By Judy Garrison
Mary Davis’ brainchild of a Table of Contents series to benefit the Library has again borne prolific and delicious “fruit.” On Monday evening, November 2nd, 16 guests (the limit set beforehand) walked from their cars through a lane of luminarias to arrive at the home of Dorothy Lyman, at Red Hen Farm on Gladstone Hollow. On entering they were offered refreshment that included prickly-pear-infused margaritas made and proffered by Mary, Dos Equis beer, and Perrier water. Shepherded into the candlelit living room, they mingled and enjoyed guacamoles—one with pepitas—on chips made by a friend from Oaxaca, Mexican songs floating in the background.
The multi-course dinner, conceived and prepared completely by Dorothy (with inspiration from her favorite cookbook of Oaxacan recipes) had the chopping and plating assistance of Buffy Calvert, and was served by Mary and me (Linda Luukonen wielded the onslaught of plates and glasses at the sink). Conversation and laughter flowed around the 2 tables decorated with colorful small peppers, Day-of-the-Dead miniatures and candles, candles, candles, while the guests enjoyed, in succession, a garnished black bean soup, a sauced shrimp taco, chicken tamales with yellow mole filling (yes, wrapped in authentic cornhusks) and a stew called Manchamantel (meaning “tablecloth stainer” because of the deep red chili sauce) of pork, chicken, apple and pineapple served over rice with the tastiest bean dish ever alongside, all accompanied by 4 marvelous salsas. For dessert she served chocolate cupcakes, topped with a special coconut ice cream and a Mexican chocolate sauce.
The evening ended with admiring and appreciative applause for our host/chef and an explanation by Mary of how the Table of Contents works: the host of anything from an outdoor picnic to a grand dinner picks a theme, pays for ingredients, prepares or has prepared a meal, decides on number of guests and venue, recruits helpers or co-hosts. All proceeds benefit our library. Call Mary or Buffy or speak to a librarian if you’d consider taking on an event in the future. It’s a win-win for the community: having fun while generating funds. P.S. On the way out guests collected their party favors: a Mexican-themed book and a sheet giving the history and traditions of Dia de los Muertos.~