If you’ve been a (willing) listener, you have heard me bemoaning the state of the dinner party, the cocktail party, even a luncheon served at home. It seems as if months will go by between invitations to any of the above. I love having people over, but even I have been off my game. The book and all…
Thank heaven for the Deans. I wrote about them last year for the Washington Post, just when their book deal was coming together and here their book is OUT ALREADY! The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits (Stewart Tabori and Chang) is the most charming, funny, down to earth, sweetheart of an etiquette book. It’s perfect for a graduation gift, bridal shower prezzie, or a fun read for your own self.
I predict you’ll soon fall prey to their Southern charms. I think I picked up a little accent by the end of the read. There are dozens of go-to recipes, classics like Hollandaise and Remoulade sauces, and even something called, intriguingly, Beef on a String. These are easy to pull off foods, that will make you look like a brilliant host. To wit: Any-Fool-Can-Make-This-Fool with strawberries, balsamic and a lot of cream.
There are tips galore, side notes, funny stories, and Rules, sure, but don’t overlook the recipes. Well written, reliable, and old school, in only the very best way. When is the last time you even used the word canapé? Once you taste these adorable salmon snacks, canapé will become part of your vernacular.
And, yes, I do realize this is the second post in a row with salmon and a spread. Two reasons. The first, my Dairy Godmother gave me a gift of newly cultured crème fraiche. Right now, the wild onions are in season and her cows are gorging on them as if there were M&Ms out in the pasture. The cow’s milk comes in a little oniony, and that flavor is enhanced in the culturing process. It’s divine. On a canapé? It’s perfection.
The second reason? I smoked a big hunk of gorgeous Atlantic salmon just last week. It’s in season and glorious and I do love me some salmon.
The nice people at Stewart, Tabori & Chang Publishing have a copy of this delightful book for one of my readers. Just leave me a comment — tell me about your favorite way to entertain, or your favorite reason. I’ll randomly select a winner next Monday, May 19.
Congratulations to Annie who won Marisa McClellan’s Preserving by the Pint.
Reprinted by permission from
The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits
Makes 20 generous canapés
One 17.6 ounce package pumpernickle bread
8 ounces crème fraiche
8 ounces smoked Atlantic salmon, sliced thin
2 tablespoons capers
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the bread into triangles. Smear crème fraiche on each slice and pile high with the salmon. Drizzle with the juice from the lemon and top with the capers. Capers will roll off and serve double duty as décor and garnish. Sprinkle with the pepper.