This year I joined the Gourmet Club through the Camp Lejeune Officers Wives Club (OWC). We meet once a month and everyone either cooks twice or hosts once. I chose to host because we all know that I'm not much of a cook, especially a gourmet cook!
The theme this year was a World Tour. Each month is a different country; we have had a Taste of Italy, Fiesta Mexicana, Totally Tapas, Cruising to the Caribbean and this month was A Trip to the Eiffel Tower, which I hosted.
Dave actually gave me the idea of doing small bistro style tables instead of one or two big tables so that it would look more like a small French Cafe. So, I did some research and I rented and borrowed small tables, chairs and all the linens I needed. Since Dave had been to France, we printed out some of his pictures and I mounted them on foam board and used those as table decorations. I was very stressed and nervous for about a week before the luncheon because I wanted everything to be perfect and for the house to look great! The day before the event, I set everything up. I stayed up late that night setting out the china and folding napkins into a Fleur de Lys. Luckily, I did not have to cook but as the hostess, I was in charge of the drinks and had to make Lavender Mint Lemonade. I think I ended up squeezing 35 or 40 lemons before it was all said and done.
This is what my living room looked like when I was finished Wednesday night.
This morning after taking the kids to school, I did the final preparations. I finished preparing the Lavender Mint Lemonade, downloaded a French CD to my iPod and loaded black and white pictures of France to the digital picture frame. The cooks began to arrive at 10 to get to work preparing the meal and everyone else arrived at 11.
When everyone walked in, immediately to their left was my French Cafe........
and they were welcomed with this Bistro Chalkboard which said "Welcome Gourmet Club to The White Cafe". Don't you love it?
The fabulous cooks that prepared our meal
Sandy, Stephanie, Charlotte, Missy, Stacy and Lisa
Lavender Mint Lemonade
Zesty Tapenade with Crackers
Brie en Crute
Poulet au Porto (Roast Chicken Steeped with Port Wine, Cream & Mushrooms)
Salad Basket Crepes with Pears, Gorgonzola and Hazelnuts
Elegant Strawberry Charlotte
The cooks and me
Stacy, Erin, Stacey and Gia
Gia and Stephanie
Everyone seated and the cooks explaining their recipes
Stacey, Erin and Gia
Erin's birthday was yesterday so they put a candle on her dessert and we sang Happy Birthday to her.
Blowing out the candle
Jill and Gia
After it was over, I was exhausted! But everything was perfect! Except for the fact that I noticed at the last minute I was a couple of place settings of silverware short and had to get Erin and Gia to both bring some and then when Stacey and I sat down, she didn't have any forks! I don't know how I had missed that but I gave her one of my forks and just told her to keep it for her salad and her entree. Thank goodness it happened to one of my friends that I was sitting with instead of someone else! I would have been so embarrassed!
But it definitely was a success and I was very proud of the job I did. Thank goodness I only have to do it once a year!