Monday, March 8, 2010
i'm a fool for the oscars. i can't help it. i know the awards themselves are silly and that celebrity worship is absurd, but i really and truly do enjoy watching this long, drawn-out ceremony.
and i think that's exactly the appeal. it's a ceremony and it's a tradition, and for many years now c and i have hosted an oscar party. it's become an excuse to convene with a group of lovely friends, don a party dress (me, not c), and imbibe fancy cocktails whilst admiring pretty gowns and sparkly jewelry, and practicing being wits and wags as we contribute our own commentary to the proceedings.
oscar parties around these parts usually start with a trip to big john's pfi, where we stock up on imported foods, tartlet shells, drink fixings, olives, and fancy cheeses. i love the weird wonderfulness of pfi.
it's a little know fact that pfi is the source for the bulgarian sour cherry syrup that is the basis for my "famous" oscar cocktail, the red carpet. it is even a littler know fact that this cocktail was created by me and my pal aj rathbun (during one slow hour of work many, many years ago), which he immortalized in two of his amazing cocktail books.
however, this year i broke from tradition and instead of serving the red carpet we served a sparkly drink based around this delightfully sweet and adorable bottle of elderflower pressé that we picked up at pfi. how could i resist this packaging? our cocktail was four parts pressé, two parts lillet, and one part gin, garnished with a twist of lemon. i am seriously in love with this cocktail. bubbly, gin-tastic, and just a little bit sweet.
i also baked some little savory tartlets with pre-made crusts from pfi, since i am often just a little too lazy to make 30 tiny tartlet shells by hand. and the ones from pfi are just wonderful. just blind bake them (as i did with dries favas for weight) and fill with cheese and veggies and egg and other yumminess.
i also made a rustic plum tart (yes, this dough i made myself) that turned out to be the highlight of the evening. plums! why don't i eat you more often?
as you can see, it was a night filled with tarts: of the savory kind, the sweet kind, and the hollywood kind.