Pickering Party- My First Catering Job

Our dear family friend, who happens to live right across the way in Memphis, has an unbelievable taste for what looks good. Her cute company, Pickering Boxwood throws an open house show twice a year at her home and guess who did the food– Mom and I!

We have been hard at it all weekend and were hustling Monday and Tuesday for opening night. We started the cooking with the cupcake display-100 mini orange and lime cupcakes. The orange flavored with lots of fresh squeezed juice and zest and the lime with fresh juice and lime zest. My days are running together and it’s almost impossible to remember the order in which we did things. I really don’t believe that anyone works as well together (in the kitchen) as my mom and I.

We did a lot of the prep over the weekend at Kim’s-grilling the chicken and roasting the peppers Sunday night for the greek gyros and grilling the salmon with lots of lemon and dill for the pumpernickel toast points. I sautéed a mirepoix and got together the crab cakes which my mom formed and made a 100 of, searing them in a cast iron and finishing them in the oven right before the party. I made the sauce for the crab, a chili aoili. We made a horseradish sour cream sauce with fresh chives for bacon-wrapped potatoes and a greek yogurt feta sauce with lots of mint and lemon for the gyros-no recipes just taste and touch and lots of banter back and forth between the real chef and myself. My mom and I have complete trust in each other and our taste buds. Mom would say, “Let’s get going on the sauce for the pitas,” I’d say, “I’m on it-I am thinking yogurt, lemon, lemon zest, feta, and dill.” Mom would say I think it needs cucumber!” We’d taste, adjust season, high-five and move on to the next thing. The day of the party we set up an assembly line of all our ingredients, put our sauces in piping bags and got moving.

Kim’s house was transformed into the cutest shop you’d ever want to shop in . For such an adorable, indescribable setting filled with the cutest outfits, jewelry, home accents and more a girl could ask for we had to match the food with the over-the-top  atmosphere ( I tried to include some pics of Kim’s adorable displays and gifts)

Being in school I have learned I have to explain myself and my reasoning to my peers. My mom and I don’t have this problem.  Before we even began this weeklong cooking extravaganza I was dreaming about it. I called mom on Saturday to find she was already at work on the menu at Kim’s. Before she could get a word out I said,  “I dreamed of a wonderful spring dish we have to do– burrata stuffed baby heirloom tomatoes with fresh basil!” and before I could utter another idea mom interrupted, “I’ve got that written down already!!!” This pattern continued on through the very last placement of garnishes.

We couldn’t have pulled off such a success without Bowen’s help. For three days he was back and forth on grocery runs, helping prep, moving furniture, making a rather large round table, and then back to the store again, and then back again.

One of my favorite parts of the party where the partially frozen fresh squeezed watermelon martinis. I lost count of how many watermelons were sliced open, scooped out, pureed, and then strained. I do know that after about 6 or 7 watermelons, Bowen went to the store for just as many more and then the straining continued. We made a mint simple syrup to go in the with the watermelon puree and Kim served them in adorable mini mason jars with mini neon straws and a sprig of fresh mint! I hope the pictures capture some of the fun we had this week, can’t wait to do it again! And if Mrs. Bette and Kim read this, thank you for letting us be a part of something so special!! You both are an inspiration to me, love ya’ll!!!

Our menu consisted of mozzarella and ricotta stuffed baby tomatoes with basil, grilled chicken gyros with a greek feta sauce and roasted peppers, salmon toast points with a cream cheese dill spread and lots of fresh lemon and dill, bacon wrapped potatoes with a horseradish sour cream sauce, pears with goat cheese, crab cakes with a chili aoili, and mini cupcakes (lime and orange)



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