Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Charleston Cuisine: Birthday Dinner

Okay, that picture is staged all wrong. It looks like baking soda played a role in the cocktail, which it did not. 

But that cocktail (the newspaper featured recipes for political drinks; this one's voting Obama) definitely played a role in today's lousy mood and bleak outlook on life. 

Had a little birthday party for my father last night. Served Louis Osteen's BBQ pork rillettes in which this

 becomes this

and then you spread it on rounds of baguette to make appetizer toasts. I'll turn it over to Osteen himself: "Rich and spicy, they stand up to all drinks and at the same time add a little fuel to the belly, lessening the possibility that the next drink will sneak up on you."


During a break from the rain we fired up the new Weber barbecue for the very first time

 and grilled a tasty marinated flank steak.

On the side, I served Louis's spoonbread (cornbread meets creamy pudding; grotesquely fattening; popular) and his rich, homely, and clumpy grilled pear, spinach, and blue cheese salad

Louis's cakes weren't quite right for this event. I was tempted by his rum cake with caramelized bananas but it calls for almost three cups of rum. Stella is still in pre-school and a bit too young to start down the road to ruin. So I made the double-apple bundt cake from Dorie Greenspan's Bakingwhich was brown and cinnamony and fine. Only fine.  

Overall, a very sweet birthday party despite my father's repeated attempts to goad me with his cynical political commentary. 

Trudging off to vote. 


  1. you can't be trudging of to vote because you are still in your pj's. Who's the liar now? Anyway i think that the steak was good but you should have had some bigger bread to go with it.
    Trudging of to school.

  2. That's the spirit, thanksalot. Keeping me on my toes as always.

  3. You handled the goading with remarkable (and unusual)calm. I suspect you were only being nice because it was my birthday, but we shall see. Anyway, the dinner was very good, especially the spoon bread, and now I am about to enjoy the left over steak you so kindly provided. And I started the Le Carre this morning. Thank you.

  4. Was I nice "anonymous" 11:54? I felt like I got a little boisterous, like when I stormed from the table.
    Glad you enjoyed the party. I just voted. You will cringe to hear that I actually teared up walking out of the polling place.

  5. I like the photos of the apples and pork before and after cooking.