Friends, I made a thing! And for a limited time, I’m giving it away: a little handmade zine containing the recipes, wine pairings, and family stories from my 40th birthday dinner party.
I have a tradition of serving five courses paired with wines for ten friends for my birthday–and this year, each dish was tied to a memory from my childhood, in connection with one of the five sides of my heritage (French, Indian, Portuguese, Lithuanian, and Norwegian).
I spent months dialing in each one of these recipes, testing variations, and in some cases, actually recreating dishes with my dad, though neither of us had more than a few notes (from my grandmother’s recipes) and the memory of exactly what each dish should taste like.
In this, I’m speaking specifically to pepper pot, a Guyanese dish that, to me, is the platonic ideal of a rich, spicy, slow-cooked beef stew, and to luchi, a type of (East) Indian fry bread that my grandmother filled with coconut and brown sugar. You’ll find the recipes for both in this little book, as well as the recipes for a delicious (and satisfying) potato-cabbage tart (or pie), my famous deconstructed borscht salad, and the dish that ultimately inspired this meal, La Boheme Seafood Bisque.
From the zine:
When I was six, my parents divorced and my dad returned [to the Caribbean] to work for Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. Within a year or so, he met a nice Canadian lady who had recently divorced as well. It wasn’t long before the three of us had embarked on a grand adventure, sailing around the Caribbean, camping from FL to MI (I swam in all of the Great Lakes that summer!), and flying from Toronto to Edmonton.
Kathy’s apartment in Edmonton was located above a fantastic French restaurant, La Boheme. Everything was great at La Boheme, but the seafood bisque was such a perfect dish that I would try to recreate it many times over the next three decades of my life–and on Christmas 2016, I finally nailed it, the exact taste of that summer.
Preparing this epic menu and meal was such an amazing experience that I decided I had to share it, so I created an (extremely) limited edition zine with all the stories and recipes, along with some fun photographs.
At this point, just about half of these little booklets have been accounted for, so if you’d like one, send me an email ASAP! I’d love to drop one in the mail to you: susan [at] susandefreitas [dot] com