Monday, December 26, 2016

December 24, 2016 Christmas Eve Party

This year we were diverted a bit by Willy’s commitment to orchestrating Park Ave as a pedestrians only walking street from 6:00 to 8:30.  Jan Yates brought three gallons of chocolate milk for the hot chocolate and six gallons of apple juice for the apple cider.  Suzette brought two tables from Los Lunas plus a hot beverage dispensing container and Susan Palmer loaned a 30 or forty cup electric coffee urn that we set up in front of our house to dispense apple cider.

Sandy Buffet set up a brazier at the intersection of Park and 15th and Willy set up Suzette’s brazier in front of our house beside the table where the apple cider was being dispensed.

Willy got Drew to dispense the hot chocolate at Oxnard Park at the corner of Park and 16th.  There were lots of people walking and even a bike club rode by with lights on their bikes.  All was very festive until 9:00 when it began to drizzle.

This year we had a slightly reduced spread and encouraged guests to bring food to share and they did.  Buddy brought a huge container of green Chile chicken enchiladas, which went well with my posole and Shed red Chile.

Suzette made four British Christmas desserts featured on the a British Baking Show on PBS this year, a triffle (my favorite) with Grand Marnier syrup soaked French Madeleines, Dried fruits poached in a sherry sauce, custard, and whipped cream on top, Pavalova (a ring of egg white meringue filled with whipped cream and garnished with fresh berries), and mincemeat filled Chelsea buns baked into the shape of a Christmas tree.  The fourth dessert was fabulous also but was not served because it did not jell properly, a Grand Marnier soaked cake filled with custard and garnished with orange rings candied in heavy syrup for two hours.

I loved all of them.  To carry on the British theme we roasted a five lb. standing rib roast, which due to the thick bones yielded only about two ½ lb. of sliced roast beef.  We made a sauce of whipped cream and horseradish with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a mustard mayonnaise sauce and served the beef with hamburger buns for sandwiches.  The beef was the first item to go.  Next was the two packages of asparaguses that Suzette tossed with salt and pepper and roasted in the oven.  This year we served smoked salmon made by Chef Kelly at the Greenhouse Bistro with a bowl of Swedish Mustard and dill sauce we bought at IKEA and a sour cream, cream cheese, dill, and lemon juice sauce.

We roasted parsnips, turnips, golden beets, sweet potatoes, onion and garlic.

I bought and Suzette’s brother Jeff and his wife, Kathy, sent an assortment of good American cheeses, so this year we put out two cheese boards.  I added Italian Tallegio, French Brie, French Delice, English Stilton, Spanish Iberico, Comte, and a few others.

I toasted slices of fresh French Baguette from Fano for the cheeses.

 We cubed about ½ of the Lebanon Bologna that Suzette’s folks sent us and served it on a platter with a mixture of seeded French Dijon mustard and mayonnaise and a pile of cubed Cabot Double Cheddar cheese from Vermont like lunches in Elizabethtown.

I made mulled red wine and this year used Pinot Noir red wine.  We also served Mexican cokes, Gruet Brut champagne, apple cider, and three beers from Mike Campbell’s Crooked Kilt Brewery, a cream ale, a Scottish ale and an IPA.

Guests brought very interesting dishes to share.  Besides the huge Green Chile Chicken Casserole that Buddy brought, Michel Varner brought a fruit salad of orange wedges and raspberries doused with sugar and Reposada tequila.  Michel’s mother Lynn Adkins brought a platter of prunes poached in sherry and stuffed with Italian Marsacapone Che's and topped with walnut halves  Michel ‘s sister Lisa brought a very interesting beet tahini dip with pita chips.  Carol Levitt and Mark brought a huge casserole of kugel, Jill ducal brought a lovely baked chicken liver pate garnished with chopped onions, seeded French Dijon mustard, and capers and Cynthia brought chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies that evaporated almost instantly.

It was fun seeing all our friends, Al Shoman and Jennifer and family came, as did Bill and a Regina.  Mrs. Page and Charlie also made it and stayed for about an hour.  Fewer neighbors came this year except for Dale and Jennifer, who I think have a the longest unbroken record for attendance of any neighbors. Ron Elguera also attended out of his love for mother, which was very sweet.

Many of Luke and Willy’s friends showed up and partied on for a hour or two after Suzette and I went to bed around 10:30.  We walked to Oxnard Park at 9:30 to retrieve Suzette’s table , which is as far as I could comfortably walk this because I was suffering from a cold.

I would rank this a good year with a moderate turn out of thirty to forty plus a number of Willy and Luke’s friends and enhanced by Willy’ successful organization of Park Ave. as a pedestrian only walkway.

After the Green Chile Chicken Casserole was eaten, I heated 6 chicken tamales from Costco at around 9:00 and five of them we're eating when I went to the kitchen at 2:00 a.m.

Bon Appetit

Friday, December 23, 2016

December 23, 2016 Brunch – Polish Dog at Costco, Lunch – Posole Dinner Roasted duck with Orange Sauce, PPI Kabocha Squash, and string beans

December 23, 2016  Brunch – Polish Dog at Costco, Lunch – Posole
Dinner Roasted duck with Orange Sauce, PPI Kabocha Squash, and string beans

We woke up and looked at Squawk on the street until a bit after 8:00.  Suzette baked another dessert and I made the negus for the mulled wine until 10:00 when we drove to Costco to shop for the party.  We bought beautiful large asparagus, napkins, forks, apple juice, Mexican cokes, and Kleenex and then ate a Polish Dog.  Around 10:00 we drove to the Crooked Kilt and tasted and bought growlers of IPA, Scottish Ale, Cream Ale, and Apple Cider (a growler holds 64 oz. of liquid).  We said goodbye to Mike and drove to Sprouts at San Mateo and Academy where bought fresh dill, carrots, two turnips, milk, sour cream, cream cheese, and zucchini.
 we arrived home at 1:00 and unloaded I chopped vegetables for the roasted vegetables, three carrots, 2 1/2 sweet potatoes, the two turnips, two parsnips, one large red onion, a handful of garlic cloves peeled and halved, and three golden beets.  When I finished chopping, Suzette tossed the vegetables with olive oil and salt and roasted them.

The weather kept improving, so at 3:00 I decided to ride to Montano.  Unfortunately there was a stiff 10 to 15 mph breeze out of the north, I stopped fighting my way north at Campbell Rd., turned around, and sped home wind aided.

I took a 45 minute nap until 5:00 when I returned home.  Suzette wanted to roast the small wild duck one of her employees had given to her.  We started cooking around 6:30.  Suzette stuffed the stomach cavity of the duck with orange wedges and put it into a small Pyrex baking dish and roasted it in the oven.  I took the green beans from the fridge and snapped the ends off them.  Suzette heated the PPI Kabocha squash with the green beans in a different Pyrex baking dish.
I made a Sauce L ‘ Orange with the PPI Grand Marnier Glaze Suzette had made with which she soaked one of her cakes.  To make the sauce I added 2 T. of Madeira, 2 T. butter, 2 tsp. of cornstarch, and the slices of one orange to the approximately ½ cup of glaze.

Suzette used the orange sauce to marinate the duck.  When we carved the duck it was rather rare, but tasted delicious with the addition of Sauce L’Orange, although slightly gamy.  Actually the breast was fine, but the thigh and leg were a little tough; probably from swimming so much.  I opened a bottle of Valreas Cotes du Rhone red wine ($5.99 at Trader Joe’s.

After dinner Willy made us a cup of tea with a lovely new tea he had bought us for Christmas called Lavender Grey that had both oil of bergamot and lavender in it.

I then made the Shed Red Chile Sauce in quantity following the recipe Janis Lafontaine gave us.  Here it is:

I love making the Shed Red Chili Sauce because it is an adaptation of a French Béchamel Sauce constructed with a roux.

After I finished making the Shed red chili sauce, I made a sour cream dill sauce for the smoked salmon, with ½ cup of sour cream, 2 T. Lemon juice, 1 T. of chopped capers, 2 T. of chopped fresh dill and ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper.  I improvised a bit and added about 1 T. of shallot and a few drops of Tabasco and set the sauce in the fridge.

After a lovely day of shopping and cooking, we soaked in the hot tub for a few minutes and the Suzette went to bed.

I stayed up and blogged.

Bon Appetit

December 22, 2016 Lunch and Dinner - Azuma Chirashi Donburi.

December 22, 2016  Lunch and Dinner -  Azuma Chirashi Donburi.

At 7:15 I started preparing the 4 lb. of posole.  I chopped ½ onion and 2 lb. of pork sirloin and sautéed that three times until I had cooked 6 lb. of diced pork.  I then washed the posole to remove
December 22, 2016  Lunch and Dinner -  Azuma Chirashi Donburi.

At 7:15 I started preparing the 4 lb. of posole.  I chopped ½ onion and 2 lb. of pork sirloin and sautéed that three times until I had cooked 6 lb. of diced pork.  I then washed the posole to remove
any remaining lime and put all of the sautéed onion, pork, and posole into our largest pot with  a couple of gallons of water and started cooking it at a medium high temperature.  I added ground cumin to each skillet full of meat as it sautéed and four handfuls of Mexican Oregano to the pot, plus 1 T. of cumin seeds,  1 T. of ground coriander, and later in the day about 15 cloves of garlic and 2 or 3 T. of chili caribe and about 2 tsp. of salt.  I cooked the posole all day until 8:30 at night adjusting the seasoning, such as adding a T. of dehydrated chicken stock to enrich the broth.

 I made lax open faced sandwiches on Toasted French baguette smeared with goat cheese, dotted with capers, and garnished with thinly sliced white onion.

At around 11:00 I  was happy when Aaron reminded me that we had a lunch appointment today.
I asked, “Where do you want to go eat?”

Aaron answered, “You are the pert, what do you recommend?”

My response was, “Let me make three suggestions and you pick one; East Ocean for Chinese food, Taj Mahal for Indian food or Azuma for sushi,”

Aaron thought a moment and said, “Let’s go to Azuma.”

So I picked Aaron up at his home at Noon and drove us to Azuma by way of Pastian’s Bakery on 2nd St., where I bought day old hamburger buns for $.75 per bag of 8. And then Fano Bakery on McLeod, where I bought five freshly baked baguettes and gave one to Aaron.

When we arrived at Azuma Aaron ordered two specialty rolls and I ordered Chirashi Donburi with my favorite fish and a dollop of seaweed salad.

There was a new chef cutting fish today and I must admit that this was the best Chirashi I have ever had at Azuma.  Not only were there more slices, they were longer and they were more uniformly sliced. Not only was there an addition of seaweed salad, there was also some chopped yellowtail in a cornucopia shaped horn of roasted nori, there were thick slices of egg omelet and spears of imitation crab (fish cake) and shredded daikon, sliced daikon pickles and lots of sushi rice covered with orange flying fish eggs.

I could not eat half of the lovely bowl filled with all the lovely ingredients and took the rest home in a styrofoam box.

Suzette arrived home in the afternoon and began afresh to cook her English desserts like a poached fruit triffle.  We had no plans for dinner, so I tasted a bowl of posole and adjusted the seasonings once again, and we decided to eat the PPI Chirashi.  I made green tea and Suzette drank Rose and we enjoyed our fresh fish dinner.

The Chirashi was a welcome dinner which required no cooking, as the kitchen was already filled with a lot of cooking activity.

We each ate a bowl of ice cream for dessert.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December 21, 2016. A true food Odyssey, including a San Felipe Pueblo Travel Center Breakfast Burrito

December 21, 2016. A true food Odyssey, including a San Felipe Pueblo Travel Center Breakfast Burrito

This was one of the oddest days of food I have had in a while, but it demonstrates an axiom I have to never be without food when one travels.

I ate my usual yogurt, blueberries, granola, vitamin powder, and milk for breakfast.

I the drove to Santa fFe with Luke for my 11:30 hearing.  Luke suggested we drop for a burrito at the San Felipe Puebla Travel Center.  He picked out two and I paid for them ($3.99 each).  He ate most of his and I took a few nibbles of mine.  It was a fantastically delicious burrito, full of eggs potatoes, green Chile, and sausage. I re-wrapped mine and left it on the folded down glove compartment cover when I went to court.  I let Luke out at the corner of Alameda and Guadalupe at 11:00 and we agreed to meet at the Shed at noon.

Instead of my hearing lasting 30 minutes it lasted 1 ½ hours and I did not arrive at the Shed until 1:00.  When I found Luke and Amy, They had finished lunch, but Luke was feeling sick and only ate ½ of one of the blue corn enchiladas on his No. 5 platter of two enchiladas, beans, and posole.  He wanted to take the uneaten food home for dinner but agreed to let me eat the uneaten ½ enchilada and some of the uneaten beans and posole, so I ate 1/3 of my favorite dish at the Shed for lunch.  Luke was not feeling well so I agreed to drive him to Amy and Vahl’s house, where there was wood waiting to be picked up for use in the brazier on Park Ave on Christmas Eve.

After loading the car around 2:00 I decided to drive home so I could ride my bike, because it was a warm day without much wind.  The temperature gauge in the car read 59 degrees, which is remarkable for Winter Solstice.

Unfortunately I kept dozing off as I drove home, so I ate a few more bites of burrito, which prompted my digestive system into high gear and completely awakened me from drowsiness.

I got home just before 3:00 and hit the trail around 3:20 and rode to Rio Bravo and back.  Many other hard core riders were on the trail enjoying this rare break in the weather.

I worked from 4:30 until 5;00 when I returned home and then heated the last 1/3 of the burrito for dinner, which I are with a cup of tea with lemon.  I the ate 7 chocolate cookies and a bowl of Java Chip ice cream doused with Kahlua and went to meditate at 6:15.  This is proof of my long held axiom that you should always take food with you when you travel, because food will get you through lots of unexpected events.

When I returned home at 7:40 I put on my pajamas and climbed into bed and read a few chapters of Edge of the Taos Desert by Mabel Dodge Lujan.

I also called Amy and Luke to see how he was faring and the report was not good, high fever and chills, sounds like the flu.  Luckily he is in the loving care of his mother at her house in Santa Fe.

Suzette returned from hosting her Center Christmas Party at around 8:30 and I went to bed as she went to the kitchen looking for something to eat.  I awoke at 11:30 and wrote this blog.

I shall return to bed as soon as I become tired.

Bon Appetit

December 20, 2016 Lunch – Amerasia. Dinner – sautéed duck breast with a Blackberry Cassis sauce and stir fried vegetables and roasted and sautéed Kabocha squash

December 20, 2016 Lunch – Amerasia. Dinner – sautéed duck breast with a Blackberry Cassis sauce and stir fried vegetables and roasted and sautéed Kabocha squash

Luke made oatmeal for breakfast and I ate a bowl with maple syrup.

At 1:00 I went to Amerasia for dim sum.  I ordered my two favorites, BBQ Pork and sweet bean filled Bao  (steamed buns) and mushroom and wood ear stuffed deep fried tofu in its broth. With water, the total was $7.70.

December 20, 2016 Lunch – Amerasia. Dinner – sautéed duck breast with a Blackberry Cassis sauce and stir fried vegetables and roasted and sautéed Kabocha squash

Luke made oatmeal for breakfast and I ate a bowl with maple syrup.

At 1:00 I went to Amerasia for dim sum.  I ordered my two favorites, BBQ Pork and sweet bean filled Bao  (steamed buns) and mushroom and wood ear stuffed deep fried tofu in its broth. With water, the total was $7.70.

Suzette brought home two duck breasts and a whole duck given to her by an employee whose husband hunts.  We discussed dinner and decided to sauté the two duck breasts.

Luke wanted to eat some of the Kabocha squash we had bought for the roasted vegetables for our Christmas Eve buffet last week at Sprouts ($.99/lb.), so Suzette roasted the squash in the oven for about 45 minutes.

We decided to stir fry some vegetables, so we chose mushrooms, green beans, onions, and Suzette and I went to the garden and picked a basket full of fresh chard and about ten sage leaves. We sliced, de-stemmed and chopped the vegetables.

Then we discussed a sauce for the duck breasts. At first we thought of a cherry Port wine sauce, so I went to the basement to see if we had a ruby port and found that we had only vintage ports, which I did not want to open for a sauce.  So I decided on using an old bottle of Hiram Walker Crème de Cassis with some of the fresh blackberries I had bought at Sprouts or Costco.
Suzette started sautéing onion in olive oil and butter in a large skillet for the duck breasts.  Luke and Suzette cut the Kabocha in half vertically and skinned and diced it into about 1 inch cubes and that went into another skillet with butter, some garlic in olive oil, the thinly sliced sage leaves,  and a dash or two of whole cumin seeds by Luke to heat.

I stir fried the rest of the onion in my wok with a bit of olive oil.

Blackberry Cassis Sauce

I put a handful of blackberries into a small enameled sauce pan with 1 T. of butter and heated that.  Then I added about ¼ cup of Cassis and cooked that for several minutes until the berries started to yield liquid.  Then I started adding fresh lemon juice until the sweet and tart came into balance.  I then added a dash of salt and about two tsp. of cornstarch.  Suzette had cooked the duck breasts by then and called for the sauce to finish the duck, so I poured the sauce into the duck breast skillet and it thickened into a lovely thick sauce suffused with duck and onion flavor.

While all this was happening I had added the mushrooms and green beans to the wok with the onion and I added a T. of. Butter to the vegetables and a bit of salt.  Finally, Luke added the chard to the wok and I stir fried that into the other vegetables and covered the wok to steam the chard.

We all were cooking together, even helping cook another person’s dish.

It was fun as the food flew into skillets and the meal came together. When the chard softened we were ready to eat.

I poured glasses of Famille Perrin red Cotes du Rhine Reserve and Suzette plated the meal. We enjoyed a delicious duck dinner.

While we were eating Willy at 8:00 and sat with us and then watched an episode of Black Mirror with Suzette.

Luke and I went to bed.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December 18, 2016 Dinner – Grilled Rack of Lamb, Steamed Sugar Snap Peas, and Couscous with tzatziki

December 18, 2016  Dinner – Grilled Rack of Lamb, Steamed Sugar Snap
Peas, and Couscous with tzatziki

We ate PPIs for brunch. Then I worked and a Suzette cleaned and picked a basket full of sorrel and chard and oregano and dill.

I then made tzatziki.


I peeled, seeded and finely diced 1 cucumber and salted the cucumber with ½ tsp. of salt to leach the moisture from it.

I finely diced 1 shallot and added that to the cucumber.

I de-stemmed the oregano leaves and chopped them with the dill and added the approximately 1/3 cup of herbs to the cucumbers and shallot and drained the liquid that had accumulated in the cucumber bowl.  I then peeled and pressed two cloves of garlic into the mixture.

I then added about 1 cup of yogurt and stirred to mix.

I added 2 T. of  olive oil.

I then added the zest of one lemon and 1 T. of lemon juice and stirred to mix and covered the bowl with Saran Wrap and stored in the fridge to mellow.

We then went to the Pueblo center?  Suzette met Cynthia and Ricardo to dance to Soul Kitchen and I met Susan Palmer for a tour of the artifacts collection and toured the museum. I then danced awith Suzette and then Susan came to the dance floor and I rode home with Susan.
We napped a bit and at 6:30 we prepared dinner.  Suzette grilled the rack of lamb.  I de-stemmed sugar snap peas, and chopped the chard and sorrel and made couscous with the sorrel and chard and a sliced mushroom.


I sautéed a bit of onion and the mushroom in butter, then added 1 ¼ cup water to the pot and the added slightly less than 1 cup of couscous and the sorrel and chard and cooked the mixture at moderately high temperature for a minute and then reduced the flame to its lowest level and cooked the mixture for about ten minutes  until the ingredients were cooked.  I then added another oz. of butter and fluffed up the cous cous.

I opened a bottle of La Granja 50% Tempranillo/50% Grenache red blend ($4.99 at Trader Joe’s).

The couscous was heavy with all the ingredients, like the risotto last Friday night at the Greenhouse Bistro.

We ate the lamb with mint jelly and tzatziki for a lovely meal.

Willy went home around 10:00 and I went to pick up Luke at the airport at 12:00 midnight.

Bon Appetit

December 19, 2016  Lunch – Miso Noodle soup. Dinner – Roasted Pork steak with Apple and Onion, Steamed Sugar Snap Peas, and PPI Risotto

I went to Bankruptcy Court this morning on Steve Blanco’s case and then we discussed Water rights with Bill Turner.

I returned home, met with Martin and then around 1:00 fixed a pot of noodle soup, with PPI ham, the PPI chicken stir fry dish with almonds and broccoli, and wheat and wide rice noodles and four pot stickers and a sliced mushroom. I had not eaten breakfast, so I ate the whole pot of soup, worked a bit and then napped from 3:00 until 4:30.

I took a package of pork out of the freezer and then drove to the bank and library.

When I returned around 5:00 Luke had arrived and after 5:30 Willy arrived.  I was working in my office, so Suzette took the initiative to cook dinner.  She decided to cut the pork into small chops and make our favorite tapa pork dish, which is a sauté of apple, onion in Spanish olive oil and then roasting those ingredients with sprigs of oregano and the pork in the oven and finishing the dish with chicken stock, cognac, and a bit of butter.

I de-stemmed about ¼ lb. of sugar snap peas and steamed them.  Suzette fetched the PPI risotto and couscous and heated that in the microwave.  I fetched a bottle of La Granja 100% Grenache Spanish Rose, which is the perfect wine for this dish from the basement and poured glasses of wine.  Luke had dinner plans but joined us for an appetizer plate of dinner and glass of wine, so we ate dinner as a family.

Suzette has mastered this dish to the point of being able to re-create it quickly without reference to the recipe.  I love the light fruity dish because it is so tasty and because the fruitiness satisfies my craving for dessert.  La Granja is the only 100% Grenache light rose’ that I like in Albuquerque.   It is $4.99 at Trader Joe’s.

We then watched a recent Bill Mayer interview.  At around 7:30 Willy and Luke left and I went to bed to read The Edge of Taos Desert by Mabel Dodge Lujan and soon fell asleep.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, December 18, 2016

December 17, 2016 Lunch – East Ocean and shopping for Christmas Eve Buffet

December 17, 2016 Lunch – East Ocean  and shopping for Christmas Eve Buffet

After a great meal at the Greenhouse Bistro and a good night’s sleep we awakened and refreshed and ready for a day of shopping for our Christmas Eve Buffet and Suzette’s Employee Christmas Party at the Center for Ageless Living.  Suzette had settled on the menu of old favorites; posole, tamales, roasted root vegetables, mulled wine, and smoked salmon; and new for this year, four desserts from the Great British Bake Off on PBS.

We made huevos rancheros for breakfast with PPI ham and some of the PPI Pork, potato and sauerkraut casserole and a dash of Cholulu red sauce.

We first drove to World Market, where we found Amaretto cookies,  French sponge cakes, apricot preserves and a German mustard.

We were looking for Mince meat, so we called Talin Market and they had two different brands of December 17, 2016 Lunch – East Ocean  and shopping for Christmas Eve Buffet

After a great meal at the Greenhouse Bistro and a good night’s sleep we awakened and refreshed and ready for a day of shopping for our Christmas Eve Buffet and Suzette’s Employee Christmas Party at the Center for Ageless Living.  Suzette had settled on the menu of old favorites; posole, tamales, roasted root vegetables, mulled wine, and smoked salmon; and new for this year, four desserts from the Great British Bake Off on PBS.

We made huevos rancheros for breakfast with PPI ham and some of the PPI Pork, potato and sauerkraut casserole and a dash of Cholulu red sauce.

We first drove to World Market, where we found Amaretto cookies,  French sponge cakes, apricot preserves and a German mustard.

We were looking for Mince meat, so we called Talin Market and they had two different brands of
vegetarian mince meat, so we went there next and found a chunky 14 oz. bottle of real English mincemeat plus a bottle of Mexican vanilla paste.  I also replenished our shallots and bought a piece of fresh ginger.  On the way to Talin we stopped at the flea market store on San Mateo 1 block south of Central where Suzette found the perfect metal lockable treasure chest for her Christmas party on its own metal stand for $40.00.

After Talin we were still looking for some specialty baking ingredients, so we drove to the Specialty Store, where we found fine granulated sugar.

We walked across the parking lot and discovered a wonderful new shop Vintage Market and Design at 5901 Lomas NE with room after room of wonderful items, such as scented matches, French wrapping papers, and French soaps.  I bought bars of Pre-Provence French Soaps as Hanukkah gifts.

It was a bit after noon when we started for Costco and Suzette mentioned eating a hot dog and I asked, “Would you rather eat Chinese?  When she said, “Always”, I maneuvered the car into the Comanche exit on I-25 and drove to East Ocean.  Suzette ordered BBQ Pork with LoMein noodles, which I think was a little too crispy for her tender throat.  I ordered my usual scallops in Lobster sauce, which is $6.85 with tea,  sweet and sour chicken, and a bowl of really good egg drop soup.

After refreshing ourselves with a lunch at East Ocean we tackled the mobs at Costco,  where we found baking flour and all purpose flour, Posole, pork tenderloin, tamales, Cabot’s cheddar cheese, and Stilton cheese, strawberries, blueberries, pistachios, sliced almonds, lemon juice, lemons, heavy cream, half and half, olives, and several other items.  We then drove to Sprouts where we bought Borden’s Nonesuch mincemeat, pears, apples, parsnips, sweet potatoes, leeks for postage, milk, and I bought some more double dipped chocolate covered peanuts.

Finally, at 2:00 we drove to Gruet Winery and sipped a glass of Brut Rose and bought a case of Brut champagne.

After our full day of shopping we drove home at 3:00, unloaded the car and napped for the rest of the afternoon.

I awakened at 6:00 and showered and joined Suzette and Willy in the TV room and watched the end of George Clooney and Michelle Kidman movie about stopping Serbian terrorists from blowing up NYC with an atomic device in the early 90’s, while I ate two chocolate chip cookies and an apple with a cup of tea for dinner.

At 7:00 we went to the Outpost for a performance of Berber music by a group from Morocco named Aza.

 Riya Rothenberger, who had prepared the food for the green room for the band said hello, as did Rick Barrish, who had consulted with me about a Quiet title case regarding property located on the Atrisco Grant.

We loved the music and agreed we needed to return to Morocco soon.

The concert ended at 10:00 and we drove home to watched the first few skits of Saturday Night Live, with some scathing humor directed toward Trump and his family.

Bon Appetit

December 16, 2016. Lunch – PPI Pho Miso Chicken soup. Dinner at Greenhouse Bistro and Bakery

December 16, 2016. Lunch – PPI Pho Miso Chicken soup. Dinner at Greenhouse Bistro and Bakery

December 16, 2016. Lunch – PPI Pho Miso Chicken soup. Dinner at Greenhouse Bistro and Bakery

I ate yogurt, vitamin powder, blueberries, and milk for breakfast.

I worked all morning and finally stopped to eat around 1:30m when I ate the rest of the soup I made for dinner earlier this week.

At 3:30 I drove to the center in Los Lunas for a massage and dinner.

I met Suzette in the Greenhouse Bistro at 6:00 after my massage.

She wanted to try the braised pork shanks with sautéed onions and mushrooms on creamy risotto.

I wanted to try the Spinach salad.

The Bistro is a hidden treasure and definitely the best restaurant in Valencia County.  It serves wonderfully fresh food that is elegantly delicious at reasonable prices.  What could be fresher or more delicious than a warm baby organic spinach leaves, bits of onion lightly dusted with flour and fried to crisp, and diced pieces of thick sliced crisp bacon tossed in a skillet with a slightly sweet sherry dressing and garnished with a poached egg for $9.00.

We inspected the freshly baked breads, cookies, and pastries in the showcase in the restaurant and when we asked for bread with our salad the waitress took a loaf of honey whole wheat bread to the kitchen where it was sliced into thick slices and grilled until warm and slightly toasted and served on a warm plate with several of those small individually wrapped pads of butter.

Our entire was equally simple, fresh, and elegant - three inch sections of fresh pork shank braised until crisp on the outside and tender inside;  until the meat fell off the bone at the touch of a fork, served on a mound of the most delicious creamy risotto you have ever tasted with a glass of Beaujolais.

Finally, a piece of fresh home baked chocolate cake made by the Bistro’s new baker.

This was the simple but memorable meal I ate Friday night at the Greenhouse Bistro.

We sat in the Bistro’s gaily lit dining room with only one other couple who left before we were served, making us feel like we very aristocratic with our own private chef and wait staff.  The Bistro has  only about twenty-five seats,  so even filled with customers it will be intimate dining.

I can not say enough good things about Chef Kelly, who cooked in the Pacific Northwest for many years.  When I told him that his risotto was the best I have ever tasted, he replied, “I worked for an Italian family for a number of years who were very particular about their food.”

Perhaps that is the secret ingredient that sets the Greenhouse Bistro apart from the other restaurants in Valencia County, an Executive Chef in the kitchen who has years of food experience and is very particular about the food.

I look forward to the new seasonal field to table dishes that Chef Kelly will make this summer with the fresh produce grown in the Bistro’s own certified organic gardens.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, December 15, 2016

December 14, 2016. Lunch – Donut Mart.  Dinner – Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup

My lunch appointment cancelled, so I called Rahim, who I had agreed to meet at 2:30. And he was gracious enough to meet me at 12:45 at Donut Mart on Central across the street from UNM.

The owner, Fariq?, was involved in a transaction with Nizar that needed legal assistance.  After we talked for a bit I ordered a chocolate frappe, which is a smoothie made with chocolate ice cream. Nizar ordered donut holes and later we ordered a chicken, cheese, and green chili quesadilla.

After lunch I finished editing the brief and then rode to Montano and back.  I am thrilled that my body seems to be coming into shape.  I was able to sit firmly on the saddle rather than having my butt and legs hanging off the saddle, so could get a more efficient and less painful stroke on the pedals.  Hooray!

Suzette was getting sick, so for dinner I made chicken Vietnamese Miso soup with wakame seaweed threads, sliced  mushrooms, ½ of a large shallot diced, chicken, celery, chard, Miso, tofu, and three kinds of noodles (wheat, rice, and mung bean thread).

After dinner I meditated and then did my final edit of Bill’s brief.

Bon Appetit

December 13, 2016 Lunch – Asian Pear. Dinner – Bratwurst Casserole

Events yesterday prove that I often focus on the exotica in ingredients and forget about buying potatoes for the Bratwurst casserole.  Today after the second day long deposition ended I drove to Lowe’s and bought a 10 lb. bag of fresh potatoes for $1.77, which made me immediately feel happy about the dish.

When I arrived home Suzette was feeling worse, but rallied to construct the Bratwurst Casserole, one of the most basic of peasant dishes I have encountered.  It is simply chopped potatoes, sauerkraut, and Bratwurst placed in a baking dish and baked.  It took 1 ½ hours to bake the casserole, so I suspect we could have halved the cooking time if we had boiled the diced potatoes first, especially since the result was rather dried out from being in the stove so long.

The dish is like ratatouille, several ingredients that create their own shared unique flavor from being cooked together into a stew.

We drank beer and enjoyed/endured our simple fare; brats, sauerkraut, and potatoes and nothing else.

I actually had an active and exciting lunch.  I walked to the Public Library and checked out Suzette’s book.  Then I walked to Asian Pear.  As I approached the door I saws board listing specials and saw “Korean Noodle Soup $7.99”.  I went in and ordered the soup, but had some confusion, because the menu board inside said “choice of Meat or Tofu”.  I told the owner that I use both a meat and tofu when I make noodle soup  and she said, “both are okay.”  So I chose tofu and pork.

The soup was served in a large stainless steel bowl and was fabulous.  A clear broth with Korean somen noodles, slices of onion and celery, julienned carrots and omelet, BBQ pork, large chunks of fresh deep fried firm tofu, red chili sauce, spinach and sesame seeds.  A very nice soup.

Bon Appetit

December 12, 2016 Lunch – Anatolia. Dinner – Chicken Stir fry

December 12, 2016  Lunch – Anatolia.  Dinner – Chicken Stir fry

These are busy days for us.  Suzette is doing Christmas activities at the Center.  I am working with Bill Turner to finish his Reply Brief in the Court of Appeals and attending depositions in Martin’s case against the State for wrongful termination.

Today I was in a deposition that lasted from 8:00 to 5:30 p.m.  We took a lunch break and I met Bill Turner for lunch at Anatolia at 313 Central NW, which was 1 block from the building in which the deposition was held.  I ordered my favorite dish, Ishkender Kabob, which is chopped up beef kabob on a bed of diced toasted pita garnished with a savory tomato sauce and yogurt sauce served with a bit of salad dressed with red wine vinegar vinaigrette.  Bill ordered falafels with yogurt sauce.

We talked about the brief and water rights.

After the deposition I went to Lowe’s and bought a bottle of sauerkraut and drove home.  Suzette asked, “Where are the potatoes?”, which made me realize I forgot to buy the third critical ingredient needed for German Bratwurst Casserole.  So I suggested a Chicken stir fry, because we had PPI roasted chicken.  Suzette agreed and I started scouring the fridge. I found four stalks of baby bok Choy, a stalk of celery, ½ of an onion, and a couple of mushrooms, plus the PPI wild rice dressing from Thanksgiving with its fruits and nuts and garlic.  This was not enough ingredients, so I opened a small can of bamboo shoot strips and chopped ½ chicken breast.  I stir fried all the ingredients and thickened them, but was still in my “not enough ingredients” frame of mind, so I added a hand full of shredded coconut, which, because it was finely grated,  gummed up the dish and gave it a gritty texture.  Lesson learned. Enough is enough.  We ate it because we were hungry, not because it appealed to us.

I guess things like this happened when one’s mind is focused on other matters.

Also, Suzette was coming down with a cold and had little enthusiasm for cooking.

Bon Appetit

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 9, 2016 Lunch – Costco Polish Dog.  Dinner – Neighborhood Cocktail Party

I went to an all day seminar on water law today.

It had a one hour break for lunch, so I drove to Costco for a Polish Dog and glass of lemonade.

Tonight was the December Neighborhood Cocktail Party.  This month it was held at the rambling ranch style home of Steve and Debbie Cito at 300 Laguna.  We unfolded and plated the remains shrimp mold on the new hand painted Portuguese appetizer charger and surrounded it with Carr’s water biscuits.

There were lots of neighbors.  It seems like almost everyone decided to bring either shrimp or desserts this month.  There must have been six or seven platters or bowls of boiled shrimp, two or three of which were those self contained round plastic trays with a circle of small shrimp with a small ramekin of cocktail sauce in the middle.  I was a little upset that so few people chose to cook this month, but enjoyed gorging on shrimp and drinking white wines.  We took a bottle of the newly arrived 2015 Benton Lane Rose, which seemed to be less fruity and more Pinot Noirish on first impression or perhaps it was not a perfect complement for shrimp.

The winning dish this month was Debbie Cito’s Mezze board with its dozen or so small bowls of appetizers including soft fresh ricotta cheese, sliced cheddar and sliced Pecorino Romano cheeses, chopped dates, homemade fig jam, home made tomato chutney, salami, prosciutto wrapped around a bit of cheese, cornichon,smoked salmon slices, and a few other appetizing selections, accompanied by a tray with two kinds of cracker and a pile of toasted French bread.  I loved Debbie’s assortment of appetizing nibbles and ate quite a few raisin and almond crackers spread with fresh ricotta garnished with a smear of fresh fig jam.  Steve was the bar tender at the extensive bar beside the front door.  I tried a wine he recommended by Peju Winery in Napa that was a blend of white and red grapes, but mostly drank Sauvignon Blanc because I like it better with shrimp.

Willy met us at the party and talked to lots of folks about his plan to make Park Ave. a walking street on Christmas Eve.

We arrived a bit after 7:00 and stayed until after 9:30.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, December 11, 2016

December 10, 2016 Lunch – PPI Shrimp Scampi. Dinner – Roasted Chicken with Sautéed Yellow Squash, Shallot, and Asparagus

December 10, 2016 Lunch – PPI Shrimp Scampi. Dinner – Roasted Chicken with Sautéed Yellow Squash, Shallot, and Asparagus

Suzette made a lovely cheese, red onion, and mushRoom omelet garnished with a scoop of PPI The Shed red chili and enchiladas.  Suzette made Bloidy Mary and I drank my usual glass of a Clamato juice. I worked all day, so I heated the PPI Shrimp Scampi for lunch with some noodles.

Suzette brought home a Roasted Chicken from the Greenhouse Bistro and Bakery.  We decided in the morning to sauté yellow squash with onion for dinner and Suzette said she was hungry when she arrived with the chicken, so she diced seven or eight stalks of asparagus, couple of yellow squashes, and I diced a large shallot.  Suzette then sautéed the three ingredients in a skillet with butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

We ate a great dinner of roasted chicken, sautéed vegetables, PPI pasta with 2013 Herman Moser Gruner Ueltliner Gebling Kremstal Austrian white wine that Penny and Armin gave us.  We found it a little raw when opened, but it mellowed into a very pleasant and drinkable wine after a day or two in the fridge.  I suspect you can find this wine on the wine list at Los Poblanos Restaurant.

Bon Appetit

Friday, December 9, 2016

December 8, 2016 Lunch – Ichiban. Dinner – Oslo Bucco with roasted Vegetables and Cranberry Sauce

December 8, 2016 Lunch – Ichiban. Dinner – Oslo Bucco with roasted Vegetables and Cranberry Sauce

Yesterday and this morning I ate my usual, yogurt, granola, milk, vitamin powder, and red grapes.

Yesterday I drove with Martin to court in Santa Fe.  After court we met Amy and ate at the Shed for lunch.  I had my favorite dish; two blue corn enchiladas wIth ground beef and double posole and red chili.

Martin ordered carne adovado and Amy ordered a cup of mushroom soup.  After Amy left, Martin and I split a chocolate mocha cake.

For dinner after meditation I was not terribly hungry, so I heated and ate the 1/3 of the pot of PPI Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup left from the other day.

This morning I went to the Annual Meeting of TecMed at 9:00 at the Flying Star on Corrales Road north of Alameda and afterwards shopped at Sprouts at Alameda and Corrales Road.  I bought blueberries, yellow squash, bratwurst, green beans, and three lovely lamb chops cut horizontally across the leg (Osso Bucco style).

When I finished shopping, it was 11:08.  Since the Sprouts store is located in the same shopping center as Ichiban I called Robert Mueller, but he was working and had eaten at Ichiban the previous evening, so was unable to join me. I decided to respond to my powerful urge to eat sushi at Ichiban, so at 11:30 I found myself seated and ordering Chirashi Donburi with their wonderful green tea at Ichiban.  I got one fish I did not like, sort of an albacore tuna that tore into pieces instead of sliced and imitation crab (fish cake)m but there were three slices each of yellow tail, tuna, salmon and one other fish, plus egg omelet, so the selection of fish was okay and plentiful.  What sets Ichiban apart from Azusa in my opinion is the addition of flying fish eggs pressed on top of the rice and the addition of liberal amounts of green seaweed salad and pickled squid and mushroom salad.  I live both of these salads.

I enjoyed lunch tremendously. The waitress was very attentive, checking and pouring fresh hot green tea often.  I felt for a second like a Japanese Businessman in a Japanese restaurant being served by geisha.

I finally arrived home a little after 1:00 and worked until a bit after 4:00 when Luke called, so I talked to him until a bit after 5:00 about all his adventures and mis-adventures.

Since the lamb chops were Osso Bucco style cuts, I decided to make Osso Bucco.  I went on line and found an authentic recipe.  Here is the recipe:

I had all the ingredients except for tomato paste, but we had a 15 oz. can of stewed tomatoes that I drained all the juice out of until I compressed down the tomatoes to just the tomato pulp.

I followed the recipe, browning the chops in olive oil in the large Le Crueset casserole until browned.  Suzette arrived around 6:00, as I was chopping and sautéing the c2 carrots, two stalks of celery, and 1 large onion and began helping me.  We decided to use the roasted garlic in olive oil in the fridge, so she fetched the bottle for me and I chopped four or five cloves.  The major shortcut I suggested and Suzette agreed with, was using PPI turkey gravy, instead of making lamb stock.  Also, while I sautéed the Vegetables, added the approximately 8 oz. of crushed canned stewed tomatoes and chopped them a bit and stirred them into the other cooking vegetables, and went to the garden and picked a large handful of thyme stalks, and sat and de-stemmed about 2 T. of thyme leaves from their stems, Suzette chopped Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, ½ of a red onion, and one or two if the yellow crock necked squash I had bought at Sprouts, put them into a baking dish and salt and peppered the vegetables and drizzled them with olive oil.  She also diluted the turkey gravy with water to make the required 1 quart and added it. I fetched the PPI D7 Pinot Noir and she added that to the cooking vegetable mixture and I added the 2 T. of thyme and cooked the vegetable mixture a few more minutes and stirred to mix the ingredients.  Then we laid the lamb chops back on the vegetables and covered the casserole with its lid, removed a rack from the pre-heated oven to make room for the large Le Creuset casserole and slid both the aluminum covered vegetables in their baking dish and the casserole with the vegetables and lamb chops into the oven.

At this point there was a rather lengthy discussion with immediate agreement regarding time and temperature and setting of the oven.  It was decided to bake both the dishes for one hour at 300 degrees without convection although this was a departure from the recipe time and temperature of two hours at 250 or 275 degrees.  I had invited Wily and it was 7:00 and we expected him by 8:00 and did not want to eat too late.

Willy arrived around 7:45 and at 8:00 we removed the lamb from the casserole and uncovered the vegetables and put the lamb on the vegetables and kept cooking the vegetables while Suzette puréed the vegetables with the immersion mixer.  Unfortunately, we had forgotten to remove a rib section of lamb and the vegetables were only an inch to an 1 ½ deep, so sauce was flung around the stove area until we removed the lamb rib bones, but we achieved a rather pleasing rough purée of the vegetables.

I opened a 2011 La Madone Fleurie French Burgundy from Trader Joe’s and poured glasses of it and we heated some dinner rolls that were in the fridge and I put out butter for the rolls while Suzette took the roasted vegetables and lamb from the oven and filled pasta bowls with roasted vegetables, the a lamb chop, and finally spoonfuls of vegetable sauce.

We all agreed that the lamb was sufficiently tender and the sauce was very tasty with both the lamb and the vegetables, but unfortunately the Fleurie was not great, although I think I only paid $6.99 or $7.99 for it a week ago at Trader Joe's. It was heavy and had a slightly bitter aftertaste that was unpleasant, although as it sat uncorked much of the bitterness went away during the course of the meal and we finished it with the meal.  I would not recommend buying this bottle unless you are a fan of heavy full bodied red wine.

After finishing our bowls of vegetables and Oslo Bucco we were satisfied and full and could eat no more and sat and talked.  When we said goodnight to Willy, and checked the time, I realized that it was after 10:00.

Suzette went to bed and I tried to blog but fell asleep at 10:30 and slept until 1:30 when I finished this blog.

I enjoyed this wonderfully full day of shopping, preparing a new dish for dinner and eating and drinking.

This the first time I have cooked Oslo Bucco.  The dish was prompted by Sprouts having lovely Oslo Bucco lamb chops for $5.99/lb.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 6, 2016 Lunch – Vietnamese Pho Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – Shrimp Scampi on German Egg Noodles

December 6, 2016  Lunch – Vietnamese Pho Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – Shrimp Scampi on German Egg Noodles

Yesterday Willy and I split four small plates of Dim Sum at Amerasia ($4.00 each); 3 chicken with peanuts dumplings, 2 bag su, fried tofu stuffed with shitake mushroom and wood ear threads, and. Bowl of rice with BBQ pork.

For dinner we ate a PPI turkey dinner and it upset Suzette’s stomach and she threw it up. Yuck.

Today I ate yogurt, granola, milk, and vitamin powder for breakfast.

At noon I made my favorite soup with ¼ cup of PPI rib steak, 2 sliced beef meatballs, 1 T. of wakame seaweed threads, 1 sliced shallot, 1 heaping T. of red miso, 3 or 4 oz. of soft tofu, I sliced stalk of celery, three diced asparagus, a Pho seasoning cube, a handful each of mung bean thread noodles and broad rice noodles, four egg whites, and garnished with two thinly sliced green onions. The coolest discovery of this meal was I poured in the egg whites and let them cook without stirring the soup for several minutes while I attended to some business and when I returned the egg whites had blossomed into mounds of meringue.  This was a new discovery.

I loved the soft meringue and hope to replicate the effect again in the future.

After lunch I thawed out a lb. of 16 to 20 count shrimp for dinner and chilled the newly purchased bottle of Gavi Princessa ($12.14 Total Wine after a 10% discount).  At 6:00 I walked to the garden and picked a handful of oregano and chard.

Suzette was on an over one hour long telephone call with Verizon in which she found out that her new I phone was previously owned and the previous owner had put in a password that blocked her ability to open the phone.  So much for the thrill of receiving a new phone.  Her occupation with the phone call left me free to cook dinner.

Shrimp Scampi

 I diced 1/3 of a yellow onion, five cloves of garlic and put it in a bowl.

Then I diced two tomatoes and put the tomato in a separate no else.

I sliced four large mushrooms and put the slices in a separate bowl.

Finally I de-stemmed the chard and oregano leaves and about ¼ cup of parsley and put that in a separate bowl.

After everything was sliced and in separate bowls, I fetched the bottle of dry white vermouth and heated 1 1/2T. of butter and 1 T. Of Spanish olive oil in a large skillet.

I then sautéed the onion and garlic for a minute or two over medium heat until it began to soften.

I then added the mushrooms and sautéed them for about five minutes until they were coated with oil and began to soften.

Then I added the tomatoes and about 2 tsp. of capers and cooked the mixture for a few more minutes.

Finally, I added the bowl with the chard, parsley, and oregano leaves and a bit more dry vermouth and covered the skillet with my wok cover and steamed the mixture for a few minutes.  Suzette finally finished her call and came to the kitchen and I added the shrimp and the juice of ¼ lemon and cooked the dish covered for about another five minutes, turning the large shrimp once to cook throughout.

Finally, Suzette heated the PPI egg noodles and we spooned  a small pile of noodles into a pasta bowl and mounded the shrimp mixture on top of it and garnished the dish with fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

We filled our wine glasses with Gavi Princessa.  Gavi Princessa is my favorite white Italian wine with fresh seafood.  It has good tannins and fruitiness without a lot of character to interfere with the food’s flavors.

This was a very successful dinner, simple ingredients combined into a pleasant dish that allowed the ingredients to mix and yet keep a lot of their individual characteristics.  How could these huge shrimp not retain their individual characteristic.  I cut some of them into thirds and each 1/3 was still a lot of shrimp.

I ate chocolates with cognac after dinner.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 4, 2016 Breakfast – lax and bagels. Pegasus Jewelry Extravaganza. Dinner – Hungarian Goulash with egg noodles and string beans and apricot Cobbler

December 4, 2016 Breakfast – lax and bagels. Pegasus Jewelry Extravaganza. Dinner – Hungarian Goulash with egg noodles and string beans and apricot Cobbler

I made bagels with shrimp dip and lax for breakfast.

We went to the Pegasus Jewelry show at noon.

Then at 1:20 we went to the Art Museum for a One Woman show on Mabel Dodge Lujan and a Q and A with Lois Rudnick.

At 6:00 we started dinner.  We had thawed out a pork steak before we left home at noon. I sliced ½ onion, 4 large mushrooms, skinned and diced two Roma tomatoes and de-stemmed the ½ lb. of green beans.

Suzette diced the pork steak and sautéed the pork with the remaining pork confit, onion and mushrooms, then added the tomatoes and 1 T. of Spanish paprika and then ½ cup of Mexican crema to make the goulash.

She steamed the green beans and boiled a 500 gram bag of German egg noodles (Talin).

Suzette also made a Jiffy cobbler using a 32 oz. container of apricots we picked from Megen’s tree last Spring.

Willy joined us for dinner.

We drank the rest of the Guadalupe Vineyard’s Gerwurtztraimer with dinner.  Sitting for a day corked in the fridge seemed to have relieved it of its bitterness and it was quite drinkable.

We had no vanilla ice cream, so we poured crème anglais over the cobbler for dessert.

We the watched The Big Short.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

December 2, 2016 Lunch – Azuma. Dinner – Grilled Rib Steak with Stir Fried Broccoli, onion, garlic, ginger and beech mushrooms

December 2, 2016 Lunch – Azuma.  Dinner – Grilled Rib Steak with Stir Fried Broccoli, onion, garlic, ginger and beech mushrooms

I worked until 10:45 and then drove to Fano and bought two baguettes, still warm from the oven.

Then I met Robert Mueller for lunch at Azuma.  We shared an order of egg rolls and each ordered a Chirashi Donburi.  I congratulated him on Donald Trump’s victory and even bought him lunch.

Then I stopped at American Escrow to get some documents.

When I got home around 1:40 I thawed out three rib steaks bought in April at Albertson’s for $6.77/lb. which is the new low price in town for choice rib steaks.

I worked until 5:30 and when Suzette came home asked her if she wanted a stir fry of beef and broccoli.  She said, “No, I would like to Grill the steak.  So I took the flowerets off a head of broccoli ($.59/lb. at El Super), chopped three cloves of garlic, about 1 T. of ginger, and ½ medium onion.  At 6:30 when Suzette grilled the steak, I stir fried the ginger and garlic in peanut oil for a minute and then added the other ingredients.  While these ingredients were cooking, I separated the tops of 3 oz of white beech mushrooms from the dirt they grow in and added them to the mixture in the wok.

I then added about 1 T. of each of mushroom soy and Chinese Cooking wine and a couple of dashes of sesame oil.  I put similar amounts of each of these liquids in a bowl and added 1 T. of cornstarch and about ¼ cup of water to the bowl to make a thickening sauce.

I covered the wok so the mixture could steam and cook for about ten minutes.  Then I added the thickening sauce and cooked it with the mixture.  The sauce thickened too much and became a sticky mess, so I added another ¼ cup water and that was too much water because it loosened the sauce too much.  I could have cooked the mixture for another minute to thicken the sauce but Suzette had brought the grilled steak in and had sliced it and she was ready to eat so we plated dinner.

I pulled the cork and poured out the ½ bottle of Zinfandel that had mellowed out from sitting for a few days after being opened and had slightly oxidized in a good way.

I ate some crème anglais for dessert.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November 30, 2016 Lunch - Nellie's. Dinner - Turkey and Oyster Dressing with Gravy

November 30, 2016 Lunch – Nellie’s in Las Cruces.  Dinner – Turkey with Oyster Dressing and Gravy

Today was a good day.  I slept well in the Queen sized bed at Motel 6.  I awoke at 6:50, showered, dressed and ate ½ of a bagel with lox heated in the microwave provided in the room and drove to court.  I arrived at 9:00 and found out that the hearing was scheduled for 9:30, so Sammie Singh and I went back out to the parking lot and loaded a 40 lb. bag of Pecans into my car.

We had hearings from 9:30 to noon and broke for lunch.  I suggested we go to Nellies, which is among the top five rated restaurants in Las Cruces.  I love their Chile Rellenos, although today the effect of the soft fried batter coating was diminished by putting the green chili sauce on top of the chile rellenos.  As I recall the last time I ordered Chile Rellenos at Nellie’s the Chile Rellenos were laid on a puddle of green Chile, so the soft fried egg batter was still toothsome. Today there was evidence that Nellie’s is a top restaurant.  After the meal the waitress asked if everything was okay and I told her my concern about the Rellenos being covered with Stacie and she said, “You can ask for them to be fried a little more.
I asked, “Or have the sauce on the side.”

To which, she answered, “Of Course, on the side.”

A great restaurant can and will make it right; whatever your preference may be.

We went back to court at 1:30 and I made my presentation on the .Motion to Strike Scott’s participation in SSI 107 adjudicating whether any pre-federal water rights survived the initiation of the federal project, which I ended with the  quote by Aldous Huxley that Bill Turner recently sent me, “Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.”

I got a chuckle from Judge Wechsler.  Thank you Bill.

At 3:00 the hearing ended and I drove home at 3:30 after getting gas and made it in three hours, thanks to the Mini.

Suzette arrived as I was unloading the car.  We unscrewed the hoses because it was going to freeze and then we discussed dinner.  I suggested we could go out, but Suzette said, “What about a Turkey Sandwich?”

I loved the idea and in no time at all, she has warmed two plates of turkey and oyster dressing covered with gravy.  I opened a bottle of Naked Grape Pinot Noir that someone has given us.  I did not like it because it had a fairly high percentage of some other red grapes like merlot that gave it a heavy unpleasant taste to me.  I prefer the lighter colored, unadulterated taste of 100% Pinot Noir, but Suzette liked the wine, so I let her finish my glass of wine.

After dinner I drank a cup of chai and ate two chocolate chip cookies and inspected the two lovely shrimp molds Suzette has made for Thursday night’ soirée with the Palmers and Rembes and read the new New Yorker and went to bed around 9:30.

Soon Suzette came to bed also.

Bon Appetit