Found here: http://piecomic.tumblr.com/
I started celebrating yesterday and intend to continue through tomorrow. 😀
Yesterday, Carolyn and I had Spa Day (she had a facial while I had a 30 minute massage followed by a manicure and we finished with pedicures together), then mid-afternoon wine and cheese. We came home, dolled up and went out for dinner to Piedmont, a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant in Durham.
We started with d’Arenberg Winery “The Hermit Crab” 2014 Viognier/Marsanne from MacLauren Vale for Chuck, Reynolds Family Farm 2012 Chardonnay from Napa Valley for me and a Coon Rock Farm Spritzer for Carolyn made with grapefruit mint (I never knew there was such a thing), vodka, lemon, grapefruit and soda. It was delicious and refreshing.
Appetizers were Coon Rock Farm’s mixed greens salad, wild green onions, Loaf Bakery rye bread, chioggia beets and a sprinkle of Anson Mills’ benne seeds, a kind of hummus made of caramelized summer squash, chickpeas and smoked paprika with lavash crackers, and Coon Rock Farm’s heirloom tomatoes with basil sorbet, olive oil, pickled and fried okra and chia seed crackers.
The tomatoes were perfectly ripe and the basil sorbet was amazing. Concentrated basil like I have never encountered before. The paprika on the hummus was heavy enough to be a flavor rather than a garnish and it was wonderful. The chiogga beets were sliced very thing, so that they added a hint of flavor, but didn’t overpower the rest of the salad.
Chuck and Carolyn both had the vegetarian dish for their entrees. It was preparations of local eggplant prepared 4 different ways, heirloom tomatoes, housemade ricotta, sungold tomatoes, shaved radish and pea tendrils. I had crispy Carolina mackerel with warm gazpacho, leeks, cucumber, shiso and pepper.
I love how we share forks around the table.
(middle) NC peaches, pecan caramel, blueberry sorbet, white chocolate brittle, vanilla sponge cake
(bottom) chocolate chip fritters, cherry gastrique, kheer ice cream, pistachios
(top) green tomato tart, shortbread, lemon basil, green tomato marmalade, basil-buttermilk ice cream
We were shocked to find that the tomato tart was the most interesting, Tomatoes just don’t seem to led themselves to a dessert. But, BOY! were we surprised. The basil ice cream was subtle and smooth and perfect. The white blob on the chocolate chip fritters on the bottom was kheer ice cream with a strong cardamom flavor. The blueberry sorbet had a stronger blueberry flavor than simple blueberries. It was a hell of a finish.
Today, I’m finishing a batch of sweet pickles, going to the gym and going to a wine tasting followed by sushi for dinner with my loving spouse.
Tomorrow, we will celebrate with dinner at Mez, a “contemporary Mexican” restaurant, on the way to a Punch Brothers concert at the art museum in Raleigh.
After a restful Friday, I go back to work on Saturday. My co-workers are plottin’ and schemin’ something. But, I don’t know all the details, yet. I know there is a Triple Chocolate cake from Ketchie Creek Bakery involved.
Jeannie doesn’t call it the Festival of Kitty because I celebrate in half measures. 😉
I saw this graphic on FaceBook this morning and it made me think of my grandmother:
Kate grew up in the country. Her father was a farmer with a third grade education. They didn’t always have a lot of ready cash, but they were never, ever hungry. It was kind of a shame that she didn’t like “vegetavles,” because they were abundant. She was a bread-and-meat kind of girl. And, when she was old, she enjoyed going out for dinner to a steak house.
I took her to a Western Sizzlin’ or whatever equivalent was in Morganton, NC, one time, and freaked out the guy taking our order when she asked for a filet mignon cooked well done. He said “It will be a charcoal briquet if we do that.” She insisted that was always how she had her meat cooked. He found his manager to deal with her because he was at a complete loss for what to do. The manager said, “We can butterfly it and cook it that way, but a filet is too think to make it well done and still be edible.” I said that would be fine.
When it came to the table, she was delighted. It was the best steak she had ever had.
Sometime after that, I took her out for dinner, again, and, again, she ordered a filet cooked to death. The server got this appalled expression and started to say something. I stopped him, smiling, and said, “Just have the kitchen butterfly it and cook it that way. She will be delighted with it.” He kind of shook his head and wrote down the rest of our order.
And she was delighted. I was, too. It made me happy to have the ability to make her happy and de-stress the people who were helping me do that.