Monday, March 23, 2009

Too Long A Solitude

Lily pads
"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion." ~ Henry David Thoreau
My friends have come to accept my self-imposed winter exile, or maybe they just put up with my a-holery, I dunno. In any event, along with the welcome fair weather, invitations are starting to trickle in. One just came from friends to whom I was introduced when I first moved to New York. Back then, they were kind enough to take me under their wing, make some introductions for me, and open up a world it would have taken me years to discover on my own. We had a most excellent outing catching the early spring migration out on Jamaica Bay. Afterwards, a cozy dinner at their home on the upper West Side.
Stuffed olives and nutsVermont cheddar cheese and Wasa crackers
S&J are two very high-profile people in their professional lives who guard their privacy and entertain only very intimately and simply. It's a chance for them to let their hair down as it were. However, you never feel more wanted, comfortable, or well fed after an evening in their company.
Hybrid cherry tomatoes Mako shark steaksSeasoned eggplant
Simple salad (detail)Grilling mako shark steaksRoasted eggplant (detail)
Simple saladGrilled teriyaki mako steaksRoasted eggplant
Our meal Sunday started with less than ten ingredients. S&J work wonders with a straightforward, honest approach to food. A simple salad of hybrid cherry tomatoes and red romaine lettuce dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of dried herbs. The Mako steaks had an unfussy marinade of teriyaki and soy sauces, and some minced garlic. Eggplant got minimal seasoning with olive oil, salt and pepper before roasting. Every step though, was executed deliberately and with care. There was no sense of urgency to get the meal on the table, the plates cleared and the guest out the door. I think my blood pressure actually drops after an evening with S&J. As always, the meal was exceptional; the conversation and camaraderie even more so.
I often shake my head in amazement at my good fortune. My wealth cannot be counted in dollars, however. My friends are my riches. I hope yours are too.
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food

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