Recommended wine for today’s entry: Cava, a sparkling wine produced in Spain. I tried some at my friends Rick and Becky’s house recently, and I loved it! It was quite dry and had enough bubbles to make it fun and different, but not enough to give you hiccups and a headache. I did a little research, and there are different levels of sweetness to Cava, ranging from extra brut (driest) to dulce (sweetest). Friexenet Cordon Negro is probably the Cava that most Americans have sampled, but I am going to try a Cordoniu cava. According to http://spanishfood.about.com/od/drinks/a/cava.htm, Cordoniu is “the oldest and largest cava producer, with a variety of products available. If you are looking for something special, the company recently released a new product Gran Reserva Gran Codorníu, which according to the legal definition of a Gran Reserva has spent 30 months in the bottle.” Apparently the less expensive you go, the sweeter the sip … but it sounds like overall, Spanish Cavas are much more affordable than French Champagnes or American sparkling wines!
I have written previously about my cooking prowess. If you’ve missed any of my Lucille Ballish exploits, here is one example from an archived blog:
It is not easy to be culinarily challenged and I truly feel that I should get some special treatment for this disability, like at least discounts at restaurants or gourmet-to-go places. Because I have struggled with this malady my whole life and it is only getting worse.
And my family still asks, like every other day, “Is there dinner?”
OHMYGOD, you people are so high maintenance! Don’t you remember we had dinner LAST night? What do you expect from me?
I considered instigating a system whereby my perfectly capable daughters each take a turn at meal prep while everyone’s home from college, but my older daughter is a vegetarian who only likes to bake, so she’d feed us chocolate chip cookies, banana pudding and peas. With cake for dessert. And the other one has never cooked anything and if I forced her to do so, she would likely mince up something disgusting like dog food or dustbunnies and put it in the spaghetti sauce. She doesn’t like to be forced to do things.
So every night, I am the one that everyone turns to with that pleading look.
My husband claims that when he asks if there’s dinner, the pleading look means please say no. But that is only because he still hasn’t gotten over the unfortunate Double-Mayonnaise-in-the-Chicken-Casserole incident in year one of our marriage. Just because he (allegedly) vomited the whole flight from Dallas to Houston on his first business trip. Well, I think it is probably time to get over that and I am sorry he has a sensitive stomach, but I can’t be expected to always remember if I’ve already added the 1 and 1/2 cups of mayonnaise.
I don’t eat chicken or else I would have shown him that not everyone overreacts to a little mayonnaise.
Anyway, that got me out of cooking for years two, three and four of our marriage. Then we had his friend Greg over for hamburgers (hubbie prepared) and French fries (my specialty). I know Greg was wishing he could meet a gal like me to marry, especially when I whipped out the Fry Daddy.
Except the formerly frozen French fries must have been defective. Because when I plunged them into the healthy vat of oil, they just never seemed to … do anything. Except absorb all the oil. So about 45 minutes later, I pulled them out with a slotted spoon and it looked like something the cat threw up.
Now that was 23 years ago and I am no dolt. I have sharpened my French fry skills significantly, and now I bake them in the oven and slather them with seasoned salt and ketchup and I get rave reviews. But with growing daughters, I have to be cognizant of nutrition, and of course I like to offer my adoring family a little variety in the menu.
On summer days, I like to wait to water the gardens and potted plants until it begins to cool outside. One day last week, I grabbed a glass of wine — my incentive for performing this tedious daily chore — and headed out. Well, in this heat wave those poor, poor plants were super thirsty.
At 9:00, my husband came out and asked if we were going to have dinner.
Well, I suppose that’s next on my list of arduous chores, I told him. Cinderella has been medicating pets and picking up the cleaning all day and now I’ve been watering these flowers for like an hour. We have all been very thirsty out here. Can you just get me a splash more wine and I’ll start dinner?
Anyway, I started to make the spicy corn chowder that looked good because it only called for five ingredients. (I know, soup in 95 degrees is unusual, so I turned up the air conditioning.) By 9:30, dinner was almost finished and just required that half the soup take a quick whir in the blender.
I might interject here that my mom, who I now know was always right, taught me this important life lesson:
Wine with dinner, always a winner.
Wine before preparing it, you’ll be wearing it.
I might point out that the soup was quite hot when it sprayed me about the face and head. The air conditioning didn’t make it feel better.