Sunday Suppers with Sarah Copeland
The table at Sunday Suppers. Set perfectly as only a stylist can.
It was two apartments opened up into one wide open space, with every surface painted white. I could roller skate or ride a bike with ease. When I walked in I dropped my coat and bag and walked straight back to look out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the expansive view of the East River and Manhattan.
The building was on the edge of east Williamsburg. It was a hulking square, at least twelve stories high, of lead glass windows, tall staircases and wide hallways. It was rented by day people--photographers, artists and designers--but probably also some live-ins lived there. Artsy people who didn't mind drafts and a lack of real amenities. I would live there. You would too.
Feast the cookbook, by Sarah Copeland
I had seen the invite on the Sunday Suppers Instagram account. I couldn't afford it but the argument in my head was quickly won by the half of me that didn't balance my checkbook. The invite said to arrive at 3pm. The dinner was to celebrate Feast, by Sarah Copeland, a new cookbook out from Chronicle Books. The plan was to cook together and then eat. There were about twenty of us. The day began with some mingling. We sipped water out of tiny tumblers and nibbled on hard brown pretzels dipped in a seedy mustard. Change the water to rosé and it would be heaven.
Hearty pretzels and mustard from
Soon we were handed stiff twill aprons and put to work. We split up into five groups, each tasked with a dish for the night: kale, chickpea & broccolini salad, roasted vegetables, romesco sauce, barley risotto and a pear and quince frangipane tart. My savory skills are actually pretty squared away, what I knew I needed was some help in the land of sweets. I sidled up to the Carrera marble island and looked over the recipe with the other helpers. Sarah wandered the room, offering quick words of encouragement. She showed the group how to quickly cut carrots but with a unique spin on shape (rolling the carrot and holding your knife at an angle, you cut as you roll creating mismatched wedges). For the dessert crew she sliced open a quince and walked us through cutting this beautiful and odd fruit that looks like a pear but tastes like a pineapple (edible only when cooked).
Cutting open a quince, which is like a pear meets an apple meets an I-don't-know, with a twist of pineapple.
Then we made an easy flour from blanched almonds for the filling. The crust was butter heavy and soft. We made quick work of padding it into the long rectangular tins. Once they were set we split up and placed wedges of fruit into the middle.
Sarah checks the tart to see if it's done (not yet, but almost).
When the tarts were in the oven I glanced over at the risotto fray. The group was stirring and stirring two giant pans of barley and slowly adding broth. "Can I help stir?" I asked. Next we added thin slices of black radish, torn up pieces of chard, a few more pats of butter and salt. The last addition was preserved lemon. I made it once before and had forgotten what a flavor brightener it is. I've since added making some to my to-do list.
Once the dishes were complete we set the table, sat down and ate. A small amount of wine was poured and we continued our conversations, mostly about food, and enjoyed the afternoon of collaborative cooking, and the view. Before I left I bought the cookbook, the nubbly cover, the recipes and the photographs a happy little addition to my small New York kitchen.
Just out of the oven.
Homemade ricotto atop a grilled salad of chickpeas, broccolini and kale.
Slices of tart await a dollop of green tea ice cream. And we learned another trick: place nuts on the plate to set the ice cream atop, which would anchor it from slipping and sliding as you walked it to the table.