Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 31, 2018 Lunch – Padilla’s Restaurant. Book Club.

May 31, 2018 Lunch – Padilla’s Restaurant. Book Club.

I ate the usual yogurt, milk, blueberries, and granola for breakfast.

I decided to go to Padilla’s for lunch.  I ordered a chili Relleno plate with double beans.  The chili Rellenos were imperfect.  One was properly battered but lacked the usual mozzarella cheese stuffing.  The other one was stuffed with cheese but it was improperly battered with the top exposed to the grease which made the chili tough to inedible..  Next time I will an immediate dissection of the rellenos immediately to try to determine if the chili is soft and fully encased in batter.  On the other hand the beans were excellent, plump and soft, absolutely delicious.  I was served two sopapillas.  Since Padilla’s sopapillas are very highly rated I could not resist eating one, but I was very stingy with the honey.  It will take a higher order of dietary control to not succumb to Padilla’s sopapillas than I or most other normal people have.

I ate the two chili rellenos and all the beans, so, I was not hungry for dinner.  Instead I took a nap from 4:00 until 5:30, watched some news, worked with Mario for a bit and then at 6:30 drove to Book Club.  We had a great meeting discussing The Remains of the Day and lots of other things.  I could not help staring at the wall across from me where there were three paintings, one by Pablita Velarde, one by Helen Hardin and one by Helen’s daughter,                 . All three generations of the famous family of female Indian painters.  Here are pictures of the paintings.

Bob put out a lovely cheese board with a round of Boursin, a wedge of blue cheese and an aged American cheddar.  I ate a slice of each on triscuits.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 Lunch – PPI Fried Tofu and Mixed Vegetables. Dinner – Salmon tacos with Cole slaw and mango salsa

May 30, 2018 Lunch – PPI Fried Tofu and Mixed Vegetables. Dinner – Salmon tacos with Cole slaw and mango salsa

Another pleasant, easy food day.

Yogurt, granola, milk, blueberries and sliced banana for breakfast.

For lunch I heated yesterday’s PPI lunch of fried tofu and mixed Vegetables.  There was more left than I had eaten so I ate much less steamed white rice today and enjoyed lunch immensely.

I then went to the bank.  After the bank I worked until 5:00, then watched the business news.  I had a good day in the market, even though some analyst down graded AAPL.  It must be a very strong stock, because it only dropped $.40.

At 5:15 I ate a snack of peanut butter on the rest of the banana from breakfast and then as Suzette arrived a toasted slice of whole wheat bread buttered and spread with Bavarian sweet mustard and layered with two slices of liverwurst and three slices of cucumber.  Suzette made herself a snack of liverwurst and sliced cucumber sans the bread.

At 5:45 I went to meditation.

I returned home from meditation in time to see the last five minutes of period 1 of the second Stanley Cup Finals game.  Willy arrived and he made mango salsa with chopped mango, avocado, and red onion, and lime juice, while Suzette made Cole slaw with a bit of Padilla chili.

Suzette then chopped about 1 lb. of a salmon filet into chunks that she bought at Costco yesterday, then dusted the chunks with flour, salt, and pepper and finally fried the chunks in a skillet filled to about 1/3 inch with canola oil.

She also heated about a dozen small corn tortillas.  I fetched beers from the garage and we enjoyed a lovely fresh fish taco meal.  As Suzette says, “The coleslaw makes the tacos, San Diego style fish tacos.”

Here is a picture of my plate.

As you can see I eat my tacos open faced, which increases the proportion of fish to tortillas.

I ate ½ of an apple and an orange and a cup of tea with a chocolate truffle after dinner.

Bon Appetit


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018 Lunch – Deep Fried Tofu and Mixed Vegetables at East Ocean Dinner – PPI BBQ Ribs, Beans, Corn, and deviled eggs

May 29, 2018  Lunch – Deep Fried Tofu and Mixed Vegetables at East Ocean  Dinner – PPI BBQ Ribs, Beans, Corn, and deviled eggs

The usual for breakfast: granola, milk, yogurt, and grapes.  Here is a picture.

I went to the bank at noon and then to East Ocean for my favorite vegetarian lunch in town, a pile of eight or nine different vegetables stir fried with fried tofu cubes and tossed in a soy, stock, and cornstarch Mandarin style sauce.  It is a dish I never get tired of and I feel like it is healthy, so I keep going back.

We tasted the wines offered by our Romanian producers and picked several we liked and rejected several we did not like.

Suzette came home around 5:00 as we were finishing our tasting with a salmon filet from Costco that I hope to cook tomorrow evening and thicken the PPI seafood soup into a mousseline sauce.

Tonight we did not prep anything, we simply heated the items we ate for our Memorial Day celebration Sunday evening:  PPI BBQ Ribs, Beans, Corn, and deviled eggs.  A very easy and satisfying meal.

Suzette ate a Swedish pastry for dessert and I drank a glass of grappa and a cup of tea to wash down the greasy ribs.

Bon Appetit

Monday, May 28, 2018

May 28, 2018 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – PPI Seafood Soup

May 28, 2018 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – PPI Seafood Soup

Back to work for Suzette and me today, so my usual granola, yogurt, grapes, and milk.

Then at noon I picked a basket of ever tougher lettuce and added the tomatoes mozzarella, and red onion left from last night’s Caprese salad, some PPI Vidalia onion slices, seven or eight cracked green olives, a diced slice of Swiss cheese, a hard boiled egg, and some BBQ pork from yesterday’s PPI ribs.  My new motto is “Protein is Good.”

I ate the salad in the garden.

I worked until 3:00 when Suzette arrived home from work.  We drove to Home Depot to buy a few things and returned home when we discovered that Costco was closed.

At 5:00 I ate the last of the artichoke and Suzette ate two deviled eggs. At 5:30 we decided to heat the Seafood soup for dinner.  Suzette fetched it and heated it. I  then fetched the beet greens from the garage and sliced the leaves that were still tender into bite sized pieces and added them to the soup. In fifteen minutes the soup was fully heated.  Suzette made a mixture of an avocado and crema to thicken the soup.  I fetched fried onion and garnished my soup with a couple of spoonfuls of fried onion. I toasted and buttered a slice of whole wheat bread and ate it with the soup.

 We drank glasses of Presidente Grenache and Viognier white wine from Cotes du Rhone.

A pretty simple day of food but all delicious.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, May 27, 2018

May 27, 2018 Brunch – bagel and Lax Dinner – BBQ ribs, corn, deviled eggs, and beans

May 27, 2018  Brunch – bagel and Lax  Dinner – BBQ ribs, corn, deviled eggs, and beans.

   At 9:00 I ate ½ of a whole wheat bagel smeared with cream cheese and layered with tomato, Lax, and red onion slices and garnished with capers.  I drank green tea.

At 10:00 after the news shows I prepped the beans and ribs.  I put 1 ½ cups of beans in a pot with 4 1/2 cups of water as instructed yesterday by the Moriarty bean grower at the Farmers’ Market, who sold us the beans. His instructions were to cook them for 3 ½ hours.

The instructions on the package of ribs was to cook them covered in aluminum in a shallow roasting pan at 300 degrees for 2 ½ hours.  Since the beans would take longer I set the temp in the convection oven at 250 degrees and simply brushed the two racks of ribs with Kraft Masterpiece KC BBQ sauce (Costco).

Then I joined Suzette in the garden.  I scaped the garlic plants while Suzette planted the tomato, zucchini, and pimiento plants we bought yesterday.  She also put a wire super structure over the pole beans and cleaned up the beds and trimmed the chard.  I went in after trimming the dead heads from the rose bushes at 11:00.

We showered and dressed and drove to Trader Joe’s in Uptown and picked up the six bottles of 2017 San Sagnol Rose’ plus four bottles of the Floriana Hungarian Gruner Vetliner, all of which were $6.99 per bottle, plus another wedge of blue cheese and a ball of fresh mozzarella.

When we returned home I turned the heat on the ribs down to 250 again and rested again.  My recuperating body is demanding lots of rest, but it is responding with ever less pain and my skin is beginning to rejuvenate.

At 2:30 I went to the kitchen and Suzette was glazing the ribs with BBQ sauce.  Willy called to say he would arrive at 3:15, so we went into final prep.  Suzette had hard boiled 8 eggs and deviled 6 of them and placed them on a deviled egg and garnish platter with cubed pickled beets and pieces of homemade dill pickles.

I sliced  ½  Vidalia onion and added the slices to the platter. Here is a picture.


Suzette said she had done nothing to the beans and I should finish seasoning them.

I went to the garden and picked a handful of oregano, a garlic chive and three chive stalks, which I de-stemmed and sliced and chopped and added to the beans with about 2 tsp. of Japanese sea salt.

After a few minutes suzette said, “Why not add some onion.”
So I chopped about 2 oz. of Visalia onion and added that.

Willy arrived about 3:45 and everything was ready.

I sliced the 11 ribs on one rack and we each took an ear of corn and beans and Suzette and I took beers and Suzette made a pitcher of mint tea for Willy and we carried all that to the garden.

We were all hungry so we devoured our Memorial Day feast.

The ribs were slightly greasy but remarkably tender.  So tender that the meat fell off many of the bones as I tried to cut the ribs apart.

Also the beans were lovely.  I tried to keep the beans’ unique flavor but soon saw Suzette’s logic and after the meal I added a couple of Tsp.s of  BBQ sauce to them to add to them that vinegary, sweetness of BBQ sauce.

Although I may get to the point of enjoyed unique flavor characteristics of different varieties of beans, I am still largely in Suzette’s camp that a pot of beans is a blank canvas on which one added the seasoning flavors one wishes the beans to transmit.

There is one entire rack of ribs and lots of PPIs, so this meal could be re-enacted again.

After dinner Suzette asked me if I wanted to go to the RBG movie at the Guild and I said I could not as I lay down in bed again to go back to sleep.

I awoke at 8:30 and watched the last few scenes in the Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark movie with Harrison Ford and Karen Allen.

I then waited up for The PBS Masterpiece theater presentation of Inspector Lewis at 10:30 as I sipped a cup of tea, very British.  Then afterwards I completed this blog installment before returning to bed.

Bon Appetit

May 26, 2018 A Fabulous Day of Food. Breakfast – Fried Smoked Pork Chop, Eggs, and Country Fried Potatoes. Lunch – Danish
Open Face Sandwiches,  Dinner -  Savoy Cabbage Wrapped Cod filets with a Sugar Snap PeaSalad and Caprese Salad

This was a special food that just got better and better.

We woke at 7:00 and ate a breakfast of fried eggs, cottage fried Potatoes, and a sautéed Smoked Pork Chop.

                                                           Breakfast in the garden

We then went to the Farmer’s Market, where we bought 6 tomato plants and two zucchini plants and a four pack of pimiento plants.  Fresh produce is starting to arrive in abundance and we bought a head of Savoy Cabbage, five or six tomatoes, tender white salad  turnips, and a pint of sugar snap peas.  We stopped at a grower of beans in Moriarty and ended up buying three bags of beans. What fun to see so much lovely fresh locally grown produce.

Then Suzette went to work and I went back to bed and slept until 11:30.  I called Willy and invited him to watch the EUFA Championship between Real Madrid and Liverpool at 12:3 and if he would
join us for BBQ ribs, corn, and beans tomorrow and he said yes, so I went to Sprouts and bought two

slabs of ribs for $1.99/lb. plus ½ lb. of Liverwurst, Vidalia onions at $.69/lb., and asparagus for $1.98/lb.

I got home at 12:50 at minute 20 in the game.  Willy was not hungry, so I made Danish style open face sandwiches for lunch; two with buttered bread, liverwurst, cucumber slices and pickled beet cubes and another with sour cream, a red onion slice, and pickled herring of thin slices of Cloud Cliff’s dense whole wheat bread. I drank a Kirtland ale with the sandwiches and told Willy about eating similar lunches every day when I worked at The Hand I Hand Insurance Company at 2 Holmans Kanal in Copenhagen in 1968.  I had a view of the Holmans Church and the moat and walls of Christianborg Castle from the window of the office where I worked.

The company provided sandwiches and beers for it employees in a lunch room in the building.  Every day you would notify the kitchen how many sandwiches you wanted.  There were always a maximum of 8 different sandwiches and they were always the same 8. I recall liverpaste with cucumber, sliced beef with fried onions, shrimp in cream sauce, vegetables in Italian Salad, some other meat with pickled beet slices, and probably several with herring or smoked fish, all made on the flat squares of dense Danish rye bread.

My effort to replicate the liverpaste with cucumber and herring with red onion sandwiches impressed me as being pretty accurate to what was served in Copenhagen.

After lunch I watched the rest of the match with Willy.  Real Madrid won 3-1 with two goals by Christian Bale, one a magnificent over the head bicycle kick that folks will probably talk about for years.

Suzette came home a bit after 2:30 when the game ended and lay down for a nap.

When Willy left a bit before 3:00 I joined her and napped until a bit after 5:00.

When I awoke Suzette was up and in the kitchen. She had not eaten lunch, so, around 5:30 we decided to cook dinner. Suzette’s idea was to use the fresh peas to test the warm shredded pea/bean salad, to make a caprese salad with the tomatoes, and make a northern style fish entrée by wrapping the cod in a cabbage leaf and cooking it in the steamer oven with the warm sugar   I pulled down the Swedish cookbook and the More contemporary Kitchen of Light Cookbook, but before I opened them she had found a recipe on the Internet by searching cabbage wrapped fish.  That is the way our modern age works, books are becoming superfluous.
The recipe was easy. Dipping Savoy cabbage leaves in hot water to soften them, removing the central spine to make them tender and more pliable.  Placing a square of fresh cod on the leaf topped with a pad of butter.  Sprinkling the fish with salt, white pepper, lemon juice, and some fresh thyme.  Then wrapping the cabbage leaf around the cod to make a packet and securing the packet with a long chive stalk tied like a ribbon around a package.

I went to the garden for fresh thyme and long chive stalks for that recipe.

Here are pictures of that process.

Shredded pea salad

Suzette wanted to use the pint of sugar snap peas to test the shredded bean salad she has included in the June 23 gourmet dinner at the Center, so while she constructed the fish packets and made the buttermilk dressing for the shredded sugar snap peas, I removed the strings along each side of each pea and shredded each into threads lengthwise with a knife.   Here is the result.

Suzette then sautéed the shredded peas in a skillet with a bit of olive oil. Here is a picture of the lightly sautéed pea threads.

Here is the recipe for the dressing

Caprese Salad

Suzette sliced three different types of tomato and picked leaves from the new basil plant she bought. I found the mozzarella cheese in the bottom of the cheese drawer but it was several months old and no
longer edible, so I fetched the last bit of the fig goat cheese log we bought at Costco sliced it into seven slices.  I also fetched a red onion and sliced seven or eight thin slices of red onion.  We the assembled the Caprese on each plate with alternating overlapping layers of tomato, basil leaf, red onion slice and goat cheese slice.  Here is the picture of the finished salad.  We decided to drizzle the light buttermilk dressing on the Caprese instead of making a dark vinegary balsamic dressing.

Suzette read the steaming oven manual and found the settings for the fish dish which was 21 minutes on the middle of the three racks and steam/cooked the five packets.

                                            The fish packets placed in the steaming oven

While the fish was cooking, I opened a bottle of French Presidente white wine that was 50%
Grenache and 50% Viognier and poured glasses of it.

When the fish was cooked Suzette plated the plates with two packets of fish and shredded peas and drizzled both salads with butter milk dressing and we carried our plates and glasses to the table under the gazebo in the garden.

The food was fantastic, but we both agreed the wine was lacking, overly acidic with a harsh acidic aftertaste; undrinkable with this supremely light meal.  So I fetched glasses and the bottle of 2016 Hungarian Gruner Vetliner I had bought at Trader Joe’s for $5.99 or $6.99 earlier this week.  The Gruner Vetliner was light and refreshing without any acidity, perfect for the meal.

                                        The packet on the right is opened to expose the fish

So we had done it.  We had made a new menu with the freshest ingredients and founda new wine that complemented the meal.  This was the closest we had come to a perfect meal in a long time and we complimented ourselves.  We could not think of any place we could find such a meal other than some of the very high end restaurants and spas in California.  Suzette thought it was a $150 meal.  I did not ask if that was, per person, but suspect it was.

Needless to say it was our celebration of Memorial Day weekend, shopping for the freshest best quality ingredients at the Farmers’ Market and combining those with fresh herbs from our garden and discovering a new wine we liked that enhanced the food flavors.

I must note that the cod was among the best I have ever tasted with its lemony, buttery, thyme flavors and its flakes that fell apart at the touch of a fork.  We ate forkfuls of succulent cabbage, chive, thyme, and fish as we complimented ourselves.  The salads were also superb.  This was a truly memorable meal and readily repeatable in season when the ingredients are available.

After dinner we watched recent John Oliver and Bill Maher shows and sipped a small sniffer of rum and a cognac and ate a piece of chocolate to end the meal.  We went to bed happy a little before 11:00.

Bon Appetit

Saturday, May 26, 2018

May 25, 2018 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Grilled Elk Burgers and Asparagus with Cole slaw

May 25, 2018 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Grilled Elk Burgers and Asparagus  with Cole slaw

The usual breakfast of yogurt, milk, blueberries, and granola.

I worked at Bill’s office from 10:00 to noon, then went home, and made a salad with lettuce from the garden, a diced tomato, approx. 3 oz. of grilled steak, 1/3 of a cucumber, two sliced green onions, a sliced avocado, a few dried black olives and a bit of grated cheese.  I ate the last piece of fullkorrns bread with water. A simple satisfying lunch.

I worked until 5:30 and then went to the bank and then to Sprouts, where I bought a fresh cod filet for $7.99/lb., an eggplant and a head of celery for $.88 each, a gallon of milk, and 18 eggs.

I arrived home at 6:30 at the same time as Suzette.  Suzette had not eaten all day so we immediately started cooking.  Suzette made dinner while cleaned a few dishes to clear the sink and poured us wines.

She formed the lb. of ground elk into two large and one small patty and we cleaned and snapped some asparagus that were turning yellow and droopy.

Suzette then shuck the asparagus in a freezer bag with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat them and then grilled the asparagus and elk burgers and added a slice of blue cheese after the flip. She then plated the burgers and asparagus and added the last of the Cole slaw she made last Sunday for the tacos and I sliced an avocado for a lovely plate of food.

I poured Suzette the last of the 2012 Monticello Reserva from Rioja (Costco for about $10.00) and I drank the last of the 2016 Carayon La Rose ($5.99 at Trader Joe’s).

I begun buying 2017 rose wines lately as they become available.  My current favorite is St. Sagnol for $6.99 at Trader Joe’s.  I bought the last bottle the other day and was offered the opportunity to reserve some from the next shipment by an attendant, which I accepted and reserved 6 bottles. I find that fresher roses have more vibrancy and fruitiness and that they loose that over time, so the fresher the better.

We carried our plates and glasses of wine with silverware and napkins and ate a leisurely dinner as we de-compressed from our week of work.

After dinner I got into my pajamas and got in bed.  I am still feeling the ill effects of my bike accident and find it less painful to lie down rather than sit, especially after a day of working from 10:00 to 5:00.

Suzette found the CBD oil and rubbed some into the fall impact zone on  my back and I soon fell asleep.

A pretty usual Friday night except we missed the news as we sat in the garden eating.

I awoke at 11:30 and watched my favorite PBS News Hour and Nightly Business News and wrote this blog and went back to sleep.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, May 24, 2018

May 24, 2018 Lunch – Amerasia Dim Sum. Dinner – Seafood Soup

May 24, 2018 Lunch – Amerasia Dim Sum.  Dinner – Seafood Soup

I ate yogurt, milk, blueberries, and granola for breakfast.

Then at 11:40 I drove to Amerasia and met Suzette at noon.  We started with the deep fried Tofu, steamed buns and beef and water chestnut dumplings.  We the later took chicken and peanut dumplings.

   Three dim sum dishes: tofu in bowl, two steamed buns and three beef and water chestnut dumplings 
This is a photo of 1/2 of a steamed bun dipped in soy and chili oil with the BBQ pork and red bean filling exposed.

That was more than enough food for both of us.

Amerasia is the best dim sum restaurant in Albuquerque, which probably makes it the best dim sum in the state.

I worked until 4:00 and watched a Mad Money.  At 4:30 I decided against elk burgers in favor of seafood soup for three reasons.  We had lobster broth, scallops and shrimp and chicken stock that needed to be used before they went bad.

I started by fetching a bottle of Carayon Rose from the basement and chilling it.  The I diced two carrots, three stalks of celery, a small head of garlic, the leaves from a stalk fennel and a large Vidalia onion.  I heated the gallon of chicken stock with ½ gallon of water and added the vegetables.  After about an hour I added a diced Mexican squash and then four diced mushrooms.  Then Suzette added the scallops, shrimp, and the diced salmon filets.

While Suzette made a cream sauce with the lobster broth and cream and added it to the soup, I went to the garden and picked about 15 stalks of thyme.  I removed the leaves and flowers from the stems and added them to the soup.

I had invited Willy to join us for dinner. He said he would arrive at 7:00, so we tried to finish the soup by 7:00.  At around 6:40 suzette and I decided to add the kernels from an ear of corn, to make the soup a chowder.

When Willy arrived we fetched the good soup bowls and filled them with soup and filled wine glasses with 2016 Carayon rose wine from Languedoc (the west side of the Rhone in Southern France.  As distinguished from Pay d’ Oc and Provence on the east side of the Rhone in Southern France.

We took bowls and glasses of wine to the table under the gazebo and enjoyed our light delicious dinner.

It is fun to make a delicious dish such as the seafood soup when you have such wonderful ingredients such as good chicken stock and good lobster stock and sweet Vidalia onions.

I notice the demands my body puts on my diet sometimes.  This is one of those times, healing from an injury.

During such times my body demands nourishment.  I noticed myself eating more yesterday (I ate four meals including a steak dinner) and that I had not taken my vitamins and was beginning to feel fat.  So today I took vitamins and was able to reduce my food consumption to three meals, one of which was a bowl of soup.

What is interesting is that the soup was highly nutritious.  It contained vegetables, high protein seafood, and both chicken and lobster broth.  After one bowl of it I was totally satisfied and then felt my body demanding that I go to bed to rest and give my body time to recuperate.

I have awaken after three hours sleep rested and feeling better.

Bon Appetit

May 23, 2018 Lunch – Anatolia. Dinner – Grilled Boneless Ribeye steak, Ear of Corn and Mexican Green Onions

May 23, 2018 Lunch – Anatolia. Dinner – Grilled Boneless Ribeye steak, Ear of Corn and Mexican Green Onions

I ate a whole wheat bagel smeared with cream cheese with slices of Jax and red onion for breakfast because I think the fish oil in the salmon makes my joints feel better.

Today Suzette attended a seminar in downtown Albuquerque so we met for lunch at Anatolia at 313 Central NE.

At my suggestion we both ordered the daily special, which today was chicken Shish Kebob.  Chicken Shish Kebob is normally $10.95 but when served as a daily special is $6.99.  The daily special changes daily and is announced on Anatolia’s Facebook page.

We both ordered the dish with double salad and no rice.  It is served with a pita bread, your choice of either hummus or yogurt sauce.

After lunch I drove to the bike coop and picked up my bike.  Then I drove to Trader Joe’s to get some more St. Sagnol rose for $6.99 a bottle.  I also bought a bottle of Gruner Vetliner.

 Afterwards I drove to Ari’s to pick up my repaired Maria pot.  She did a great job. Here is a picture of the pot.

Then I drove to Albertsons to buy boneless ribeye steaks that were on sale for $5.97/lb. this week.   I picked two three packs of 1 ½ inch thick steaks after asking the butcher to bring out more steaks to chose from.  After I picked my two packages the butcher said, “They will be on sale until next Tuesday.”  I thanked him and gladly paid the $35.00 for them. Here is a picture of one of the steaks.

When I got home and unloaded it was 4:00 so I watched Mad Money and the business news and found out the market started negative 165 points turned positive on the Fed notes and ended up 52 and I actually made money today instead of losing money. My portfolio is still positive for the year, although I know it could go negative with a tweet.

At 5:30 I ate the PPI Vietnamese noodles from yesterday’s lunch.

Suzette called at 7:00 to say she was on her way home.  I did very little prep for dinner other than fetch the Mexican green onions and one package of steaks from the garage.

That is not quite correct.  I saw the cooked artichokes in the fridge and decided to eat them as an appetizer/green vegetable, so I went to the garden and plucked a handful of sprigs of dill.  I then mixed prepared mayonnaise with the juice of ½ lemon and a dash of salt and added the chopped dill to make a dipping sauce.

I tried it and liked it but when Suzette arrived she thought it was too lemony, so I added some more mayonnaise and we dipped and stripped artichoke leaves for a while.

When Suzette arrived she was hungry.  I checked the elk and it was still frozen, so we decided to grill a steak, the Mexican onions, and ears of corn on the grill in one swift action.  Suzette took over and I poured glasses of 2012 Marques de Riscal Reserva.

When everything was ready we plated up an ear of corn, three grilled Mexican onions each and I sliced the steak, so we each selected pieces of steak.

The best thing about this meal was the steak.  It was the best tasting beef I have had in a very long time.  Suzette cooked it to rare to medium rare and only salted and peppered it.  I recommend you
buy some at Albertsons.

The wine was interesting also we both agreed that it had a dark mulberry or boysenberry berry taste.
Please note the government label on the back of the bottle certifying the wine is Reserva and produced in Rioja.

I became tired after dinner and lay down a little after 9:00 and Suzette came to bed after she had watched enough news to catch up on the developments of the day.

This spectacle we are seeing every day and the revelations of wrong doing are way more consequential than Watergate for two reasons.  We have a President who is trying to play the media to destruct from the real issues and disrupt the investigation of his wrongdoing and it appears likely that a foreign power was involved in our election process and was successful in throwing the election to Trump.

If those two things were not enough to be historic it also seems like Trump’s coterie of close associates have sold access to U.S. foreign policy for money after he was elected.  The two most recent examples to come to light are the $400,000 payment to Michael Cohen by the government of Ukraine for a hastily convened meeting with Trump in the Oval Office and then a week later Ukraine ended it investigation of Paul Manefort and its sharing information with Mueller.

The other one was The U.S. shifting from its alignment with Saudi Arabia against Qatar to supporting Qatar and renewing the U.S.’ relationship with Qatar after the Qatar sovereign fund agreed to finance The Kushner Group’s 666 5th Ave. property.

That does not even get to a third unseemly transaction involving Saudi Arabia paying an Israeli social media company’s bill for what may have been targeted ads to turn the election toward Trump and the shake down of corporations by Michael Cohen for access to the President that came to light  last week.

It is just awful and shows government can not be healthy if it is rotten at the top.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May 22, 2018 Lunch – Vietnam 2000. Dinner – scallops and Shrimp Provençal with Mexican Squash

May 22, 2018 Lunch – Vietnam 2000. Dinner – scallops and Shrimp Provençal with Mexican Squash

I ate a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, Lax, red onion and capers for breakfast and I swear my previously aching joints felt better afterward; perhaps from the bit of fish oil.

At 10:00 I took my bike to the Bike Coop to be repaired from from the fall on a Sunday that snapped the wire to the derailleur gears.

Then I drove the Prius to San Mateo and Leas Coal to be inspected for emission control devices.  Since it was after 11:00 and I was next door to Vietnam 2000, which makes my favorite Vietnam egg rolls, I decided to stop in for lunch.  I ordered my favorite summer time lunch, No. 21, which is Bun Cha Gio plus grilled Pork.  This a large bowl of fresh chopped lettuce, cucumber, mung bean sprouts, Oriental basil and cilantro on the bottom. Then freshly cooked warm rice vermicelli on top of it and finally on the top two fried egg rolls and a pile of grilled, marinated slices of pork served with a small bowl of Vietnamese fish sauce (fish sauce, sugar and a bit of water with pickled carrot and daikon and chili).

I usually ask for extra basil, cilantro, and mung bean sprouts, for which there is an extra $1,50 charge, as I did today.  The idea is to mix everything together for a medley of flavors, textures, and temperatures.

Today for some reason it was particularly difficult to get a grasp of the long vermicelli noodles so after lunch I drove home with a box filled with PPI bun.

I worked for a while until I checked the mail and saw a check that needed to be deposited, so I drove to the bank and on my return at about 4:00 I stopped in at DSG Gallery to invite John and Nancy to dinner.  They were sitting with John’s sister, Marilyn O’Leary and a young woman she had met at Bluegrass camp recently drinking Oolong tea.  John invited me to sit and have a cup, so I did, which led to a two hour conversation, viewing their art, and Trying some of John’s marijuana products, now that he has a grower’s license.  I particularly liked the marijuana salve that I rubbed on my sore collar bone that  calmed the pain significantly.

Finally, a bit before 6:00 I went home but Suzette was still not home.  I checked the recipe for

Scallops Provençal in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and decided we had all the ingredients.  When Suzette arrived a few minutes later she was tired and did not want to cook, so I started prepping the recipe by dicing ½ onion, 1 large shallot, three small cloves of garlic and an about 1 lb. Mexican squash.  I also clean the ends off about 3 oz. of white beech mushrooms and went to the garden and picked five or six stalks of thyme and fetched the container of peeled shrimp and scallops from the fridge in the garage.

Here is the recipe:

I put about 1 cup of flour dusted with salt and white pepper in a freezer bag and spooned about 1 lb. of scallops and shrimp into the bag of flour and shuck the bag to dust the shrimp and scallops.

At this point Suzette joined me in the kitchen.  She dumped the dusted shrimp and scallops into a food colander and shuck it to remove all the excess flour.  Then we sautéed the onion, shallot, squash, and garlic mixture in the sauté pan we had used last night for the Roasted Pork Tapa dish with the addition of 2 T. of butter and 1 T. of olive oil.  When the vegetable mixture began to soften, I added the mushrooms and cooked the entire mixture another five minutes.  In the removed the vegetables and Suzette took over.

                                                        The cooked vegetable mixture

She added a bit more butter and then the dusted scallops and shrimp and then the thyme and 1/2 bay leaf and then 2/3 cup dry rose wine and about 1/2 cup lobster stock to make a cream sauce.  The sauce thickened so I added another 1/3 cup of rose wine and we added about 1/3 cup more lobster broth.  Finally, the sauce smoothed and stopped clotting, so we returned the vegetable mixture to the sauté pan and mixed and heated the dish for a couple of minutes to mix the ingredients.  Suzette served ladles full of the dish into each of two pasta bowls and I poured glasses of 2016 Ferme Julien rose and we took our dinners to the table under the gazebo where we relaxed from our day’s activities and ate and drank in the cool evening air.

The sautéed shrimp and scallops in the finished sauce

                                                           The completed dish

After dinner we went back inside and watched the news.  After a while Suzette said, “I am still hungry.”  I replied, The dish called for grated Swiss cheese.  Do you want some bites of Swiss cheese?”

Suzette said, “Yes, but I need some red wine.” I did not wish to get up, so I told her she could find an open bottle of red Montebello reserva Rioja in the wine rack.  Instead Suzette opened a bottle of Marques de Riscal red Rioja Reserva.  So we ate pieces of cheese and sipped red wine for a finish to dinner..

Since we now had two open bottles of red Rioja we decided to make elk burgers tomorrow for dinner.  I fetched the 1 lb. box of ground elk meat I bought last week at Sprouts for $9.49 from the garage freezer before retiring for the night.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May 21, 2018 Lunch – Boeuf Bourguignon, Mashed Potatoes, and Salad Dinner – Roasted Pork Tapa, steamed Broccoli, and boiled ear of corn

May 21, 2018 Lunch – Boeuf Bourguignon, Mashed Potatoes, and Salad
Dinner – Roasted Pork Tapa, steamed Broccoli, and boiled ear of corn

The usual breakfast, yogurt, milk, granola, and blueberries.

Peter Eller called saying he had a Romanian wine he thought I might like to try, so I invited him for lunch. I asked him if the wine was red or white adnd he said red, so I knew I could serve the PPI Boeuf Bourguignon and Mashed Potatoes with a salad of garden greens for a complete meal.

At 11:15 I started preparing the salad by dicing a Roma tomato, peeling and slicing 1/3 cucumber and. 1 green onion.  Then I fetched the PPIs and salad dressing to let them warm to room temperature.

 I refreshed the salad dressing with the juice of 2/3 lemon and some olive oil and heated it 12 seconds in the microwave to melt the solidified olive oil and mixed the ingredients by shaking the lidded jar.

When Peter arrived with his bottle of 1999 Romanian Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, we went to the garden and picked lettuce, which I rinsed and spun and added to the salad. I dressed the salad, set the table and heated the beef and potatoes.  Peter wanted a piece of bread so I toasted two slices of Pastian’s German Sourdough bread and poured the wine.  The wine was quite lovely. Aromatic, smelling of raspberries, Peter said, and a soft smooth taste on the palate, with just a hint of bitterness in the finish, which could have been from being open with a slightly loose cork.  I liked it.  Another good Romanian wine.

We enjoyed lunch and I described the evolution of the beef dish from its 25 Day aging to salt leaching to beef Bourguinon.

Peter described his recently finished appraisal of a John Constable painting for $1.9 million, which is Peter’s highest appraised value to date.  Interesting.

After lunch I served each of us one of the lemon cheesecake squares Debbie made and gave us yesterday to complete the traditional French style lunch.

Peter’s comment was that the lunch was a good trade for his wine.

After lunch I worked until 5:00 on my water case and then crawled into bed and watched the Business news. As soon as I was in bed Suzette arrived just in time to place the comforter over me.

At 3:00 I had thawed two pork chops, so we discussed the dinner menu.  I suggested grilled pork chops and corn with steamed broccoli.

Suzette said, “Well, you know the roasted pork tapa with apples and onions is my favorite.”

So I got up and went to the kitchen and fetched a medium apple and an onion and sliced them while Suzette fetched our favorite sauté pan and prepped a stalk of broccoli by de-stemming the flowerets and putting them in the steamer basket over water.

I chilled a bottle of Ferme Julien rose, but when I went to the garage fridge I saw we had an already chilled bottle of 2017 St. Sagnol, rose’ that I recently had purchased at Trader Joe’s for $5.99.

Here are the tasting notes prepared by Trader Joe’s:
“A pale pink blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, this Rosé is a sure bet for summer sipping; elegant and lean, a balanced blend of berries and stone fruit flavors, it’s crisp finish is refreshing, and, frankly, delightful. An excellent accompaniment to salads, grilled chicken, and spicy seafood, it also pairs well with mild cheese and poolside conversation. We’re selling each 750ml bottle for $5.99,  a shimmering value!”

We both liked the classic Coteaux du Provence rose.  It was fruity, fresh and went down easily; a good match for the fruitiness of the pork dish. This is the first 2017 rose I have tasted.  If this is indicative of the 2017 roses, I am ready to drink lots of them.

Roasted Pork Tapa

Suzette first sautéed the apple and onion slices to soften them in olive oil, then she added the pieces of pork and browned their exterior, while I fetched six or seven stalks of beautiful fresh oregano from the garden.

She then added the oregano stalks to the sauté pan and roasted the pork and vegetables in the oven for about fifteen minutes, while I went to the garage fridge got a cup of chicken stock and the St. sagnol Rose.

The finish of the pork dish was to remove the sauté pan from the oven and to deglaze the sauté pan ingredients with the cup of chicken stock and then to add 2 T. of cognac. We usually flambé the cognac but could not find a match today.  After a few minutes of heating the pan the liquid thickened into a light sauce and we were ready to serve.

Suzette boiled three ears of corn in a pot of boiling water.  The corn was fantastically delicious.  The best of the year and six ears for $1.00 at Sprouts.

 I have to mention something about Sprouts’ and El Super’s produce.  They occasionally find vegetables of extremely high quality, so when shopping you must be watchful for offerings of produce in season at good prices.  For example, last Wednesday when I bought the corn, Sprouts also featured fresh organic red beets for $.98/bunch.  I bought two bunches and tonight we cooked them and their flavor was fantastic.  The best example I can recall is organic asparagus at Sprouts several months ago for $2.49/lb. that were the largest, most flavorful asparagus I have ever tasted.  We grilled them and they became tender and succulent.  Likewise, last Christmas El Super offered green beans for $.99/lb. Almost every bean was a perfect haricot vert.  These specials do not often occur, but this is the season in which they most frequently do.

Bon Appetit