Friday, December 25, 2009

Memories of Christmas Eve

I was very lucky to have a childhood filled with love and privilege.  I never wanted for anything, had the best education that money could buy, and the full attention of both of my parents who supported me in everything I did.  I was spoiled by my grandparents and had plenty of wonderful extended family too.  In retrospect, I can say with all confidence that it was about as ideal as a childhood could be.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mastering Cheese by Max McCalman

A cursory read through Max McCalman's new book Mastering Cheese makes me say WOW! I'm so glad that someone has finally taken the time to write an updated reference to take over where Steve Jenkins's Cheese Primer left off.  This book tells you just about everything you need to know about cheese and more for the cheese dork, like me.  It will take me years to digest all of the information contained in this wonderful tome.

Holiday Entertaining at The Majestic

I like to do things around Christmas that remind me of home like cooking Cajun classics such as Gumbo and Crawfish Creole.  These familiar flavors bring me closer to my family who is so far away and also bring back some fond memories of lavish Christmas Eve gatherings filled with food, music, and lots and lots of presents.  Because I work in the hospitality industry, I will be unable to spend time with my family, so this Christmas I will be cooking for friends in the same boat as me.  I'm hosting a small gathering at The Majestic and I couldn't be happier to entertain my "work family" on my favorite holiday of the year. Today, I'm preparing a menu of roasted turkey with Dot's Cranberry Sauce and Mustard/Pesto Mayo as well as the Cajun classic, Shrimp Étoufée.

DeuS at The Publick House

If you read my post on Cava a while back, you know how crazy I am for bubbly. Last night, after the fabulous Arneis Ensemble Concert, we headed over to Brookline's famous Publick House to raise a celebratory glass together. Our friends visiting from Chicago, Kristin and Grant, as it turns out are huge Belgian beer fans, so I wanted to take them to a place that specializes in none other, and hopefully have something that might be new to them.

Arneis Ensemble Does It Again!

Another Winter Solstice has come and gone. It's a day that, for me, begs introspection and also one that I look for comfort and warmth in, bracing for the coming winter. I was happy to spend my evening attending a concert given by Dan Doña and friends, Kristin Elgersma and Will Cicola - the second performance in the Arneis Ensemble Concert Series. The program featured Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio, Eight Pieces by Max Bruch, and Robert Schumann's Märchenerzählungen, all works for clarinet, viola, and piano played superbly by the three musicians. Overall, the group produced a warm and inviting sound and navigated the treacherous program with ease and grace. Kristin seemed to meld with piano and provided a solid foundation of sound for the group. Will's tone and intonation were unwavering, and Dan played with an elegance and confidence that I have not heard so consistently from him before tonight's performance.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tatte is the Place for Brioche

If you have a hankering for a breakfast of brioche and homemade jam, I recommend you check out Tatte Bakery in Brookline on Beacon Street in St. Mary's Square. The daily special is two warm brioche, homemade jam, and cup of coffee for $10. It's one of the fabulous things you can treat yourself to there that will warm you up on these nasty winter days ahead. I might even suggest that you close your eyes for a minute or two as you eat and pretend you are in Paris - it won't be too much of a stretch with the sensory experience that this breakfast provides.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Legendary 1967 Pomerol

It's been about seven years since my dinner at March in New York City. Mistress Botrytis (name changed to protect the innocent) and I dined there on a comp and had the meal of our lives. There are bites of food that I will always remember like the amazing two-bite lobster purses or the seared foie gras accompanied by a Sherry that was specifically made to go with the dish. The Swiss white wine was another first, understated, delicate, and perfect with our first courses. The word "excess" comes to mind, but I suppose that's really what made the meal special for me. There will never be another meal at March since the restaurant closed it doors a couple of years back, but I'd like to recount my experience for you here. I hope we didn't personally put them out of business! j/k