Friday, December 18, 2009

Julia Child at the Round Table

As we were saying our farewells at Sunday's brunch, Jane reminded us our dinner party group would be rejoining at her home on Thursday night for dinner. She then went on to say we were in danger of becoming a variation of the Algonquin Round Table. The Round Table was the celebrated group of New York writers, playwrights and artists who met for lunch at the Algonquin Hotel each day for nearly ten years for witty wordplay and wisecracks. Frequently, these lunches turned into dinners and they became collaborators as well. Their wit was written up in the press quite often.

My favorite was Dorothy Parker's wordplay quip,"You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think."

They dubbed themselves the 'Vicious Circle" and while we may get a tad catty here and there we are indeed great viciousness in sight. We talk literature and film while the music of Leonard Cohen or k.d. lang play in the background. Lest it sound too highbrow, we frequently talk about the latest reality show as well. Last night, we also exchanged some gifts and cards....we gave hometown favorite Rossi Pasta gift boxes.

Also unlike the Round Table, the highlight for us is often the food....and last night was no exception. Jane prepared Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon to the letter of the recipe. This is quite the difficult undertaking. She said during the meal that were she to repeat this dish she would make it easier on herself and skip some steps. Once the rest of us tasted the dish, though, we urged her not to change one thing.

The beef bourguignon was about as close to perfection as I could imagine a meal to be. The meat, onions and vegetables were perfectly done, and the sauce, oh, the sauce....I wanted to lap it up, every drop of it. I shared that I had a tear in my eye as I ran out of sauce to soak up. The beef was served with buttered parsley potatoes and a salad with a homemade lemony dressing. Linda brought a wonderful Australian Cab/Shiraz blend called Passion Has Red Lips form the winery of Some Young Punks.

Dessert was the latest of Linda's pies and her best yet. It was a Caramel Apple-Cranberry Pie served with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. The perfect blend of sweet and tart. It put me over the edge but oh, was it fun getting there.

Bon Appetit, indeed.


Ronnie said...

It's been over a week and I still dream of that gravy. Unbelievable. Thanks for the pasta guys. It's fabulous.

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