Thursday, March 10, 2011

Johnny!

Today is my brother Johnny's birthday!   Whoo hooo!  Last year I did a photo montage of his adorable baby photos to mark the occasion, but I thought this year I'd focus on food.  Johnny recently graduated from nursing school in San Francisco.  To celebrate the occasion, my hubby and I thought that the best gift would be to throw a big party with southern treats for his friends last December.

We made grits and grillades from the Plantation Cookbook.  The grillades were made at our house and gingerly transported to SF with the help of some painters tape.

grillades on the go
We loaded up the car with lots of goodies (including our punch bowl for some egg nog) - and headed up to SF.

party in a bag
The grits were made in huge batches - enough to feed the 20 or so guests at my brothers small (but efficient) apartment.

grits
The unexpected star of the show was the egg nog. We had gotten the recipe from a priest a few years back, and it has never failed to disappoint.  We get requests each year for the recipe.  It is so rich (and so alcoholic) that you really only can have it once or twice a season.  There is nothing better than homemade eggnog at the holidays.

that's a lot of eggs...

nog!
Everyone always thinks that the topping is whipped cream.  Well my friends, that is whipped egg white, not whipped cream.  Sorry to burst your bubble!  That light, glossy confection is not what you think!
topped with whipped egg whites!
The finished product
By the end of the night, the eggnog was completely gone.  Below is a picture of the table at the beginning of the night - before the grits, grillades, and salad are put out.  I didn't take another photo of the table, but it looked really pretty when it was all laid out. 

the table
yes - that is my dad's sazerac bottle in the back
Dessert was a giant gingerbread man - topped with powdered sugar frosting and peppermint pieces.  

Gingerbread man!
Johnny and his friends seemed to have a great time!  It was really fun to meet his classmates, friends, and extended SF family.  This summer we plan to recreate it with a southern style crawfish boil.  Now the only obstacle is finding live crawfish in the Bay Area... 

a happy birthday boy!

Congrats to the birthday boy and recent graduate!  Love you!

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