Big Feast

Anna's Big Feast: Setting the Stage

By • October 18, 2012 • 6 Comments

We want you to throw big parties and win big (big!) prizes from Le Creuset. (Find out more here.)

All week, Anna Hezel will be researching, planning, and, ultimately, celebrating her sister's wedding with an Azerbaijani brunch feast.

Today: The planning and prepping of a Azerbaijan-meets-Buffalo wedding brunch. This is the third installment of Anna's Big Feast -- check out All About Azerbaijan and Bringing the Feast to Buffalo.

     

As my family and I began to architect the perfect menu for the brunch on the day after my sister's wedding, our minds were full of Azerbaijani inspiration and end-of-summer produce. In Azerbaijan, we had eaten savory, rich, fatty grilled meats and spicy grilled peppers. We had eaten salty feta cheese, smoky eggplant, and sweet, juicy tomatoes. We had sipped cold soups and eaten small salads full of herbs and nuts.

It just so happened that our local farmer's market was filled to the brim with tomatoes, eggplant, spicy peppers, fresh herbs, and even delicious hand-crafted sausages. The week leading up to the big party was a frenzy of farmers' market trips, each resulting in a new trunkful of goods.

We stocked up on the dried apricots that had been so ubiquitous in Azerbaijan. We gently toasted pistachios and pine nuts we had brought back from our trip. We snipped herbs, toasted breadcrumbs, and squeezed lemons.



Then, of course, there was the gardening and tablecloth-washing and the dusting-off of folding chairs. We counted our paper plates and ventured out to get more. We dug out boxes of old green and white-striped bedsheets to use as table clothes and asked everyone we knew for extra chairs. We recruited friends and family to help, and we slowly began to assemble the back yard and prepare it for an enormous party.

In the midst of all of this, my 5-year-old niece, Frances, and I noticed that something was missing. The adult guests may have spicy foods and good beer to look forward to, but what would the children do for the duration of the party? In the interest of adding to the decor of the party and entertaining the many children who would be in attendance, we set up a small pinwheel factory.

     

We gradually filled a small basket with hand-made polka-dotted pinwheels and bottles of bubbles. Slowly but surely, we began to feel ready for the big feast.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's installment of Anna's Big Feast: The Big Day!

Le Creuset has generously offered to reward our Big Feasters for all their hard work, and as our seventh Big Feast, Anna will win: a Heritage Cast Iron 2-Quart Legumier, a 3.5 Quart Round French Oven, and a Square Skillet Grill. Pitch us your Big Feast at [email protected] for a chance to win up to $500 in Le Creuset booty.

LegumierRound French Oven Saute Pan

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Tags: big feast, anna's big feast, azerbaijan, azerbaijani food

Comments (6)

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almost 2 years ago TXExpatInBKK

Your produce is gorgeous and the pinwheels are too cute!

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almost 2 years ago rizzle

Ah, those eggplants look amazing! And is that tarragon you're snipping?

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almost 2 years ago rizzle

Those eggplants! I love it! And is that tarragon you're snipping?

Miglore

almost 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Making pinwheels is that easy?! I want a DIY pinwheel station for the office.

Kandm

almost 2 years ago Kristy Mucci

Kristy is an expert at making things pretty and a former Associate Editor of Food52.

Me too!

Also, super excited to see the party!

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almost 2 years ago Anna Hezel

I will run a pinwheel seminar if needed!