company chases away misery…

At table al fresco
Originally uploaded by ulteriorepicure.

This past week was undoubtedly the worst week I’ve lived through. I’m very blessed. There are a lot of much much worse things that could have happened. I shudder at the thought.

But, God has a interesting way of weaving people and love into my life when crisis strikes. This past week, I had a wonderful time catching up with old friends. We enjoyed a simple, but sumptuous meal together one crisp cool autumn night out on the deck.

Francis and I spent a good part of the day scurrying about town gathering produce while Suzanne ran her errands. We all converged and cooked. My dear friend, Celine, had flown in from Arizona and joined us.

Francis made Lobster Thermidor – diced lobster in creamy and buttery bath studded with button mushrooms and spiked with Brandy. He portioned the batch into six huge scallop shells, topped each with Parmesan shavings and then quickly broiled them to melt the cheese. 

Suzanne baked a pan of polenta, marinated it with a herb vinaigrette and then returned it to the oven smothered with four cheeses (I know Parmesan was one), and mushrooms.

Celine roasted some asparagus and laid them on a bed of mixed greens tossed with Granny Smith and Gruyere cheese. She dressed it with a simple citrus vinaigrette.

I was in charge of dessert – and so, in need for comfort food, I went “to the mattresses” and pulled out Babbo’s cookbook for a batch of olive oil gelato… Okay, who am I kidding, I had the thing memorized…

We had some lobster meat left over from our ginormous 4lb. lobster, so I took the extra meat, chopped it with some raw asapargus shavings and mixed it together with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, curry, salt, black and white pepper, and a smidgen of cumin. I divided the mixture onto four beds of sliced avocado and served it as as sexy cold lobster salad.

By the time I sat down to dinner, not having eaten all day, I was ravished. We opened a bottle of Caymus Conundrum, a white wine, and progressed onto a red, whose name I can’t remember… by that part of the meal, all of my cares and senses had been washed away by the wonderful food and company.  With a full moon glowing on me through the crisp autumn air a table, a table decked with roses from Suzanne’s garden, and a tummy filled with wholesome numminess, I sat back contented and blessed.  All the scumminess of life, for a few hours, faded away. 

Regardless of the pains in life, food, friends and family will always be there to comfort us. 

To see all of the photos from this meal, visit my flickr set “at home: with friends and family.”  See “O’Connor dinner” pictures.

~ by ulterior epicure on October 15, 2006.

3 Responses to “company chases away misery…”

  1. The lobster Thermidor sounded amazing…actually everything did. Good to hear you’re enjoying this weather!

  2. So sorry you had a tough week. I hope everything is okay now. I’m glad you have good friends to help cheer you. That food looks SO good! I could use a little comfort food right now myself to say the least.

  3. giuseppe wong: yes, autumn has finally set in. trees are turning and air has gone from muggy to crisp. this is my time of the year!

    pattie: thanks for the kind words. comfort food is surely God’s gift to the hurting. i hope all is well on your end.

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