Monday, June 22, 2009
That was fun!
So last night we found ourselves faced with the age-old question of what to have for dinner. Go out? Order in? No way! That's what's wrong with you kids today: You need to rise to the challenge of fixing something good from what you have on hand. (Well, unless you both worked all day and the cupboards are empty. I'm sure I ordered out once or twice during my working, child-bearing years...)
OK, so Into the freezer I dive. And come up with some steaks. (This shows how spoiled I am. Growing up, we never had steaks. And we had a small farm and raised a steer every year. So we had beef but where were the steaks? There must've been steaks, right? Maybe my parents saved them until we kids were in bed...)
I had half a bag of salad greens left; the really good kind you can only get on the Big Island. Sorry. You can probably substitute some lame California brand, it'll do. Of course if you're a real Cruncher, you are probably growing your own. Bring it on, whatever.
I made a creative honey mustard vinaigrette for the salad. I have the recipe somewhere, but basically it is lemon juice and honey, Dijon mustard, a little salt and pepper, and olive oil. Not too much olive oil, the recipes always call for too much. Since there were only two of us eating, I mixed it up in a little custard cup. Pretty good, for not measuring. Taste as you go.
Meanwhile Bob is doing the manly thing, grilling the steaks after we quick-thawed them in water. We had a problem at first because our outdoor grill is down. (Underground gas leak, feckin high-end appliances! Give me a Weber grill any day.)
The next problem: We discovered our indoor electric grill is broken too. So we pull out the Longhi (some kind of high-end George Forman) and the switch is broken. Bob fixed it somehow (with duct tape, I think, or maybe crazy glue. I don't care, I'm making the salad.)
I don't need starch but he does, so he scrounges in the refrigerator and finds a scoop of leftover white rice. Oh, and I remember we have a handful of asparagus that should be used up before they go bad. So I brush them with olive oil, add sea salt and pepper, and grill them as soon as the steaks are done.
Bob asks what kind of wine I want and I answer, "Something good." So he pulls out a 2003 Terlato Syrah. A gift from our bro-in-law from a couple of Christmases ago. Fruity, jammy, smokey, with hints of fig, black currant, and I'm pulling your leg but it was a damn good swill.
The tunes are on and now we're rockin! The steaks, brushed with some cheap-o barbecue sauce (probably past it's expiration date) were awesome. Ditto on the asparagus and the salad. And John, the syrah was superb. Please send us more next Christmas. How about bustin' loose with a case of it?
Everything came together. What makes a memorable meal is the attitude of the people sharing it. Bob and I started planning another sailing trip. Listening to Monkey Siren, a band we first heard live at the People's Fair, like 20-odd years ago. (How can people cook and eat without music and wine??) Before I knew it Bob was opening another bottle of wine. No more Syrah, this was some run-of-the mill Cab. (Can the kidneys handle it? Oh, yeah. How about the livers? They are well rested and need to be tested.)
Now how fun was that?
Posted by Linda Collison at 11:37 PM