florafloraflora (florafloraflora) wrote,

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The Mr. came into town last night for a meeting. We took the opportunity to have our much-delayed dinner at Palena. It was every bit as heavenly as I had hoped. I wish I'd taken notes, because once I started eating everything became a blur of lovely seasonal flavors and textures and mmm. Jotting things down might have scared them into thinking I was a food critic and being nicer to me--not that those lovely people needed scaring. As it is, it's all I can do to recall the name and a few ingredients of each course:

Morel Mushroom and Chervil Velouté, with fricassee of crawfish and some other wonderful things that I forget just now, and the only coddled egg I've ever enjoyed
Oxtail Raviolini with the most gorgeous fava beans and a (heavenly!) reduction of celery, white raisins and other tasties
Squab with Foie Gras, and a sauce that involved rhubarb and asparagus
Cashew Dacquoise with Almond-Hazelnut Cream and Chocolate Sorbet

One of my favorite things about fine dining is that each course is tiny and perfect, so it's easy to enjoy lots of tastes without feeling stuffed. Our waiter helped me choose the perfect wine, too, a lovely Vouvray Sec that was flavorful without being too busy or fruity. I usually feel that wine is too much work, especially when I'm trying to agree on something with the Mr., a diehard red-wine snob who's not happy unless his cheeks are puckering and he's choking on tannic flavor. But this was fantastic.

I've been reading Speak, Memory. It's so utterly gorgeous, like eating a perfect, fragrant almond-scented cake (yes, I have food on the brain). The memoir-of-privilege aspect makes me nostalgic for my own childhood, not for the privilege in itself of course but for the experiences it made possible. The book has even inspired me to sign up for a butterfly walk at the Naturalist Society, but I only made the waitlist. Wish me luck!

The plan for Saturday night is drinks and dancing at my favorite Mediterranean place with Ming and the International Bright Young Things, to celebrate the end of her classes. It will be my second Saturday night in a row with Jimmy and Ming. Last week was their engagement party, not a stuffy sit-down dinner at which guests were expected to give at least enough cash to pay their own way, but a joint celebration for two couples, Jimmy and Ming and his old bandmate Don and his fiancee. They reserved the upstairs party room, with stage, at a bar in the gentrifying part of town (11th Street... ooh!) and all their bandmates got up and sang rude songs they had written about Jimmy and Don. I saw a bunch of people I hadn't seen in years and generally had a wonderful time.

I gave some of The Bread to the nice couple around the corner to thank them for keeping a spare copy of my house keys. Yesterday while I was sitting out on the lawn reading, Linda came by and told me that selling that bread should be my next career. I know she was just being nice, but it got me thinking: The Bread is SO easy and so cheap to make, and it tastes like something I'd pay money for. If I had a bigger oven, there would be no stopping me. Hmmm.
Tags: all about me

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