WELL THIS IS pretty embarrassing — the only photo from tonight's dinneris this one: "Red Witch" cheese from eastern Switzerland, an Appenzeller type, grated up to put on my signature garlic bread.
We were joining two other couples at the home of an old friend, the woman who introduced us to one another and started this sixty-year relationship. At that time Gaye was Cook's roommate, and invited me to their Berkeley apartment for dinner. I was living in San Francisco at the time, in a furnished room, and just beginning the bad collector's habit I've since improved upon — paintings, books, even little sculptures.
Among that stuff, what we've come to call The Fish Dish. This is a heavy low-fire earthenware dish, on four stubby feet, just under a yard long, left unglazed on its outside but decorated with an expressionistic toothy fish of some sort onits inside. As you see, the fish is preparing its own fish dinner.
On that night so long ago I bought a loaf of "French bread" from a delicatessen — ready spread with garlic butter and grated cheese and broiled somehow. I'm sure I didn't cook it myself; I don't know where I'd have found the facilities. All I recall is braving the streetcar and then the Key System F train with this heavy dish and its fragrant contents, and carrying it up the steps at Number Three (or was it Four?), Las Casitas, on Walnut Street in Berkeley, where a year or so we were married, the Contessa and I, at a little church down on the corner at Cedar Street.
Today I made my own garlic bread: split a loaf lengthwise; spread the halves with butter containing a couple of cloves of mashed garlic creamed into it; add grated cheese on top; heat in the oven, raising the heat at the end to broil the cheese to give it a bit of color.
Others supplied chicken thighs in teriyaki sauce, potato salad, green salad. Vanilla ice cream with blackberry sauce.