Sunday, February 06, 2005


Salad by SWMBO.

Sometimes, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I amaze even ourselves with how much Sheer Meaty Food Goodness we can pack in over the course of a dinner.

Well, I’ll amend that statement somewhat. SWMBO actually does not make a pig of herself. The Missus has remarkable self-control, yes she does. And no, she is not standing over me, rolling pin in hand, as I write this.

I, on the other hand, enjoy my food all too much. Sheer survival requires that I keep a reasonably good leash on myself most of the time. But, to continue on the “leash” analogy, once in a while, I let the dawgs out. That’s what I did last night.

Bad enough that I cooked up a Lil Pachter-style Braised Beef Brisket. And, having made one Shaker Meyer Lemon Pie last week and being extremely pleased with the result, I couldn’t resist the burning urge to make another one. Because, after all, nothing exceeds like excess.

She Who Must Be Obeyed was in on the act, too. She contributed some multi-hued creamer potatoes, roasted in olive oil with herbs and an astounding number of whole garlic cloves. Even better, she assembled a gorgeous salad (pictured above) with mâche and arugula, artichoke hearts, avocado, and shaved Pecorino Romano.

And that’s where all semblance of moderation ended. Because the friends with whom we shared this fine repast had their own unique ideas as to what constitutes an “appetizer.”

No, not for them the little smoked oysters. Not for them the little bits of Brie and smoked salmon perched on delicate water crackers. No crab dip. None of that frou-frou crap.

When Wylie and Janet come to dinner, their idea of an “appetizer” is a couple of slabs of Wylie’s own smoked ribs. Holy. Freakin’. Crap.

We are not talking amateur ribs here either, folks. Wylie is an honest-to-Gawd room-fulla-trophies-winning competitive barbecue guy. The man is serious...and so are them ribs. The racks he brought over were just two out of 36 racks he had smoked that day. Yow!

So: ribs, braised brisket - a very different version of brisket than the one Wylie usually makes! - plus his patented Killer Smoked ’n’ Baked Beans (with chunks of brisket thrown in), Salade à la Mode de SWMBO, and those fine garlicky potatoes, all washed down with a couple of fine bottles of California Red. And let’s not forget that damned Shakerina Pie, definitely better-looking than the first shot out of the barrel two weeks ago:

Shakerina Pie - Take Bake 2.

It’s purely a miracle that we could get any sleep after that meal. No Brazilian Meathouse could compete. All I will tell you is, I had exceptionally vivid dreams which, by rights, should have featured fields of fragrant lemon trees.

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