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Food As An Art Form 5

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The Sunday Night Potluck Dinner Party.
A friend with a great beach house invited a group of us for a surprise potluck dinner not long ago. Each of us was told what course we were to bring but other than that there were no specifications. What we brought was to be a surprise. What we ended up with was a hilarious mixture of food most of it absolutely delicious but in combination it was a bit wild. One of the group, a non cooking type, brought only her kettle, some teabags, lemon and sugar. Well, to each her own.

Q. The Paté Box. The first course was a selection of two different patés, one was Goose Liver and one was Chicken Liver. They were both excellent and stunningly served in The Paté Box. Each half of the box had the appropriate paté in it. As you can see, there is a goose on one side and a chicken on the other. The serving knife is the clasp and inside, tiny rounds of bread, painted, the better to serve it with. The writing on top of the box says, "Confit de Foie de Volailles." (Loose translation: A spread from the liver of poultry and/or fowl.) This box, by the way, is a copy of an antique Limoges box made in the early 19th century. Retail: About $215.00. Our price: $193.90.

R. The Crustacean Box. The main course turned out to be a conglomeration of shell fish and seafood. It was marvelous! There were lobsters, crabs, oysters and clams, enough so you could have a taste of each. They were just piled into a huge wicker basket and placed on the buffet table. They had all been cooked but you had to do the shelling yourself. (Inside this wonderful box is a view of the ocean with two sailboats in the distance and the clasp is another lobster.) Our price: $162.90.

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S. The Cherry Tart Box.
There were several desserts, one of which was this cherry tart. It had a very light and flaky lattice crust and huge red pitted cherries sitting in a sea of soft vanilla ice cream. It was outstanding! (Inside, cherries still on the stem. The clasp, another cherry.) Retail: About $153.00. Our price: $138.90.

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T. The Strawberry Floating Island Box.
The same gal made a Strawberry Floating Island by placing glazed berries in a deep dish pie crust filled with softened vanilla ice cream, the berries on top with a strawberry sauce poured over them. It was spectacular-- if you love strawberries. And who doesn't? Retail: About $161.00. Our price: $145.90.

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U. The Revere Ware Tea Kettle Box.
The femme fatale type who didn't cook knew a good whistling tea kettle when she saw it. This one is just like one I have had for over 50 years. It is Revere Ware and has outlasted many other whistling tea kettles that I have had. The others just never whistled loudly enough for me. I have a bad habit of leaving them on the range while I am out of the room. You cannot imagine how many I have burned. This one always got my attention with it's very loud whistle. Inside, just a cloud of steam. Retail: About $121.00. Our price: $108.90.

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V. The Lobster Who Had His Goose Cooked Box. Isn't that a crazy thing to call this box but every time I look at it that is what I think. I have to laugh because it is such a funny box but it is exactly like both the lobster and the pot would look in real life. If the truth be told, I could never cook a little guy like this. I couldn't bear the thought of putting him into boiling water. I guess I am kind of sappy about things like that. When I was young my Dad had a slaughter house as part of his business and I went to see it once, and only once, I did not eat meat for almost a year after seeing that dreadful place. It just upset me terribly. I can't bear to kill things excepting for ants and spiders and any darn bug that attacks my flowers. I get as upset about an animal being killed as I do about a human. Anyway, this is about a lobster not about me. The lobster is as life-like as can be. Really remarkably so and they got his color perfectly. The pot looks just like a much used lobster pot, like the galvanized iron ones they used when I was a kid. The lobster fits into the pot partially which makes it perfect for display purposes. Inside the pot it looks like white enamel but of course it is white porcelain. The clasp is a fish. Retail:About $175.00. Our price: $157.90.

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