Monday, January 17, 2011

Going to Hollywood

Show business is really 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent being able to handle it when it gets offered to you. ~ TOMMY STEELE, London Listener, Oct. 10, 1974

So, this is what Miranda looks like most days...

But on weekends, when she hangs out with these kids...

She transforms into this...

Tonight, she turned into this for the Red Mountain Theatre Performing Ensemble fundraiser.

The kids danced and sang (everything from Walkin' on Sunshine to Sweet Caroline, but my fav was Spiro's soaring rendition of "Come Fly with Me") and served us some pretty amazing food from Birmingham restaurant Ocean.

We started with an appetizer of Green Curry Chicken in a Sesame Tuile Cup. The woman across the table kept referring to it as "turtle in a cup" (perhaps she needs to update her eye prescription?). Tuile... turtle... doesn't really matter. It was basically a spicy veggie pot pie in a fancy pastry. Nothing to brag about, but certainly serviceable.

Up next, the salad:

See those little yellow bits? Roasted golden beets. Mmmmmm.... they were so good! Beets are one veggie we haven't forced on the kids, but I can guess what their reaction would be. Miranda would take one small bite, then push the rest around on the plate hoping we don't notice. Olivia would eat most of them, then declare whether she liked them or not. And Hannah would announce that she'd voluntarily forgo dessert that night if she doesn't have to eat the beets. Are you a beet hater? Here are some suggestions from Chowhound that might give you a change of heart.

The beets, candied walnuts, and champagne vinaigrette laid atop a bed of baby greens from Owl's Hollow Farm in Gadsden, Alabama. The farm is a regular at the Pepper Place Saturday Market. Eating locally-grown produce is a priority for us. Thankfully, several Birmingham restaurants share that philosophy and cook with local produce and meat. (FYI, not everything that's labeled "locally grown" really is. Check out this article.)

For the entree we had Pan Seared Gulf Redfish with saffron green pea risotto and lobster corn cream (Tanya)

and Grilled Beef Tournedos with horseradish thyme mashed potatoes, haricot verts (that just sounds so pretentious -- they're green beans, folks!) and chanterelle mushroom demi-glace (Jason).

The fish was delish (poetic, no?!), but Jason says the steak was one of the best he's ever eaten. Continuing last night's theme of me writing while he's sleeping -- he went to bed before he could write his review. (More from him tomorrow)

But the piece de resistance was the dessert:

White chocolate parfait with brandied cherries and roasted pistachios. OMG ... so good! Jason rarely eats dessert. He even passes on the kids birthday cakes. But this he scarfed down. He would have licked the plate had Miranda not shown up at the end of her singing/dancing/serving stint looking exhausted and famished.

"I don't know how an anorexic could work here. I just want to eat everything on the plate," she said, stuffing the last bits of Jason's dessert into her mouth. (Even the beets?!?)


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