April 13, 2010

A Perfect Meal in Charleston, SC {Naptime on the Road}

What’s Going on Today: Finish nursery school registration for next year – yippee! Grocery store to pick up more cocoa powder.
Naptime Goals: Make carrot souffle and a batch of Double-Chocolate Espresso Cookie Dough.
Tonight’s Menu: Grilled Chicken Sausage, Green Salad, Carrot Souffle. Cookies to be baked after bedtime.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: It’s amazing the treasures you find at the bottom of a suitcase!

Yesterday I finally finished unpacking from our trip to Charleston earlier this month. It’s almost inexcusable that it took me so long to get reorganized, but we’ve been really busy since we returned and I just didn’t have time, or the energy, to tackle the suitcases. As I organized my closets I began reminiscing about everything I wanted to share with you. There is lots to tell, we ate at all sorts of wonderful places like Basil, Cupcake and Brixx – but, above all, the truly best meal I had in Charleston was cooked at the home of my friend’s Stuart and Jenny. That’s the one you all really should know about.

My friend Jenny of the Super Veggie Tomato Sauce is a great home cook and this meal lived right up to her reputation. The good news is that although her son no longer naps, he now attends preschool allowing her some free time to enjoy cooking each day. (Incidentally, this will be the scenario in my household next year, too.) So, during her free time one Tuesday while, her cutie pie (who wants to date my daughter) was off learning his A, B, C’s and Jenny was in the kitchen wrapping salmon in foil packets, marinating potatoes and baking one heck of a delicious blueberry crisp. I swear, her last name isn’t Stewart. But it could be.

When we arrived at their house that evening the kids went crazy playing with all of the toys and the adults settled in with a glass of wine to catch up. Jenny, having already coordinated the meal earlier that day, was able to relax with us. Stuart was in charge of the salmon on the grill – not a tough assignment – the potatoes and asparagus went into the oven to roast and the dessert had already been baked. Even more amazingly, her table was set simply and beautifully, check it out below.

The whole meal was perfectly balanced and delicious from start to finish. Ever the consummate hostess she kindly shared the source of her recipes with me so that I could, in turn, pass on her ideas to you. They are all worthy of attention, especially the blueberry crisp. It was filled with rich fruit, topped with soft crumbly crust and it melded perfectly with the small scoop of vanilla ice-cream in our bowls. I can’t wait for blueberry season to start here because this is first on my list to make. Thanks Stuart and Jenny for a great meal!

Jenny’s Perfect Menu:
Salmon in Foil with Lemon & Capers
Roasted New Potatoes
Roasted Asparagus
Green Salad
Blueberry Crisp

Recipe

Martha’s Blueberry Crisp
adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

½ cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 cups blueberries, washed and drained
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup dark-brown sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish and set aside. In a medium bowl, toss blueberries with ½ cup flour, the granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Spread evenly in prepared baking dish, pressing down lightly.

2. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and the remaining ½ cup flour; add butter. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, mix the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like coarse irregular crumbs.

3. Spread crumbs over blueberries. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. and bake until the crumbs are browned and the juices have thickened, about one hour. Serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

I have to play with this recipe a tad, but I bet it would be delicious with rhubarb, or even blackberries.

Naptime Stopwatch

Jenny says this took her about 20 minutes to assemble, plus baking time.

Naptime Reviews

This is a great dessert for both adults and children. We loved the fruity flavor and my daughter will devour anything with ice-cream in it!

  • Jill in NC

    Next time you're in Charleston, try: Rue de Jean, Il Cortile del Re and La Fourchet – all downtown. For a great brunch experience, leave the Peninsula and head West of the Ashley to The Glass Onion.

  • Jill in NC

    Next time you're in Charleston, try: Rue de Jean, Il Cortile del Re and La Fourchet – all downtown. For a great brunch experience, leave the Peninsula and head West of the Ashley to The Glass Onion.

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