Monday, November 17, 2003

No polenta for me because I filled up on free sushi Friday night. I may make some for myself tonight since Jeff already has leftovers for dinner and I thought I may have been able to go to dinner with my Dad, who is instead getting in late, dropping off the KitchenAid, and running. Then I could take leftover polenta to tomorrow's office Thanksgiving Potluck. Would leftover polenta be an okay dish to bring? I wish I was more jazzed about this- or even to any degree jazzed. Anyone with simple potluck ideas, throw them at me. Or else it's leftover polenta for everyone.

Saturday morning I made scones, per Jeff's request. I used the recipe in Baking With Julia and made half plain, half strawberry jam filled. I never liked scones, but I know realize it's not scones I disliked. It's the bad scones I've had in the passed. These scones were sweet biscuits. They were delicious. Who knew scones didn't have to be rock solid and dry? Julia and Marion Cunningham, for one.

That night we went to Taylor's, an old old old school (we're talking $4.50 martinis here) steak house. Here's a tip- black and blue steak is great, but maybe not so great for a culotte or any other really, really thick cut of meat. Unless you like ice cold uncooked meat. Maybe you do.

Saturday I made brisket and a salad and mashed potatoes for Jeff's parents, who came over. Jeff's dad brought a treat from Rock Island, IL (his hometown): Boetje's Mustard. Which was incredibly good. I used the Zuni Cafe recipe for mashed potatoes- much like Sally Schneider's, but with cream and much more butter. It wasn't significantly better, and I didn't mash them enough, so it's back to the A New Way To Cook version. I never would have strayed, but I feel like some of my cookbooks don't get enough use.

The brisket, though, was wonderful as always and perfectly suite to the company. Jeff's dad actually photographed it before eating it. He asked for some of the Boetje's mustard to accompany it and then said, in a high compliment after his hour of talking about how Boetje's goes with everything and improves everything and is the greatest condiment ever invented, that the brisket did not need Boetje's.

For dessert we had Double Rainbow vanilla ice cream and a very easy chocolate sauce from Cooking At Home With The Culinary Institute of America, a book that seems much less hardcore than I thought it would be. The sauce is simply 3/4 cups of half and half, 1 1/2 tbsp butter, and 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, brought to a boil over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in 5 oz. of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (finely chopped). I used bittersweet Scharffen Berger. That's half the recipe, and it still made more than enough for 4 servings. Fortunately it keeps in the fridge. And is delicious.

I suppose I can't bring a half cup of chocolate sauce to the potluck.