Every year my friend, Richard Lafortune, has a Solstice gathering. Richard’s homemade goodies and various h’ors œuvres, canapés, appetizers, and vegetable plates are carefully prepared and laid out on a festive table for his friends. This year was no different (Yup, I am spoiled.) Richard makes his own delicious Stollen and fruitcake from his grandmother’s recipes. Stollen is a traditional German yeast bread made with candied fruits; raisins and nuts. The bread is frosted with white icing or dusted with powdered sugar. Known as Pannetone in Italy, Kerststol in Holland and Weihnachtsstollen in Germany it’s a good flavor contrast to all the sweet cookies that are served throughout this season. Along with that Richard makes traditional pecan cups, Russian tea cookies, and various other traditional cookies. These cookies are all non-fattening. (Right.)
Richard told me that this year he didn’t make as many, but he did make truffles. (When does he find the time?) I tried one. The truffles act as tiny, chocolate bombs in your mouth that melt with cream and dark chocolate and some nuts as a reward for the year’s good behavior. There was crab served with matzos and shrimp sauce that I liked. The list goes on: prosciutto wrapped bread sticks, meatballs and mini wieners were served in a spicy sauce, cheeses and crackers, a golden, rice dish that had a touch of Cajun and fish flavors, pickles and pickled melon (very yummy), some brie cheese, hummus, and I am sure I have missed something. Richard caters to the eclectic tastes of his friends. The holiday punch was made from grapefruit juice, kiwi, with tiny blueberries and a passion fruit that had been bought fresh and frozen then scooped out into the blend. Warm apple cider was available too. The meatballs were tasty. When I told Richard he laughed very hard and said, “They are Jennie O”! (Ha! Fooled again!)
There were old friends and new friends who shared the great food and the company. Most of all it was Richard’s kind hospitality that brought the spirit of Solstice and people together for a pleasant evening to share food and kindness.
May your days be filled with warm friendship and happiness.
More about Richard and his recipe’s can be found on his blog, Richard’s Table. http://anguksuar.wordpress.com/
Check out this link from Food Network online above for a Stollen recipe should you be inspired.