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Friday, August 1, 2008

Une Soiree Blanche


...oh the night I wished had never ended....the night which started as a dream became an enchanted evening. The guests arrived beautifully dressed in white. I walked Jake out to the grove and he was so pleasantly surprised. Leraunt made a light appetizer, whole grain bread with his own homemade basil pesto, topped with cherry tomatoes and fresh parmesan cheese.

I presented a toast to his honor, in which I read from one of our favorite movies, "The Count of Monte Cristo, "Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into the storm as you shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst for I will do mine. Then the Fates will know you as we know you as Albert Mondego, the man." My friend Gentry, my nephew Mitchell and my niece Christy were the most attentive, kind servers. I am indebted to them. They were so professional and efficient and handled themselves so gracefully. Thanks guys!!! Leraunt and my Mom worked so hard in the hot kitchen preparing our food. We were ALL so blessed by their kind efforts. Our first course was called "Amuse du Chef" which means to "amuse the mouth" and indeed it did just that. It was one bite on a large spoon, Leraunt's homemade raspberry sauce with melted brie on top. A taste of heaven. I licked the spoon several times and welcomed our guests to do the same! The second course, can you figure it out in French? Our menus were in French so that was a special part to the night, trying to figure out what it said. La Salade- Une salade d'été mélangée aux feuilles d'épinards, servies avec l'artichaut, aux noix rôties, aux graines de sésame et uncontact de citron- Next Leraunt served us "Amuse Bouche", a palate cleanser. It was a beautiful arrangement of ginger, mint, orange juice and ice. So refreshing.
We relaxed in the outdoor lounge sipping Nissley wine until the main course, "Plat Principal" was ready. Plat Principal- Le saumon servi avec une purée de pommes de terre à l'ail, entouré par légumes aux juliennes et l'asperge, parfumé avec anise et avec une sauce faite maison à hollandaise. Oh, the amazing tastes in our mouth! Out of this world. By far the most delicious Salmon I've ever tasted. The evening seemed to linger. We had such great conversation, lots of laughter and time on our side. And lastly Leraunt and the "team" brought out dessert, the most fabulous poached pear with melted chocolate atop. Le Dessert- Une poire pochée, marinée en vanille et cannelle, avec du chocolat et les baies fraîches à la sauce flambée de cerise. Leraunt flambed all sorts of fresh fruit before our eyes and poured it over the pear. I have no words, seriously, it was THAT good.
We ended the evening with fresh cups of hot coffee, fuzzy blankets, lover in hand and "Gigi" on the big screen outside. I have to thank EVERYONE who gave their time, energy and kindness so freely: My Mom, Chef Leraunt Van Loon, my brother Tom for helping me set up, Shrish for keeping the boys, Gentry for helping with everything all night long, Christy for helping serve, Freiman and Lonnie for all the help with proper etiquette in regards to the French language & culture and Jess for capturing the evening so beautifully. Terri for the perfect hydrangeas. Photography by JessicaSue Photography. And such a thoughtful gift from Curt & Jeane, a beautiful grapevine and a wine making kit soon to arrive at our doorstep! Jake received such lovely cards and gifts from all his friends.

Leraunt is available for dinner parties both large and small and is very affordable. If you too would be interested in hiring him, please contact me, it is an amazing experience!


"It is not the length of life,
but depth of life."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~


17 comments:

Jess said...

I must say your photographer did an amazing job :)
I loved every moment of capturing those moments!!

Gentry Austin said...

that was a fun night. you did a great job on everything!

wanita said...

not to mention how fab everyone looked in white! that was perfect. and the dessert dish was indeed heavenly looking!! ummm!

Kara Stoltzfus said...

janelle,
it looks like an incredible evening, everything from the decorations to the food looked absolutely outstanding. you didn't miss a beat.
BEAUTIFUL!

kara

Vickie said...

ooohh la la...this was amazing! I am so proud of you. I was wondering who took the pictures...Lord knows you were doing other amazing things! Girl, I am just so glad to be your friend! Wished I lived down the road!

xoxoxoxoxo

Vickie said...

P.S. You just get more and MORE beautiful!

Adrienne said...

Oh my goodness!!! I have no other words!!!

Anonymous said...

Divine, simply divine!! =)
"Shrish"

Sharon said...

Gorgeous Janelle! What a great setting... Looks like you thought of everything. Was it a special occasion or just for fun? Just for fun is wonderful too...

Anonymous said...

what a perfect evening! so glad it all came together for you! A night to remember...
Von

Jeane` Miller said...

I cannot tell you how DIFFERENT this Saturday night is from the last!!!! I'm home alone with two kiddos who did NOT take anywhere near sufficient naps today, thus misery abounds, thus they were in bed (unhappily) by 7:10. I had a 'to go' chicken dinner from St. Benedicts Chicken BBQ in which I shared with my two children while watching an Elmo's World DVD which I have seen 1.5 trillion times and still wonder things like 'how many Dorothys do they go through in a season???". ANYHOO...you get the picture. It was vastly different and what a privalege to have a beautiful memory to meander back too while quickly inhaling cold chicken.
Love,
Jeane`

Anonymous said...

Enchanted!!! That's what the evening felt like! I didn't want it to end! We couldn't have been honored more, than to be there to celebrate the birthday of your special man! You put a lot of thought and hard work into everything! When we got into the car to go home I just said "WOW"!! That pretty much sums it up!!Thank-you so much for having us!!
Love, Mary Jo

clarita barkman yoder said...

Looks like an AMAZING evening! Your taste in creativity is so apparent, and everything from the food to the decor is exquisite! I'm sure Jake felt so honored! What a lovely evening to celebrate him!

I've been a faitful "looker" on here but haven't been able to comment before now, for some reason... Have tried various times because something would just seize me and I thought I had to tell you how I enjoyed reading. :) Thank you for your lovely, inspiring thoughts and doings in everyday life. I love how you make the ordinary such a celebration of life...

Lonnie said...

Janelle, I'm thrilled that everything went well. Congratulations on pulling together your team for a job well done and for making Jake's 35th so memorable.

tines said...

AMAZING janelle! you did such a great job! surely your hubby was so blessed by it all. everything was SO beautiful and the food looked SOOOO delicious! xoxo

Kel said...

My hubby said "That's some high roller sh**" Anyway its the most beautiful table I've ever seen. You have a wonderful most amazing gift. Happy birthday Jake!!

Jena said...

Oh, I am so happy to have the internet back, what a treasure- the pictures, the night and You! You are such a treasure my friend, and the most precious thing is that your husband honors you as such, and it just turns you into more of a treasure, and thus a beautiful cycle continues....
Blessings to Jake- it is truly a testament to him what lengths you went to to honor him, you guys are both truly, truly blessed!