January 15, 2011

Primula Society and Baked Alaska? You betcha!

We were Primula deficient at the luncheon meeting we hosted today for the American Primula Society New England Chapter, but the Camellia's were welcome, just the same. 
Each January, we host the planning meeting for the New England Primula Society, as it plans the national show held in April  for the National Primrose Society at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, which is near us. We belong to many plant societies, but I have to say that the Primrose Society is the most social and they have all become good friends over the years. This is a great takeaway/lesson for any other plant society - plan social events like this. We started hosting a dinner party and an evening cocktail party at  our home on the night before the national exhibition, since there are many people in town for the show from Alaska, France, England and for nearby states. 

The events became so popular, because members can meet, have a class of wine, tour the garden and chat with guest speakers in a more casual environment. Our mid winter meeting has also become an event that everyone looks forward to, since we try to make it both special and fun. After all, it's all about the experience. Last year we themed the lunch around Indian food, and the year before that, it was Mexican food. This year, I wanted something different, so we went with a winter ski lodge theme, with open faced Croque monsieur sandwiches on rustic rye, with Ementhaller and Appenzeller cheese, ham and smashed fingerling potatoes on top, all broiled until they were stretchy and yummy, like you get on a Swiss alpine ski vacation. The entire kitchen smelled like fondue.

We served this with a bowl of Carrot, ginger and apple soup, and for desert, we took a chance, and made a Baked Alaska, (of course, something easy). Our guests from the plant world seemed to enjoy both the greenhouse tour, the crazy dogs, and I imagine, the highlight of the day, which was watching me assemble, pipe and blowtorch the Baked Alaska, (or should I call it Torched Alaska?). It was sort of fun!

I ran out of Swiss Merengue, so thank goodness I had an extra box of blackberries.

It felt more like a cooking show  than a Primrose Society meeting, but definitely not Hells Kitchen! I think people really enjoy watching food being prepared, as much as they like eating it. Which makes sense, after all, this is why the Food Network is so popular!
Everyone seemed to enjoy the lunch, it started snowing again after this, which really added to our ski theme. Be sure to check out the National Primrose Show the last weekend in April, at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Everyone is welcome.

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