Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Tale of Two Dinners

A fancy store's window on Fifth Avenue
On Thursday, Lakshmi and Pam came over for dinner. It was the rainiest day of the week, and that they still wanted to come despite the rain, cheered me up. I made the last of our rice (our usual sushi rice supplemented with some sweet rice to make at least two cups of rice for four people), ground lamb with apples (the Macoun apples provided a nice contrast to the slightly gamey lamb and the cracked black pepper ties it all together; the head chef was a bit miffed by the white pieces of sliced garlic that were added as basically an afterthought, since they didn't brown, but whatever), and spinach (with oyster sauce; the spinach turned out kind of watery, but at least it wasn't burnt like every other spinach I've made in the last few months), and apple crumbles for dessert. (I'm not sure why Lakshmi calls it a streusel in her blog, but it's all good. Lakshmi peeled and cut the apples for this dish and the lamb because I was doing a crappy job of it.) Lakshmi brought her mom's homemade coconut chutney and spiny melon chutney. Both chutneys were delicious and went well with the meal. We caught up and watched the Halloween episode of Community together.

The back/unfinished part of our apartment
After the utter failure of not placing in the Halloween contest at work, I thought of another masochistic thing I could do: try to get Laduree macarons for dessert that evening. I walked up there from work, and forty-five minutes later, I realized how dumb it was because the line was really long (though inside the store, which I suppose is great), but after waiting a few minutes, I realized how dumb it was to wait with the tourists. Cause after a few minutes, I realized that they had to be all tourists since they all looked so confused.

(Laduree, you need to get your shit together. You need to have flavors posted like an ice-cream shop and prepackaged assortments of macarons and all. You need someone taking orders from people who know what they want and not just want to gawk at the variety of flavors. I have money. I want macarons. I want efficient service.)

I took the M66 across town and walked to D'Agostino to get my mozzarella ball. (If I'm serving salad, I feel like there should be mozzarella as an option too.) Hetal came soon after I got in and watch in horror as I cut up the apples for another apple crumble. (We have a chef's knife to cut up things. I like seeing my fingertips when I cut things so I know where they are. Apparently, this is a bad way to cut things. But I've yet to cut myself, so I don't see any reason for alarm.) Then Dani came with Crumbs cupcakes--one with a vampire guy on top of it. And Nat came shortly after too. I forget what happened, but I think Hetal was cold, so I went to grab a sweater that I didn't want anymore and told her that she could keep it, and I suggested they all look at my "give-away" clothes bins. I had three bins, and they each took a nice bundle of clothing. One bin is entirely empty now. I'm excited that I had desirable stuff! I feel like when I try giving stuff to my sister or mom they look at me like I'm nuts or try to convince me to keep it. I just haven't got any room though I have relatively lots of room. Jon came home at some point and started cooking the meal while I finished prepping. Aditya came and showed us photos of his engagement party and beautiful fiancee.

Our menu included: olive bread, pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage, rye bread with carmelized onions (we made that on Wednesday for an onion soup that we ultimately never made) topped with some Swiss cheese (so like onion soup without the broth), and lettuce with mozzarella and the "good" balsamic vinegar. One should never fill up on lettuce or eat lettuce while the other food is warm anyway, is my motto. For dessert we had apple crumble (this time with MiniWheats in the crumble as well) with amaretto-almond crunch ice cream and split the vampire-baby Halloween cupcake. I had the lemon cupcake for breakfast the next day. So nice and lemony!
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