This oldie but goodie is one of my favorites. In Good Taste: A Collection of Occasional Buffet Menus is a very stripped-down version of how to throw a party, without glossy photos. The author, Joan Downs, writes the introduction to the book to her "Daughters" that would be you the reader. (If you are a son, well, you can still use the cookbook.) She signs her introduction, "Momma." Momma says that a buffet, while signalling abundance, can be a small affair. She wants you to break out your sideboard or your huntboard, whichever is available and serve up some food. And while there are no photos, there are suggestions for wine and decor.
There is als a bit of back and forth between Momma and her Daughters just in case you have a question or two. There are bon voyage buffets, Superbowl buffets, Christmas buffets, and simple Sunday night suppers. The cookbook has a ringed top and hard covers that allow the cookbook to stand on the counter.
Remember we told you of the simple Sunday night supper. Here is what you will be serving:
From the Huntboard
Italian Filled Bread
Pepper, Olive, Beet, Red Onion Salad
or Valdalia Onions, Baked
Baked Chantilly Potatoes
or Souffle Potatoes
From the Dessert Board
Creamy Ices Chocolate Cake
or Ice Cream Pecan Balls and Chocolate Sauce
or Angel Food pie
or Rhubarb Cake
Flaming Brandy Coffee
Red Burgundy of Italian Borolino
Wooden or pottery bowls filled with celery stalks, green peppers. fresh tomatoes and fresh basil.
Granted, it looks a bit longer than it actually is. You need to pick a single dessert to go with the Flaming Brandy Coffee, but still...
In this menu we decided to opt for the Valdalia Onions. And here is where we get to talk to Momma:
D. What's the difference between a Valdalia onion and a plain white onion?We love the emphasis on "each." We also noticed that they are spelled Vidalia, but Momma tried. She would be shocked to go grocery shopping today!
M. Valdalia onions are grown in Georgia. They cost about 35 cents each. they are seasonal, usually through the month of June. They are very sweet, and there are some who eat them raw like an apple. I prefer an hour at 325 myself!
Valdalia Onions, Baked a la Maude
Valdalia onions (one per person)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. butter or margarine
Skin onions. Cut a slice from the root end, so it will sit in a pan evenly. Cut out a small hole from the top of the onin. Place onions, side by side, in a buttered baking dish or pan. Add water to the pan of 1/4 " depth. Pour seasonings in hole. Bake at 325 degree F. oven until onions are done. (for about 1 hour.)
Just guess what the Christmas Buffet entails! A quick google will point you to your own downloadable copy of In Good Taste. Now clear off that huntboard and get to work.