Other than roquefort grapes, the most memorable thing that happened in the kitchen yesterday was that I said to Owen, "One day I'll be dead and you'll be sorry."
I used to think lines like that were reserved for mothers in Philip Roth novels, but have proved myself wrong. The remark came out at some point during our never-ending conversation about putting cereal bowls in the dishwasher, setting the table with the utensils facing the same direction, picking up socks, practicing trombone, turning off the TV after 7 or 8 hours, and whether or not RIPD is actually an awesome movie and my refusal to see it means I'm closed-minded.
We pretty much keep this going round the clock, with breaks for camp, sleep, and trips to the supermarket. He was unfazed by my remark. I don't know whether that's good or bad.
It was our turn to host Sunday dinner for my family and I tried to compose an eclectic meal consisting of delicious dishes chosen without regard to food groups and convention. I was inspired by a spectacular meal my friend Mary served recently comprised of lobster bisque, lobster tacos, and chicken tagine. No vegetables, salad, or dessert.
I was pleased with my free-wheeling menu on paper. Here's how it worked in reality:
We started with cute little roquefort grapes that people consumed on the deck while drinking wine, shucking oysters, and making "jokes" about how I should just give our baby goats to the organic meat vendor at the farmers' market and ask for their pelts as payment.
|I love how she's studying him.|
|my new love|
Next came the chicken potpie. According to Time-Life's American Cooking: The Eastern Heartland:
"In Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, potpies are pieces of noodle or baking powder dough. They are boiled with meat and often potatoes to make rib-sticking potpie stews that are named for the kind of meat used. Thus . . . chicken potpie, though it bears no resemblance to the pastry-encased potpies typical of other parts of the United States."
In short, this was not potpie but thick chicken noodle soup. Nourishing fare for a cold Monday in January when you're recovering from the flu. Less ideal for a Sunday dinner in July.
|overdid the color enhancement|
Only the roquefort grapes were that good.
Roquefort grapes, adapted from Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres.
Wash and dry 1 pound of seedless grapes (green or red). Toast some nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds; I used walnuts), then chop fine. Cool completely. In a mixing bowl, beat together 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1/4 pound of roquefort, and 2 tablespoons cream until smooth. Roll the grapes in the cheese until they are covered with cheese -- but not too thickly! This is crucial: You want a very thin coating of cheese. Think of the earth's crust on one of those models from elementary school. Thin like that. After the grapes are covered with cheese, roll them in the nuts. Chill for a few hours. You want these to be cold and firm, not at all gooey.