A weekend visit from the Family C. Ah, the C’s. Anthony. An Englishman of aristocratic lineage; striking, distinguished good looks. Makes the Earl in Downton Abbey look like an ill-bred commoner. Anthony works in finance and is a specialist in everything Asian. Wife Claudia, journalist, radio personality, a woman of boundless vivacity and a bubbling fountain of information and outrageous, over the top commentary and observation. Son Toby, a musical talent and a quietly attractive, observant young man with gracious manners. (Other C progeny are busy in Boston and England).
Anthony is a car nut — an obsessive collector of swift and beautiful automobiles. Anthony and Claudia arrived at the HG/BSK compound in a jewel of the C collection — an eight year old Aston-Martin convertible lined in lush, creamy Scottish leather. At one point in the weekend, Anthony took HG for a spin on the scenic high road to Taos. With Anthony at the wheel, the Aston-Martin made a sound like the roaring of a pride of lions as it effortlessly passed cars on the winding, steep road. Unforgettable.
Since the C’s will soon be leaving the USA to take up residence in Singapore, it seemed appropriate to send them off with a celebratory southwestern dinner. First, there was some martini and Prosecco drinking under the pergola facing the HG/BSK fish pond (Kindly note the C’s never visit empty handed — this time they bore champagne, excellent wine and a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin). Then, a feast of slow roasted, spice rubbed pork butt. Bowls of BSK’s pico de gallo (chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, hot and sweet peppers); BSK green chile sauce (magic); BSK stir fry of zucchini,onion, garlic and sweet corn); navy beans enriched with Goya Sofrito. A platter of sliced avocado. A mound of warmed tortillas. Much cold beer and Malbec red wine. For dessert: An array of Ben and Jerry’s best. A happy time.
The presiding genius of this meal was SJ. The piggy expert recommended larding the butts with plenty of garlic slivers and giving them a dry rub with abundant amounts of adobo, English dry mustard powder, New Mexican red chili powder, Mexican oregano and Spanish smoked paprika — a true international blend of spices the day before cooking them. Then, a slow roast, in a tin-foil covered pan for 4 hours at 275 degrees, finishing by removing foil and raising heat to 325 for an hour. An SJ recipe winner. A happy, exubrant meal and a bittersweet farewell to the C’s. Silver lining. HG and BSK have promised to visit Singapore early next year to join with the C’s in celebrating Chinese New Year by feasting on Singapore’s mind bending cuisine.