Wednesday, March 01, 2017

A gourmet kind of a day—or is it gourmand?

Eating outstandingly well is a fine way to start March, no matter whether it’s like a lion or a lamb. Today I think Mother Nature can’t make up her mind—it’s blustery like March and not as warm as it has been, but the sky is blue and the sun is warm. Take your choice.

Gourmand means one who appreciates fine food; a gourmet is more likely one who cooks it. Once I had an editor who crossed out gourmand in something because she said it smacked of gluttony. Not true—I think it means fine appreciation.

My friend and former student Heather Hogan Holt brought me lunch today. Lunch from Heather is not just any old lunch. She’s a trained chef and now cooks on the line lunchtime at the café in the Modern Museum of Art. She inquired ahead of time about tastes and allergies, and she nailed it—salmon salad, arugula and orange salad, and bruschetta with roast tomato slices. Absolutely delicious—and I loved talking with her about food and cooking and the like. I’m a little chagrined that she’s abandoned her English major background, but she couldn’t have taken a better direction. Heather also teaches at Sur le Table, so catch her either there or at Café Modern. She’ll be glad to meet you, and you’ll be glad to benefit from her skill and knowledge. I am pleased to have a bit of salmon salad in the fridge.

Retrospect is always regret: I should have taken a picture! And I did it again tonight—forgot to take a picture.

Betty and I trekked out to Bonnell’s (it seems a long distance though she knew a back way, and it wasn’t bad at all). As is our custom, we sat in the bar and had appetizers. Venison carpaccio was beautiful and delicious—but I was still hungry. Betty had grits and shrimp, a much more substantial appetizer, but since I’m allergic to shrimp that was out. We shared an order of Oysters Texasfeller—oyster with spinach, ham and Hollandaise. I found the ham a discordant taste and don’t remember it from previous trips. But all in all, a lovely evening, charming and helpful waitress. Kudos to Bonnell’s for serving a good but reasonable glass of wine—we had two each $8 glasses of chardonnay (oh, there was Bonnell’s chardonnay for $14). I suspect the reasoning is that at $8 we might have two glasses; at $14, we would limit ourselves to one.

A social day. I’m full and happy, feeling lucky to be able to have such interesting meals.

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