Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Friday night, for At Home Date Night, I made honey sesame pork tenderloin from the defective Stop and Smell The Rosemary. The tenderloin is marinated in soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil, then rolled in a honey/brown sugar blend and then rolled in sesame seeds and baked. It's quite good. I served it with creamed spinach and potatoes au gratin, neither of which really went with the honey sesame, but all of which was delicious. Whole milk is key to gratin potatoes, I've discovered.

Saturday morning I made pancakes, and then we went to Table 8 and ate up all their bar menu. I highly recommend the grilled cheese with shortribs.

Sunday morning I got up and made challah- it came out slightly burnt on the bottom. Jeff likes it that way, though, so it wasn't a total loss. Sunday night I made the fried chicken from The Gift Of Southern Cooking, which I had brined, and then marinated in buttermilk. And then I dredged it with a flour/cornstarch/salt and pepper combo, and then fried it in... a stick of butter and a pound of lard. Which I had simmered bacon in for 45 minutes. (The recipe called for country ham, which I couldn't find- I spent enough time tracking down the lard. Gelson's finally had it in the back. 99 cents a pound. Anyway.)

The result was the best fried chicken I have ever had. Ever. I made their tomato gravy to go with it, and y'all. It was incredible. It was incredible cold the next day. It's going to be incredible for my lunch. It is amazing. I had to scrap my plans to use leftover challah to make french toast on Monday and make biscuits to have with the leftover tomato gravy instead.

Monday night Jeff's parents came over for corned beef, more potatoes au gratin (Friday nights' were a little too watery and buttery. I cut down on the butter, but was out of whole milk- resulting in an even more liquid dish. Someday, potatoes au gratin, I will conquer you.) and challah. It was good. I love corned beef.

What I do not love is that I've been spending weeks planning Jeff's birthday dinner- which includes someone with an allergy to tomatoes and someone who doesn't eat pork, beef, or chicken- planning which Jeff has been an avid participant in. So knowing that the meal was going to be leek and potato soup with bread, sole meuniere with an undetermined vegetable, a baked goat cheese salad, and an apple tart- knowing that- and knowing that we're stretching the limits of our place settings and flatware with the guests already invited- he goes and invites a vegan.

A vegan! Y'all. I loathe brown rice. I refuse to serve fake taco meat, as Jeff suggested. And also, what kind of person doesn't eat butter but will eat pasta? Pasta is made of eggs! And it's no good without cheese! And what am I supposed to cook without butter?

I'm no longer steaming mad at Jeff, but I still have no solutions.