Sunday, October 08, 2006

And now for something completely different

We had a really great meal tonight. I like to go out to eat because you don’t have to do the preparation or the clean up afterward. But in all honesty I have to say that when it comes to good food, we do as well at home as most of the restaurants we have been to. That is almost completely due to my partner, Diane.

One of the smart things I did in my life was to marry Diane. Not only is she a great person and a great mother, but she also has a MA in Home Economics. She is capable in all areas of Home Ec., (sewing, design, etc.) but what really likes and excels at is cooking. Yeah, I know: I am a very lucky guy.

I dabble in cooking, and I am good enough that I can proudly claim that so far everybody who has eaten something that I have cooked has been able to walk out of my house under his or her own power (the effects of adult beverages excluded). Diane, on the other hand, is truly gifted. She understands food and cooking and she has a superior ability to know what tastes good.

Tonight we decided to resurrect an old recipe for herbed baked cheese (Diane’s), which is Havarti flavored with Dijon mustard, dill weed, fennel seed, parsley flakes, basil, and chives, wrapped in puff pastry dough, brushed in egg wash and baked. It is really delicious. We ate that, accompanied by a tasty J. Lohr chardonnay (about $10 a bottle) as we prepared the main meal, which consisted of a atore-bought bag of Asian salad with a sesame dressing (wonderful!); a 2-pound, 4-inch-thick pork roast in a teriyaki marinade cooked on the grill (that’s what I do); and baked acorn squash with a sauce of butter, brown sugar, amaretto and biscotti (really tasty, and another of Diane’s finds, from the TV Food Network).

A lot of the people on Food TV get on my nerves. It’s not what they cook; it’s the way they behave. The acorn squash recipe came from Tyler Florence, who in spite of his sometimes-grating personality frequently has some great recipes. I could spend a lot of time on the people of Food TV that bug me, but that would serve no positive purpose.

The upshot of this column is that we had a great meal that we prepared ourselves, and even the preparation and clean up couldn’t mess that up.

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