After putting the last of the gilded touches on the invitations, I quickly moved on to my favorite portion of party planning - the menu.  This particular planning exercise went through many incarnations. 

In an attempt to  keep it simple, my first idea was to serve steak tartare and champagne risotto.  No one was overwhelmed by this idea, and while I desperately wanted to keep the theme away from all things francais, I decided to formulate a menu that showcased my culinary skill and tasted delicious.  Besides, while shepard’s pie and bangers + mash are both on theme and decidedly british, they certainly don’t scream HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BESTIE! 

I ultimately decided on the following formulation:

Starter - drop biscuits with rose petal jelly and lemon curd 

First Course - french onion soup

Second Course - truffle mac + cheese

Dessert - a pink confetti confection from susiecakes

It is important to me that everything be homemade - reiterating both the accessibility and authenticity of my cooking credo.  Finding the requisite two pounds of rose petals, however, proved to be more difficult than expected.  Following a tedious search, I managed to locate pre-made rose petal jelly at Berkeley Bowl (actually, my resplendent mother found it, as my impatience caused me to miss it on the bottom shelf of the jam aisle).  This brings up an important note - of course I could have spent another day or two hunting for rose petals to make the jelly myself, but sometimes you have to know your limits and cut your losses in order for the party to turn out in its entirety (I couldn’t serve my guests rose petal jelly avec rose petal jelly…).  This was one of those times, because at the end of the day rose petal jelly isn’t quite as palatable as it is chic.

While going over the menu one last time with one of my closest confidants, Kiki, she suggested that I add a mint sorbet palate cleanser in between the soup and the macaroni.  “Why not?” I proclaimed.  The cleanser would serve to break up the heavy flavors of the substantive dishes, and allow the panoply of flavors to be fully appreciated.

And with that, the birthday menu was set!  Stay tuned for individual posts on each sumptuous course.  xx tt