We celebrated Jac’s brother’s fiancee Kelsie’s birthday last Wednesday with a family feast of finger foods. We gave Kelsie a break from cooking; the party was at their house, but the rest of us did the food preparation for the evening.
This was the first of Jac’s and my contributions for the evening: fresh vegetables with dip. Jac did the chopping of the vegetables; I was responsible for their arrangement on the square platter. The dip in the centre was Neil Perry Fresh aioli.
Jac used my vegetable cutter to make these lovely radish flowers. Personally, I don’t really like the flavour of radishes, which is a pity, as they do have a wonderful fresh crunch.
Jac made savoury eggs using fresh quail eggs – her mum got her the eggs, not sure from where; I think she knows someone who actually has quails. The savoury eggs are basically boiled eggs with the yolks scooped out and mixed with curry powder, dry mustard powder, a little Worcestershire sauce and a touch of creamy mayonnaise. The yolk mixture is then put back into the boiled egg whites and topped with chopped parsley.
I’m holding a chicken egg in this photo so you can see just how tiny the quail eggs were. Normally, Jac can’t stand fiddly food; she’s not into miniature or cute little foods like me – so I was surprised (and pleased) that she wanted to make savoury eggs using the teeny weeny quail eggs. Over the years we’ve come to the conclusion that the perfect eggs for savoury eggs are the ones laid by bantam hens – they are smaller than your average chicken egg and a perfect size for popping whole into your mouth. Standard chook eggs are a little too big for a comfortable mouthful, and these quail eggs, cute as they are, are too small (though you could pop multiple quail savoury eggs in your mouth at one time). :) Anyway, these little eggs were eaten and enjoyed very quickly.
Jac also made some stuffed mushrooms. She removed their stalks and filled them with crab and corn creamy dip which she bought from the supermarket. She topped the mushrooms with fresh chopped parsley. Here they are in a baking dish, ready for the oven.
The mushrooms leaked a lot of juice during cooking, so they turned out a little soggy. But I removed them from the tray, gave them a quick wipe with paper towel, and served them on a dry plate – they were delicious. No leftovers!
We also put together a cheese platter. Starting from the orange coloured cheese on the left and moving clockwise around the plate, we had smoked applebox cheddar, blue vein, Camembert, a vintage cheddar, a waxed covered cheddar with plum and port, a spring onion and herb soft cheese (which had capsicum chunks in it). Scattered around the platter were dried fruits – apricots, prunes, peaches – and in the centre was a little tub of Maggie Beer spiced pear paste.
The blue vein was very strong-smelling. Jac and Kelsie loved it, but I’m a cheese wimp and don’t go for stinky cheeses at all. What about you guys? Stinky cheese, yes or no? What’s your favourite cheese (stinky or not)?
We bought a pack of Arnotts Cheeseboard crackers to eat with the cheese – in the box you get six different kinds of crackers ranging from the old standard water cracker to the more robust wheat crackers.
Kelsie’s mum J made a big batch of sausage rolls. I always love her homemade sausage rolls.
Jac’s mum Pattycakes made these delicious meatballs, which we dipped in barbecue sauce and tomato sauce. Sorry – this isn’t the greatest photo – but trust me, they were very tasty meatballs.
She also made mini bacon and egg pies, which are always fantastic. I could eat my way through a big pile of them. Egg, bacon, pastry – can’t go wrong, really!
My plate, round one. There were many rounds.
Kelsie’s mum J also assembled this platter of fruit (rockmelon, banana, apple, pear, orange, and extra strawberries for the kids, who are total strawberry fiends :)). It was good to have the fresh fruit after eating all the savoury items.
Pattycakes brought along Kelsie’s birthday cake.
The cake was fluffy soft sponge with a layer of custard in the middle, fresh cream on the outside, with a sprinkling of flaked almonds around the edge.
I hope Kelsie enjoyed her birthday celebration (we certainly did!). I know Jac enjoyed planning preparing our dinner contributions, and I enjoyed helping. :)