Sunday, November 4, 2007

Schmancy Dinner

Previously on the-house-rules, we had a LOT of people to help us move in... It was great, because several of the ladies* unpacked most of our kitchen into the cabinets and pantry. Plates here, cups there, pot holders under there, etc. And the best part about it is that it was all WRONG.

Now, this is no judgment on the aforementioned ladies*. They placed things according to their own logic structure and our snippets of input. And it most likely made a lot of sense for their collective kitchen consciousness. But each person has their own way of organizing things and this wasn't ours.

But having things put in the "wrong" way makes it easier to identify what the "right" way is. We spent evenings of this past week, after work, organizing the kitchen from one end of the galley to another. Somewhat of a mise-en-place as Escoffier would say. (I don't really know what that means, but I know its related to food prep and it sounds schmancy right?)

We start with cutlery/prep/wash at one end, move to cook/serve, and to wait/bar station progressively down one side of the kitchen. On the other side there's pantry/fridge/supplies and a special confection/pastry corner for my wife the baker. (I only do savory/stove top for the most part.)

Anways, we got this done just in time for our first dinner party with our friend Meredith on Friday night. Mostly, the dinner was pretty tame. Pasta with a bottle of sauce plus my spinach mushroom additions. But I'm very proud of my salad: Frisee greens with Walnuts, Apples, and Parmesan cheese tossed in a lemon mustard dressing. I owned that mother.

Also, we had a bottle of Merlot from Rex Goliath 40 lb Rooster, one of our favorite wines, recommended to us by my brother and his wife. They live in Wisconsin, so typically one would question their Midwestern taste, but it was a recent (and sad) move from the east coast, so you can trust them... Implicitly. Unless we're talking about gun control, in which case don't put stock in anything they say. (Get it! Stock?!?)

*Footnote: Ladies is not a pejorative term. The setting up of the kitchen simply happened to be done by a group of women. Don't accuse me of sexism. I mean, if a dude who gets all hot and bothered by a frisee salad can't simply state the facts without his readers getting all feminist activist on his ass, what hope does the world have?