Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blood Bones and Butter


Not exactly the pretty picture you conjure up when planning a menu, but when it comes down to it, blood, bones and butter are the heart and soul of not only the meal, but also the spirit.

Gabrielle Hamilton is the chef and creator of Prune restaurant in New York and the author of Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of A Reluctant Chef. It's also the book I've just finished for my latest book club selection. Not only was it a heartfelt, soul-touching, and inspiring book for someone like myself who loves to garden and to cook, but more than that it was a raw and honest look into the life of an accomplished chef and a growing and changing woman. In order to honor this amazing chef who cooks extraordinary food in a way I think she would appreciate, I'm throwing a brunch party for our next book club meeting, including recipes from the author herself.

The setting of the brunch will be on my back deck, tucked into the woods, overlooking a salmon-spawning stream. Fun antique kitchen & garden decor, beautiful outdoor serveware and fresh, basic food from the Farmers Market will set the stage. Taking advice from the book, I want everyone to be comfortable, well fed and to thoroughly enjoy themselves.

The menu? Caramelized onion, crisp bacon and thyme quiche will be served with a dollop of ricotta on the side - of course topped with drizzled honey, fresh seasonal fruit and pine nuts. My new favorite salad in all of the land: ruby red grapefruit and avocado tossed with fresh cilantro and a basic shallot vinaigrette served over butter lettuce. Thick toast coated in butter, fresh squeezed orange juice, and of course my favorite Cafe Verona coffee from my beloved Starbucks, brewed very strong.

There's nothing like sharing a home-cooked, simple meal with close friends. And celebrating the words of a no-nonsense, down to earth, praised chef? Well, that just makes it all the more meaningful. Blood, Bones and Butter - let Gabrielle Hamilton's experiences mold the way you cook, celebrate and appreciate life.

Photo of Blood, Bones and Butter courtesy of Amazon.com
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