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Monday, January 5, 2015

Tasha Tudor Potluck


The Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society held a potluck dinner the other night to celebrate Twelfth Night (only it was Ninth Night in our case).  The receipts (Tasha's New England word for recipe) all came from her cookbook.  Those who were able to attend took home a recipe at our last gathering and prepared one of the following:
  • Nancy's Hot Cheese Rounds
  • Stuffed Eggs
  • Salad with French Dressing
  • Baking-Powder Biscuits
  • Beef Stew
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
  • Chocolate Cookies
Each member was to bring a guest.  Those who came brought their husband.  Unfortunately two couples had to bow out due to change of plans or illness, so I set the table for ten. . . .

. . . .but the spouse of one of our members was unable to come, so we ended up having nine at our table.

The evening began with the appetizers in the living room. . . .

I typed up a list of Ice Breaker questions and asked people to find out something interesting about another person to share later. . . .
  • What are your favorite hobbies?
  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  • If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
  • Do you prefer: dogs vs. cats, books vs. movies, sweet vs. salty, casual vs. dress up, inside vs. outside; be on the stage performing vs. in the audience watching, nature vs. cities?
  • Tell the other person two truths about yourself and one wish. That is, something that is not true — yet something that up wish to be true. For example, someone that has never been to Europe might say: “I often travel to Europe for vacation.”  Then the other person has to guess what is true and what is just a wish.

When everything was ready I called everyone into dinner.  We started with the salad, then moved on to the Beef Stew.  Tasha recommended that the biscuits be put in the bowl with the stew on top. . . .
Before I served each dish I shared what Tasha had to say about it in her recipe book.  For instance, she said that the French Dressing was one of her favorite specialities.  This is what she had to say about the stuffed eggs. . . .
For Nancy's Hot Cheese Rounds she shared this. . . .

As we finished our meal I informed everyone that Tasha liked to play charades at her Twelfth Night celebration.  As I expected there was murmuring amongst the men.  I had assigned my husband the job of clearing the table and putting the food away and it was duly noted that he was "getting out of" having to participate in the charades.  But by the time he joined us the raucous laughter coming from the living room was proof that everyone was having a joyous time!  I made it easy for everyone by providing a list of Tasha's books which can be found on the family's website here.  Everyone not only had 100 book titles to choose from, the audience had the list to choose the answer from.  On the second go round, though, we made a rule that you could no longer consult the list for the answer in order to make it a little more difficult.  This photo captures the hilarity that ensued. . . .
 Even Gabriel, my Westie, got into the act. . . .
After several rounds we went around the circle answering some of the questions on the Ice Breakers list.   The ones I remember the most were the weirdest foods.  I'm calling them by their names so the weak of stomach don't have to know what they are.  If you really want to know, click on the names:  balut, haggis, fish maw, ---on a stick.  The funniest one was the one where he thought he was eating a pretzel, but it turned out to be a stinkbug!  We were all sufficiently grossed out and moved on to places we'd like to visit:  Iceland, Alaska, Great Britain, Italy, France, Japan (I'm sure I've forgotten some).  Hobbies were gardening, sailing, writing, cooking, and geo-caching.  Having changed the subject from weird food, we were ready to head back to the dining room for dessert.   Tea cups were set out. . . .
Coffee. . . .
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake served with whipped cream, which was Tasha's son's (Seth) favorite Christmas dessert. . . .
. . . .and Tasha's "never-fail" receipt for Chocolate cookies, as long as you used real butter, heavy cream, and cake flour as the recipe directs. . . .
Soon it was time for us to push away from the table.  A most enJOYable evening was had by all.

.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!

27 comments:

  1. Oh, Cathy! I very much enjoyed your Tasha Tudor potluck get together--everything from your Ice Breakers to the menu looked like great fun--good food--laughter with friends! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos! Happy New Year!

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  2. The charades turned out to be the best part! Leave to Tasha to know how to have a great celebration.

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  3. It was a very lovely evening, indeed!

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  4. Cathy, you know how to give a great party! Everything looks beautiful in your home. I especially love your teapot on the hutch. The pineapple upside down cake is making my mouth water. ♥

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    1. Thank you, Martha Ellen. I just found that teapot at a local antique store for only $12. It was made in England by Sadler and on Replacements.com there's one for $139! I love the shape of it. The pattern is called Brigadoon-Red.

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  5. I loved reading this and felt like I was right there! You really did your research and prepared for this evening. Good for you to get the men to join in Charades! The last question on your list we use when we have guests for dinner that don't know each other so well, and answering those questions and the detour discussions that follow, can take up the whole evening, lingering after dessert and always laughing. Thanks for telling us all about it. Your home looks lovely and what a pretty table.

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    1. No one was keen on doing that last question, so we didn't get to try it out. Except for one couple I've known everyone for years so I probably would have guessed the wish right away. It does seem like a fun thing to do with people you hardly know, although, you never know what you don't know about someone you thought you knew!

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    2. oops I read the question a little wrong. When we play the game it's two truths and one lie. You try to guess the story that is made up.

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    3. Dotsie, it's actually the same game, but a change of term for those who don't feel comfortable lying :-).

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  6. Oh, Cathy! It is early morning here in Wales and I am waking up to this lovely entry which has given me a warm, fuzzy feeling that will set me up for the day. What a beautiful table setting! It truly sings to my sense and great love of colour. I do so miss hosting gatherings of groups or friends, and the entertaining since returning to the UK, but you have made me feel as if I was there with you, sharing the delicious foods and all the fun of charades and 'getting to know you'. This will keep me going today as I take down Christmas! ~~~Deb in Wales
    p.s. some of the strangest foods I have eaten were in Iceland ~ beetroot soufflé for desert, 'buried' shark {don't ask}, pickled whale blubber, and deep fried cod cheeks and lips {all Icelandic delicacies} I have also eaten Haggis and now make a vegetarian version {which I must remember to share on Burn's Night ~which is also Saint Dwynwen's Day in Wales~ over on my journal, careful now not to say too much!} Sorry, rattled on a bit today! :)

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    1. I'm so pleased you enJOYed our little potluck after the fact. Joy is what Tasha was all about as far as I'm concerned. I'm sending your list of strange food in Iceland to my youngest son who is going to Iceland for the second time next month. He went in May last year and wants to try to see the aurora borealis this time. He's had Haggis in Scotland and really liked it. I look forward to learning about Saint Dwynwen's Day in Wales on your Blog (I like your term Journal much better!). Rattling on is very much encouraged here, so rattle on whenever you feel like it!

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  7. Sounds like a terrific party, Cathy. Bet everyone had a great time and will remember that evening for a long time. You set such a beautiful table for every party, and the lighting looks so cozy and homey too. What is that dinnerware pattern in the first photo? It looks like the perfect choice for a casual evening and a little familiar to me too. And that pineapple upside-down cake! Wow, is that gorgeous or what? Which of Tasha's receipts did you make? You must have been cooking and baking all day. PS - I keep a list similar to your Ice Breakers list. I call mine the "Big Quiz" and although it started out small, at this writing there are now 241 questions on it. We mostly "play" it around family bonfires at my brother's house, but it's been known to make appearances at extended family events like clambakes, graduations etc. Lots of fun. We played it during cocktail hour on Christmas Eve, while we were waiting for the hot appetizers to finish off in the oven. Since there wasn't a lot of time, "What was your most memorable childhood Christmas present?" was the only question we were able to do. Oh here's the workman to install my new smoke alarm - gotta go. Take care and talk to you soon!

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    1. Ken and I made the Beef Stew, I made the stuffed eggs, and he made the chocolate cookies when one of the ladies ended up getting sick and couldn't come. The dishes I used are the only ones I have a set of 12. It's Pfaltzgraff's Bonnie Brae that I've had for 20 years. I've tried to sell it at a couple yard sales because I'm tired of it, but my price was too high. It was quite an investment and I'd need to get my money out of it so I could replace it with a set of 12 of something else. I wish there were china exchanges where you can trade china with people every few years. If I had nothing better to do, I'd start one! So, what WAS your most memorable childhood Christmas present?

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  8. Such an interesting and festive event, Cathy. Well done!

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  9. Oh, that's easy. A dressing table and dress-up set for little girls. A small plastic dressing table with a mirror and a stool, a hairbrush and comb, plastic "high heels," a fur stole [made of God alone knows what], jewelry [earrings, necklace, bracelet and ring], a plastic lipstick that rolled up and down like a real one, a plastic 'powder ' compact. I think there may have even been a tiara. It was just a dream for me because one of my favorite things to do at that age was to look at and touch all the pretty things on my Mom's dresser, her hand mirror and brush and comb. And all the perfume and lotion bottles with their wonderful scents. To this day if I smell the fragrance of Arpege I'm shot back on a laser beam to my Mom's glass-topped dresser. PS - what a good idea about a china exchange - sounds like a website just waiting to happen!

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    1. I remember looking through my mother's jewelry box and smelling her Shalimar perfume. It's amazing how a scent will bring back a memory. I still have a bottle of the perfume I wore when I was dating my husband-to-be in my memorabilia box. It didn't have much in it, but when I opened it a few years ago (more than 45 years later), it immediately made me feel I was 16 again!

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  10. You look like you had a truly joyful time. Your home looks so pretty with all you little lights & decorations.
    You must have been baking for days.
    Wish I could have been with you.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. Hi Michelle, Everybody brought something, so we only did the beef stew, stuffed eggs, and chocolate cookies. My husband helped!

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  11. Cathy. I wish I had you as a neighbor. You really know how to entertain in every sense of the word. The table is stunning, the food looks marvelous and the games must have been great fun... makes you feel like a kid again! I think the guys were pretty good sports; my husband would have slinked off to the kitchen to mop the floor or some such thing. So great of you to provide this club that not only honors a woman you so admire, but that also provides some lovely fellowship and fun.

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    1. Thank you, Jeri. Having you as a neighbor would be Terrific!

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  12. Cathy,
    Your making me afraid to get my chapter going- I shall never be able to do all the lovely things you do for your guests! LOL.....Realy, your obviously a gifted hostess and hospitality is something you love, it comes out in all you plan for everyone. I hope to meet you at our gathering!
    Take Peace,
    Suzanne

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne, but I'm sure with your many gifts you'll be great at it especially since it sounds like you're a good delegator!

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    2. Well Cathy, for some reason things just always seem to end up at "my house", so delegating is something I have learned how to do...LOL! I used to get myself stressed and so tired I barely enjoyed myself and my husband said to me one day, you delegate effectively at work, right, so why not at home. Lightbulb moment! LOL

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  13. Cathy! All I can say is--- WOW, you always do such an amazing job! You have the best ideas! What a fun and delicious evening! Every time I read your posts I think "why am I so away from Maryland?" hehehe!

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    1. It's really not hard with all the "source material" in Tasha's books!

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