Galentine’s Dinner 2014: Southern Classics (with smoked whiskey sours and smoked lemonade)
This post will be a little different. We hosted a Galentine’s day dinner for some of our lovely girlfriends; Gary did most of the cooking with some help from Dave and Cody. Part of the challenge was a meal that was gluten, dairy and soy free (also without avocado), but Gary did not want things with substituted ingredients. So the following is what we came up with (Lisa will detail a bit more on each dish below the pictures; Gary’s overall impressions are at the end)
Galentine’s Day Dinner Menu: Barbecue Smoked pork shoulders, Homemade coleslaw, Collard greens, Baked fries, Okra, Sweet Tea, Smoked Whiskey sours, Smoked Lemonade, Pumpkin Pie
Smoked Pork Shoulders: Gary got 2 large pork shoulders to smoke; he took the day off from work to make sure there was enough time time smoke them properly; they were brined overnight before smoking, smoked and then finished in the oven and shredded; our 4 quart crockpot only held about half of the meat!
Collard greens: Cooked in pretty much the only acceptable way, with a ham hock. Without the pork-y-ness here, collard greens are not yummy. Proof that pork makes all things better.
Cornmeal breaded okra: Baked in the oven. Simple. Yummy.
Homemade Coleslaw: Some kind of mayo concoction of yumminess plus shredded cabbage and carrot. I am not usually a coleslaw fan, but I want to keep eating this stuff. Forever.
Baked Fries: Fries, oil, salt. Baked until crispy. Enough said.
Smoked whiskey sours (in the pitcher), Smoked lemonade (in the mason jar), and iced tea (with simple syrup for sweetening to taste); In addition to smoking the pork, Gary also smoked a couple dozen lemons, and then used that juice to make the whiskey sours and lemonade. The smoke flavor was subtle and distinct and delicious.
Pumpkin pie: gluten and dairy free with cold coconut milk instead of whipped cream (sorry I didn’t even get a picture of a single slice!); I used this recipe, but used full fat coconut milk instead of the light stuff, and ginger cookies instead of graham crackers.
Flowers for the girls to take with them. After reading A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans, I am trying to do some subtle things to take back the Proverbs 31 woman as Eshet Chayil (A Woman of Valor), instead of the unattainable to do list that Christians have warped it into. Jewish men sing the Eshet Chayil to their wives as part of every Shabbat meal- to praise her for what she does for the household (not to point out all she could be and isn’t doing). I took this excerpt and made it into the cards the girls got with their flowers:
Eshet Chayil (Proverbs 31: 10, 29-31)
A woman of valor, who can find? For her worth is far above rubies.
Many women have done worthily, but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears God shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Happy Galentine’s Day 2014! You are Loved!
Our kitchen in the aftermath of the dinner (took 3 full loads in the dishwasher and some hand washing).
Gary’s notes: This was my favorite meal so far. Not so much for the food, which was delicious, but for the evening as a whole. There’s absolutely nothing more rewarding than seeing and hearing eight of your closest friends conversing loudly around the dinner table, punctuated by roaring laughter.
1: Jamaican Mushroom Curry over Quinoa (paired with Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs)
2: Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs (paired with The Mamani Gin and Tonic)
3: Caprese Mac and Cheese (paired with Page Springs 2011 Chenin Blanc)
4: Pulled Pork & Collar Green Egg Rolls (paired with Vermouth Cocktail)
5: Sweet potato, parsnip latkes (paired with Page Springs 2012 GSPm)
6: Bowl o’ Noodles (pair with 2012 PSC Grenache- Or your favorite bottle of white wine)
7: Homemade pepperoni and mozzarella pizza (paired with a mystery shiner of wine that was quite good)
8: Galentine’s Dinner 2014: Southern Classics (with smoked whiskey sours and smoked lemonade)