.

BLD in MT said...

That all sounds lovely. And violets on the cake looks so springy and elegant!

sk said...

The food--sublime. Your time at home together--holy.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

What a lovely meal..The table looks beautiful.
and so happy the cake worked out for you.. Beautiful with the violets on it.. Proud you had a good family day.

Anonymous said...

The very first photo is so reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting!
Love the cake.

Jo Ann