Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Yes, off the radar is putting it mildly.  Having a midlife crisis, perhaps? I just logged in to look up my own recipe for popovers for today's Christmas dinner and wondered, what happened to me this year?  Where is this side of myself, the writer inside of me that I love to indulge while at the same time hopefully entertaining all of you readers?
I started a small Japanese style catering business this year.  I say "small" because it is still in its infantile stages.  Starting a business, as exciting as it sounds, has taken all of my creative juices right out of me.  Needing 175% of my attention but somehow not captivating me fully, it has been a struggle between maintaining balance in my life (exercise, free time, a man) and feeling guilty that I'm not 100% captivated.  Why aren't I?  There is something missing.  So I thought if I shared with my readers my plight, activating my creative juices through writing and other means, that the missing piece just may present itself to me.
Here is a link to my website www.tatsujapanesefood.com.
In the meantime, Prime Rib is on the menu for today.  A bunch of friends are coming over for a delicious dinner and to enjoy some rare bottles of wine that I've been waiting to open. On the left is 1999 Araujo Eisele Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; next to that is 1999 Opus One Napa Valley Cabernet.  Two great wines, the same vintage, good friends, a big hunk of meat.  What more could one ask for?? (ok, don't get me started on that one)
That Araujo has been carefully stored since I left the GM position at Picco about 6 years ago.  One of my best customers brought it in for my last night.  I humbly asked him if i might bring that one home to add to my collection instead of opening it and of course he obliged.  The Opus One, my friend Marcelo found in a "throw away" box at a winery where he works.  The Araujo started off really inky and then opened to a lovely black currant, earthy, dark fruit, great acidity, not too hit-you-over-the-head cabernet.  The Opus was smooth from the get go and opened to a full gigantic fruit explosion in the mouth.  Some found it slightly on the "sweet" side - all that ripe fruit just waiting to be exposed to the elements after 12 years.  Overall, I was quite pleased we opened them with this small group - believe it or not, none of us was left wanting.

That's me, carving the 10 pound Niman Ranch roast.  It took almost 3 hours to cook in my somewhat retarded (but working) electric Frigidaire Custom Imperial oven circa 1965.  Built to last, that behemoth did me right.

Our group was gracious at all the delicious wines, lots of Schramsburg Blanc de Blanc to get us going, 3 different desserts from Emporio Rulli in Larkspur, and one of Erin's famous Icebox Cakes, recipe straight from Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan.

There's Marcelo with his proverbial harem.  Seriously, those Brazilians - love their meat and their ladies!
So for now, I must go clean the damn kitchen, as well as the cobwebs from my writing.  Thanks for  participating in helping me get back to my groove!