Make that birthday really special

2010-09-25 00:00

BIRTHDAYS are traditionally a special occasion and, in the Cameron household, making the birthday person feel exceptional is the most important calling of the day. Most birthdays begin and end around a dining room or kitchen table, and fine-tuned preparation is crucial when organising a relaxed, hassle-free dinner party. Every second of groundwork is worth the effort and ensures that you can sit down, unwind and have a glass of celebratory bubbly with your guests.

For my dad’s recent birthday, I started the feast with a tasting of hot pumpkin seeds and salted nuts. This kick-starts the salivary juices and entices the palate for what is to come. Dad enjoys tomatoes in any form or fashion, so I felt it fitting to serve a tasting of sundried tomatoes, balsamic-seared cherry tomatoes and a dipping sauce of grated tomatoes with hot, crispy, white olive bread. This went down as a treat. Breaking bread together somehow binds a gathering in an intimate embrace.

Fresh fish is always a winner, so pan-seared Norwegian salmon with a Rich Man’s Potato Salad, fresh green beans and a lemon wedge is a good choice. A classic beurre blanc sauce rounds off this main dish and allows the fishy flavours to come through.

I am in pavlova mode — to the point that I’ve included traditional pavlova on the Hartford House lunch menu. I have, however, added a modern touch to make my recipe a unique variation on a theme. On this occasion I cut up a selection of fresh fruit, whipped the cream and presented the individual mini pavlovas for each guest to fill as they chose. This is home-cooked elegance at its best.

We rounded off the evening with espresso coffee and a few slices of oozing camembert with orange segments, candied walnuts and fresh herbs. Crisp Parma ham on the side puts the sizzle into this dish.

The result was a stress-free meal fit for a king — for our king. Happy birthday, Dad.

I hope these dishes inspire you to serve up a feast when you next have a birthday to celebrate.

• Send comments and food-related questions to jackie@hartford. co.za. I always look forward to hearing from you. Jackie Cameron (head chef: Hartford House — 033 263 2713).

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.