As guests arrived we nibbled on cheeses and accouterments (including that amazing Broders' Cucina cracker bread that I can never get enough of) and some chubby grougeres. When at last we had all arrived we headed to the dining room. And to the soup! The soup! The squash bisque garnished with fried sage leaves summoned the flavors of fall with its velvety (not Velveeta) sweetness.
Originally we intended the fish course to mimic the curried walleye cakes Chef Joe serves at Sen Yai Sen Lek (Joe generously supplied us with his recipe), but the trout we acquired was whole and with head; much too beautiful to grind into patties. We stuffed each body with a curry, red pepper, garlic, lime, and orange paste then roasted the little guys until they were just cooked and served them with the vegetable-fruit medleys.
Dessert came a la the current cover of Cook's Country. The Magic Chocolate Flan Cake was nothing short of spectacular. And so our meal began and ended on high notes, not unlike friendships with their ebb and flows, love stories and occasional drama, and finally acceptance and contentment.