Saturday, March 5, 2011

Relaxing at Home, with Family

The beautiful painting to the right is an example of my cousin Marion's most excellent art...

I hadn't planned on posting this morning, but two factors have me at the keyboard and it's not even breakfast yet.
  1. My allergies have finally kicked in (thanks so much, oak blossom) - so I can't go outside just yet. Although I eventually might, regardless, because I've just noticed this thin layer of yellow pollen on my computer desk, the top of the screen, the book I just started reading, and every observable surface in the house!
  2. I'm sick of seeing the words "Westboro Baptist" at the top of this page.
Dinner Party! One of the great things about the "empty nest" is how easy it is to prepare for a dinner party. With the house already clean - yes, parents of young children, there will be a time when clean is your status quo -  it typically takes less than an hour to vacuum, dust and freshen up. Consequently there's time to actually cook.

My cousin Marion is visiting my brother, Geoff, in Sarasota. She's an artist who (As you can see from the sample above, she really does amazing work - check out her website) lives near the city of Exeter in Southwest England and is taking advantage of Florida's balmy springtime weather. So Rebekah and I invited them up for dinner on the porch.

Regular readers of this blog already know how much I enjoy gourmet cooking; Rebekah and I eat wonderful food on a regular basis. But it's a treat to share. So I pulled out one of my favorite recipes from "Cooking New American".

I'll spare you the mouthwatering details, suffice it to say dinner involved organic tenderloin (with a reduction sauce that included shallots, Cabernet, pine nuts and blue cheese), asparagus, squash, loaded baked potatoes and fresh bread, along with a nicely balanced Chianti - all followed by Peet's coffee and Häagen-Dazs.

There really is little I enjoy more than a relaxed evening with friends, good food and great conversation. So much the better if we're outside on the porch. It was one of those "take a deep breath; inhale; feel yourself relax; now isn't that nice?" kind of evenings.


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