January 1, 2009

"Do You Have A Safeway Discount Card?"

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and nobody is in jail. That would be a bummer. Computer time is probably limited, I bet.

I never go anywhere on New Year’s Eve. It’s amateur night! I haven’t been to a party or out bar hopping since that unfortunate year that involved a folding table, strawberry daiquiris, a leather mini-skirt, a gay bouncer named Bernard, and a wig stuffed down a toilet.
It’s just not worth it, man.

So it was off to the grocery store for snacky stuff. No cooking, no company, no annoying people who shall remain unnamed, telling me my brilliant joke about a bridesmaid on a cruise boat is stupid. Just me and the person who shall remain unnamed, hanging out around the coffee table, eating a variety of Aisle 7 delights. Crackers, cheese, olives, Serrano ham, avocado, peanut butter right out of the jar, nuts, carrot and celery sticks, mayo (see, you put the mayo on a cracker, then stack with ham, olive, cheese, and a dab of peanut butter…woo!), and whatever else needs clearing out of the refrigerator. It’s New Year’s Eve for Pete’s sake! Resolutions and goals start….later…don’t be a buzz kill!

It was all very delicious.

We shared a perfect, and I mean…perfect…bottle of Swanson’s 2003 Sangiovese, Limited Bottling. I have been saving this bottle for 2 years. What a wonderful winery with a completely charming tasting room. It’s like none other I have ever visited. The Swanson girls (from the frozen dinner family!) have done very very well with their enterprise, and their wines are among my very favorites. If you ever get the chance, do visit their tasting room for an experience you won’t forget – but make reservations, the tastings are scheduled and are very popular. If nothing else, buy the Muscat….then sit down, put some bleu cheese on a cracker, pour a small glass and ponder a life that contains the wonderment of this pairing of flavors. You’ll totally write and thank me. And probably send me some money or gift cards.

I am kinda nutty (or eccentric – you choose the word) about my good bottles. I favor enjoying them in an environment that usually isn’t associated with fine wine drinking. SilverOak, 2003, Napa Valley? That got opened on a recent deer hunting trip – accompanied by a can of mustard sardines, slices of sausage cooked on a rock, and Cheetos. Or the very treasured 2003 Chateau Montrose Saint Estephe? Emptied into water bottles for a toast after a hike into the Grand Canyon. And my Christmas gift of 2005 Opus One (thanks Scott, Nancy, Robert Mondavi and that French guy!) will most likely languish for a year, then come out for some hair-brained excursion down a dirt road with no name that involves shooting beer cans on a fence. And Ding Dongs.

I believe these types of beverages, which are priced about the same as a small pedestal sink, need to be enjoyed without the distractions of fine, rich, complex food. There’s something rather…poetic…about quaffing delicious wine outside, hair in ponytail, hiking boots dirty, armpits smelly. My own personal terroir, if you will. For the life of me, I can't enjoy wine in stilletos. If I could I'd dine at The French Laundry in my pajamas. Yes, indeedy, I DID dine at FL...and yes, it's superlative and the best eating experience I have ever had. If only I would have been in pajamas. They really should have a seating for that, you know. The pajama seating. Reservations made a year in advance.

Anyhoo. A very nice New Year’s Eve. With my best friend in the world. Doing what we do best. Acting like a couple of dorks, eating crap, watching "The Twilight Zone" (the one with Agnes Moorhead and the invaders from space...good one).

Happy New Year – may we all become better people and share our good food and drink with those we love. And, Dear God, may I please quit calling everyone an asshole who just happens to make a right turn from the left lane.
Oh, hello!

Some of you have written wondering what the spousal unit looks like. Well…here he is…

My Monkey Man


Mary said...

Happy New Year, Catherine. Your guy is a gorgeous hunk!!!!

Lisa said...

Happy New Year! This is the last post I'm reading before I go to bed so I will be laughing in my sleep.

Peter M said...

Happy New Year Catherine and I bet I could convince ya to come out on New Year's.

Happy cookin' in 2009!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Sounds like a great New Year's Eve, Catherine! Hope 2008 is AWESOME!

Heather said...

Wine totally tastes better straight from the bottle, sitting with a cold ass in the snow, with crackers and "cheese" from a small town mini mart.

Happy, happy new year, gorgeous!

RecipeGirl said...

We choose not to go out on the town either, but do spend it w/ friends in the neighborhood. No drunk drivers to worry about.

Happy New Year!

RecipeGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine Wilkinson said...

Mary, yes, he is a hottie!

Lisa, I laugh myself to sleep every night! My life is a riot!

Peter, right back at ya, my fine cookery genius!

Jenn, thanks..I hope your 2009 is FAB!!!

Heather...that's right! Happy New Year, beauteous babe!

recipegirl! I agree! Safe at home!

Anonymous said...

Okay let's crack that OPUS open when we're celebrating being the first tied for Grand Prize Pillsbury million dollar winners! (If I can EVER get back..)

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"The Dish" by Catherine Wilkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.