March 28, 2016

Dinner Diary: Asparagus Risotto as quick 'n easy as can be.

My sister-in-law decided that I was making Easter dinner, and my mother seconded the diktat.  I was benignly given a choice of her house or my mother’s, and my brother ignored my email inviting them all down to my house for Easter dinner in the land of my exile, no doubt taking my point.  I chose my mother’s house. 

March 19, 2016

Blog the Thirty-sixth: The Wines of my People

Or at least the ones I like.

You’ll no doubt not be surprised to hear me say that I like the wine of my people better than the wine of any other people—especially if you have any talent for logic, for simply supply the minor premise, and the conclusion follows from the given, that I like the food of my people better than the food of any other people. 
But won't you be surprised to learn that I do not think that the wine of my people is better than the wine of every other people? I see I have perplexed, if not appalled you, familiar Reader. And what if I should go on to say that next to the French, I think my people perfect dolts when it comes to purveying their wine to you? I see I’ve now appalled you, if also amused you.

Well, let’s begin with my enthymeme’s unstated premise, namely, The wines and cuisine of a place are siblings. Engendered as they are by a common terrain and clime, a land’s cuisine and wines adapt to each other as they grow up together—call it syncretism, call it synergy, call it family. Likewise, growing up with my people’s food, I like their wine. Because I like wines that like my food, I like wines that don't mind tartness and pungency and savoriness. That also means wines that don't want center stage, but like jiving or jamming with food. My people drink wine with food, and not with just any food, but with meats. We have wine with antipasto, but water with pasta; we have wine with the meat dish, but water with the salad and fruit. On special occasions, we might have sweet wine with dessert, or spirits after, and that's pretty much it. We drink a lot, but we don't get drunk.

I like my reds pretty dry, pretty tart, pretty tannic but not too, to offset the oiliness and savoriness of my food. I don't like strawberries or red cherries in my wine; I like dark cherries, raspberries, blackberries, and plums.  In the white, I love apples and pears. I like my fruit fresh or dried (like raisins), but not cooked (like jam). Flowers are okay, but I like herbs better. I like the cedar or balsamic notes of old wood, but not the vanilla or sweet spice of new oak. I like manly stuff like leather or tobacco or dark chocolate, but not exotica of the tropics or the East. I like earth and minerals, and earthy funkiness (think mushrooms, not feet), but not fur, sweat, or dung (can you blame me?). I don't like candy or chemicals either (what the hell are they doing in the wine, anyway?). I do like to tongue velvet and silk (okay, was that too much information?).

March 5, 2016

Dinner Diary: A T-Bone Steak with Asparagus and a Sweet Potato

I hadn’t cooked for a couple of days and, well, it was starting to feel unnatural....