It's been a big two years for them.
I provided a little sustenance during trying early days, but we've been hesitant to invite them over. I love babies, but I'd never actually had one in my home. I wasn't worried about destroying anything precious here (because seriously, we don't have anything that precious). I just had so many questions. How should we set up chairs? Do we feed the children, or will they eat before? Is Murphy's Oil Soap safe to use on floors that crawling babies wiggle across?!
Silly questions, but still questions.
We finally bit the bullet and cooked dinner for them last night. And of course, I was worried over nothing. The little girls are charming and sweet, and I adore their parents (though I knew that already). The oldest sang multiple rounds of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and we chatted about wine and Park Slope and the best new restaurant in town (seriously, you should go there!).
Sitting at the table after dinner while the baby dozed, I was amazed by how alive the house felt with children in it. There was constant motion, and even when they were still, playing or chattering to themselves, there was a warmth present that is very different than when a home is filled with only adults.
It was lovely. Absolutely lovely.
* * * * *
Everything really came together for this party, food-wise. Most hostesses can attest to the rarity in that. Usually there's one clunker in the bunch, you know? I highly recommend all of these:
- Spiced pumpkin, lentil and goat cheese salad
- Mustard herb-crusted pork tenderloin
- Artichoke potato gratin
- And for dessert...
French Almond Cake
You will need:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 extra large eggs, beaten
1 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup flour
1 tablespoon milk
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Put the butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl, add the ground almonds, flour and milk. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon into a greased 8" cake pan.
Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, or until the cake just springs back when lightly pressed. Run a knife along the edges and turn onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.