Vancouver Delights

November 13th, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

Knowing HG’s love for Asian food, BSK marked HG’s 90th birthday by arranging a one week stay in North America’s capital of ethnic dining, Vancouver, B.C.. Nov. 9th birthday dinner was at Vij’s, the trailblazing Indian fusion restaurant. Spicy eggplant appetizer. Then shared savory black cod in broth followed by the restaurant’s specialty: “lamb popsicles”. These are delicate chops from a rack of lamb nestled in a delectable cream sauce made lively with a host of Indian spices. Sommelier BSK ordered a bottle of Tantalus Pinot Noir 2017 from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. HG fell in love with this wine. HG sipped and sipped with eyes closed. Fabulous. The Royal Highness of Pinots. Thanks, BSK, for displaying one more of your prodigious talents.

Statue? Plaque? Honors To Daughter Vicki

November 12th, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

There was joy in the beautiful agricultural valley of Pojoaque (15 minutes north of Santa Fe) where HG/BSK live. HG’s daughter, Victoria Freeman, and husband/chef Marc Meyer, own and run four of New York’s best restaurants: Cookshop, Rosie’s, Vic’s and Shuka. A fifth, Shukette, will open soon. If in New York, don’t miss them and say HG sent you. Generous Vicki marked HG’s 90th birthday by sending HG a box of wonders from Russ & Daughters, the lower east side landmark of smoked fish. One pound of Nova. One Pound of Scotch smoked salmon. One pound of whitefish/kippered salmon salad. One pound of scallion cream cheese, One pound of plain cream cheese. Two chubs (small smoked whitefish). Bagels galore. And, turn livid green with envy, a substantial tin of paddlefish caviar. HG/BSK examined all of these good things and (since they were soon leaving for Vancouver) determined that this was too much for two (albeit HG/BSK were voracious R. & D. Sunday brunch fans when HG/BSK lived in Greenwich Village). So, HG/BSK invited local friends and neighbors to a down-home New York Jewish brunch. Vodka. Beer. Cold white wine. Pickles. Olives. Capers. Lemons. Whole Foods cole slaw and potato salad. Exuberant joy reigned. There was talk of a Vicki statue or plaque honoring this splendid woman. The caviar was withheld. When back from Rain City, HG/BSK will consume it with a bottle of Gruet Brut and contemplate HG/BSK’s good luck in having a daughter/stepdaughter like Vicki. Much love to her.

Paul & Vicki Part Three: Ultimate Gifts

November 9th, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

Paul and Vicki Freeman’s New Mexico visit was marked by their extraordinary generosity (Paul is HG’s nephew). Gifts galore. For BSK there were excellent wines (curated by Vicki) plus a magical shower oil that leaves skin feeling like silk. Recognizing HG’s upcoming 90th birthday (Nov. 9), P. and V. gave Birthday Boy two gifts that scaled the heights of taste and luxury. A Peter Millar shirt/sweater that enfolded HG in soft, warm pleasure. (Warning: If you want to emulate, please note that Peter Millar isn’t a bargain bin). There was also a startling revelation. A beautifully designed bottle of Suntory Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky. Suntory describes it as: “A meticulous blend of the finest selection of whiskies.” Forget Scotland. Forget Kentucky and Tennessee. Japan crafts the ultimate whisky and this Suntory gift is the best Japan has to offer. How can HG describe the taste? Let’s just call it liquid gold. HG will, with gratitude, sip it after dinner every night. The P. and G. visit ended with a robust meal at The Compound restaurant in Santa Fe. Tuna tataki, grilled sea scallops, quail, wild mushrooms, polenta, a juicy pork chop, a tower of fried onion rings. Icy vodka and a pleasant bottle of Beaujolais Fleury. Sweet ending of the meal for HG: large portion of dark chocolate and coffee ice cream. The Paul and Vicki visit produced many joyous memories.

Paul & Vicki Part Two: Wildlife

November 5th, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

Wild life excitement during Paul and Vicki Freeman’s visit. BSK heard Toby, The Wonder Dog, barking loudly near BSK’s studio building on HG/BSK’s New Mexico compound. BSK heard a critter rustling around a corner. It appeared. At first, BSK thought it was a kangaroo. That’s because of the enormous ears. Nope. It was a Black Tailed Jack Rabbit. Biggest rabbit with the biggest ears anyone’s ever seen. Madness ensued. Toby chased the swift rabbit. Round and round the fenced-in acreage they sped. The giant rabbit bumped into BSK and almost knocked her over. Paul and BSK tried to capture Toby so Big Bunny could go his/her way. Finally succeeded. BSK carried exhausted Toby into the HG/BSK home. As night fell there was no sign of Big Bunny. Escaped to startle other folk.

Paul and Vicki: Part One

November 3rd, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

Fun, food, laughter, frolics. Paul and Vicki Freeman, the prominent Atlantans, have been at HG/BSK’s New Mexico casita for a few days and it’s been a delight. Paul, HG’s nephew, is a renowned entrepreneur/real estate investor and developer. Vicki is a powerhouse fund raiser for Jewish, Israeli and education causes. Their capacity for generosity and charity is unmatched. Their visit with HG/BSK and Toby, The Wonder Dog, was so eventful, that HG will be writing about in three separate posts. First, sights and food. P. and V. went to Meow Wolf, the renowned immersive art installation, and enjoyed that intricate, magical adventure. Also, toured the shops and architecture of Santa Fe and visited Bandelier National Monument to see the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Native Americans, the first settlers of New Mexico. Food and dining. P. and V. were greeted with luncheon bowls of middle eastern red lentil soup, a BSK wonder of flavor and modest spice. Dinner that night was BSK’s green chile pork stew, a hearty and fiery version of New Mexico’s state dish. Next day the group lunched at refurbished Santacafe Restaurant on a mix of inventive small plates and chilled Gruet sparkling rose. Highlight was a dessert of lemongrass creme brulee. A wow. Dinner was BSK’s unique fusili in broccoli sauce enriched with lots of mozzarella and chopped kumatoe brand tomato. Abundant pinot noir. Roquefort cheese, plum jam, flat bread and ruby port (V. prefers tawny) or pinot for dessert. Next post will be: “WILD LIFE” followed by “ULTIMATE GIFTS.” Keep watching.

Land of Enchantment. Bad and Then Lots of Good.

November 2nd, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

So, HG/BSK are back in New Mexico. Sun is shining. The home compound looks great and HG/ BSK’s pond is clear and full of fish. Dear pal, Vicki B., has kept everything in tip top shape. After days of demanding driving BSK awoke early for a medical appointment. Guess what? BSK is greeted by a blizzard of thick snowflakes. Autos slip and slide as BSK drives to Santa Fe. Upon arrival, BSK gets the news that the appointment has been canceled due to a medical emergency. Okay, that’s the bad. Now the good. The blizzard ends abruptly after 40 minutes. Bright sun, dry air, high elevation (6,000 feet above sea level at HG/BSK’s home) makes the snow disappear totally. HG sunbathes and takes long swim in the HG/BSK pool house. BSK arrives home safely with good things to eat and drink. Colorful fire in the fireplace. Cold white wine for BSK. Vodka for HG. Music. Delicious dinner of steamed cod and Asian vegetables and noodles in pho broth. Let the good times roll, as they say in N’Awlins.

Wet, Nasty And Long

November 1st, 2019 § 1 comment § permalink

BSK never complains. BSK is best long distance automobile driver. BSK drives to and fro from New Mexico to Prince Edward Island. That’s six days of driving. Won’t let HG drive though the old guy has been driving for 40 years. Says HG’s driving makes BSK nervous. Oh, well. Four days of motoring from Providence to New Mexico was wearing on BSK’s eyes and nervous system. Driving rain (plus fog patches) lasted for days and the abundance of trucks interfering with visibility made driving very treacherous. Of course, as always, BSK met the challenge. But, BSK was quite relieved by roads drenched in sunshine on the last leg of the homeward journey from the Texas Panhandle to Santa Fe. Tyler’s Barbecue in Amarillo, Texas, has expanded but is still producing top-flight ribs, brisket and pulled pork. HG/BSK could barely finish the huge portions. Toby, The Wonder Dog, scored some brisket. Arrived home safely and supped on chicken soup and minestrone provided by HG/BSK’s thoughtful pal,Vicki B.

Early. But Fabulous.

October 28th, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

Gifted Daughter Lesley R., son-in-law Profesore Massimo; beautiful and brilliant granddaughters, Sofia and Arianna, celebrated HG’s 90th birthday with a two-day party that was a few weeks early. (HG suspects BSK was in on the planning). It was the most fabulous birthday celebration ever. The group assembled in Arianna’s loft apartment in Providence. Ms. A. has a talent for interior design. The apartment is super-chic and contains BSK paintings, photographs and a pot. Also some Fornasetti plates from HGBSK’s collection. Ms. A. has hung and lit everything perfectly. Brilliant. Vodka was provided for HG and there were moving toasts (and a witty poem from Lesley). HG’s eyes were moist. Then off to a birthday dinner at HG’s favorite Chinese restaurant in the USA, Chongqing House in Providence. Lesley did the ordering. Many favorites. Sliced fish in wine sauce. Cumin lamb. Eggplant with garlic. Wontons in chili oil. Tofu. Pea shoots. And, more. Much more. Lesley said she overordered. However, she didn’t reckon with family appetites. When the chopsticks (and HG’s fork) stopped moving, there was only a mini leftover for Arianna’s breakfast. Catering to HG’s love for Asian food, the birthday dinner on the following day was at Sakuratani Ramen and Izkaya in the lovely town of Bristol. Sweet service. Lovely food. HG relished shumai, a vast unagi don and a generous tonkatsu ramen. And, in addition to all the fun and feasting, HG was gifted with a beautiful cashmere scarf which will keep HG warm and fashionable. Sadly, SJ and family were in Tokyo (safe from the typhoon) and HG daughter, Vicki, was in Mexico. The Rhode Island family made HG’s 90th an epic, joyous best ever birthday celebration, Thanks to all.

Great Hotel Meal

October 23rd, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

HG/BSK left PEI on Canadian Election Day, Happily, Justin Trudeau won and the good guys swept the Maritimes (including Prince Edward Island). The intent was to stay at the comfy Senator Hotel in Augusta, Maine, the country’s smallest state capital city. Hotel was booked so HG/BSK spent the night at the pleasant Best Western Motel. You have to travel in other countries to appreciate the comfort of the chain hotels/ motels in Canada and the USA. Clean rooms, WiFi that works, hot showers, effective toilets, good mattresses, etc. And, the price is right. Despite prejudice against hotel food, HG/BSK dined at the Cloud Nine Restaurant in The Senator. Surprise. BSK had a big slab of excellent prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes, string beans, au jus and plenty of freshly grated horseradish. HG had a seafood medley of garlic butter gilded salmon (perfectly moist and medium-rare), sea scallops, jumbo shrimp and a sauteed crab cake. Both dishes rate an exuberant “Wow!!). Shared a big creme brulee with caramel sauce and went to bed happy, Hey, HG almost forgot. Had a starter of Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail. HG hasn’t had this starter in years. This one featured enormous juicy, firm jumbo shrimp (huge). Red sauce was spiked with much fresh horseradish and Tabasco. Shockingly good. Best shrimp cocktail ever. Go figure.

P’ok Chops

October 21st, 2019 § 0 comments § permalink

L’l Abner, created by cartoonist Al Capp, was a widely syndicated American comic strip for many years. It featured the Yokum family–Mammy (and her wicked uppercut), lazy Pappy and their son, strapping, guileless L’il Abner. The ragged hillbillies lived in a benighted mountain area called Dogpatch. Another character was Daisy Mae Scraggs, a young woman whose torn clothing did little to conceal her shapely form. Her ambition was to marry L’il Abner. His ambition was to evade marriage. Daisy Mae’s abominable family, the Scraggs, lived in nearby Skunk Hollow. Many other memorable characters: Unsanitary but super sexy Moonbean McSwine. Evil Eye Fleagle. Marryin’ Sam. Earthquake Magoon. J. Roaringham Fatback (the perfectly named greedy plutocrat, a Trump precursor), etc., etc. L’il Abner’s favorite food was “p’ok chops.” HG/BSK share his affection for pork chops. Happily, BSK’s sister, Noel, and Husband, Yossi, keep HG/BSK supplied with pork chops from pigs that have been gently reared at their Ocean Mist Farm on Prince Edward Island. Secret to juicy pork chops is brining them with sugar, salt and crushed garlic. BSK then fries the chops and serves them with BSK’s signature saute of peppers, onions and zucchini. Side dish of white pinto beans with chopped onions and fiery Santa Fe Ole’ Salsa. Robust meal for chilly autumn nights.