Thursday, December 10, 2009

Catering Capers

My SIL and her mom, C, have a catering business they do in addition to their day jobs. They are very popular, I can tell you, and I have eaten quite a bit of their excellent food! Last Friday, C was away in some exotic locale celebrating her birthday and Shan had an Xmas party to cater at a private home for 40 people, and she asked me to help her.

This was a big deal for me. It was going to be a very long day and an early morning for me, and I haven't had an early morning or a long day on my feet for 3.5 years, when I came down with my latest bout of MDD. My shifts at the place I bake for now are late in the morning and are very short, which is what I need because A) I always have a medication hangover in the morning that takes about 2 hours to overcome, and B) I have big issues with focus and concentration that make sticking to a task for long periods of time difficult for me. Also, I have a lot of problems maintaining physical energy for sustained periods of time. But, because I have been feeling so well these past few months, I really felt it was time to start taking on more challenges, and this catering gig with Shan was right up my alley. I was so pleased that she'd asked me to help her out!

The menu for the party consisted of appetizers and some sweets. Here is the list:

  • veggies & dip
  • tomato tart with a cornmeal crust
  • bruschetta and crostini
  • crab-stuffed mushroom caps
  • beef satays with peanut dipping sauce
  • yogurt marinated chicken skewers
  • baked brie & candied pecans on crostini
  • sushi: California rolls, smoked salmon rolls, and veggie
  • chocolate cupcakes

Shan had done a lot of the prep the day before, but there was still a lot of work to be done. She picked me up at 8am on the dot and we drove to her mom's place in Castlegar to do all the other stuff.

Here are some pictures! There aren't tons because we were very busy and also it isn't, obviously, professional to be clicking away with your camera while you're at someone's house catering their party!
Here is the veggie tray I put together. We made a lemon & dill dip to go with them.

Stuffing the mushroom caps. The filling was delicious!

Tomato tarts. Yes, those are olives.

Baked Brie & candied pecans on crostini. These were fabulicious!

And these were the cupcakes! Shan made them the day before, and I did the icing and the piping, and then Shan cut up fruit to garnish the platter. These were amazing!
Full Flickr set here.

The day went very well for me. My back was very sore by early afternoon, and I did get pretty tired, too. But I took a break at about 2:30 and had something to eat, and then after that I seemed to get a second wind.

At the house - which had a gorgeous kitchen that was a pleasure to work in! - there was a lot to do, too, but it went smoothly. I did have to stand outside in the -5C weather BBQing the beef satays and the chicken skewers, but I did get to do this grilling on the host's rather lovely Weber grill, so I wasn't going to complain too much!

It was a great day! I was sore and exhausted at the end of it, but I was so pleased and proud that I had such a successful time. It was fun, too! I hope Shan asks me again sometime!


Captain Karen said...

"Tomato tarts. Yes, those are olives." Ha ha ha! ;) Regardless of those icky things, the tarts (and everything else) looks fantastic. I'm glad that you were able to help Shan out and that the job went well.

Palidor said...

-5c? At least you were beside the grill. All the food looks fab.

Kim said...

5C - yikes!! It looks like you all did a fantastic job with the food. It all looks delicious. Glad to hear that everything went well.

A Year on the Grill said...

grilling in the winter whoo whoo...

what a great spread... very very well done! and love the idea of those cheese candied pecan thingies... just as easy as they look??? any secret to em???

Wandering Coyote said...

@ Dave: the brie/pecan thingies are very easy, but I don't have the recipe for the candied pecans to share, unfortunately. But basically, you just cut up a baguette, brush some olive oil on top, and bake until lightly toasted. Slice up little squares of brie & put on toasts. Then put a little bit of the topping on each and bake. Simple! I'll see if Shan & C are willing to share the recipe for the topping.

Bob said...

Sounds like an adventure, glad you had a good time!

monicajane said...

I want to be at that party! what a fun job...that might be a dream job for me...I just wouldn't want to be the one running the business...not 100% in any case...though I do like being my own boss in the kitchen...heck yeah!

Van said...

Nice! Very nice!

I assume you de-stemmed/de-gilled the mushroom caps? How hard was that with their size?

Wandering Coyote said...

Van: Shan actually did all the prep with the mushroom caps, but I imagine it was slightly finicky as they were small-ish and there were a lot of them. I just stuffed them! The stems were in the filling, too.

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

Everything looks so delicious! You did an excellent job!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are torturing us with those photos, you realize that? Looks divine!

Anonymous said...

Wow! All those items sound delicious! I'd like to set up my own catering business, but I'm not sure if I could handle all that work!

Chris said...

I've only done a few catering jobs and each has left me drained and never wanting to cook for others again. Yet, I always do it again.

sarahe said...

looks fun! i struggle w/all my pain after things like this. glad you got a second wind!


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