Away Games

We had a pretty delightful weekend, and managed to stumble into three consecutive dinners at other peoples’ houses- a refreshing inversion of our normal M.O. We went to Vermont for a couple of nights, and the first night we had grilled venison with polenta and salad (we brought everything from home.)

The next evening we headed over to the beautiful new house of some family friends for a terrific meal: grilled halibut and shrimp with an intense chimichurri sauce and a nice array of supporting dishes. I forgot the camera, which is a pity because it looked great too. We had some Cali chards, then a Muscadet that another guest brought- it cost less than the one we had last week and was even better. Wish I had written it down. We finished off with a 2001 Sirius that we brought, which is pure decadent pleasure.

We came home on Sunday, and that evening we walked over to our new friends’ house for a lovely dinner on their deck (and a tour of their unbelievable indoor pool which is almost finished.) Lio grilled some local sausages, and served a wild turkey (his friend had just shot it with an arrow) in a truffly sauce. Being a sommelier, he naturally had a few bottles lying around, and we worked our way through a 2005 Jadot Nuits-Saint-Georges, a brilliant 2003 Les Cailloux CDP, a 2001 Priuré-Les-Tours Graves, and a 2001 Baron d’Arques. The 1999 La Poderina Brunello I brought was sadly a little corked, which gave the many French people in attendance no end of pleasure- it just confirmed what they all take as a given.

Next up, yesterday John and Debi threw a potluck party at their new place by the river (Milo and I had been there the day before for a bit to help get the firepit ready) so I smoked two sides of sable and made mojito ice cream with fresh mint, lime, and rum. I also grabbed a 2000 Beaucastel on the way out the door, since the CDP the night before had reminded me once again how much I adore Châteauneuf.

Other highlights included the supernaturally luscious White Barn rosé- made per the maker’s instruction by pouring a bottle each of his Grenache and Viognier into a carafe- and the typically sublime combination of flavors on a plate that always happens when this crowd gets together. Milo, typically on the ball, took a strategic seat right next to Danny, the Grammy-winning bringer of watermelon (and guacamole.)

There’s nothing quite as nice as a break from cooking and entertaining for a little bit; it was a particular treat to have these three meals line up so perfectly.

4 comments to Away Games

  • Zoomie

    Must be especially nice for you since most places you go, they don’t eat as well as you do at home!

  • Peter M

    Whoa, I’m liking that you grilled two whole fillets of halibut…no stops pulled here!

    Looks like a fine outing.

  • Jen of A2eatwrite

    I think you must live in the valley of all cooks all the time.

  • peter

    Zoomie: All three of these were great.

    Peter: Actually, those are sable in the smoker; John grilled the halibut à la minute.

    Jen: Nah, this was just lucky.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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