Monday, May 24, 2010

Not In Charge of the Guest List

In an effort to minimize the amount of time out at dinners while my boss was in town, I volunteered to host a barbeque at my place.  My thought was "hey, I have a grill, I can buy meat and beer, one of the guys can cook, and with only about 10 people it won't be such a big deal."  Well, as I indicated in the title, I was not in charge of the guest list.  When all was said and done, there were 38 people in my house.  Luckily I bought 2 whole tenderloins, started marinating them the night before, brought out the biggest bowl I had for a green salad, and baked a cake.  The cake was the only real homemade thing I contributed.  But it was a good thing that I did, since only 1 other person brought anything and there were THIRTY EIGHT PEOPLE in my house.  Oh, and I also got hotdogs, buns, and fixings for the kids.  And the beer.

I think it was a pretty decent success.  Especially for a thrown-together barbeque on a weeknight.  The cake was an experiment, and in general was pretty tasty.  I was pleased.  So the total consumed was:
2 whole tenderloins
1 bushel of salad
2 cakes
2 lbs. potato salad
2 cases of beer (24-bottle variety)
12 bottles of wine
1 magnum of sparkling rose
1 bottle limoncello
3/4 bottle jack daniels
1 bottle really good grappa
1/2 bottle really really good scotch

The only casualty was a shot glass.  Amazing.

Limoncello Cake
Pound Cake
1/2 C Limoncello
Lemon Glaze

Recipe to come later....  A little one is in need of a snack.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Devil in a dish


Mmmmmmm........  Let me savor that for a minute.......  c...a...v...i...a...r.........

So there I was, having a bad day.  Again.  Reminded that I have all this responsibility and constraints by my 23-year-old babysitter who thinks getting up before 9am is stressful and my 20-something-acting-like-16 colleagues who drink until 4am most nights.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my family for the world.  But I have those days when I get a little jealous.  Ok, so that day I was a lot jealous.  With that feeling I headed out to get my good friend a birthday present for her 40th.  Since her husband wasn't in town due to the Icelandic volcano I promised her champagne and caviar one night.  In preparation to make good on my promise I went to what was purported to be the best grocery store in town.

Here is where the director would cue the suspense music and everyone in the audience thinks "NO!  Don't go in that door!"

And in I went.  There may as well have been angels and trumpets at the opening of the door.  This is my heaven.  As I strolled leasurely through the isles, being more and more tempted by the exquisite displays of culinary delights I continued to have this rock churning in my stomach.  Next thing I know, as I'm standing at the caviar counter the devil himself walks up.  As one would expect, he was tall, dark, and handsome.  With a great accent and perfect teeth.  As I casually mention that I'm looking for caviar for a friend he smoothly offers me a glass of champagne.  Pink champagne.  Ohhhhhh that primrose path of dalliance.....

As he begins to explain the different species of fish responsible for the different caviars, the subtle taste difference and the best pairings I feel the pink champagne slowly bubble up to my head.  And as the bubbles rise and the rock churns in my stomach that keeps reminding me that I have "all this responsibility" and the tall, dark, handsome, exotically accented man lulls me into a trance about the buttery taste of beluga caviar......  suddenly I find myself chucking the rock out the window, giving in the bubbles, and saying "yes, I'll take 50mg of the most expensive caviar you have."

And in that blissful moment of surrender I realize, I can't just have 1 container.  Because as long as I'm being reckless, I need one just for me.  So I get another, more moderately priced I assure you.  But still more than most people spend on a pair of shoes.  And of course 2 bottles of champagne.  Because I like mine dry and she likes hers sweet.  Or at least that was what I was telling myself.

By the time I completed my selection of champagne and caviar, I'm feeling a little guilty.  Almost guilty enough to change my mind.  The devil, sensing this, informed me that he would have my package rung up at the VIP register while I had a glass of wine on the house.  Well, sitting at perfectly appointed bar at 3pm drinking a well aged french white was exactly what I needed to completely squash that green-eyed monster.  No more was I jealous of the 20-somethings with their carefree lifestyle.  Because not a one would have the guts to order the best caviar in the place, and then enjoy every last bite.

Which is exactly what I did.  With a good friend.   Sitting in our pajamas.  Talking until the early hours of the morning.  That caviar, that champagne, and that night were all together priceless.

Oh, and I made blini's to go with the caviar.  Which were the best blini's I've ever had.  Recipe to follow sometime.....