Eastside Road, January 21, 2012—AN UNUSUALLY BUSY Saturday, even for us: a memorial service for a friend at one o'clock; a birthday party for another at four; then a dinner party for our playgoing group, the Ashlanders, at seven. Food all along the way, of course.
We eyed the table of cheeses, pastries, cocktail sandwiches and such in the church on our way out of the memorial service. I felt guilty about reaching toward it and grabbing one little canapé, which turned out to be egg salad on crustless white bread; but my conscience cleared when I noticed Lindsey'd done exactly the same.
The array at Andrew's party
We drove nearly an hour to get to Andrew's party in Point Reyes Station. Quite a contrast: from a fairly new, media-savvy, banner-hung Christian church jam-packed with probably six hundred mourners to a rustic, crowded artists' studio equally jam-packed with perhaps thirty friends and family. Since Andrew is a Romanov, the table boasted blinis and borscht as well as ham, green beans, olives, beans, green salad, bruschetta, and a dozen other things. Looking forward to a dinner party in a couple of hours, we held back: but that borscht was delicious, even to beet-hating me; ditto the blinis and bruschetta. Perhaps I was simply in the mood for the letter "B". Or perhaps it was the Sophia rosé, whose slight sweetness pushed the Italo-Russian savor.
On, then, another hour, to dinner. A few glasses of Pinot grigio followed by Sauvignon blanc and conversation; then down to serious business at table: roast pork loin; delicious little yellow potatoes; green beans with pancetta and pine nuts (yes yes); homemade applesauce — ah: we're home in the good old USA again. Good food, good cooking, good discussions, good friends.
Chardonnay, Clos du Bois, 2009; Cabernet Sauvignon, Simi, 1999 (sound and serious); Sirah, Preston of Dry Creek, 2009; Zinfandel, Murphy-Goode "Liar's Dice", 2008 (authentic and mature); Pinot noir, Shone Farm, 2009 — note that all these reds were first-rate, and they all (and the whites too) came from within a dozen miles of the dinner-table.