Monday, May 26, 2014

Penny's Pork and Prosecco Surprise...

My friends Amy, Chris and I have been cooking up a big surprise for quite some time and yesterday we were finally able to celebrate Penny's 40th birthday (a month early to make the surprise even better)!  While I was in charge of the food, Amy not only opened her lovely home for the occasion, but put her creative spin on the party.  She is truly talented and brought Penny's party to life with  a million little memorable touches...graceful white paper lanterns hung in the yard while home-made wine bottle luminarias glowed in the the garden. Amy strung no less than two thousand pennies to create decorative mobiles and hung them from doorways and back yard umbrellas.  She had chalkboard signs, pristine white flowers and corks galore to accent the small change hanging everywhere.  I thought it was pretty funny when Ang looked around and said, "Thank goodness Penny's name isn't half-dollar!"  I am pretty sure Chris would have gone broke throwing that party.  

I put together a menu that I only hoped would match Amy's heroic efforts and pay homage to Penny's love of Prosecco and pork! Thankfully we had a team of helpers waiting in the wings; we could not have pulled this off without the help of Graham, Leif, El, Dejan and Angela!  In the end the party was  practically perfect in every way.

We used a memorial day cook-out as a rouse to lure Penny to her surprise party and she volunteered to bring her family's famous coconut cake as her contribution to the party; I thought it was too funny that Penny walked into her party carrying her own birthday cake only to be greeted by 40 of her closest friends!

Playful Piggery
a menu for penny
Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus with Boursin and Honey Mustard
Deviled Eggs with Sriracha, Bacon, Sesame and Scallion
Parmesan and Rosemary Shortbread with Feta Olive and Tomato
Tasting of Benton Country Ham with Salt Butter
Smoked Fish Display with Cucumber-Coriander Yogurt, Lemon-Horseradish, Honey Mustard Dill Sauces 
Pimento Cheese Spread, Potted Rilettes, Herbed Shrimp Spread 
Assorted Artisan Breads 
Marinated Mushrooms, Rosemary Roasted Almonds, Assorted Olives and Pickles
Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions
Lentil Salad with Capers, Greens and Crispy Shallots
Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower with and Herb Drizzle
Beets with House Whipped Feta, Pickled Pears and Arugula

It was such a beautiful affair in every way and I am so glad we could pool our talents to honor such a remarkable friend.  Happy early birthday Penny!


Amy Hynous Tillotson said...

Those pictures are almost as amazing as your menu, Mel! Wow... it was so fun to collaborate with you. I truly love how we embrace each other's creative strengths. I'll throw a party any day with you, my friend!!

Amy Hynous Tillotson said...
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