Mommie Soph Orders From Dean & Deluca

I happened by Jewel St. in New Haven for a visit with Mommie Soph.  My Dad would have referred to this as her permanent address.  No matter.  When are you leaving? This would have been the first question she would have asked of me.  And upon taking my leave, she would have asked, when are you coming back, and what do you want to eat?

For my Grandmother these were the key reference points.  How long you were staying, when are you returning and what do you want to eat.  Everything else would follow in due course.

On this most recent visit I came armed with a copy of Dean & Deluca’s Holiday Catalogue.  I had it my mind that it might be fun to gather everyone for a holiday feast.  I wasn’t sure of the best location for the festivities… that could be decided later.  But I thought that Mommie Soph and I could organize the food side of things, and rather than belaboring her with running around for everything, why not pick up all the fixin’s from Dean & Deluca?  One look thru the pages of their catalogue is enough to set your mouth to watering.  Excellent photography, marvelous descriptions… very fancy shmancy as Mommie Soph would say.  Time to reach for the ring, grab the gusto and take out the wallet.

I opened the catalogue… page 2. “This is a good place to start.  The central piece of the dinner has to a standing rib roast.  And look at this yummy picture!  Five ribs!  And this is what they say: Now this is a roast. Grass-fed, dry-aged, perfectly marbled, prime beef that is melt-in-the-mouth tender, unbelievably flavorful and the star of any meal.”

“OK.  You are probably right.  Dad will probably want a second rib. We better order three. No, I don’t know why they trimmed the juicy, fatty parts from the rib… it’s just a photograph.  A serving suggestion.  OK, if that’s the way it comes, I will ask them to send the fatty parts on the side… and yes it’s something that you could make into a stew for the dogs.”

“Next, these double baked potatoes look sensational:  ONLY AT DEAN & DELUCA. The chefs at The Perfect Bite Co. think potatoes taste better with bacon, so they scooped out the insides of baked Russet potatoes and filled them with a mixture of Yukon Golden Mashed, bacon, sour cream and horseradish and baked them again.”

“Yes, I know that there some bacon in it.  But there is also horseradish in it which neutralizes the bacon.  And besides, everyone loves bacon and you wouldn’t want a table full of disappointed people!  There are four potatoes in the package, so four orders should be plenty.  OK, we’ll order six.”

“Hey, this looks good.  Shallots, this might be fun. ONLY AT DEAN & DELUCA. Smaller and milder than onions, shallots get even sweeter when roasted with a glaze of balsamic vinegar. An order is sixteen ounces.  On principle we’ll get two orders.”

“These biscuits look good, too. How delicious! Our rich, buttery and flaky Cream Cheese Biscuits and 72-layer Herb Parmesan biscuits are mouth-watering and ready to pop into an oven. There are twelve in an order.  What do you think? Two or three?  Two?  Good call, we don’t want the biscuits taking up valuable stomach room away from the roast beef!”

“I think we have the key stuff taken care of for dinner.  But we are going to need plenty of appetizers.  And nobody beats Dean & Deluca on apps! We can skip the tapas on page 10.  Bingo! Page 15! “Comfort Appetizers”!  That’s the ticket: Think of these as gourmet comfort starters. Mashed Potato Toast, Mini Shrimp Newburg Pot Pie, Monte Cristo Sandwich and Welsh Rarebit Tomato Tart. Watch as everyone comes back for seconds. You’re not kidding.  We’ll go flying thru these.  48 pieces?  We’ll get two orders.  And yes these others look good, too: Entertaining made simple. We’ve put together this selection of roasted Eggplant and roasted Tomato Crisps, Blue Cheese and Pear Phyllo Stars, Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbreads and Seafood Thermidor Puff Pastries. An elegant array of classic flavors for your next cocktail party.  No, we’re taking a pass on these.  I don’t like eggplant and the smell of goat cheese makes me want to puke.”

“All is not lost!  Here on page 20, mini franks and mini burgers: Premium ingredients can make even the most down-home appetizers downright elegant. Take, for example, our handmade mini franks. Made from luxurious Wagyu beef, and hand rolled with rich cream cheese dough, they’re ready for you to bake at home. And our sliders, petite in size, are packed with big flavor bursting with beefiness.  Elegant?  Well, that’s a stretch.  But everyone loves pigs-in-a-blanket!  An order is twelve franks and twelve sliders.  Yeah, that is nothing… we better get three.”

“Oh, wait on page 25 there is smoked fish and caviar!  We got have some sturgeon: ONLY AT DEAN & DELUCA. One melt-in-your-mouth bite and you’ll understand why sturgeon is called the “queen of all smoked fish.” Delicate and firm, succulent and sweet, with a moist, lean, velvety texture, ours was smoked over Maple, Hickory and Cherry woods to give it a mild and distinctive flavor. Five to seven slices per 8-oz. pack. Two packs?  Good… we’ll pass on the caviar, although that would have been a treat, it’s priced to Mars.  Even for Dean & Deluca!”

“We’ll need some desserts.  We’ll give Mom a break and order a couple on page 31:Vanilla Bean Raspberry cake… ONLY AT DEAN & DELUCA. Four buttery layers of fluffy white cake are flavored with Tahitian vanilla beans and spread with thick layers of homemade raspberry preserves and white chocolate buttercream. The same buttercream wraps the entire cake in richness before being covered in Callebaut white chocolate shavings. From Pâtisserie Angelica. And we have to get something chocolate! ONLY AT DEAN & DELUCA. The best chocolate cakes manage to combine fluffy texture with ultra-rich flavor. Case in point? This light-as-air chocolate cake from Pâtisserie Angelica is layered with silky smooth Callebaut chocolate fudge, topped with the same and embellished with Callebaut chocolate curls. I like the curls; but I’ll probably have the vanilla bean cake.”

“No, there are no pies.  Yes, Paul loves lemon meringue.  We’ll let him bring one.  OK, two.”

“Hey! Here’s something on page 56 that will be great to have for breakfast the next day! Our fantastic brunch includes Wild Sockeye Salmon from the Pacific Northwest, lightly smoked to perfection; Bellwether Farms rich Creme Fraiche; plump Capers from Spain, Pumpernickel and Rye Bread and a DEAN & DELUCA Cutting Board.  The cutting board is a plus!  Creme fraiche?  It’s a change of pace from cream cheese.  I think that it’s a big thing with the fancy shmancy Jews from Westchester.”

“No bagels?  No, look… at the top of the page. We’d argue that the best bagels in the world come from New York. And of those, we love H&H Bagels® the most. Frozen and ready to be popped into the oven. Four each of Plain, Sesame, Cinnamon Raisin, Onion, Wheat and Everything. Kosher. See? Kosher! That makes up for the bacon bits in the double baked potatoes!  Alright, one order of bagels and we’ll double the order on the salmon!”

“Well, that should round things out nicely.  We’ll just have all this stuff delivered.  You won’t have to worry about a thing!  Yes, I know that you will want to pick up a few things… why would I think otherwise?  No.  It won’t belong before I return.  And yes, it will be a great dinner!”

The bottom line:

3 Rib Roasts @ $290… $870.

6 Twice Baked Potatoes @ $42… $252.

2 Roasted Shallots @ $35… $70.

2 Biscuits @ $25… $50.

2 Comfort appetizers @ $70… $140.

3 Franks & sliders @ $95… $285.

2 Sturgeon @ $68… $136

2 Cakes @ $65… $130.

2 Brunch Salmon @ $44… $88

1 Bagels @ $40… $40.

Total: $2061.

Good thing we didn’t order the caviar.

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