Monday, September 27, 2010

Dinner and All That (Explained to the Uninitiated)

Ron pointed out to me that I tend to gloss over details in my blog entries. So I thought I'd try to explain better what I mean in my annotated version of yesterday's entry.

Sometimes, dinner is just what dinner is. You can't explain it. It just happens. Well, actually you can explain it, but I put in those two sentences for dramatic affect. And dinner doesn't "just" happen, it takes a fair amount of work, if not planning. The less planning the more chopping, paring, and drinking spirited beverages. I know this from personal experience.I like the word melange*. I'm not quite sure what it means (I really do know what it means, because I looked it up before I published this blog post), but I think it explains tonight's dinner perfectly (It didn't, but that's the subject of another blog post).

Ron had prepared a list of dining possibilities inside our kitchen. I kid you not! He withdrew a list from his shirt pocket. I was totally amazed! They included green salad; warmed over veggie stew (more about that later*); watermelon, beet, and tomato salad; potatoes; roasted cauliflower; corn on the cob; and beet greens. He said we didn't need to fix all of it(!), but these were the options. He was going to pass on the veggie stew, but everything else was in play, if I wanted it.

Okay, here's the lowdown on those asterisks and the veggie stew. I'm not sure that I literally "like" the word "melange," but it fits in well with my narrative style, at least I think so, and I'm writing this blog. If you can come up with a better word, please comment on this post. Oh, and about the veggie stew, it was another chili debacle. I accidentally put too much heat in it, like two ancho chilies and a fair amount of chipotle chili powder, plus some significant amount of cayenne pepper, and many grinds of black pepper. Honestly, it did not taste too hot for me, but when Ron started sweating profusely, I kind of figured maybe I could have used a lighter touch. Bless his heart, he did not complain until after eating at least three spoonfuls, and then he ate the rest of the bowl with a manly determination. You have to love this guy!

Ron's keen on corn, almost like he was born in Kansas Do Tel Aviv natives eat corn on the cob? or something. I really wanted some fried potatoes (it's a well-known fact that fried potatoes contain significant amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, especially if they are Idaho potatoes). The veggie stew had so much chili in it, that I figured the fried potatoes would cut a little of the heat, and my heartburn wouldn't kill me when I went to bed. I did have heartburn, and it did affect me when I went to bed, but I consider that as a minor penance for subjecting Ron to the veggie stew earlier. Besides, it really tasted wonderful, smoky and hot. I was a go on the beet and watermelon salad, and the beet greens. Operation Melange Dinner* was about to get underway.

*I started using nomenclature like this after Operation Iraqi Freedom. I figured if Dick Cheney could co-opt a perfectly useful word and turn it into a militaristic slogan of American Imperialism, I could do the same when referring to certain culinary operations in my own kitchen. Besides, I'm quite sure that Dick and Lynne must love chili because they are from Wyoming, and Wyoming is famous for buffalo chili. The Cheney's would probably think that my vegetable chili was a little effete, and if the shoe fits, wear it.

I figured Ron could eat the corn, and I would eat the veggie stew. I peeled the potatoes; he finished prepping the watermelon, beet, and tomato salad*, husked the corn on the cob, and washed the beet greens. *Did you do a double take when you read watermelon, beets, and tomatoes? I did, too. But I have learned that Ron's recipes, while exotic, are more than worth the experiment. The salad was very good, with watermelon sweetness and crunch, and the subtle flavor of the beets, plus their texture. This dish deserves a repeat on the dinner table. I got the potatoes frying about the time the beet greens were cleaned. Then all we had to do was to wait on the potatoes, warm up the veggie stew, and zap the corn on the cob.

And we did all that, got it on the table, and had an absolutely wonderful meal. He loved his corn, and the potatoes did cut the chili burn on the veggies. We had this colorful, delightful, and fresh meal that was tasty, and didn't have any cholesterol, corn syrup, BHA, or BHT. Nothing came from a box. Most of it came from the CSA farm in Pennsylvania. The food was good, and the company unsurpassed. I enjoy these cooking adventures with Ron, and appreciate his skill, talents, and inquisitiveness in the kitchen. I'm happy he cooks for me! Real food for real homosexuals.