Step 3: plan menu

&tLast night, Jane came over and we held our planning session. Naturally this requires cocktails (gin gimlets, in this case). While we’re at it, here’s a recipe for a better gimlet: pour a generous shot of Tanqueray or Bombay Dry gin per person into a shaker filled with crushed ice, squeeze in half a lime per person, and add a dashlet of Rose’s lime juice per person. Strain into martini glasses and serve. No pictures, sorry.

The goal is to plan a menu with a reasonable distribution of the four food groups: sweet, starchy, savory, and alcoholic. We also try to balance offerings from the “host” and “guest” countries. Norway has always been the host country, and after the first year we cycled through the other Scandinavian countries as guest countries. Having completed the cycle, we decided to make a brief excursion to Germany. We’re developing quite a collection of cookbooks, flags, and so on. After listing the obvious items (lutefisk, lefse, gløgg, gravedlaks, and flat breads), we start flipping through the cookbooks and picking out the rest of the menu.

If you want to be surprised by the offerings when you arrive, stop reading right now!

This is what we came up with:

The E’s and J’s indicate which household is taking primary responsibility for making the item, shopping for the ingredients, and so on, not in that order. It’s a little misleading, though, because many of the things marked “E” are prepared not by Victoria and me but by all three of us here at our house. Jane will be moving in for the weekend on Friday evening, and we’ll be doing a lot of cooking together.