It's so great when you have good friends that love a lot of the same things you love. Maybe that's what actually makes people friends in the first place. One of those dear friends and I love to take classes. We have taken photography, bread making, tablescaping, computer, exercise, and our latest; a cheese making class. The class began with a visit to the Nubian goats.
Their owner had a basket of animal crackers, their favorite treat, to help us make friends with the goats. Goats don't share very well and the big ones pushed the little ones out of the way.
Paula Butler from Standing Stone Farm, our instructor, did not use goat milk for this class, but instead, used regular store-bought whole milk. She showed us how to make mozzarella and ricotta. We were then able to purchase kits with the supplies needed to make our own.
We decided this was a great excuse to have an Italian Dinner Party!You might remember this place setting posted HERE. I quickly realized with just a few changes, I could transform my semi-country table into my version of an Italian Cafe.
I found the cute little chefs at Ross.
Their little cake plate perch came from the Classy Flea in Marietta, GA on our recent Atlanta trip to see Neil Diamond!
I really wanted candle-dripped Chianti bottles, but I discovered you can't just go out and buy a ready-made, dripped bottle, so I decided to make my own. I called around to several local liquor stores and found one that had two matching Chianti bottles in stock. I learned that there are special "dripping" candles, but I didn't have time to order those on-line, so I called all my friends and begged for colored candle stubs. I just held them side-ways and despite a few burns from dripped hot wax, I was able to make my own!
The day of the party, I added the fresh grapes to the table.
Several months ago, during a pizza making class, I learned how to make infused olive oil which is so delicious!
My antique crystal salt cellars with grey salt.
My friend and I made both Mozzarella and Ricotta the night before the party. I used both cheeses and put together a unique and delicious lasagna. The day of the party, I made two large pans of Foccacia for dipping.
One of our guests brought an awesome antipasto tray.
The dessert maker putting together the blackberry tart.
Made with fresh mint and blackberries from our bushes. Even more delicious than it looks!
Fred, I think the antipasto was a hit! Two seconds after this shot, the tray was completely empty.
Red sauce, lasagna, and Suzanne's Ceasar salad. Not the prettiest lasagna pan, but I needed a really deep pan. Vanderbilt Dining to the rescue with the loan of a commercial pan.
Lasagna made with chicken, mushrooms, spinach, white sauce, and our cheese of course.
Sorry for the blurry shot, but I was in a hurry to eat! Needless to say after some wine and food, there were no more photos.
I will be joining the following parties: