A couple weekends ago, we threw a Gnome party to celebrate the coming of spring. Anthony and I did extensive gnomic research and learned that gnomes 1. live in forests 2. are happy-go-lucky vegetarians and 3. like melancholy tales. We thought they sounded just like us.
[Art by Elana Snow.]
We slipped some spring sweetness into beer by adding a dash of lemonade to make radler, a German drink of wheat beer and lemonade. Alongside, we served some forest morsels. First was a bowl of Garlicky Sesame-Cured Broccoli Salad with a box of toothpicks nearby for people to pick their little tree of choice.
It’s a simple recipe that calls for marinating raw broccoli in a toasty dressing of sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and cumin for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours. The results of all that time soften the broccoli until it’s popping with warm, juicy flavors. It’s surprising how good- and popular- this salad was.
We also made Cinnamon Cupcakes with Chile-Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Above is a picture of the cinnamon, ancho chile powder, cayenne, and vanilla extract splattered onto the butter and sugar batter.
They were awesome. The cinnamon cake base was only slightly sweet, just as I like it, and worked perfectly with the spicy and totally intriguing chocolate buttercream. These might be my favorite cupcakes ever.
So, Elana is our artist-in-residence and one of the most wonderful people ever. We met freshman year of college when we were both assigned to the Gildersleeve (…just like Gryffondor) house in AMR II. Elana lived with Malka and I lived downstairs with a vegan girl.
Long story short, I liked cheese and needed someone to eat it with, so our friendship bloomed. E and I lived together junior and senior year which was maybe the loveliest time ever. Anyway, Anthony and I spend way too much time discussing how much we appreciate Elana, and then he had the great idea to ask her to draw decorations for our party.
She was busy all week and had to be in NH the day before our party but brought a bag of markers on the train to make the posters. She said, “I was on the train and I started to draw gnomes. But plain and simple gnome drawings just bored me to tears. I kept looking at their cute little wise gnome faces and thought ‘I wonder which issues are important to gnomes. If a gnome were to run for president, what would his platform be?’ And then I became completely obsessed with the idea of a gnome election. It really took off from there.”
These posters have a permanent place on the wall above our couch. Thanks, Elana!