(last day of july. number 6.)
The idea for 'Secret Restaurant Nostalgia Trip' was to take our favorite foods from childhood and update them in the style of our recent dinners.
We each contributed ideas for individual dishes, and then followed through with creating them. Lucas grew up eating a lot of tuna salad wrapped in lettuce leaves– so, sushi grade ahi and fresh mayonnaise and endive.
There is no denying that nearly every child loves macaroni and cheese– so, conchiglie shells and macaroni shells with extra sharp vermont cheddar, gouda, mustard, garlic and a kiss of saffron.
Andrew's favorite dish growing up was "hamburger gravy and creamed potatoes," which his grandmother made for him every time he spent the evening at her house– and she made 'world famous' (in the way all midwestern women make 'world famous' dishes) hamburger buns, so–veggie sloppy joes on made-from-scratch garlic/whole wheat hamburger buns with a side of country cream potatoes.
One of Jenny's favorites (and, really, all of us) was the ol' peanut butter and jelly– so, grilled tea sandwich triangles with almond butter and homemade plum jam.
Casey loves cookies and ice cream, and who doesn't have fond memories of absurd bowls of ice cream concoctions– so, banana split with 3 ice creams and a shortbread animal shaped cookie.
The whole thing also turned into a bit of a 1950s tribute, with the colors & rockabilly record in the background.
On the table:
• Vegetable Sticks
Beets, carrots, cucumbers, green beans with homemade 'special sauce' [from-scratch yellow heirloom tomato ketchup & fresh belgian style mayonnaise]
Almond butter and fresh mirabelle plum jam on grilled white bread, cut into triangles and served as an amuse-bouche.
• Tuna Wraps
Sushi grade ahi tuna and fresh home-made belgian style mayonnaise served in belgian endive leaves.
• Macaroni & Cheese
Conchiglie shells and macaroni shells, with a sauce from butter and fresh garlic, mustard, extra sharp white Vermont cheddar, gouda, and fresh rosemary. Served with a large fresh snow pea, for coolness and crunch. Also- I'm a preschool teacher- kids love peas.
• Veggie Sloppy Joe
filling: onions, garlic, celery, green bell pepper, shitake mushrooms, tomato paste, ground beef substitute, and made-from-scratch Worcestershire sauce.
which sat on: a hidden sea bean, marking the third appearance of its salty crunch in Secret Restaurant dinners.
and was held by: old fashioned garlic whole wheat buns, also made-from-scratch.
and then topped with: a bacon flavored, but vegan, pickle from Unbound Pickling (a portland company).
• Country Cream Potatoes
Blueish purple, yukon gold, and pink-centered red potatoes in a reduced heavy cream sauce with garlic, butter, and celery.
The potatoes were sourced (as they usually are) from Gene Theil, potato man (we called him "The root guy" until finding an essay about him in cookbook), of Joseph, OR– a staple of Portland Farmer's Market. A nice article about Gene can be read here.
• Banana Split
a large collaboration!
Bananas (made by trees in a distance land...)
Boysenberry and Raspberry Ice Cream (made by Aria from fresh berries picked that morning on Sauvie Island)
White Sweet Corn and Rhubarb Ice Cream (made by Lucas and Casey)
Filbert Ice Cream (local filberts, made by one of our guests, Skylar, an expert taster and maker of ice cream)
Animal Shaped Scottish Shortbread Cookies (made by Casey, decorated with lavender pearl sprinkles).
Grown Up Shirley Temples and Grown Up Rootbeer Floats.