For our third dinner we served organic hamburgers, corn-on-the-cob, salad with pea tendrils, bread, cheese, German potato salad, and a celestial bittersweet chocolate mousse.
The Davis Square farmer’s market in Somerville (May-Nov., Wednesdays 12-6 pm) satisfied most of our produce needs for the dinner party. We picked up some of sweetest corn I’ve ever had from the Nicewicz Family Farm and fresh greens for a salad, including some crisp pea tendrils from Flat’s Mentor Farm.
David Seaton at Central Bottle recommended two wines from Domaine de l’Aumonier for our sangria–a 2008 Viognier for the white sangria and a 2008 Rose for the red. Central Bottle is something of a one stop shop for entertaining. Besides the wine, we picked up a loaf of Iggy’s Bread (they bake some of the bests loaves in Cambridge) and a delicious Vermont cheddar from Shelburne Farms–we wouldn’t put anything less on our burgers. They have a weekly wine tasting every Thursday.
We made our sangria sans recipe, with plenty of ice and fruit. We had some juicy fresh peaches from Kimball Fruit Farm. Everyone preferred the white. It provided a pleasant cool-down following a hot, humid day and looked gorgeous in a Simon Pearce Meriden Pitcher, but it didn’t pour so well. We put in so much fresh fruit, that it got stuck in the lower well of the pitcher when we poured the sangria. An iittala Aarne Pitcher would free up the fruit and let it pour out.
You can read the details of our stylish & casual place setting (below) here. We think of it as contemporary spin off those classic red vinyl checked tablecloths that covered picnic tables in bygone barbecues. We all liked the sleek look and feel of the iittala Piano Workshop flatware. The Libeco Vermont napkins felt fine and soft, yet appropriately casual for the timbre of the evening. Everyone thought the iittala Aalto tumblers were just right. Some of us had been concerned they would be too small for sangria and beer (hefeweizen and pale ale from the Cambridge Brewing Company, whose growlers looked fantastic on the table), but they felt just right.
The sunlight disappeared quickly, but the Orrefors Raspberry Votives cast a particularly wide glow across the table, projecting shimmering patterns across the textured surface of the champagne Libeco Polylin tablecloth.
Although we usually find ourselves pretty well equipped both in the kitchen and on the table, there are a few items we wish we had had for the evening; a Rosle grill brush, to keep things clean, and cheese knife, to give us thin slices of cheddar for our burgers (you know how the good aged stuff can be crumbly), and a Pillivuyt salt & pepper dish to help keep our corn-on-the-cob seasoned. We learned a few lessons with this dinner (next time, we might make the mousse and potato salad the night before!) and had a great time in the company of co-workers, friends, and good, simple, fresh food.