Saturday, October 4, 2008

Uncomplicated Pleasure

“Food is our common ground.” James Beard
No, its not an Airstream trailer. It's the barbecue of my husband's dreams. Stainless steel grates and infrared heat to sear the juices in the meat.

In my dreams was the decoratively demure enamel clad cooker. Such models in a brand trustworthy to be around when parts need to be replaced is against every economic ethic. So my husband won this battle.

This is a story that ends with the pleasure possible in surrender. Our visual aesthetic may differ: but food is our common ground.

Food does not have to be complicated to be a feast.

Last night the Italian sausage were marinated in just a tiny bit of red wine.

The red stems of chard were sauteed in a bit of butter and olive oil. The chopped leaves added a minute later with a ladle of chicken broth. When the leaves were just beginning to wilt, it was splashed with red wine vinegar and pulled off the heat.

Soothing comfort was provided the tongue by the oozing of fresh mozzarella cheese stirred into a simmering hot pot of polenta.

Baby Portabella mushrooms made their own sauce when warmed in a tiny bit of butter with leaves pulled off a stem of thyme.

A simple salad added the crispness to the meal we can now feel in autumn air. Humble iceberg lettuce, an heirloom tomato and green onion are the humble trinity that is the base of our "house salad". Tossed in was just what was on hand in the refrigerator: sliced olives, chopped egg and sunflower seeds. Uncommon richness was added by a basil chiffonade of few leaves plucked from the waning wands in the garden.

I suppose we could have gone out for a Friday night on the town. But no meal could have been better than the one enjoyed on my own patio, with my husband, with our garden at hand. No grand bouquet more appreciated than the glow of Betty Boop roses in the moonlight.


Anonymous said...

You're dinner was awe-inspiring. Made me jealous that I wasn't there eating with you. It sounded so beautiful. Tell me what the yellowish ball was/is?

Your garden is to die for. You're incredible.


Lydia said...

Greetings, Lolly!
Thank you. The yellow ball is polenta- Italian mush.

debra said...

delicious and pure. You make simple look luxurious, Lydia!

Lydia said...

The weather is great. I have a garden to pluck fresh herbs from. The Betty Boop rose refuses to stop blooming- it even glows in the dark. By keeping it simple I could better enjoy my good fortune.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! Lydia you need to broaden your writing routinely to include food. What a beautiful meal!! Jerry is a lucky man!
I am thinking my culinary talents are forgotten as John and I have been on Nutra System since the last part of July! I love it because I don't have to cook or shop much! John does love my "presentation" at dinner as we have two hot veggies and a lovely fruit plate. I serve them in an attractive manner to off set the little plastic tray of NS dinner!
I wish John were a bbqing guy cause then we would invest in a bbq like yours BUT it's like pulling teeth around here to get the guys to watch the meat as it cooks (burns more than not!!!) on the grill while I am busy in the kitchen!
What a romantic evening you had!! John and I had a "date" on Friday evening. We went to dinner then on to see "An American Carol". That is our New Year's date every year but we decided to help out the movie at the box office on opening weekend!

Great job, Lydia!
XO Trisha

Lydia said...

After years of intensive business travel, Gerry really appreciates food served at home. While I was gone on this last trip he discovered our old barbecue had died. So he used his moments of free time to explore what has improved over the last twenty years since we were gifted the old model. I came home to a man enthusiastic to try out all he learned. So I got out of his way and am enjoying the gifts of his efforts.