One of the things that I love most about summer is fresh produce. On the way back from our camping trip last weekend, we stopped at a rural farm stand and loaded up on fresh vegetables and fruit. I really wish I had bought more of the sweet, white corn they had because it was out of this world good. I also bought a few tomatoes and eggplants of varying colors. I made a fresh marinara sauce for the eggplant which I roasted in the oven. It was a perfect way to combine the fresh flavors of summer into into one dish.
As I mentioned in my recent post about Farallon, I had several fantastic meals last week in San Francisco. The second wonderful dinner I had was at Bistro Aix in the Marina section of the city. It was soooooo good. I was with my aunts from Sonoma and we shared everything. Every plate was returned to the kitchen clean as a whistle.
I don’t recall if I have ever celebrated Bastille Day in the past but this year I made a whole weekend of it. On Saturday we attended a wine dinner at Frogtown, our favorite winery in all of Georgia, and had a blast. The food was great and the wines were even better. For those of you who are wondering, I was skeptical of wines made in what I thought was an unsuitable climate until I visited and tried them for myself. Frogtown makes some really wonderful wines.
One of the dishes served at the dinner was coq au vin. I had this preconceived notion in my head that it would be heavy. Too heavy for a hot July evening. The last time I had this dish was at least 15 years prior and I was not a fan. Yet again, I was wrong in my assumption as the dish was insanely delicious. So good that I went home and made my own version the very next day. Mine was very good but theirs was better. I need to find out what was in their sauce because it had that somethin-somethin. I also made it the next day so my husband could try it (the Frogtown version was not gluten free).
I was in San Francisco this past week and had several really amazing meals. The first was on the evening I arrived. I had wanted to eat early somewhere near my hotel, and had been yearning for some fresh seafood. I went to Farallon, which is a block away from Union Square, and had one of the best meals in recent history.
I have read quite a bit recently about riesling, including a few articles that have declared July to be “the month of riesling”. Over the years, I have tried many wines made from this grape at various wineries, but until recently, had never actually bought a bottle of riesling. For the most part, rieslings are too fruity for me as I tend to prefer very dry whites. I decided to expand my horizons and bought a bottle of German Riesling. It did not work out very well.
I was recently thinking about the conventional wine pairing “rules” (red with steak, white with fish, etc.) and realized that there are quite a few silly food rules. Some foods are considered breakfast foods, while others are classified as appropriate for meals later in the day. In some cases, those assignments are really strange because many of the elements cross over. For example, fried eggs are considered breakfast food but you can enjoy quiche or frittata, which are also make from eggs, as lunch or dinner items. Hash browns are for breakfast but french fries are eaten at lunch or dinner. So in an attempt to throw out these silly conventions I recently made a dinner that would normally be considered “breakfast food” and enjoyed it with a cool glass of rose.
I recently got back from a weekend camping in the mountains a few hours north of Atlanta. The temperature got up to 106 degrees where we live that weekend so I knew that we either had to get out of town or be prepared to not leave the house for days. Thankfully, we made a good decision and packed up the car and drove north. Most of the campgrounds that take reservations and are on a lake or river were completely booked so we took the road less traveled and headed to Burrell’s Ford on the Chattooga River. The challenge with this campground is you have to hike a 1/4 of a mile from the parking lot to the ten campsites which are first come, first serve. There was a bit of a panic when we got there because there were a lot of cars in the parking lot. But we got lucky and scored a huge site right on the river. This was our backyard all weekend.