Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oh, The Glamour of it All (Turkey Chili)

I’m as cynical as the next person – okay, depending on the next person, probably even more so – and so, there are few things that I enjoy more than getting together with some good friends to laugh at the excesses of society, while enjoying those very displays.

The only reason that the Golden Globes rate below the Oscars is that there is a significant chance that there will be a traffic incident on a Monday causing one to be late to, what is already (compared to the Oscar’s anyway) a short red carpet segment. I arrived at my friend H’s house at 7:20ish with a bottle of wine and an empty stomach (I had worked straight through lunch and been desperate enough to call ahead to ensure that there would be significant food offerings (I would have stopped on the way otherwise) - something I normally would not do, but I need not have worried, H is a phenomenal hostess). She had 3 appetizers (for 4 of us – the fifth got stuck even later at work, it wasn't just me) plus a most amazing Turkey Chili. I will need to get this recipe as it was seriously delicious.

She had also gone to Pour, a new wine shop near her house and they had helped her choose two wines and also provided her with little cheat sheets on each of them.

I found this to be a very nice touch as it allowed me to compare my view of the wine with that of the experts. That said, there weren’t rankings, just information – so I didn’t know if my choice of the Muri-Gries '05 (a Lagrien)

over the Cotes de Roussillon Le Plaisir '05 (a Granache, which is one of my favorite varietals)

was in concert with what a pro would have chosen (price was the same).

This evening was also proof of what everyone knows, that it never makes sense to try to diet by starving oneself (not that I was trying to diet, I was just trying to get everything done that day, but the results are the same). I arrived absolutely ravenous, ate my fair share of the appetizers (remember, there were 4 of us for 3 decent sized group style appetizers, so 'fair' becomes an interesting concept) and then doubled down on the chili – it was too good not to. I did have a small salad each time, so I felt virtuous – virtuous and very, very full, by the end.

I also went ahead and had some dessert (with flour! as the 2 weeks without didn't seem to have any noticable impact on my health (but more on that later)) and H had Levain cookies. Now, after the fact, I feel a bit embarasseded at not instantly melting when she mentioned Levain. But, to be totally honest, I hadn't tried them before - and I only vaguely remembered that someone else had shared that same embarassment. But at the end of the day, you can't live in the past, especially when it tastes too good to live in the present. They might not be my very favorite cookies (mine with their mix of raisin and chocolate chip, hot out of the oven, have that distinction) , but they're easily near the top of the heap. Please note that they are actually huge - this is what was left after the initial frenzy (there wasn't time to take a photo first, the cookies were too appealing).


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