Our December gathering was a true celebration, not just for the December holidays, but the culmination of three years together celebrating food and drink through wonderful cookbooks. Members received a printed list of all the dishes they had prepared for gatherings since the start; we had lots of fun reviewing our accomplishments and seeing how we've grown our cooking skills. The word cloud above reflects recipe titles from the past three years.
Participants were welcome to choose recipes from any of our previous themes - with the caveat that the dish had not previously been shared in our group. Fourteen members shared 11 savory dishes, a festive beverage, and six fabulous desserts. Both Barefoot Contessa and Rick Bayless were popular choices, with three dishes chosen from each. Silver Palate and Tartine were also popular, with two dishes from each source. We also enjoyed dishes from Ottolenghi, Dorie Greenspan, Madhur Jaffrey, BraveTart, King Arthur, Crescent Dragonwagon, Tori Avey, The Food of Morocco and Six Seasons.
Savory dishes included two soups (a thick and smoky Black Bean from Rick Bayless and a delicious Wild Mushroom from Silver Palate); other offerings included Root Vegetable Pies from Ottolenghi, spicy Baigan Bharta (Twice-cooked eggplant) from Madhur Jaffrey, and Chicken Smothered with Olives from The Food of Morocco.
Dessert choices were overwhelming - Linda's Buche de Noel was a work of art and as scrumtious as it was beautiful; the Tres Leches Celebration cake was surprisingly light. Dark chocolate was popular, with a Chocolate Truffle Torte and a rich Chocolate Bread Pudding and we all enjoyed the Butternut Pumpkin Pie and the tangy Cranberry Lime Galette.
Over coffee, we reprised our popular Holiday Gift Exchange from last year and ended the gathering with a fun and lively saran-wrap gift game.
A multitude of thanks to our inimitable host Jackie, for again letting us gather in her holiday wonderland home.
We have lots to look forward to in 2019 - two events in January include our Sunday afternoon gathering and our fourth Happy Hour/Mixer later in the month.
Happy New Year from all of us in the San Diego Cookbook Club!
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