The Perfect Meal? (Redux)

November 10th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Monday was Nov. 9, 2015. It was HG’s birthday. 86. That’s right. 86. Never believed it would be possible to reach such an august age. However, Hungry Gerald is also Greedy Gerald. HG wants more. And, who can blame the old guy? HG has the best wife, children, son-in-law, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. HG lives in two of the best places on earth–New Mexico and Prince Edward Island. And, of course, Toby, The Wonder Dog, is an endearing companion. Recently, HG posted a modest essay: THE PERFECT MEAL? (Check it out). Well, ever thoughtful BSK has decided to honor the birthday lad by replicating the meal tonight, A very big rib steak, Gorgonzola salad plus two other elements: orzo with onions and oyster mushrooms plus French brie and a ripe, lush comice pear. Sommellier BSK sourced two splendid red wines for dinner: The Velvet Devil Merlot and Kiona Vineyards Mountain Lemburger. Both from Washington State, HG’s favorite wine growing region. HG is not only Hungry Gerald aka Greedy Gerald. HG is Lucky Gerald.


Garlic Heaven

October 3rd, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Garlic challenges HG’s atheism. Where did this indispensable member of the allium family come from? Is its origin celestial? Never mind. Garlic has been around for a long time. The Chinese were using garlic to enhance their cuisine as early as 2000 BC. Count Dracula doesn’t stand a chance of inducting HG into a cordon of vampires (It’s common knowledge that garlic and crucifixes chase away these guys who want to bite your neck). HG eats garlic incessantly, adding it to a variety of foods. Linguine with oil, garlic, anchovies and parsley is a favorite late night meal (It’s what Romans eat after a night of carousing). HG’s preferred snack is toasted baguette rubbed with crushed garlic, doused with Sicilian olive oil, dusted with cracked pepper and sea salt. Accompanied by a ripe, in season tomato and plenty of red wine. HG heaven. This week, HG is in charge of the evening meal since BSK is busily occupied creating a series of hand formed pots. With HG in charge, BSK will wind up smelling like an elegant garlic clove. Last night, HG used a New York Times recipe for garlic soup. Loads of garlic simmered in water with thyme and bay leaf. Enriched with three beaten eggs and frozen sweet peas. HG cooked Orechiette (pasta shaped like little ears) in a separate pot. Added it to the garlic soup. A very generous topping of grated Parmesan and ground black pepper. The bowls were lined with toasted, garlic-rubbed slices of baguette. More garlic croutons on the side. A great dish. And, healthy. Among garlic’s many health benefits is lowering blood pressure and shoring up the immune system.


Eloquent Old Gringo

August 2nd, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

Happy Birthday. Have many more. Continue to enlighten, illuminate and amuse with inimitable Box Cox prose. Bob Cox is HG/BSK’s friend. They met in Colorado when Bob was a columnist and publisher of weekly newspapers. He was a very positive force in the Jefferson County community and his columns were witty and sharp political thrusts. Bob sold the papers some time ago and settled in Abiquiu, New Mexico (not far from Georgia O Keefe’s former home). Unlike HG, Bob takes a minimal interest in cuisine. He reserves his passions for political comment, the outdoors and horses. Though a bit too rickety these days for equestrianism, HG shares Bob’s affection for horses. During the years when HG/BSK lived on their Colorado mountain ranch, HG spent hours each day on horseback, riding through forests and admiring endless views from mountain slopes. HG can get quite sentimental remembering HG’s favorite mounts, Peaches and Twist. Bob is still writing (HG believes there is a novel in the works) and a good way, to become acquainted with his talent is to log into his blog Recently, Bob did a very moving piece on the final days of a 35-year-old horse. Even if you’ve never been on a horse’s back you’ll enjoy the eloquence and emotion of Bob’s prose. At the same time, Bob skewered that eminent hypocrite, Jeb Bush. So, log into the Old Gringo and become acquainted with a singularly human and insightful writer.


Versatile Bird

April 19th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

Back in New Mexico where our gardens are ablaze with color. Daffodils, tulips, forsythia, lilac bushes. HG/BSK ambled through the apple orchard which is in full blossom. The fragrance is delicious. Fish are leaping about in the Koi pond and Toby, The Wonder Dog, is leaping in pleasure–delighted at the HG/BSK homecoming. BSK prepared one of HG’s favorite dishes: A roast spatchcocked chicken. BSK marinated the succulent Bell & Evans bird at room temperature in a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and rosemary. The nicely browned, juicy chicken (and plenty of herbaceous, garlicky juices) was served with BSK’s smashed potatoes. (BSK crushes boiled potatoes with chicken stock and then adds sliced scallions). The next day, HG cut the left over chicken in slivers. Sliced Persian cucumbers, sweet onions, carrots and radishes. Cooked and quickly cooled (under cold water) some Chinese cellophane noodles. Made a dressing of Vietnamese Red Boat Fish Sauce, brown sugar, water, sesame oil and red chile flakes. Mixed everything together, Topped the platter with torn leaves of mint and basil.and a shower of chopped, salted peanuts. A bottle of Sriracha on the table for added heat, Drank cold Anchor Steam Ale with this vaguely Vietnamese dish. Pleasant eating on a warmish spring night.


Home Sweet Home

April 12th, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

Back in New Mexico. Blue skies. Bright sun. Temperatures in the 60’s. Much cooler when the sun goes down making HG/BSK’s living room fireplace a colorful and warming amenity. Delightful reunion with Toby, HG/BSK’s much loved dog. Polly B., neighbor, friend and much lauded photographer, gave HG/BSK a homecoming dinner. This was followed by a brief visit from Antony and Claudia C. (A talented couple: He manages a mutual fund and she’s a journalist-author-radio interviewer). BSK’s magical meat loaf for dinner. HG is taking advantage of the brief stay in the Land of Enchantment by ingesting loads of menudo and green chile smothered enchiladas at favorite neighborhood eateries. Next week HG/BSK will be off to Florida (St. Petersburg) to visit BSK’s 95-year-old Mom. Since it will be Spring Break, HG/BSK will be joined by SJ and family for five days at a beachfront condo. The Brooklynites need to thaw after the vicious, frigid and almost endless Northeast winter. Anticipate much sun, sea and seafood fun in St. Pete.


Neighborly Feast

February 8th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

Neighbors got together for a celebratory feast. The place: The beautiful home of Polly B. and David F., a talented, life enhancing couple. Their big kitchen-dining-living room is everyone’s fantasy of Santa Fe. Antique beams and thick adobe walls. A monumental kiva fireplace containing an abundance of blazing logs. Well lit and meticulously placed works of art. The celebration: Polly B., a noteworthy photographer, has faced (with bravery and good humor) eye surgery. Success at last. The beautiful woman can see. An unflattering eye patch has been removed. Good reason to eat, drink and laugh a lot. Present at the celebration were two of Polly’s three daughters, Jennifer (who lives in Beijing) and Leslie (who lives in Washington and Cape Breton Island) plus neighbor Karen K., the film producer who has been dubbed The Dessert Queen by HG because of her genius at crafting sweet things. HG/BSK brought appetizers of chilled prawns (with remoulade sauce) and a spread of smoked salmon. Polly’s daughters grilled salmon and accompanied the moist and flavorful fish with a tangy red pepper sauce, an unusual mushroom risotto and a nicely dressed green salad. There was a good, warmed baguette and a lush cheese course. Needless to say, much Pinot Grigio and Cabernet was drunk (preceded by potato vodka). The feast concluded with Karen K.’s Ile Flottante, HG/BSK’s favorite dessert. Karen K.lived up to her royal soubriquet. Well, that’s life with HG/BSK’s New Mexico neighbors. So, what do your neighbors do (besides playing loud music and arguing loudly) ?


Let It Snow, Let is Snow

December 15th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Snow was falling last night. Big, wet flakes turned the HG/BSK meadow a glittering white. Temp took a dip. (No fear. Snow rapidly disappears in the high and dry warmth of New Mexican sunshine). Snowfall here means a roaring fireplace, much to drink and comfort food on the table. That’s the way it was when talented pals Polly B. (the brilliant photographer) and David F. (novelist/historian/educator) joined HG/BSK and Gorgeous Granddaughter Sofia for dinner. Flutes of Prosecco (with a dash of Aperol, Venetian style) were sipped as BSK’s latest pots were admired. At the table there was a cold bottle of very good Champagne and a platter of Zabar’s Nova Scotia smoked salmon. This was followed by the paragon of comfort food: Meat loaf. This was no ordinary meat loaf. It was Paul Prudhomme’s Cajun Meat Loaf, loaded with spicy New Orleans flavors. BSK showered it with mushroom sauce and flanked it with BSK’s unique smashed potatoes. Much red wine. Meal ended with Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel Ice Cream and ginger cookies. Good food. Good wine. Good friends. Let it snow, let it snow.


On The High Road To Taos

December 13th, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

The Big Guy in the Sky may summon the Moloch Hamoves, the black, winged Angel of Death, at any time with little warning (HG is 85, after all). But, until that dramatic moment HG will have a delightful time in New Mexico, appropriately named The Land of Enchantment. Today, for example. Our pal, Karen K., the distinguished film maker, dessert creator extraordinary, etc, suggested brunch at Sugar Nymphs Bistro, a tiny eatery in the little town of Penasco, located on the high road to Taos between Santa Fe and Taos. There is no more beautiful drive in America than motoring through the historic towns of Chimayo, Truces and Cordova with vistas of mesas and mountains unfolding before your eyes. We were particularly fortunate on this drive because the skies were blue and cloudless, the light was pure and the air was crisp and fragrant. The food at Sugar Nymphs was delicious and touched with a particular kind of New Mexican goodness. Our group had egg scrambles with three kinds of cheese, onions, peppers plus sides of home fries and chiles. Gorgeous Granddaughter Sofia had a giant, green chile cheeseburger on a home baked bun which she said was the best burger ever. There were many warm biscuits with cherry jam to accompany the good coffee. A memorable brunch. On the way back to our homes in the Pojoaque Valley, our group stopped at a few cemeteries in the region. There is nothing quite like these New Mexico Latino cemeteries. There is a love and reverence for the dead. Graves are carefully tended and adorned with bunches of artificial flowers. Portraits of the dead adorn many of the graves. Sadly, there are too many graves of young men (auto accident? drug overdose? violence?) with tombstones placed by their grieving mothers. There is no adequate way to describe these cemeteries with their atmosphere of fervent religious faith, belief in the hereafter and acceptance of untimely death. They are just the essence of blood-and-history drenched New Mexico. And, HG/BSK/GG Sofia had the perfect guide, New Mexico native Karen K.


More Than A Dessert Queen

November 26th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Karen K., HG/BSK’s pal and neighbor, is a multi-talented woman. A veteran movie producer/director, she is a talented gardener, guardian of chickens who provide super eggs; a trim, energetic hiker, skier and much else. HG has dubbed Karen K. “The Dessert Queen” because she creates the best desserts on earth: goat milk ice cream (HG, at first dubious, was overwhelmed by its goodness), flan that combines Mexican and French flavors with ecstatic results and many varieties of healthy, flavorful baked goodies. Karen K. lives a few hundred yards from HG/BSK/s New Mexico home in Las Barrancas, a cluster of lovely, old adobe dwellings (condominium ownership) created by Cady Wells (1904-1954). Wells, who died much too young, was one of the greatest New Mexico painters (as good as Georgia O’Keefe in HG’s opinion). One of the pleasures of Las Barrancas is “The Kitchen House”. This is a separate building containing a kitchen and a dining room. It evokes a beautiful, romantic past. Many southwestern touches (including a warming kiva fireplace in the dining room). This was the setting for a delightful dinner party hosted by Karen K. a few nights ago. Present were two of Karen’s friends from the film industry–Lisa, retired from a long career as an eminent set decorator and Laurie, also retired, acknowledged as a premier movie still photographer. Lucky HG. The only male at a dinner table with four lively, entertaining and attractive women. HG provided the appetizer, baba ganoush, the middle eastern eggplant dip. Karen served a cajun meat loaf (lots of New Orleans flavors and just enough heat from jalapeƱo peppers) accompanied by a moist cornbread. Spaghetti squash, roast carrots, tiny potatoes and something braised (was it celery?) rounded the meal out. Sumptuous food, perfect for a very chilly evening. Much red wine was drunk (HG led the way) as the flames flickered in the kiva. A very good salad of baby greens. Then dessert. The Dessert Queen continued her reign. Moist, lush gingerbread topped with traditional hard sauce. A graceful bow to the past. Generous Karen poured HG some wonderful calvados, HG’s favorite brandy. And, there was another happy surprise for HG. Knowing HG’s predilections, Laurie gave HG a bottle of Russian vodka as a birthday present. HG immediately sampled it. Nazdrovya !! A great party.


White Stuff

November 19th, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

Hey, what’s this? Woke up this morning to see white stuff covering the trees and meadow. Snow. Rare in New Mexico in mid-November. But, once snow arrives, HG enjoys it. For HG this doesn’t mean skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding or any other frigid and energetic activity. Snow means a fire in the fireplace and a long breakfast of softly scrambled eggs with red salmon caviar, sour cream, toasted ciabatta, numerous cups of coffee. This is the sort of morning where HG catches up with magazines, newspapers, art books. This is the first snowfall for Toby, our newly acquired (but already beloved) dog, a Dandie Dinmont/ Jack Russell cross breed. Toby much enjoys the snow, leaping at snowflakes, sniffing and tasting. By noon the snowfall ends and the sun begins to shine as the snow melts. In the high desert atmosphere of New Mexico, HG expects the snow to have totally vaporized by the next morning. Much different than New York where snow immediately turns into nasty slush or HG/BSK’s mountain ranch in Colorado. There, snow fell in October and drifts lasted until July. No, HG was never tempted to move to sunny Florida, a state where the sun turns older folks into semi-roasted vegetables before hurricanes sweep them into the sea.


Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with New Mexico at HUNGRY GERALD.