Cooking Ahead

I have spent the whole day cooking for the intern dinner tomorrow. The summer interns for a Russ’ company have been coming for dinner on the first night of their summer program for the last few years. It always proves to be a fun evening. The interns’ managers also come and it is a night of young people who make me hopeful for the future.

This year there are fifteen coming and I really wanted everyone to sit at the same table. Since I can only squeeze 14 around my table I had to improvise by adding a card table at the end. Russ calls it his kid’s table and volunteered to sit at it. I am yet to decide who else has the honor to sit there with him.

Usually the interns are a diverse, well traveled group so I try and make an interesting meal. Since the managers come year after year I don’t want to ever serve the same thing. I have learned that they eat a lot at this dinner, as if they haven’t had time to eat for a week, so I make lots of food.

This year we are having a Mediterranean dinner – Hummus, moussaka, chicken Shawarma, Greek salad, orzo and feta, homemade pita bread. The only non-Mediterranean thing is dessert. Carter asked me to make the cheese cake I took to the river last week and Russ bought the most fabulous strawberries at the farmer’s market.

Since a couple of the interns are underage I wanted to make a fun non-alcoholic drink. Even if they are of age I am not sure how much they want to drink at the boss’ house on the night before their first day of work. I decided on a watermelon cooler. I puréed watermelon in the blender and mixed it with lime juice and ginger simple syrup. I put that in the blender with seltzer and lots of ice and blended it into a slushee. To add a little kick I sprinkled the tiniest bit of cayenne pepper on top. I loved my sample I tried. I hope they will too.

Thankfully Carter is here to help with the last minute cooking since I have a busy day tomorrow. At least the majority of things are prepared today.

2 Comments on “Cooking Ahead”

  1. Cynthia Klein says:

    You are amazing!

  2. marymoss1 says:

    Dana, this is an amazing journey you have been on! Congratulations, and I am so glad I have seen you recently and learned about this blog. If I were one of those interns, I would never forget that setting, nor the food!

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