07/20/19: Nora Visits
Our friend Nora came over for a visit and dinner Saturday afternoon 07/20/19. It was such a hot and humid day that even sitting out in the screen porch with the fan going full blast did little to relieve us from the heat.
Nora and Sue out in the screen porch with Beau.
Nora had brought a really nice bottle of The Prisoner 2015 Red (Napa Valley). It went so good with the Port Salut cheese that Sue had brought out for us. And the longer it breathed, the better the flavors came out.
One of the wine reviews that I read on it had given it a score of 88, and the rather complicated description of: "The famous blend combines Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono, many of the grapes from sites well-known for growing mixed blacks, the wine's inspiration. Wildly feral on the nose, it imparts a baked essence to the fruit in addition to rustic compost, tobacco and game. Thick and rich, it delivers on its style, showing a robust, sweetly ripe tone of chocolate and vanilla."
Really? All that? Sure, listen: it was a really nice wine that we totally enjoyed.
It wasn't long though before I had to start the food prep. I had bought an inexpensive bottle of Spanish Rioja to go with the meal that I was cooking. When I told Nora and Sue, they, of course, wanted to know what was for dinner.
Well, that was my surprise for us all. Nora was my neighbor when I lived in Dover, and it was her who introduced Sue to me back in 2010. In fact, on Sunday 03/21/10, a beautiful Spring evening, I was sipping a Spanish Rioja, and listening to my new CD of Beethoven's Andante favori in F major, played - er, rather that would be 'looped' — too many times and at a volume probably not conducive to building good neighbor relations as I cooked dinner for my weekly Peter's Sunday Dinner Party For One.
Then "...suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door— Only this and nothing more.'" Well, it wasn't Poe, but it was Nora!
"Got any wine for me and Sue?" she said as I swung the door open. "We've been out to Castaways, and figured you'd have something going on." What a great surprise, and I stuffed glasses of wine into their hands as they joined me in the kitchen. While I continued prepping for dinner, we chatted and I got to know Sue. I was, of course, smitten. Little did I know that we'd be married 7 years later!
Anyway, I had tumbled onto an interesting recipe in Food and Wine magazine earlier in the week that I had decided on right then would be an excellent challenge for me. It was a spicy Thai recipe that I could not, of course, leave alone. And well that I didn't as it would not have been as good. Or so I think, anyway. We were just having the greatest of time. I popped open another bottle of Rioja, and insisted they stay for dinner. What a great party, and the start of a wonderful relationship with Sue.
So, flashing forward from that story in 2010 to tonight in 2019, I was cooking pretty much that same meal for us as that night. I say 'pretty much that same meal' because even though I had a recipe in 2010, I didn't keep it, nor did I specifically follow it then. So tonight I was winging it again with only my general description that I wrote out on my web entry for that evening; that's all I had to go on.
That description went something like this: "I marinated thin strips of sirloin in a sherry and herb mix while I cut up the vegetables and got the rice cooking - a great resulting Basmati in a broth of cumin, coriander, paprika, marjoram, and who knows what all else. After getting a good base of garlic and fresh ginger root going in the wok, I stir fried onion rings and sweet red pepper. Then I dumped in the sirloin with a can of peas and let that cook for just a minute or so before stirring in the rice. Then there was some sauce to pour in, and then the finale was to throw in almost a whole head of kale and let that steam together."
Dinner is almost ready!
We had just as good of a time this evening as we did back in 2010! We should celebrate that again for sure!