“If We Procure Not To Ourselves More Woe”
The theme of this dinner was borrowed from Paradise Lost. This week, my car nearly gave out, my hearing aid nearly gave out, and now my iPhone won’t charge: it was time for a low pressure meal. The straightforward recipe for a low-pressure meal is to get a holiday joint and roast it, but that seemed to dishonor all the expenses just incurred in order to delay even great expenses. So let it be a challenge.
- “Gin” juniper Grissini ❧ Gougeres ❧ Hard Cider on the porch
- Braised fennel, absinthe butter, salmon roe ❧ more cider
- Homemade agnolotti stuffed with sweet potato and bacon, in fennel broth ❧ White Bordeaux
- Duck breast, smoked over alder and tea ❧ Vaqueyras
- Chicken legs braised in hard cider ❧ Tempranillo
They work got off on an instructive foot as I carefully weighed my pasta eggs sans shells to get the flour to three significant figures, and then added 3:1 flour when everyone knows pasta requires 3:2. So I had precisely twice as much flour as I ought, and naturally this worked not well, or at all. Much mystery ensued, followed inevitably by a double batch of pasta and more fresh fettuccine and strozzapreti than we really need.
Thanks to the pasta production, I never did figure out great names for the courses. But we’ve got the apple thing going in the appetizers and the chicken legs, the lcorice-tinged fennel in the first course (“Black it stood as night, Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell, And shook a dreadful dart.”), and of course it’s bathed in seas of fire. The agnolotti are allegedly papal miters, they’re also filled with something orange. The duck breast is smoked,