why I am tired today

Monday, July 31, 2006


One of my fantasies is to become known for throwing legendary dinner parties.

We spent all weekend preparing for last night's soiree. We went to the farmers market at the Ferry Plaza, Rainbow Grocery, Thom's, the huge Asian market (in front of which everyone double-parks) on Clement Street and Cala buying the freshest ingredients possible for our meal. (It's hard to imagine truly fresh ingredients at Cala, but we were driven to desperation in some cases. We couldn't find organic bean sprouts anywhere.)

And yes, we actually went through with the pork plan. I picked up some pork shoulder from Prather Ranch's Ferry building store. (I felt like a complete idiot buying it because I had no idea what I was looking for and couldn't really verbalize what I wanted to do to the pork: "Um, so I need some pork. Something I can put in the oven with some sauce maybe. And big enough for six people.")

But we pulled it off. (Granted, we started cooking at 1 p.m. and the guests didn't arrive until 6. And we didn't serve dessert until 10:30. But still, we did it. And so far, there are no reports of food poisoning.)

Here's the menu with wine pairings:

* Homemade tzaziki and thinly sliced fried baby eggplant dusted with fleur de sel and served with warm pita
(Taltarni Vineyards Brut Taché NV sparkling wine)

* Lumpia filled with bean sprouts, carrots, green onions, and pasilla and Anaheim peppers with a soy-peanut dipping sauce
(Clos Du Val 2002 Ariadne)

* Sweet white corn soup drizzled with heirloom tomato sauce
(Cakebread 2005 Chardonnay)

* Prather Ranch pork shoulder in a Riesling-mushroom reduction with toasted almonds and thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes, served with a side of quinoa and pine nuts
(Mt. Langi Ghiran 2002 Shiraz Billi Billi Creek)

* Cheese plate (at this point, I was tackling the huge mountain of dishes in our sink, so I have no idea what was actually on the cheese plate)

* Peaches baked in brown sugar and served with vanilla gelato and cinnamon-caramel topping
(Royal Tokaji 2000 Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos)

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