Monday, August 9, 2010



Lily the manniquin

As a brief diversion from my many postings of the trip I took last month to the UK, I decided to post the dinner party our Little Supper Club had just before I left in June. For those of you who may have just tuned in, I belong to a themed based supper club in which we alternate gatherings at members homes. June was my turn and since I have a swimming pool, we decided to do Caribbean.

My garden was in order, my pool was in order and Woodloft was in order. I knew members would take care of providing the feast.

Woodloft pool

Another view of the pool

Front deck garden

"Great room" at Woodloft

Leis awaiting guests. I realize this is more of a South Pacific tradition but we went with it anyway

Stratton (Wayne) St. Clair unselfishly started our Little Supper Club as a gathering of friends he already knew and –get this-he gave an invitation to some “friends” on his Facebook Page, asking them to attend the first gathering, which was about a year and a half ago. We now have about sixteen regulars.

I feel extremely lucky and privileged to have a friend who is a chef. Wayne will tell you he is not a real chef because he is self-taught, but believe me, if you could taste his cooking you’d know he IS a chef! I also consider myself very lucky in that Wayne has agreed to be the resident chef here at Woodloft (my home) next summer when I give my sculpture classes. My students are in for a real treat.

Wayne at the grill

One thing really special about the Supper Club is that Wayne has actually been teaching all of us how to cook. Now, I must clarify, we all knew how to cook but Wayne is teaching us to take cooking and dining to another level. What a generous man! Just the other night he had a few of us over for a multi-course dinner which brought back my memory of true European dining. If you have never tried James Beard’s 40 Clove Garlic Chicken you might want to give it a whirl. Wayne served this, with his usual changes to the recipe. I’ll probably post the recipe in the future. It’s a lovely dish that brings into play slow dining.

Now, back to our Caribbean party. There were so many delicious dishes presented and to be honest, since I was away for a month, I now can’t remember all the names of these specialties.

Stephanie prepares a variety of Caribbean concoctions


Coconut Flan

Rum Punch

Caribbean Shrimp

Plantains with a Chocolate Sauce

One dish that stands out in my mind above the rest though, was the Rum Raisin Pudding that Trish made. Trish decided to make this dish because her oven was not working and the recipe calls for the stove top method. Being my usual skeptic self, I was leary of how this would turn out.

What a surprise. It was fabulous.

Trish's Rum Raisin Pudding

Below is the recipe and a few more party pictures. Hope you enjoyed the Caribbean atmosphere because we will probably be traveling back to Scotland, where it was veeeerrrry cold, on my next posting.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

2 Small boxes raisins
6T. Virgin Island Rum
1 C. Milk
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Heavy cream
3 T. Cornstarch
1 Egg
1 t. Vanilla
1 C. Overcooked rice

Soak raisins in rum about ½ hour before cooking. In large pan, combine milk, sugar, cream and set aside.
Dissolve cornstarch with 1/4th of milk mixture. In another bowl, beat egg, add vanilla and cornstarch mixture and beat well. Set aside.
Heat original mixture, add cornstarch and egg mixture and whisk. Continue cooking, stir constantly till mixture thickens. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Dean with ice cold margarita

Jason works in the Tiki bar

Mark gathers fresh mint for the drinks

So much fun!

Grover, the party animal

A special thanks to Stephanie Oliver for taking most of the pictures shown.

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  1. Oh Cheryl!! The party looked spectacular! Indeed, hoe very fortunate you are to have your own personal chef! I am green with envy:)
    The banquet looked mouthwatering ... with the company of good friends and a setting so very luscious ... the memories will last a lifetime!
    Thank you for sharing the day with us, I felt as though I was there! :)))

  2. Looks heavenly! How fun to have someone who can cook so well! What a joy to have a group of friends like that!

  3. You have a stunning home and yard. I've seen photos of your front deck before, but this looks very party festive and everything was so "alive."

    You are blessed to have someone with such awesome cooking skills. Can you actually call that "cooking?" Seems like calling the Queen Mary a rowboat. The party looks spectacular and I will definitely try the rice pudding recipe, since I always have rice. Not sure about rum, though.

    The entire party looks fantastic, except for the flan. I used to love coconut, but not anymore. The idea of spoiling a good flan with coconut was beyond common sense (grin).

  4. I must tell you your house and garden are stunning - what a place to have a party! I love caribbean food. A couple of years ago I cooked a new year's eve meal for my boyfriend in this style and we dressed up in grass skirts and leis (yeah I know that's Hawaii but it was the closest thing to tropical I could find!!). My mouth was watering looking at your delicious spread. Now, where's my Margarita?

  5. What a lovely pool and garden. And the food...just makes your mouth water. Those sweet banana's are one of my favorites.

  6. Your yard is so lush and tropical...and the pool, so inviting! My mouth was watering after viewing those photos. It looks like everyone had fun.

  7. Get out of here!!!! I mean that in the most loving way. Woodloft is amazing. The food is amazing. You are amazing. I wish I could take one of your classes just to see your home! Alas...something like that won't be in the budget until my kids are out of the house (that may be never lol). Seriously, you live your life artastically and btw,all the way around! BTW Grover is one cool dog!

  8. What a lovely place! I enjoyed your photos and narrative and can imagine being there at your fun gathering. Now I'm getting hungry . . .

  9. Oh how fun! Great photos. Your pool and deck are just awesome. The food looks delish and that rice pudding, yummo! Looks like everyone was having a grand time. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

  10. If I close my eyes I can hear steel drums and can smell the faint scent of the tropics! What a fabulous night!!! LOVE coming to visit here, Cheryl - it's always a treat! Hugs, Terri xoxo

  11. I got lost in imagination as I strolled through your whimsical garden, cooled my feet at the pool's edge...then felt the laughter and Joy shared at the Supper Club! Mouth still watering!! Thank you for sharing a small part of who you are… I come here to your site to inspire me to get up off the couch and LIVE!!!
    Diane Jones

  12. So happy and fun!!! Good food, friends,cocktails, and that killer manniquine! She is divine. Your garden and pool are lovely, perfect party grounds.

  13. I just had dinner and now after this, I'm hungry again - stove top pudding....who knew?
    And what a great setting for your theme party. I just watched an amazing program last night on 60 minutes -featuring Jose Andres....well - I have never in my life seen a chef with that much passion and creativity!!!! amazing.

    Thanks for sharing! And yes - I want your out!

  14. WOW! We lived in the Caribbean for seven years, and you just made me homesick for the islands! It looks like it was a lovely gathering of friends and gorgeous food- what a perfect setting your home is to host such an event!

  15. Looks like loads of fun and how beautiful you had everything set! The food looks fantastic and what a dream of a party. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos!

  16. Cheryl, your home is stunning, and it looks so private. What fun it must be to have the themed parties :) I really enjoyed myself.

  17. All I can say is that I sure hope I receive an invitation to the next party! :)

  18. WOW thank you for sharing the beautiful photos.The food looks delicious jummy:-)
    further your home with garden!!! I'm really envious of your amazing paradise.
    Hugs Anja
    by the way: the link of cracked technique:

  19. Good day, Cheryl
    I am dropping by again to thank you for the generous comments you leave for me. I can't tell you how much your words encourage me ...
    You are such a talented woman. Having your support is a great gift! :)

    I hope you don't mind, but I copied your picture of Morning Song and added it to my blog with a link in my list of blogs that inspire!!!!

    Wishing you a day filled with faery blooms and pixie dust!

  20. Oh yum! I've just had my supper, but I'm hungry again, what an amazing feast, and Woodloft looks stunning, I can hear the steel drums now.....x

  21. You have such a beautiful home. I wish I'd been at that party. It looks so much fun!

  22. Cheryl What a gorgeous home you have. It looks like a fun bunch and some delicious food. Beautiful photos of a wonderful theme party. oh and that party animal, well he must have had a howling good time too.


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