Eastside Road, August 20, 2015—I AM ONE LUCKY guy, and I know it — to the point of survivor's guilt: eighty years old today, I've outlived my parents and most of my grandparents and even, sadly, two of my younger brothers. And I can still do a few hours' work; and heaven knows I keep my appetite and handle my booze. For the most part.
Best of all, I get to share all this with a Cook and Companion who deserves better but does not complain. On the contrary: she treats me well, bandages my wounds, watches my regimen, and cooks, day in, day out, like the pro she is.
She knows I love lamb chops, and English peas, so look at the main course of my birthday dinner: two fine loin chops grilled simply with salt, rosemary, and a little bit of garlic; buttered peas; sliced tomatoes. It's funny: my father wouldn't have lamb in the house, so I never tasted it until I was in college (and rarely then). Somewhere along the way I'd read of lamb chops and English peas as being a sophisticated supper, a club man's provender, to be taken of course with Bordeaux — Burgundy was for beef or, perhaps, goose. I was a terrible snob as a post-adolescent, striving to be more than I was, and this was the kind of supper I yearned for.
It was just what you want at eighty: solid, balanced, integrated, with memories attached (Provence! George and Barjols!), and made for the occasion. Afterward, of course, a good green salad. And then dessert… Cherries Jubilee! I didn't ask, but I bet they were our own cherries, from the freezer of course, flamed in Kirsch and brandy and put to vanilla ice cream… and even my favorite dessert spoon!
Garnacha/Monastrell 70-30%, Laya "old vines" (Almansa), 2013☛Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants