12.08.2001 (Saturday), 02:45 AM

Sweetbreads and Hard Sauce

I'm wet, tired, satisfied and I didn't even have to take my clothes off...

2:45 am, Sunday morning
Of course this could be considered a Sunday entry but indulge me for a moment.

Tonight was another of Tom's fantastic dinner parties. I have been literally on my feet since 9:30 this morning. I feel like a wet, food-covered rag and indeed, my chef whites are standing up on the washer as I write this redolent of ginger, steak and lobster sauce.

Prep was a two-day affair for me this year. Friday from 1 to 3:30, I frenched 9 full racks of lamb, by 5:30 I was making ginger pudding. I stayed until 8 procrastinating returning to work which I never quite did.

Saturday was non-stop action. Prep, cook off, plate. At 6 pm, the doors opened and the mayhem was on. Cooking off a lobster sauce was the stressful high point as mounting the sauce with lobster-compound butter didn't seem to work the reduced cream and lobster stock into the silky, satin orange sauce dreams are made of. I was panicking rapidly as I called for some more butter. As the last chunk went in, I felt the whip stiffen and looked down to see nothing but sheen. Still nervous, I had John and Tim taste it. Tom came back from grilling sweetbreads and the look on his face when he tasted it said it all. He also followed it up with an "oh my God...", it was ready for prime time.

We cooked so much and everyone at the party had a great time. I'd run everything down here but it's just too late and I'm fading fast.

The last hour or so was spent with Tom and I sitting in a heap on one of his sofas with Jan and Carol nearby. It was a kind of collapse that only happens when hard, satisfying work is finished. We sat, leaned on one another, laughed and drank more wine. Brilliant and perfect.

Posted by wjc