Memorial Service

I cooked dinner for him and it was his last meal. I never met him. My friend asked me to cook a complimentary dinner for his family, he had brain tumor. First, I thought to make simple meals such as chicken, veggie, and rice, but after a while, I felt as if those dishes were boring and had no signature and I decided to cook a few Georgian dishes that the whole family could enjoy. So, I made tomato cucumber salad with red onions, parsley and real sunflower oil that I had brought from Georgia, khachapuri (puff pastry stuffed with cheese), shkmeruli (roasted chicken in garlic sauce) and ajafsandali (eggplant medley). They all loved the food. A week later I got a call from his family that they wanted me to prepare food for his memorial service for 100 people. I was speechless at the fact that he had passed away and at the same time, I was a bit scared to cook for that amount of people, but I couldn’t say no. I had a week to plan, find the right helpers, prepare all the documents for Lounsbury house, do the shopping and cook.

I say, finding the right help is very important when you are in charge of such kind of work. However, a good team makes the hard work easy. I’ve known Leida from the bakery where we used to work together and because I know her work ethic, I always hire her for my events. I’m always extremely happy working with her. She is the type of person who never stops working and always knows what to do. I also asked Sofie and her friend to work as servers and they were delighted to come from NYC for the event. I mentioned the event planning during the walk with Cathy, she offered me her help and I happily accepted it, knowing that I could count on her. After a hectic two-day shopping at Costco, fish market, party store, and local markets, I loaded the car with all the produce, pans and pots, and headed to the Lounsbury house. The plan was to prepare ingredients for three appetizers: poached plum crostini in coconut oil and lavender on top of toasted baguette and ricotta spread; fig jam, brie and apple crostini and my khachapuri. Around 12 p.m., we had everything ready, the girls were dressed in white shirts and looking professional, while mingling among the guests, serving the appetizers. Meanwhile, I prepared ginger, soy sauce poached salmon, coconut milk and spice marinated chicken, salad with cucumbers and radishes, and rosemary roasted potatoes. At 12:30 p.m., the food service station was ready, and the girls moved there to help the guests serve the food. Thanks to them everyone was happy, well fed, and satisfied.

When I think about it, I know I couldn’t have done it without them. Those girls made it so easy for me and I can’t thank them enough for that. Another successful event…

poached plum crostini

fig jam, brie and apple

khachapuri

working girls

cathy, Sofi and sofia

food station

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