A short order from Marty Martindale’s book,
SHORT ORDERS: Food Stories and Travels.
Every December 1, regardless of the day of the week, the Elmsville 24, 12 Yalee classmate couples, gathered at Roger Ellis’ Colorado mountain lodge for their annual celebration. Their classmate, Ed Marker, who later became a culinary grad, prepared the same menu every year:
Roast Bison Marrow known as “Prairie Butter”
White Caviar Bisque
Poached Pear Salad with Truffle Curls
Roquefort Cheesecake with Butternut Squash Pure
Mile-High Kobe Beef Fillet
Mocha Sponge Cake topped with Mascarpone and Bittersweet Chocolate
Different couples were designated each year to choose cocktails, the wines and assemble the annual Grand Marnier Cinquantenaire aperitif frozen in a large cake of royal blue ice.
Every year, on November 30, Cecilia, Roger Ellis’ wife and Chef Marker shopped for the dinner special ingredients, which necessitated them taking dinner at Sam Arnold’s famous Fort Restaurant so they could pick up the 24 generous helpings of buffalo marrow. And, after all these years, they had come to look forward to these party-eve dinners even more than the annual dinner, itself. Roger remained back at the lodge to calligrify the dinner place cards and attending the cigar inventory.
Cecilia and Chef Ed would always order the same dinner at The Fort each year they picked up the marrow:
Bison Eggs wrapped in house Buffalo Sausage,
topped with Raspberry-Jalapeno Jam
Toasty Rocky Mountain Oysters
Duck Trio A La Mexico – which was – A Green Chile & Duck Tamale,
A Duck Empanada with Cheese and Red Chile and a Duck Cake
(Similar to Crab Cake) With Jalapeno Chile and Micro Greens
Chocolate Chile Bourbon Cake – Aztec combination of a Rich, Dark Chocolate and New Mexican Red Chile Cake
Double Fragolis of the Wild Strawberry
Now, while Cecilia and Ed were partaking of their 18th Fort ritual, Roger Ellis and Mrs. Chef Ed had their dining ritual. As she exercised her calligraphic abilities, and he his cigar expertise, they stayed put in the warmth of the cozy chalet. Chef Ed’s wife also brought along the same foods for their very special dinner:
Plump Abalones for Steaming with Drawn Brandy Butter
Exotic Hearts of Palm dresses in Imported Truffle Oil
Belgium Endive for roasting
Patron Anejo Tequila
Patron Anejo over French Vanilla Ice Cream
The next day Chef Ed and Mrs. Chef made their elaborate early preparations, while Cecilia and Roger met with the maids concerning guests’ quarters, finally welcoming each arriving couple late in the afternoon. Each brought elaborate nibbles and their skis for early morning on December 2nd.
Once the gala evening was well under way and the annual dinner served, Cecilia had occasion to run into the kitchen for more peppercorns. To her joy and amazement, she was relieved to find her husband Roger and Mrs. Chef Ed locked in meaningful embrace.
“This certainly simplifies everything,” she muttered.