IMBB #8: “Lift Your Spirits High”

IMBB #8: We had rather a lot of difficulty deciding what to make for tonight’s crossblog festival of “Lift Your Spirits High” hosted by Donna at There’s a Chef in My Kitchen. Use wine or spirits as a central component in our entry to this crossblog? Us? When do we ever do that? (hahahahahahahahaa – when do we not?)

We thought about what we could do with spirits: shrimps in pernod.

And then we considered the possibilities with wine: soupe de poisson, Gran’s chicken in white wine, mediterranean chicken, coq au vin, cheese fondue, or beef stew with juniper berries (using a whole bottle of dry red wine – I can’t believe I haven’t yet archived this wonderful recipe!).

Of course, the things that we do for high festivals or require a lot of monitoring were rejected. (sour red cherry jelly salad, rum babas, black forest cake) And why were these rejected immediately? We want to go for a bike ride today… if we see some decent pears as we ride by one of the outdoor stands, we may get some to poach in red wine for dessert. Ohhhhh!! And if we see white peaches (ha!) like the white peaches we had in Tuscany one year, we could pour some dry sparkling wine overtop of them for dessert. (I still dream about that amazing 12 course dinner we were served one night in Florence that ended with the most perfect white peaches drenched in Asti Spumante.)

Oh rats! I just remembered that I could have made cider cheese bread! Clearly, there needs to be more than one day for the “Raise Your Spirits High” festival.

But finally, after much happy discussion, we decided to do a variation on chicken in dark beer. A chunk of pork roast has been marinating in a bottle of Niagara Brewing Co. Gritstone ale (I certainly hope that ale is considered to be “wine or spirits”), garlic, pepper and salt since early yesterday afternoon. We will be barbecuing the pork tonight (with some smoke from hickory chips) and make a gravy out of the marinade – at least we hope the gravy will turn out. The pork will be served with steamed green beans (or maybe broccoli), oven roasted potatoes and Spanish Penascal Tempranillo 2001. I’ll report on the actual feast results later….

read the report here