Friends Subie and Phil were coming for dinner tonight, and I had hoped we could eat on the patio. This morning’s storms, amd the wet and chilly day wiped out that idea. I just couldn’t see serving six of us brats, corn on the cob, hot potato salad and asparagus around a coffee table, so I suggested to Jordan we eat in the main house, and she readily agreed. She’s been wanting me to come in there for joint cooking projects, but I have not been sure of the steps, the high lintels on the doors, etc. And if we leave Sophie outside, she’ll fuss, bark and make herself and everybody miserable; if we brought her in the house, we couldn’t visit on the porch because she’d do the same thing. (Do you get the feeling my life is ruled by a dog? Not really, but she’s one who will bolt given the chance, and I’m not going to try her on that front porch.)
Since it was cool tonight, we happily had appetizers in the living room—and Sophie ws inside and well behaved. It’s strange, I think, to be in a house you once lived in and filled with your furniture when someone else, even close family, lives there and decorates it to their taste. The kids’ furniture is heavier, over-stuffed, bigger than I would want—it makes it a whole different house but one that is nonetheless charming and inviting. They still have my dining set, and I sat at the head of the table—my princess chair, as Jordan called it, only now I was on my walker with a seat. We all remarked that it was really like old times to be there, and we were delighted.
I was responsible for dinner but really I only made the German potato salad. Jordan and Christian did the corn, a bit of asparagus, and brats that he did on the grill. A really good dinner, although I thought the potato salad needed more vinegar.
Still one of the nicest evenings I’ve spent in a while.
It’s been a food weekend. Friday Jordan and I went to Local Foods Kitchen and came home with turkey burgers. I also got egg salad and Brussel sprouts slaw for lunch—loved the egg salad; the slaw not so much. Didn’t like the texture. But the turkey patty made three meals for me—I ate almost half of it Friday and then made half sandwiches yesterday and today.
Last night I made Welsh rarebit just for me. No, not rabbit—rarebit means “a small bit” and this is a melted cheese dish, far more complicated than what my mom used to call Welsh rarebit (that was just melted cheese on toast). Last night’s version had sharp cheddar, Worcestershire, dry mustard, and stout. And it congealed into a solid state. I piled it on toast and baked it until the cheese was bubbly—unfortunately by then the edges of the toast burned and the whole thing set off my too-sensitive smoke alarm. But the rarebit was good, and I had it again this morning.
I’m still fiddling with cooking, and I think with both the potato salad tonight and the rarebit last night I was a bit off in the proportion of flour to liquid in my roux. One night recently I made a mushroom ragout (I probably blogged about it) and had the same problem—I could taste a bit of flour and that’s wrong, means I had the proportions off.
It’s fun to be fiddling with food again, and it was fun tonight to cook in my old kitchen, though I had to appoint Jordan sous chef to fetch and carry for me, partly because I don’t move around that easily and partly because I don’t know where they keep things. Yet even today when I can’t find a utensil or something, my mind goes to where it should be in that kitchen. Yes, it was sort of like being home again, and yes, you can go home again.