First, the carrot ice cream. All the kids came with me to the garden first thing in the morning and we pulled a nice bunch of different colors. Chopped and steamed with a pinch each of Vietnamese 5-spice and cayenne, then puréed, pushed through a tamis, stirred into a nice custard, and then frozen once chilled, the result was a really good accompaniment to the peach tart I made later when everyone was out sightseeing. Next time I will roast the carrots in foil rather than steam them, and use proportionally more; this batch was light on the carrots to keep it kid-friendly.
The rest of the meal was country ribs, with the house rub and house sauce, smoked for a little over 2 hours- less than I like, but good enough for full effect. Also mashed sweet potatoes, escarole with garlic and lemon, and roasted beets. To celebrate their visit, we drank a bottle of Billiot’s Brut Réserve Champagne, my new favorite. Champagne is wine, and his is very good wine, made mostly from pinot noir. Factory Champagne is usually garbage; go grower and taste the difference.