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Feb 16, 2011 07:28 AM

Brainstorm: Super-Ambitious Meal with Two Year Prep Time???

My friend Dave loves fiendishly complex and ambitious cooking projects. So for his 50th birthday (in January 2013), he wants to start prep work NOW. Can anyone think of a meal so elaborate it'd require two years of preparation?

A few conditions:

1. Lots of drinkables require this amount of time. But please limit this to food.

2. The result must make for crowd pleasing (a discerning, open-minded crowd, however), delicious eating....not just a geeky curiosity.

3. Yes, there's enough time to grow ingredients, but that wouldn't lead to a particularly splashy effect. A corn muffin from home-grown corn, sugar, eggs, flour, and butter would, after all, still be a corn muffin.

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  1. A corn muffin may be a corn muffin - but can Dave grow his own poultry for this meal?

    1. He could make his own cheese plate. A cheddar or parmesan style hard cheese could be started pretty soon, a blue maybe somewhere in the middle, and something soft like ricotta could be done a few days before.

      Also an air-dried ham would take a good few months.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gembellina

        Or prociutto, I've always been interested in the lamb prociutto that Mario Batali talked about on one of his shows. Something his father came up with and sell wildly at his deli in Seattle - this and all their cured meats. I've wondered just how hard that would be to make, it sure sounds good.

        1. Charcuterie is definitely one option. I ike the cheese recommendation. Pickles. Aged beef as the big day approaches. I'd also think about ways to use those drinkables in the meal. Like, steep brandy for four months with berries, then use to make a brandy sauce for the aged beef. A rum cake that needs to sit for three months.

          4 Replies
          1. re: katecm

            aged beef is a good one, or game hung til it's nice and high! even better if he goes out hunting himself...

            1. re: gembellina

              Gwaaaaaah. TWO-YEAR aged beef? Not sure......too gamy for my whitebread palate......
              Charcuterie, cheese, kraut....fruitcake...(?)
              Time enough to raise a few poultry.....

              1. re: mamachef

                No one said it had to age for two years. It's just one time-consuming part. Likewise, when people mentioned stocks or breads, they didn't mean for the stock to simmer or the bread to rise for two years.

                1. re: mamachef

                  ha no not the whole two years! god that would be vile, and also rotten, most likely.

            2. Prosciutto. Ideally starting pretty soon (assuming you can set up an environment with good temp and humidity control, otherwise wait until fall)