How does one celebrate the birthday of someone whose mental condition has degenerated to a point that they do not even comprehend the day of the week?
One gets up early, sets the table with the best place-mats and china,
blows up multi-colored birthday balloons, places the crudely wrapped
presents on the table, along with a card addressed and signed in Japanese.
Then, one fires up the four cylinder vehicle, and makes the rounds of
four local establishments to gather ingredients long before the triple
digit temperatures descend.
Normally, a Chiffonade of lettuce is my choice to line the dish under a
Crab cocktail. But, when the lettuce in the markets looks like it has
been sitting on a loading dock getting a suntan, one looks for
alternatives. Voila! The Cilantro looks fresh and beckons to be placed in
my basket. Unconventional, but rules are only created to be broken.
The final stop is at the excellent Panaderia which graces our little town.
A half dozen different Pan Dulces are carefully picked up with tongs and
placed on the tray. Home again just in time to help her put on her
clothing, arrange the sliced peaches in the bowls, and grind the last of
my Caracoles del Sur beans from Columbia to accompany the pastries.
Throughout the day, one does the prep work for the evening, so that
everything will be "Mise en Place" for the timed assembly.
The bottle of Chakana 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from the foothills of the
Andes is opened for an hour and a half of breathing. Following the
carefully scheduled presentation, the crab cocktails are assembled and
consumed with Aqua while the UDSA Prime fillets are coming to room
temperature and the cast iron skillet is heating in the 500 degree oven.
The surface dried and Olive oiled fillets are browned for 2 minutes on
each side in the pan which has left the oven and has been placed on a
high heat top of stove burner. Back to the oven for 4 minutes to cook the
interior. Then, the pan is removed, the fillets placed on a tray and
loosely covered with foil. The whirling dervish goes into action while
the fillets repose and regress their juices. Petit Pois are boiled,
drained and seasoned on the top of the stove and at the proper moment the
precooked Crinkle Pommes Frites go into the microwave for 4 minutes.
At the same time, a glass of the Chakana goes into the skillet to deglaze
the pan. When it has thickened, some butter is swirled in.
Now, the black plates are removed from the warmer, and everything is
plated with pre-sliced Piquillo Peppers arranged around the perimeter.
The Chakana has developed magnificently since the last tasting.
with Black Currant, Pepper and Mint complementing the almost syrupy body.
After helping her to brush her teeth and showing her which sides of the
nightgown is top and bottom, the chef reverts to status of dishwasher.
When this is completed, the chef removes apron and sits once more at
table to sip the remainder of the wine with a slice of Stilton.
Was she aware of anything? Probably not, but it costs nothing to wish.
Maybe everything was a fantasy, and like Brigadoon will appear again in a
- posted 8 years ago