Riffed by Dr. Geek
from an idea by Vitriol


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our first holiday dinner

I'm back at work after a four day vacation. I wish it was actually a full ten days, but I can't afford to take the additional time right now. Oh well... at least Mrs. Geek is off this week and the alarm isn't going off at 5:30am. Thank heavens for small blessings.

The big news of the weekend was that Mrs. Geek and I had our first major family holiday meal at our apartment for Easter. Mrs. Geek's Dad and Step-mom and her Step-sister and her husband attended. All in all, it went quite well. Here's the low down:

The food was divided into three courses. For an appetizer we had three kinds of cheese with a 2004 St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc and Lavash crackers: a Gouda made in Ireland, a strong but creamy blue cheese also from Ireland, and a mellow French soft cows milk cheese. Dinner was "city" ham done Alton Brown style, spinach with hot bacon dressing, and a warm German potato salad. We had two wines with dinner, a German varietal called Sheurebe (a cross of the Riesling and Sylvaner grapes) and a friendly Riesling. For dessert, Mrs. Geek's stepsister and her husband brought these chocolate tulips filled with chocolate mousse topped with fresh berries. I opened a half bottle of Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc Botrytis to go with that.

The ham was delicious (though for the price I paid for it at Whole Paychecks, it had better be.) I don't know what they call the part of the pig that it came from... but you could that the bone ended in the hinge joint that fit into one of the pig's knees. Alton's recipe calls for a slow warm up in a 250 degree oven for about 3 hours then adding a coating of mustard, brown sugar, bourbon (I used some Balvenie Doublewood Scotch), and ground up ginger snaps. The ham had a lovely honey-smoky flavor before I added the coating... and the coating added a great mix of sweet, spice, and tang. I de-glazed the roasting pan with a little of Riesling and that made a great pan sauce for the serving platter.

The wines were interesting, by and large. The Sauvignon Blanc had a very pleasant pear taste... which impressed some of our guests. The Scheurebe starts rather sweet and fruity like a Riesling, but then ends with just a hint of tart. Since sweet and sour combinations were a theme with the meal, it definitely made an interesting complement that was not overpowered by the food.

My one regret about the occasion was that neither Mrs. Geek or I had the presence of mind to take any pictures of the event... the food, the table, nothing. It would be nice to put a picture or two here to share with you, my faithful readers, as well as have a page for the family scrapbook.

ps. For all you choristers out there, I want to say at least something about the music at the Easter Mass that we attended on Sunday. Nothing overtly spectacular, but enough to certainly warm the heart. Here's a list of the more interesting pieces:

  • Prelude - Now Thank We All Our God - J. S. Bach
  • Introit Motet - This Joyful Eastertide - Charles Wood
  • Kyrie - Missa Aeterna Christi Munera - Palestrina
  • Gloria - Gloria de Lourdes - Lecot
  • Pre-Gospel Sequence - Victimae Paschali Laudes - Victoria
  • Offetory Motet - Hallelujah (from The Messiah) - Handel
  • Angus Dei - Missa Aetera Christi Munera - Palestrina
  • Communion Motet - Alleluia - Randall Thompson
  • Postlude - Toccata (Symphony No. V) - Widor

said drgeek on 2005-03-29 at 4:01 p.m.


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