Sunday, November 13, 2011
Been back in this house since the first of May and other than a few potlucks this summer on the back deck, there hasn't been a whole lot of entertaining going on. Just haven't had the heart for it. But yesterday I inhaled deeply and hosted my first full-on dinner party of this new life in the B-Street house.
I just had the living room painted, and haven't yet hung a single thing on the walls, so it felt a little austere. I sent my son to the hardware store in the afternoon to pick up a picture-hanging kit and he came back with something completely other than what I expected. (Growl.) Sigh. Bare walls.
Nonethless, low lighting and the warmth of candles amped up the ambiance considerably. And then there were the numerous bottles of wine, all of them, incidentally, French, save for the 1957 -- yes, 1957! -- bottle of Tawny Port and an 18-year-old Jameson's. Ah. Lovely stuff, every drop.
I've still not unpacked everything that was frantically stuffed into boxes last April, and when it came time to serve the meal, I hadn't a platter anywhere. No baskets for bread -- wait! My sister had just minutes before given me a beautiful red basket for my birthday, so it was put to quick use. Espresso cups? Teacups? A sprint down the basement stairs solved that, a hurried rummage through a box labeled, amazingly "teacups". Okay -- that wasn't so hard.
Last week my trusty Joy of Cooking reappeared (minus the first 167 pages!), but my red binder with all my own recipes is still oddly nowhere to be found. I've done this gotta-move-immediately twice now in this lifetime and if I have to do it again, may it be in another lifetime. It fucks everything up, washes away every last remnant of carefully constructed foundation. (I'm a girl who needs the underpinnings to be not only solid but thoughtfully reinforced.)
Rebuilding, one cookbook at a time, one teacup at a time.
The big hit of the meal was the stuffed pork loin -- the scent of onions and red apples sauteeing and caramelizing yesterday afternoon was the stuff of inspired dreams -- made even better with a handful of chopped fresh sage, panko crumbs, nutmeg. Tied it, rubbed in a generous portion of S & P plus some spices (my son pulled the rub together), layed two slices of bacon along the length, roasted it for an hour. (It just occurred to me that we no longer "bake" anything: we "roast". Ha. Even the language of cooking has its ins-and-outs.)
Dessert was an ice cream pie:
-crust of crumbled ginger snaps and melted butter
-softened vanilla ice cream for the bottom layer
-pumpkin mousse for the top layer
Um, yeah. Divine.
My toast: "To loyal friends and family -- may you endure."
I did it.
And I think maybe I can do it again.
God it's good to be alive -- really alive, this right-now alive, this moment.