How unplanned is unplanned?

I’ve got a friend who jokes that preparing food in my kitchen is like cooking during the Stone Age. Because while I’ve got your basic pots and pans, gifted to us at our wedding, I don’t have much equipment, like food processors, dutch ovens* or juicers. I don’t even have matching china. Or napkins for that matter. But I do have a nice set of forks.

And usually I don’t care but next Saturday night I’m cooking dinner for six. Eight if you count my husband and me. Because he put a meal prepared by Unplanned Cooking up for auction at a fundraising gala and an attorney won it. And now I’m asking myself, “How unplanned can it be?”

“Why, hello there. Let’s see what I have in my fridge… lettuce, anyone?”

Breathe, Jennifer. Breathe. (I love that Matt has more confidence in me than I do.)

So this week and next, I’m testing out recipes, and taking cues from my friend The Naptime Chef. I’m preparing what I can ahead of time while our children rest and then, well, I’m throwing the Hail Mary pass. And pouring a lot of good wine.

Up first, a Rhubarb Compote adapted from Bon Appetit to serve over ice cream or streusel (or pancakes for our kids).

  • 4 cups rhubarb cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook at a lower temperature until rhubarb has softened. Occasionally stir. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. Stores in refrigerator for up to two days.

*Keyword sponsored by CSN Stores.

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30. September 2010 by Jennifer Jeanne Patterson
Categories: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 comments

Comments (9)

  1. omg, I remember when I used to auction off a Japanese dinner for 8-10 people at the winner’s home – try to get as much prepared ahead of time as possible and don’t worry about buying a few things premade (I had to buy the sushi – no way was I being responsible for buying and preparing raw fish).

  2. Oh gosh…good luck, I would be so nervous! I do not have a lot of kitchen gadget either…you need space to store those!! Good luck!!

  3. LOL! Love it! Plan ahead while the kids rest and you’ll be all set. Make pesto ahead- check! (add it to fresh pasta for a side dish), get tenderloin all set for the roaster ahead of time, bake a nice bundt cake ahead of time (even up to a day ahead of time). Steer clear of brulee, torches are a pain to operate at dinner parties. Serve plenty of wine and you’ll be all set!

  4. Just wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog. I saw yours on blogfrog and saw that you commented on my blog and wanted to stop by yours and check it out. It’s rather delightful!

    My mouth is salivating over the treat you posted! Was it as delicious as it sounds?

    I am so completely with you in the “lacking kitchen eqiupment” department… I seem to make do, but more equipment would be delightful! Especially when it comes to baking.. :)

  5. Wine, lots of wine! Oh, and some for the guests too! Seriously, dive in and have fun with it. What a fun thing and planning ahead is key. Good luck and enjoy it!

  6. I’m sure it will be great. Hey you could always serve them green eggs and ham. Hmmm. Been hanging out with our two year old too much. The rhubarb Compote adapted from Bon Appetit sounds great. Not on my diet right now, though. After two years I thought I best work on my sympathetic baby bump. ;) Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  7. I LOVE this blog. Good, honest, pure, detailed, simply devine!

    And you can’t gather kitchen items? As-if! LOL
    I can’t either! What’s the deal? It’s ironic that I can run two companies, work for one of the largest, manage a household, 3 children, and volunteer activly at church, yet I don’t have a flippin WISK. ooooo, the joys of motherhood. lol

  8. Mmmmm that Rhubarb thing sounds sooo good. And if it doesn’t turn out like you hope, that’s what the wine is for!

  9. Pingback: Unplanned Cooking » Wine pairings for our dinner party

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