Monday, December 31, 2018

My way of welcoming in the new year

No, I am not spending the evening in pjs with a book—well, at least not all of it. Tonight, dear friends Teddy and Sue came for an early happy hour—they had plans for a romantic dinner for two with filet mignon and a good wine—ah, the joys of being newly wed. Jordan and Christian came out to join us, and we had a loud and lively discussion. Mostly we all agreed, but we still tried to talk over each other. These are people I love.

After they left—Teddy and Sue to their steaks, and Jordan and Christian to a progressive pot-luck party, I cooked myself dinner. New recipe—scallops with a lemon and caper sauce. One of my few mix-ups with Central Market curbside delivery—first I had too few scallops (two) and then I had too many (five). They turned out okay but not the best I’ve ever eaten. The recipe called for brining them in salt water for ten minutes—I couldn’t see that it did anything for the flavor, but it did make them tend to fall apart. The recipe itself was complicated—olive oil, butter, garlic, white wine, capers, lemon juice, chicken stock (which I left out). In my zeal to get a good browned crust, I overcooked them slightly—maybe due to the brining, maybe I didn’t have a high enough heat. Lesson learned: I’ll go back to browning them in butter and serving with a wedge of lemon. Easier and better.

And then I had Mac’s salad. If you haven’t lived in Fort Worth thirty years, that deserves explanation. Back in the day—‘70s and ‘80s—we had three upscale restaurants in west Fort Worth: the Carriage House, the Swiss House, and Mac’s House, which was on Park Hill between McCart and Forest Park, sort of where Black Rooster is now but much larger. It was a fine steak house but most renowned for the salad—a secret dressing on head lettuce, with Parmesan and sesame seeds. Don’t even try to fancy it up with blue cheese or croutons. In later years, an aging Mac worked the front of the house at Michael’s on 7th Street, and Michael’s still serves the salad—and sells the dressing, so I bought some. All this has a sentimental attachment—my ex- and I ate at Mac’s fairly often, and my oldest, Colin, worked there as a bus boy when he was fifteen. For Colin, it was the start of a long career in hospitality.

After I write this, I’ll nap. Then I’ll read until the Burtons get back—ten or ten-thirty when they and friends get to the house. At that point I’ll go in and welcome in the new year with them. Well, at least watch the ball drop in Times Square which is eleven here.

So my evening combines all the things I like: socializing with friends; cooking; some alone time in my cottage, and then more socializing. What a lucky woman I am.

To all those who read my blog, especially those who read and comment regularly, a deep and heartfelt thank you—you save me from the feeling that I’m talking to myself. I would love to hear more comments and questions from you, especially on the Gourmet on a Hot Plate page.

But to all, may 2019 bring you a blessed year—good health, good times, good food, lots of books to read, more of whatever you need, and peace to our be leagued country. God bless.


Becky Michael said...

I wish you the same in the new year, Judy!

Jackie Dill said...

Happy New Year Judy. I treasure the memories I have of time with you and your family. I love hearing about your children and your life today. Have a very happy New Year!

Judy Alter said...

Becky, may you have a happy and health new yar.

Jackie, I treasure those memories too--those were good days, and moving was was painful in many ways. But I feel fortunate where I landed, and I hope you do too. Happy New Year to you!