Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Julia Child Night #5

Another Julia Child Night has come and went!  We started planning the menu for this year's event in June when I was home for the CFA so it's kind of hard to believe it has come and went.  But it was a fantastic menu, and as usual, I had the best time.

The weekend went entirely too fast, as they always do, but I did pack a lot in.  I flew in Thursday night, had a doctor's appointment downtown on Friday morning and then did my grocery shopping in my old neighborhood.  The specialty cheese and wine shop wasn't open yet when I got there, so I took a little walk through my old neighborhood. 

Friday marked 7 months since my move to Charlotte.  All these months later, it's still very bittersweet for me to visit the area where I used to live.  I know I am over half way through my one year commitment to Charlotte, but gosh it is still really, really hard (more on that later this week).

Luckily I was heading to my aunt and uncle's next to start cooking so that helped me get past the sad feelings!  Friday was very busy as we made the soup, prepped many of the components of the salad for the next day and made the chocolate sauce.  After a busy day of cooking, we went out to dinner at the Mexican restaurant we always went to after the CFA exam each year.  It was really, really nice to enjoy a meal there and not be in a post-CFA fog!

On Saturday morning we started cooking at 9:30 and pretty much did not stop until the appetizer hour started around 5!  I will let the pictures do the talking!

A big chunk of Saturday was spent making our main dish, Pot au Feu, which translates to "pot on fire" as it's a dish that is cooked on the stove (or in a roaster).  It has beef, chicken, pork, sausage and root vegetables, so there were lots of different components to work on!



We had our typical appetizer hour of cheese, olives, olive tapenade, and gluten free crackers.  Our signature drink this year was a French 75, which has gin, compari, champagne, simple syrup, and lemon juice.  It's so good!


My aunt Barb and I snapped a quick picture together before the plating of the courses began!  Barb is the mastermind behind this event - she is a very talented cook.  I have learned so much from her through the years and we have become especially close thanks to this event! 

The first course was a cream of mushroom soup!  It was so good, we even had some people who don't like mushrooms finish their bowl!


The salad course was a Salad Nicoise.  This is my most favorite salad and is something I tend to order if I see it on a menu.  It has a french potato salad, tuna, green beans, green beans, tomatoes, olives, and anchovies.  I am not a huge anchovy fan, but when it's mixed in with everything else, it's actually good!

As I said, the main dish was pot au feu.  There were so many components so we took an assembly line approach to plating and had lots of help!  We served it with two sauces - a tradition gravy type of sauce with a broth base and a cream sauce with dried mustard and tomato paste.  They really amp up the flavor of the dish!

We took a bit of a pause between the main course and dessert as everyone was SO full!  Which gave us time to take our yearly "apron" photo!


Dessert was a homemade vanilla custard made by my sister-in-law, which was topped with a homemade chocolate sauce and a homemade truffle.


After dinner, I tabled hopped a bit so I could catch up with different groups.  I snapped this photo of my mom (on the left) and her two sisters towards the end of the night.  I love that they are all wearing stripes and berets! 

So there you have it - another successful Julia Child Night.  I love sharing my love of all things French with family and friends.  I see this tradition continuing for many years to come.  I hope and pray that I'll be living in the Midwest when we host the 6th annual Julia Child night, but I know that no matter where I am, I will always come back for this fantastic event!

In closing, I will say that eating all this French food makes me even MORE excited for my Paris trip - I leave 2 weeks from today!!

26 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

It looks like an amazingly successful night! I am seriously amazed by all the cooking and prep you guys do for this. French food just seems so time consuming and complicated ha ha. But obviously you enjoy doing it, so it's okay :)
I also hope and pray you will be living somewhere that makes you happy well before this time next year!

Becky said...

What a fabulous night!!! And Paris in two weeks - squee!!!!

Abby said...

Wow - what a fun night!! Everything looks SO GOOD - and I know you guys put so much work into it. Awesome!

These photos makes me a little teary eyed - love living in AZ, but definitely don't love how much I've missed out on.

I love the apron photo of the family! Too cute!

Marlys said...

Another totally successful Julia Child's night! We had so much fun and really appreciate all the hard work that goes into this event! The food was fabulous!

26dishes.com said...

I am so hungry after reading this!

Carolina John said...

How fun was that! So neat that such a large group can come together and have fun and fellowship like that. Very cool.

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Ah, I love the apron photo and the stripes and berets! All of that sounds delicious. And that signature drink with gin and champagne...yum!

Lisa-Marie said...

Frech 75s are SO GOOD.

I have had Pot au Feu in a French restaurant, and yours looks just as good! YUM.

Jeanie said...

I love absolutely everything about this post, Lisa. I love the smiles on the faces, the cute mom-and-aunts in their berets, the awesome looking food, everything!

Oh, I think every one of your bloggies wishes that she was right there, helping cook and definitely helping with the tasting. Two weeks? Oh, you'll come back with a ton of ideas of next year's night!

Barb Geier said...

Hurray! Thanks for sharing this. It was so wonderful to have you here to stay with us and to cook side by side. It might have taken two days of "work" in the kitchen, but it was well worth it!!!

Let's start thinking about #6....

Amanda Louise said...

French 75s are one of my favorite cocktails! My roommate at the time and I hosted a Julie & Julia potluck maybe 4 years ago. So much fun! The following year we did a Fried Green Tomatoes potluck. Now I'm re-inspired to continue my movie & dinner theme :)

Shoshanah said...

Looks like an amazing night! And I can't believe your trip to Paris is so close! I feel a bit like November has already gotten away from me.

I tend to rarely order Nicoise salads at restaurants, but used to love it when my mom made it. I actually tend not to like canned tuna, except of course when it's part of a Nicoise salad!

Leigh said...

Your post is making me hungry! Everything looks so good. Such fun memories that you made too :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Awww.. All of you in your stripes; you are so cute! I notice it seems like there are more guys this year? It looks like another success and I am so glad that you are keeping up with the tradition, even if from afar. It is things like that which really keep you going.

I love the aprons! When I had girls night the other day, I wore the one you gave me and had two of my friends wear one as well (I only have three) and it was fun, but we forgot to take a pic!

Amber said...

I've loved watching how much this event has grown for you guys over the years - what a fun fun annual event!! I also love the trend you have started with stripes - every year more and more people are in stripes :)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

What a fun event!! That mushroom soup looks soooooo good, and I love that there is a J C on it!

Nora said...

LOVE the apron photo.
And the happiness that you can tell is there behind each word you wrote =)
Everything looks AMAZING! Glad you had a great time and I'm right there with you, hoping and praying you'll be in MPLS if not much much closer by next year! xo

Linda said...

LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I love theme nights and I love traditions and I love French food. This is just perfect.

Stephany said...

Your Julia Child night is seriously one of my favorite things I've found through blogging. It's just such a special tradition and I love how involved everyone gets. And what a good little "appetizer" for your trip to Paris. I can't believe you leave in less than two weeks! AH!

And yes, I'll join everyone in saying that I want you to be at HOME by the next Julia Child night - not in stupid Charlotte! :)

Jamie and Missy said...

Wow!! What a fantastic tradition! Thanks for sharing, Lisa!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

looks like fun!

Cherry Blossoms said...

Love how everyone is so festive and hands down what a great tradition you have started!

qwerkyqook said...

So much fun! And I loved Nancy's idea of focusing on different regions of France!!! and crepes...

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Totally crazy to think you've been orchestrating this dinner for five years. That's quite the feat. And it's clear that everyone has a lot of fun!

CharisFaith said...

I love these posts! I'm so happy that you were able to go home and enjoy your time with your family! This is such an awesome tradition that y'all have!!!

San said...

I love that you do this every year! What a wonderful tradition!