September 11, 2017
Whitney, The Wife here.
All is quiet at home, except for Irma's incessant howling outside. School and work canceled. The boys are resting, and Andrew is pursuing the task of painting four English Cocker Spaniels. He enthusiastically showed me the Covey Rise issue that he saved from two years ago featuring a large spread on the breed. He read this quote to me: "If the setter is the gentleman hunter's favorite dog, then perhaps the cocker is the hunting purists dog of choice--delivering a certain hunting élan."
(He said "élan" like Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. Bless it.)
Anyway, enough about him. I wanted to talk about me.
I wanted to tell y'all about the time I cooked for a chef and his wife because I'm insane.
In reality, I'm grateful (if that wasn't clear in blog post number 1). I'm grateful for the generosity that Chef David Bancroft and his wife Christin have given us by showcasing Andrew's work in their amazing restaurant, Acre. They have been wonderful to work with, and I wanted to say "thank you" by having a dinner party. I figured not too many people are stupid enough to have them over for a home-cooked meal. But I ain't no member of Mensa.
So I coordinated the kids to go with my sitter, and I had a dinner party at our home with decor that isn't "complete" and served food that's not organic on a table cloth that's from a yard sale.
And I think we all had a good time. I served an appetizer of marinated mushrooms with a small charcuterie. When I went to France, I brought a journal and only took notes on cheese. I don't know my favorite region of cheese, but "stinky" is my fav!
For the main dish, I served crawfish étouffée (with hot rice in case that's not obvious). I combined 3 recipes together: my sister's "Easy Crawfish Etouffée", Emeril's recipe, and the one from "Louisiana Legacy" cookbook. I served the étouffée with a side of baked asparagus with parmesan and sliced almonds. And (sort of) homemade biscuits.
For dessert, I warned them. This is gonna be good. But this is gonna be "rustic": Tarte a la bouille cake. In south Louisiana, there is a very specific region of people who enjoy what's known as tarte a la bouille pie. It's basically cream pie with a sweet dough crust. In addition to not being a member of Mensa, I'm not a baker. But I can make a homemade custard and mix it together with a store-bought cake mix. And so Tarte a la Bouille cake it was.
I tried not to gawk, but I did catch a glimpse of chef's plate. He had a heaping portion of étouffée and cleaned his plate. So I survived my night of temporary insanity of cooking for a chef. And I had enough Tarte a la Bouille left for my breakfast the next morning.
What? It's not that different from a danish...
Andrew has since brought several more pieces to Acre as football season is in full swing. The Lake Martin sunset landscape is one to admire. Placed behind the hostess stand, it is an impressive welcome, in my opinion.
There are a new batch of oysters and cotton, which are always a customer favorite. Or maybe it's my favorite. Now is the time for me to be self-less in my "giving up art for the greater cause" thing. It's hard but I know you see my sacrifice.
In conclusion, I do encourage you to host dinner parties even if it seems insane. And I also encourage you to support Acre restaurant with a side order of Andrew Lee artwork.
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