28 April 2011

Poached Leeks with Pink Peppercorn Mayonnaise

As I mentioned in the post about Pink Peppercorn Mayonnaise, I first made this dish for Easter dinner in 1986. It's been a tradition around here ever since.

Start with some nice leeks:

Trimmed and ready to cook:

Steamed and cooling:

Chilled overnight, plated, and ready to serve:

For our Easter table this year we chose lilac and chartreuse P-86 Fiesta. I thought this salad looked quite nice on this colour combo.

Poached Leeks with Pink Peppercorn Mayonnaise
adapted from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook
Serves 6

12 nice sized leeks
Finishing salt (I like to use Hawaiian red salt)
Pink Peppercorn Mayonnaise
Pink Peppercorns

Trim the root ends off the leeks and cut off most of the green top. Carefully wash and clean the leeks as sand gets down inside the leaves. Fringe the top end by cutting in half lengthwise for about 3 inches. Turn the leeks 90° and make another cut the same length. Rinse under running water again to be sure all the grit is washed away.

Using a steamer basket or bamboo steamer, steam the leeks until tender all the way through. Remove from steamer with tongs and set aside to cool.

Once leeks have reached room temperature, place in covered container and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

To serve, place two leeks on each individual serving plate. Sprinkle leeks with some of the finishing salt. Spoon dressing across the white ends of the leeks and sprinkle with a few pink peppercorns.

1. In the cookbook they called for 3 leeks per person, but I find that 2 is usually enough.
2. Originally the directions called for poaching the leeks in salted water, but we like them better steamed.

I'm linking this post to Kim's Saturday Swap over at Quit Eating Out and Beverly's Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound.

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Bookmark and Share

24 April 2011

Game Night

Board Games, that is. Our family loves board games. Both the Guy and I grew up playing them and passed that along to our children. One day fairly early in our marriage, I asked the Guy to play a game of Monopoly with me. It was a little late and he wasn't too interested because, "it will take too long". I insisted we could play a game in half an hour or so. And as it happened, we did. And I won!

Now I do not normally set out to "win" games. I just enjoy playing them. If the Guy or one of the girls wins, I am happy. They tell me I take the fun out of it, but hey, I AM happy if they win. That's not to say I'm not happy if I win. That long ago Monopoly game was one of my finest hours!

Seventy-fifth Anniversary. For all of my dish friends, that means FIESTA. This year is the 75th anniversary of the introduction of Fiesta. Homer Laughlin is having an extravaganza with new shapes and a special anniversary colour. Well, this year is also the seventy-fifth anniversary of MONOPOLY. What a great year!!! With this table I am combining the two for a fun evening with friends.

Monopoly has always been my favourite board game. For years now I have collected the metal tokens. Not sure why. I would always pick them up at yard sales or antique malls if the price were right.

All this time I've just been collecting the tokens in a box. The original patent from 12/31/35 had six metal tokens: iron, cannon, thimble, ship, shoe, and top hat. In 1936 the car and the purse got added, but the purse was dropped after only one year. For many years those were the only pieces. The design of some of them changed slightly over the years (e.g. car with driver went to car without driver), but this was the basic set. During the 1960s there were 8 tokens, but the 70s saw two more added to make 10. Back in 1985 a deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition of the game came out with a new token: a train. And then in 1998 a moneybag was added. The standard edition of the game now has 11 tokens and the deluxe addition has twelve. And then there is the Heirloom edition which also has a piggybank token. Gets confusing, n'est pas? I wish they would bring back the purse.

train, purse, and piggy bank

original canon, current cannon and other tokens

Then different versions of Monopoly began being issued. All of them have their own tokens, so these days, there are a LOT of tokens - over 1100 at last count. Here's a link to a chart that will help keep the standard ones in order.

And if changing the tokens weren't enough, remember this guy?

As of the year 2000, our dear Rich Uncle Pennybags was renamed to Mr. Monopoly. What's the world coming to???

And there have been some other changes since I first started playing the game: Income tax is now a flat $200 (instead the player's choice of 10% of their total holdings or $200), and Luxury Tax increased from $75 to $100. I think I will just keep my old board, cards and tokens.

Even if Parker Bros. wants me to no longer have my rich uncle, I still love the game. And I decided to do a game night dinner. To begin with I started with a tied quilt to use for the tablecloth.

I figured I would use Post-86 Fiesta for the dishes, but I had to think about the flatware. Then I remembered this box.

Look what's inside:

The vintage Quikcut Flatware is in the perfect colours to go with the Monopoly game tablecloth.

Did you know there are Monopoly glasses?

And tin banks, too:

I kept looking for napkin rings, but never did find any I liked. Then I ran across these bookmarks:

A little craftiness with a hot glue gun and voilà, just what I needed to hold the napkins (which I made of Monopoly money fabric):

Back in the 1980s Hallmark put out these Free Parking paper plates. I topped them with clear glass plates to protect them.

I had a lot of fun building the centrepiece. I started with a Bauer pedestal cake stand and sat a Fiesta cake plate on top. A vintage British Monopoly tin spills out tokens and vintage wooden houses and hotels. A stuffed Uncle Penneybags and a tin bank are on one side. The other side has a couple of vintage thimble jiggers and a salesman sample flatiron, which all mimic tokens.

Gotta use my favourite candleholders. This time in chartreuse:

Lilac Fiesta also goes great with this tablecloth:

So, c'mon over and we can play a quick game. It won't take but half an hour or so!

On the table:
Handmade Monopoly quilt, aka tablecloth - eBay
Rich Uncle Pennybags glasses - McDonald's Happy Meal toy in the 1990s
Black stemmed goblets - Luminarc
Vintage and new Monopoly tokens, houses and hotels - various yard sales, antique malls, etc.
Pottery: Post-86 Fiesta in scarlet, sapphire, sunflower, lilac and chartreuse; Bauer 2000 pedestal cake stand in parrot green
Clear glass plates (unknown maker)
Vintage Monopoly No Parking paper plates by Hallmark
Vintage British Monopoly round tin
Vintage tin Monopoly bank
Contemporary Monopoly bookmarks made into napkin rings
Napkins - made from Monopoly money print fabric
Antique miniature flatiron - salesman sample
Vintage thimble jiggers
Flatware: vintage Quikcut Fiesta

Join me this week with:
Drowsy Monkey @ Mellow Yellow Monday
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
MaryT/TheTeach over @ Work of the Poet for Ruby Tuesday
Marty @ A Stroll Through Life for TableTop Tuesday
Jenny @ off on my tanget for Alphabe-Thursday where this week's Letter is "B" - B is for Board Games
Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
Suzanne @ The Coloradolady for Vintage Thingy Thursday
Sandi & Bill @ Whistlestop Cafe Cooking for Friday's Favourites

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Bookmark and Share

Easter Tidings

To all my friends who celebrate this holiday:

Hope the Easter bunny brought you a basket full of all your favourite goodies!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Bookmark and Share

23 April 2011

Lu-Ray Pastels for Easter Breakfast

While my greatest dish love is Harlequin, followed closely by Fiesta and other brightly hued colourware from the 1930s and 40s, I confess to also really liking another line of dinnerware: Lu-Ray Pastels by Taylor, Smith & Taylor China Company. Lu-Ray Pastels were made from 1938-1961. The four original colours are: Sharon Pink, Windsor Blue, Surf Green and Persian Cream (yellow), and those are the colours I have collected. I've had these dishes for at least ten years and they have just been packed away. And I bought them strictly for use at Easter. Why? Because I fell in love with the egg cups.

At first I was only going to get the egg cups, but I did that and then they didn't match any of my other dishes. So what's a girl to do? Get enough to have a service for four, of course! And I really just got the pieces to have a breakfast set.

I love candles, even to use at breakfast.

This is a Johnson Brothers covered muffin dish. Johnson Brothers was an English pottery, so think English muffins to go in these, rather than American style muffins. The pattern is called Greydawn, though I have no idea why it's got the Grey in the name. This line came in a pastel blue and green.

The colour coordinates well with Lu-Ray Pastels, so I have no problem using them together.

On the table for Easter breakfast:

Lu-Ray Pastels place settings and serving pieces
Johnson Brothers muffin dish
Cityscape flatware, by Oneida
Egg spoons were a gift from a dear friend from England about 25 years ago
Silver napkin rings I've had a long time
Napkins with carrot embroidery from Williams Sonoma
Bunny candle holders and mini-tapers from Williams Sonoma
Vintage pink candleholders/flower frogs are marked USA
Glitter broken egg candles by Illuminations
Fat white tapers from TJ Maxx
Spiral wire egg cups I got locally sometime in the last 5 or 6 years, but I don't recall where

Today I am linking up to The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday.

Happy Easter!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Bookmark and Share

Pink Peppercorn Mayonnaise

In 1977 Julee Russo and Shelia Lukins opened a gourmet food store in New York City called The Silver Palate. The store was quite popular and cookbooks followed. In the 1980s those books were all the rage. I received both the original Silver Palate Cookbook and the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook as gifts back then. And actually, I've used Good Times more than I have the original.

Back in 1986 the Guy and I were childless and were having a formal Easter dinner party. For the starter I chose to serve a recipe from Good Times: Poached Leeks with Pink Peppercorn Mayonnaise. It was a huge hit with us and all the guests, and has been a regular on our Easter table ever since. However, the Pink Peppercorn Mayonnaise gets made a lot more often than at Easter. Besides being served as a dressing for the leeks, it's delicious on tomatoes, chilled asparagus and as a dip, salad dressing or sandwich spread. The Guy really likes it on smoked turkey sandwiches. It is in a regular rotation at our house with other flavoured mayonnaises.

As we will be having Poached Leeks with Pink Peppercorn Mayonnaise with Easter dinner tomorrow, I went ahead and made the mayonnaise this afternoon.

Mayonnaise ingredients (eggs from my CSA):

After processing and in a jar for the fridge:

Pink Peppercorn Mayonnaise
originally from The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook

1 egg*
1 egg yolk*
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Dijon style mustard
1 Tbsp pink peppercorns
3/4 cup nice fruity olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
kosher salt, to taste

Put egg, egg yolk, lemon juice, tomato paste, mustard and peppercorns in food processor and pulse until blended. Pour both oils into one measuring cup. With machine running, add oil mixture in a thin stream and process until it makes a thick mayonnaise. Season with salt and refrigerate until ready to use.

*Note: The young, the old, and the immuno-compromised should use caution with consuming raw eggs. Either get the pasturized kind or simply process olive oil mayonnaise with the tomato paste, pink peppercorns and mustard for a similar product.

I'm linking this post to Kim's Saturday Swap over at Quit Eating Out and Beverly's Pink Saturday @ How Sweet the Sound.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Bookmark and Share