Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cooking for the Soul

Nothing makes me feel better than cooking a good meal. Especially when combined with good friends and great wine. When I need to fill up my home, and make it feel less lonely, the scent of sauteing garlic or the texture of raw beef in my hands does just that. This past Sunday Sabrina and I got together for a little culinary therapy. We decided not to have any preconceived ideas of what to prepare and allowed what was fresh and beautiful at the market to inspire us. That inspiration came in the form of fresh rapini, fresh morels and a beautiful NY Strip. I wish I had pictures. We salted and peppered the steaks and drizzled with olive oil. Next we grilled them rare and let them rest while we prepared the morel sauce. Sabrina reduced some veal stock and cream sherry until it was rich and concentrated. To that she added the diced morels and let them braise for a bit until their earthy flavor was permeating the liquid. As if that wasn't enough, we poured in some cream to enrich the sauce.

A dish as rich, earthy and hearty needs a wine that can stand right up to it. We opened my last 2002 Morgan Gary's Vineyard Pinot Noir and a 2003 Justin Justification. The pinot was drinking beautifully, it was silky in texture with balanced acids and absolutely no hint of alcohol. The Justin still needed time, it was still brimming with stewed fruit and fuller tannins. No secondary or tertiary aromas and flavors had developed yet. The Justin winery stated that this particular bottle should be drunk now. I should have known that they were referring to the American palate, which likes young, fruity and tannic wines. Lesson learned.

Nights like these are what are helping me get through this incredibly difficult time. Wine and food are emotions. Each sip and each bite are a celebration of Otis' life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

In Memory of Otis

I've lost my best friend. Recently, I had to endure the tragedy of having to put my dog Otis to sleep. I miss him more than I can verbalize. He was only 9 years old and should have had much more time in this world. I miss him so much. This house of ours seems painfully empty. There will never be another soul like him. I miss him. He was loved so dearly. I loved him with all my heart. This world is worse off without him.

I miss you so much Otis. We'll never, ever forget you. Every glass of wine I raise will be to you. Every crumb I drop on the floor when preparing a meal will be for you.

I miss you.