I let Milo choose dinners this weekend, since I’m tired, and tired of fancy cooking after the exertions of the past week or so. My Dad is English, and when I was growing up he was allowed to make breakfast on Sunday in the full-blown tradition of his people: bacon, eggs, sausage, tomatoes, potatoes, and bread, all fried in the bacon grease. When I was an impoverished grad student in Chicago I would often make myself a modified version of it for dinner, based on some Hangover Helper™ pub food I had when I live over there: eggs, beans, chips (fries) and usually kale.
Last night we had beans- pintos soaked and then cooked low & slow for three hours in smoked chicken broth with onion, garlic, tomato paste, cider vinegar, a little maple syrup, and chilli powder- plus fried eggs, toast, kale, and a hot dog each. He had ketchup, I had HP sauce. He dunked everything into the runny yolk like a pro. The whole meal was a testament to his discerning taste, and a suitably manly bachelor dinner in Mommy’s absence. It was also perfect for the chilly, raw English weather we had yesterday.
Today, warm and bright, we busied ourselves outside potting up some herbs for a neighbor, taking a walk, and giving John some seedlings when he stopped by. After lunch we made some pizza dough (for same-day eating, I use a modified version of the Silver Spoon recipe, but with half whole wheat flour and adjusted hydration) and then after a gallery opening in town we came home, fired up the oven and rolled it out. Or I did; he was tired so he watched “My neighbor Totoro” while I did it.
If there’s lead time, I normally make a pre-ferment for the dough the night before, and sometimes I make the recipe in Hamelman’s Bread taken from the very bakery in Rome where I would go every morning to get pizza rossa for my breakfast. But the quick version does fine, especially if you’re topping it with things picked an hour before. The first one was a pizza rossa with a heaping arugula salad piled on top, and the second one was the last of our winter spinach- we pulled up the row today, since the new crop is big enough- wilted with garlic and topped with lots of fresh mozzarella.
Daddy’s choice: a 1997 Produttori del Barbaresco Moccagatta, which is my kind of wine. Still pretty fiercely tannic, but it softened after some time in a decanter into a tangy, stanky, difficult wench of a wine with a rare but gleamingly angelic smile that makes your heart go boom boom. I think there are 9 more in the long-term stash, so sometime in the next 10 years or so this will become one of those wise old wines where you’re awestruck at the subtlety, elegance, power, and balance that a glass of fermented grape juice can show you.