Chris & Sirkka and John & Debi came over, plus the girls, and I had gone into Kingston to procure a hunk of pork since John and I had been talking about it. Flisher’s was closed, but we had left messages, and I banged on the door. Some poor cleaning guy let me in, and Josh coached him over the phone in the art of cutting the sirloin off a whole pig leg on the bandsaw. 9 pounds in all, with the tail still attached, (I cut it off) it went into the smoker for an hour to get some flavor on it. While it was smoking, I cooked half a bottle each of Aussie shiraz and German reisling in a pot with star anise, cinnamon, onion, carrots, garlic, herbs, peppercorns, and cabbage leaves to make a marinade. This went in a big pot along with the smoked meat and into an oven for 5 hours. I took the nappa cabbage from Richard and Susan, shredded it, and braised it with the rest of the reisling, cumin, fennel and mustard seeds, and onion for just as long.
John took some beautiful yellowfin tuna and chopped it superfine into a tartare with chives, then rolled balls of it in toasted sesame seeds and put it in little bowls of grated daikon and ponzu (the real thing, bought on their recent tour of Japan.)
So we began with more green soup, then had the tartare, then pumpkin ravioli which all the kids helped me roll out (using the filling from last time that we froze, and Chris & Sirkka’s parsley pesto mixed with sage butter as the sauce) and last the pork, sliced on top of the cabbage with the marinade. On the side, John’s pressure-cooked daikon in flying fish broth, and Chris’ burdock and leeks. Awesome, even if scheduling prevented the meat from attaining what we had in mind.
We drank, in order, a 1997 “Les Cailloux” CDP which was almost Burgundian, a 1999 Beaux Frères, which might have fooled someone, a 1983 Dujac Clos de la Roche which was over the hill, and a 1983 Drouhin Bonnes Mares which was, in John’s words, “the holy grail” of old Burgundy- funky, earthy, still sweet, and transparent.