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Monday, January 13, 2014

Quincyfest NYC

Dear Mom,

I bet I was the only person in Manhattan who woke up on Saturday morning, saw the grey, drizzly day, and thought, "Looks like perfect weather to boil and debone some chicken!"

Suzanne inspired me last week, when she made her dad's pilau recipe for the first time. Since Leigh Ann and I had fun hosting "Quincyfest" when we both lived in Charlotte, I thought I'd try doing the same thing with the Quincy gang here in NYC. Adam, Julia and Jason said they were all free on Sunday night. Away we went!

I didn't take many pictures of the pilau coming together, since (a) the first part is kinda gross and (b) a boiling pot doesn't really photograph well. But in addition to making the pilau, I also made a smoked pimento cheese dip. Ranie texted me Sunday morning to say Ina Garten was at Stinky Brooklyn making pimento cheese "in honor of Quincyfest NYC." So, I decided to google p.c. recipes for inspiration and came up with this Jamie Deen smoked pimento cheese one, which I'd say was a real keeper! Instead of making sandwiches, I heated the dip and served it with kettle chips and Ritz crackers.
Side note -- the recipe called for bacon cooked in the oven in a pan lined with foil. This was one of the best "tips" you taught me -- cleanup is so much easier. I taught the boys how to do it in the Hamptons.
Adam was game for being the apple cake master (using Judy Gregory's recipe from the RFM cookbook, of course) but didn't have any cake pans, so he came over in the afternoon and used my kitchen. (And the KitchenAid you gave me.)

We both got pretty excited once it started to come together. It smelled so good, I wanted to lick the air!

VERY impressive, and it tasted fantastic! I'm not sure I've ever made a cake that looked so lovely! Julia and Jason came over at 6, and Julia surprised us with her mom's famous carrot souffle (which is also in the RFM cookbook!). She did Patsy proud. It was perfect! And the silver casserole dish from her roommate was just adorable. Points for taste, texture AND presentation!!
(Oops, I forgot to get a picture of the finished dip, as we were too busy attacking it with chips. Jason picked up a surprise package of some scrumptious paper-thin proscuitto, which was delicious with the pickled okra I'd nabbed when I scooted back to the store to get bread & butter pickles.)

Jason also brought us Brooklyn beer, which was a great idea -- a nod to the flavors of NYC as we celebrated our the flavors of our "homeland."

Anyway, here's a picture of the main course. Miss Betty may dock me for going over my FOUR allotted Saltines... Oh, also, next Quincyfest we're going to have to get some better slaw! Shanna said she knows how to make Chandler's slaw, so maybe I can get her to slip me some tips.
Jules also brought me some of her cocktail napkin stash. Patsy keeps her stocked with festive paper goods just like you used to do for Leigh Ann and me. We used the 'Nole ones in celebration of the championship game, but I now have a collection of "______, y'all!" napkins for all seasons. See, Miss Patsy told you she was gonna look out for us when you were gone!
Mark and Patsy also sent me some "'Nole flair" for my place! (Oh, also, I tried to dress in the most "Quincy appropriate" t-shirt I could find, so I wore my Carioca t-shirt that plays off the Coca-Cola logo.)
I had teased Julia that she could get extra credit by bringing Styrofoam containers for leftovers. She won another blue ribbon by bringing a bunch of Rubbermaid containers, so everyone took some goodies home for their roommates and colleagues. 

We had a lot of fun posting on Facebook as we were getting ready. You would have just loved it. Especially when Julia posted she was on her way with a "surprise dish." I could just picture how you would have followed along as home. It made me miss you so much! But I knew you would be so proud of me for getting everybody together. 



P.S. Bird posted the recipe on Facebook, so here it is if anyone wants it. I feel like you would want me to give a "plug" for the West Gadsden Historical Society cookbook, which has this recipe along with Eddie Boo's Brunswick stew and assorted other Greensboro flavors. 

Chicken Pilau

1- Whole chicken or 10 leg quarters seasoned, boiled and boned. (save stock)
½ - Bell pepper chopped
1- Onion chopped
4- Stalks of celery chopped
1- 10 oz package of yellow rice (about one and a half cups)
1 ½ c. - white rice
12 c.- Chicken stock add water if you don’t have enough stock.

Boil and bone the chicken removing all bone, skin and knuckles. Return chicken to pot with stock along with chopped vegetables and boil until thoroughly done and falling apart. Add rice and season to taste. Cook until rice is done. Add additional water or chicken broth as necessary (in small amounts ¼ cups) if the rice isn’t completely done. If you desire a gumbo consistently stir frequently if not let it cook undisturbed stirring only occasionally to prevent sticking. Makes about 1 gallon.


Dee Stephens said...

This recipe sounds delish!

Rev Dr T Glenn Bosley-Mitchell said...

Great post! Made me remember my five years in Quincy!