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A swing and a miss…

March 7, 2009

I am not one to enjoy dwelling on my suckiness. And I’d been so excited about the gradual increase of tastiness in my recent cooking endeavours that tonight set-back was a bit discouraging.

But let’s start out with a better story – last night I made the Jamison lamb that I had picked up from the Fair Food Farm Stand a few weeks back, mainly because I had heard about it from religiously reading Bouchon. Thomas Keller actually lists it as one of two PA farms that are the best lamb he’s ever had. Yowsa, right? I knew PA was the chief exporter of the Amish and NRA members (two totally unrelated groups…I hope), but yummy lamb…confounds the mind

So last night, I made some Jamie Oliver inspired marinaded of white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, minced garlic, and some sage (can’t give propositions, because I wasn’t keeping track) and tossed the lamb in for a little while while roasting some potatoes and beets (both from the farm stand, both local, both blood blood red by the time they were done…should’ve take a picture of the bloody potatoes & beets, but it just didn’t look appetizing). And I don’t mind saying that it was frickin awesome. Really kind of wonderful. I’ll be getting that lamb next trip downtown and recommend you get on it Stat. PS. I use to HATE lamb. Go fig’.

Which leads to tonight and my over confidence with some salmon fillets I picked up at Otolith – the first bad sign being that the little pin needly bones were still in the fish and I was leaning over these gorgeous fillets with tweezers (cleaned off all eyebrow hairs, I promise) for a good 15mins. I can cook, but I never said I could dissect.

I made a really simple marinade of white wine, capers, shallots, and rosemary – and totally forgot to add garlic, salt or pepper, meaning the flavor was bland at best. Jon wasn’t in love with the leek, shallot, caper stir fry I made in my attempt to use up the leeks I had gotten from the farm stand before they got droopy. Those, I liked, but Jon…not so much. All in all, the fish was flavorless and the veggies were a bit too bitter for 50% of my audiences taste. Nothing like bringing that ego in check. In all fairness, my knife skills were rather impressive.

Which led to a very enlightening discussion. We’ve established that this was not an impressive dinner. But it wasn’t exactly bad. Just nothing compared to the other dinners I’ve made since I’ve started to apply some skill and creativity to my cooking. And in what I must assume was an attempt at sweetness and chivalry, the husband said that it was more along the lines that it wasn’t bad, it was just one of the lesser attempts – like one of the Pete Best songs in the Beatles catalogue.

Correct me if I’m wrong, hardcore Beatles fans, but wasn’t Pete Best pretty sucktacular?

Moreover, for perspective purposes, I made husband wash dishes and assign appropriate Bealtes songs to my most recent meals. Here’s what he’s decided:

Recent dinners ~ Beatles Catalogue
Dinner tonight ~ Hey Bulldog
(is he inferring that there’s something about
Pete Best that should offend me or something)
Delmonico steaks with Cognac DemiGlace ~ A Day In My Life
The Spanglish Sandwich ~ Helter Skelter
Chicken with Cognac & Dijon ~ In my Life
Muscles with Dijon and Saffron ~ Tomorrow Never Knows
Valentine’s Day Lobsters ~ Help!

Nothing like a little bit of perspective from the husband. And I don’t know if I necessarily agree with the song assignment. I, for one, think that the Delmonico steaks were obviously Eleanor Rigby, but the story ends with Jon picking up ice cream and dish detergent. So all and all, he’s a rockstar.

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