Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 135: Tye-Dyes and Barbecues...

Saturday. After work.

Springer, Hunter and a couple other suspects gather at Springer's house for our first barbecue of the season. On the agenda:

2 rounds of soft goat cheese and one round of a cow's milk cheese (the Humboldt Fog goat cheese was memorable).

Fresh French bread from the best bakery in Napa (still warm).

Two dozen Oysters plucked from the Pacific Ocean that morning.

Two pounds of shrimp.

Hunter's special shrimp sauce made from all the various leftovers from Springer's refrigerator.

Fresh Asparagus.

Springer's to-die-for mashed potatoes.

Fresh sausages from some hoity toity place.

A Salad with all the fixin's.

Steaks! Six of them (large and well marbled).

And wine. Of course, wine.

I picked up a bottle Fume' Blanc from Ferrari-Carano(the making of this wine was publicized in one of the better books on wine called "It Was A Very Good Year"); I also picked up a bottle of Stelzner wineries "Claret" from 2007. Springer had on hand a couple big bottles of Glen Ellen wine. Swill!

We were going to have a festive evening of a long, slow-food dinner. Hunter was dressed in his tie-dyed Lithuania t-shirt (he said something about Jerry Garcia having sponsored some Olympic team from there...). I wore my Monkey Wrench Gang t-shirt. When Hunter and I gather with our hippy/dippy clothes, well, all niceties dissolve into a psychedelic soup of counter culture ooze. We have fun.

First we devoured the Fume Blanc (and all the bread and cheese). Then we opened the Stelzner "Claret". One sip and we had to have more, so Hunter and I gave each other a sobriety test (he won) and quickly ran out to the wine shop and bought two more bottles. Stelzner Claret is affordable ($18) but tastes like an $80 bottle of the best of Napa Valley Cabernets.

Add it to your dinner menu.

Back from the store, we mowed the shrimp down with Hunter's special spicy sauce (the contents of which will never be repeated--as it was created with zen-like dabbles of old horseradish, mustard, some hot chili sauce, ketchup and lord knows what else). We all agreed it was the best sauce we've ever had.

Then we launched into the Oysters. I'd purchased them at the special "Sustainable Fish" store for an arm and most of a leg. Oysters on the barbecue are one of my most favorite delicacies. Unfortunately, we over cooked them. No matter. Half the fun is waiting for the shells to pop open (and they never did). I used a hammer to break them open. Then we threw the shells at each other.

Time for the main course. Steak. Asparagus on the barbie. Salad. And the mashed potatoes. Drool...

Through out the evening we polished off all four bottles of the wine. Springer made large dents in the Glen Ellen (He doesn't want to spoil his palate with good wine). We resisted the urge to bring out the whiskey. Whiskey always gets us in trouble and Springer and I had to work the next morning. Restraint!

After the four hour meal, Hunter and I threw our sleeping bags down on the grass in Springer's backyard and giggled like twelve year olds. We watched, first the stars, and then the fog roll in from San Pablo Bay.

We fall asleep watching the fog...

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