one last hurrah before the snow flies

Heh. I started typing this post last week when it was balmy. I had no inkling that it would turn so cold so fast or that the ground would be covered so thoroughly in snow yesterday!

So let me backtrack to our celebratory dinner last week…. We thought about stepping out and going to a restaurant but the trouble is that we know T cooks as well (if not better) than the cooks at most of the places we can afford. So we decided to splash out at home.

We rode our bikes to one of the highend butchers and got two HUGE beautifully marbled T-bone steaks. Then on to Chinatown to get sugarsnap peas and a red pepper. The ride was lovely. The air was crisp and clean; most of the leaves had been blown away and the trees were bare; a winter sky with the sun low on the horizon.

We rode back home through the neighbourhoods, congratulating ourselves for riding instead of being locked in the car driving. We felt so free!!

And shortly after getting home, it was time to fire up the charcoal barbecue! Real wood charcoal, not those briquettes. We stood outside in the dark, mesmerized by the glowing coals and the heady smell of wood smoke and grilling steaks. We had to use the flashlight to look at the steaks to guess if they were done. (as well as using the finger test)

And we set the table with the best china, lit the candles and feasted on perfectly grilled tender steaks (enough steak left over for the most brilliant steak sandwiches the next day AND the next), served on a bed of mushroom cream sauce (using reconstituted dried mushrooms from Chinatown – they look like small porcini mushrooms), sugar snap peas, oven roasted potatoes and onions (onions went into the oven about half an hour before we were going to dine), grilled red pepper, a little parsley to garnish and from the stash, a bottle of Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste Saint Guirons Pauillac 1986.

We finished with halva and grappa. We wanted to get some baclava from a lady in Kensington Market – she makes wonderful baclava! But she hadn’t made any that day. So we got halva from her instead. As it turned out, halva was the perfect ending to a perfect celebration.

The wine, you ask? In spite of its age, it was still very opaque and rich. It was still lightly tannic with plenty of fruit still. But it had that wonderful earthiness as well that older wine gets. And good balance. And exactly right with charcoal grilled steak. (I feel a bit inadequate trying to describe it. I know it was good. I know it was much much better than our regular, usually perfectly adequate and balanced sangiovese. How do I know? We did a taste test the next day with the last quarter bottle of the Pauillac. After drinking the Pauillac, the sangiovese tasted like rather dull fruitjuice in comparison.

2 responses to “one last hurrah before the snow flies

  1. ejm Post author

    They were really good, Jane. Tender and done just right for me – just half way between rare and medium. There’s really little that’s better than charcoal grilled steaks!

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