Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hospitality No. 1

Last month, I was elected to the board of the local skating club. I'm now the hospitality chair. I can't imagine how my name became associated with the idea of hospitality (read: food); it's really something of a shocker.

Last Friday, I had to do my first big hospitality gig: providing food for a group of judges who were coming to work at a test session at the rink. Judges do these testing gigs on a volunteer basis, so it's a big deal to provide them with something good (and warm) to eat. For the menu, I took a cue from the previous hospitality chair: soup, sandwiches, fruit, dessert. For the sandwiches and fruit, I relied on prepared items. I made the soup, though: for this session, a batch of black bean soup that turned out really well. (I know it was good; there was some leftover.)

Then, of course, there was an opportunity to make dessert. My first dessert choice was the ever-reliable, ever-popular Blueberry-Lime Pound Cake from Fine Cooking, only this time I tried it with lemon. This is simply a recipe that can do no wrong. The cake was a big hit. (I'm extremely excited that Nicole Rees, who created this recipe, has a cookbook coming out later this year.)

Because no dessert tray is complete without a chocolate option, I made a batch of the chocolate cupcakes from More From Magnolia by Allysa Torey, frosted with a chocolate buttercream from the same cookbook. Definitely a tried-and-true pair of recipes for me, and also a hit.

I think we have another test session coming up at the end of August. It's going to seem like a cliche, but I think I'll be making another pound cake featuring blueberries again.

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