Last Day of a Week of Dinners-Institutional

We end our week of dinners with a Retiree’s Dinner at Curt’s former campus.

You’ve probably all been to gatherings like this, but if you are unsure, name tags are the dead giveaway. Before I took pictures tonight I did speak to the food service and told them I’d be taking pictures for a blog about the meal. I didn’t want them to think I was from the health department gathering evidence. This is what we had for dinner tonight and until I put these pictures together I didn’t realize it was a theme of green and yellow.  Oh well, it is Green Bay – Packer colors, you know.

From upper left: Mixed green salad, rice pilaf, green beans almondine, herb roasted chicken, vegetable Napoleon, carrot cake

How was it? Well it was what it was. We were the last table to hit the buffet table so the green salad didn’t look as beautiful as it does here in the picture. There were no tomatoes or cucumbers left or any other goodies I may not have known about, but the lettuce was fresh and crisp. The rice pilaf is a pretty monotone dish but it was good and I went back for seconds. Green beans almondine, what can I say? It’s a pretty stock dish. Curt passed because the beans looked overcooked to him but they weren’t bad. Not al dente but not mushy either.  I just would have liked a more adventurous vegetable.

The chef said the chicken was herb roasted but I can only guess which herbs. It was very flavorful but the size of the pieces and the fact that it was served on the bone made for some problems wrestling with the portion. Your choice was a leg w/ a thigh or a breast w/ a wing. And these were regular chickens not Cornish hens. I didn’t have a problem eating it but this was a retirees dinner with a broad range of seniors some far older than us. One couple at our table found the chicken serving a bit formidable and they passed on it completely.  Next, a vegetable Napoleon. Now here is the more experimental dish I was waiting for. The University’s Chancellor is a vegan so I’m sure it was part of the menu in deference to him and any other vegetarians among group.  Both Curt and I thought it was very good. It is a layered baked dish of puff pastry and ratatouille-like mix of vegetables. We finished off the dinner with coffee and a yummy carrot cake topped with a cream cheese frosting.

A better than average banquet plate.

But the bottom line at a dinner like this is not the food. Its the gathering of the people, dedicated teachers who gave a lot to their jobs and still do through scholarship funds and an oral history project to preserve the stories and memories that make a university a living thing and not just bricks and mortar.

Thus ends our week of dinners. We will be giving you, and us, a little break from daily posts. But don’t worry, we won’t be gone for long.

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