Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Best Free Meal of My Life

I am super poor right now and whenever I am super poor, making interesting dinners becomes a challenge. But! Today while I was thinking about it, I decided to make myself make something fantastic for dinner, especially since Sister Meg's out of town and therefore I don't have to take her whims (cf. South Beach Diet) under consideration. So I did a complete pantry inventory, a complete freezer inventory and also I went down to the basement to see if there was any wine left from Mom and Dad's seven-month holiday visit. Success on all fronts!

I found a duck breast, the last one from a very generous Christmas gift of six duck breasts given to me by my friend Lauren. Some Yukon gold potatoes. Some Brussels sprouts. Some wisely frozen lemon zest from when I had a plethora of Meyers. A jar of pickled cherries made by my friend Ellen. A chicken bouillon cube here, a pat of butter there, et voila!. A five-star dinner. Seared duck breast with a cherry red wine reduction, roasted Yukon golds and Brussels sprouts with lemon zest.

I made it all up, no recipes. Sister Meg used to have a friend who would come over for dinner occasionally and at the end of dinner, she'd holler out a price, the amount she would be willing to pay for said dinner. "17.95!" "22.95!" Whatever. This dinner would have emptied her imaginary wallet.


China: Villeroy & Boch Audun Ferme

Skillet: Martha Stewart Tri-Ply from K-Mart (retired)

Roasting pan: Lodge apple green enamel casserole

Flatware (not shown): "Fiddlehead," Pottery Barn (retired)

Linens: Brawny Paper Towels

Wine: Jessie's Grove Old Vine ZInfandel

Floor show during dinner: Ugly Betty

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Resolution! Plus: The Chuck Box!

My New Year's Resolution for this year - and I never make them really; I think they're kind of dumb - is to go camping at least five times over the course of the year. The first big one is going to be to Big South Fork in late April or early May. I might slip in a weekend trip before that to a state park - Montgomery Bell is only forty minutes away - but Big South Fork will be the biggie, four days or so.

And I'll be able to debut the much-talked about and planned Chuck Box! Dad got ahold of my plans while he was here for three weeks at Christmas and he knocked it out. There's some debate over how to paint it - I'm arguing heavily for woodburning DG'S TOTALLY AWESOME CHUCK BOX on the top - but it all worked out perfectly. Seems fancy since it pretty much holds paper towels and ziplocs.

Anyway, Happy New Year everybody. Except for those few bitchy people I don't like. You TOTALLY know who you are.