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Easter Dinner from Dream Affairs Catering

I am often asked how my interest got started in the catering industry. I always think back to how I enjoy hosting family dinners for Easter and other holiday parties for my family and friends. I wish I had neat story to tell of how my culinary interest began at an early age but I have to admit it didn’t. Even though preparation of food is a big interest in my life, it is the whole art of entertaining that intrigues me the most – from the properly set tables to the etiquette of sense for the meals. I love watching the pre-20th century movies for their lavishly set dinner tables with all the fancy food. But what really has my focus is all the accouterments that are being used during the serving of the meal. I am pretty certain this stems back from my mother being in the antique business for over 20 years and my acquiring the love of antiques and being able to identify the china patterns, glassmakers and even furniture styles and makers. But what does this have to do with cooking, catering, and general entertaining? Well, I guess it is time for me to come forward and admit my addiction. I have not formally been to any AA (Antiques Anonymous) meetings yet, but I think my last count was like 22 sets of dishes. The pantry in my home does not contain any food. It is shelved floor to ceiling with platters, compotes and dishes. I have one whole closet that is nothing but shelves of linens and napkins. I believe there are over 30 sets of stemware and glasses. I also have over 500 pieces of matching flatware from individual cocktail forks, to grapefruit spoons and olive spoons, sugar cube tongs to tomato servers. A guest in my home may have a retro dinner from the 1970s on the front porch with a menu and period dishes and linens to match or you may walk in and have a breakfast or brunch on my breakfast set of Limoge china with berry bowls and matching butter pat plates. I can’t tell you how many times that I have sat down to plan a dinner for my family and ended up with homemade chicken potpie because I wanted to use my individual casserole dishes or planned a menu for the dishes that matched my pot de cremes for a dessert. On a more professional note, if you have ever called Dream Affairs Catering to order an event from me there is always a pregnant pause and I ask if I can think about it and call you back. I don’t have a standard menu. I hate the thought of having to fit the same 12 menu items over and over again into how I like to entertain. When I plan an event whether it is personal or professional. I think of whom the guests are going to be, what the event is for and then I look at the location where the meal will be served. Then I get a mental picture in my mind of the end result and then I think through everything that will be needed to get the end result. If I need to learn a new technique for food preparation then I study ingredients, recipes and the skills necessary to make the best results that I possibly can. If you recently attended my and Dolie’s’ Chamber After Hours you might have tried watermelon or tomato gazpacho. This is exactly what I am talking about above: I wanted the “look” of the presentation of the shot glasses as appetizer vessels. I had never made gazpacho before so l tried it, now whether or not I make it again will remain to be seen but, guests that were at the event and I can now say we tried it! Besides all the great people that I get to meet in my job, I guess one the greatest things that I enjoy about catering in Barnesville is all the old homes that have opened their doors for us to cater in. It is exciting to be able to create am event in a different setting with a different menu ‘“  and let’s not forget about the dishes! So without further ado I give you a very special Easter menu…from my table to yours. Bon appetit, Julie Ann Knott Dream Affairs Catering Baked Ham Pre-cooked boneless Whole cloves 1 1/2 cup – Brown sugar 2 cup – Pineapple juice 1 Tbs – Dry mustard 2 cup – Diced fresh or canned crushed pineapple 1 – Bottle of ginger ale; (1-2 liter) Stud ham with cloves. In a food processor or blender place the sugar, pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, and mustard. Blend but do not puree. Place ham on rack in roasting pan. Pour pineapple mixture over ham. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees. Lower heat to 300 degrees and bake for 2 hours. As juice in pan boils down (check after first hour), begin to add ginger ale as needed. Baste ham every 15 minutes for last hour, adding ginger ale as needed. This is the secret to the wonderful flavor! For the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove rack and place ham in bottom of pan. Tips of the Trade! Spray roasting pan and rack with pan spray plus line the with foil!

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