Although I was really looking forward to trying everyones appetizers, the majority of the bites passed were disappointing.
I began to wonder if we had all been in the same class.
I tested and served 17 recipes at my cocktail party, and I came away with two bites that were modified a couple of times. That’s a lot of work.
I’m not sure anyone else worked as hard.
I sat down next to NGL at the wine tasting class and was lucky to enjoy suffered through such culinary delights as…
Bruschetta. No I’m not kidding. Yes, in the summer we all love it. It’s really good, but I think you can go to Howard Johnson’s and order bruschetta now.
We had at least three bruschettas.
Ceviche on Frito Lay White Corn tortilla strips. I began to feel like I was living in some separate reality.
Fritatta bites. Yuck! They were jammed with mint leaves. What part of mint do people not understand? First of all, mint gets stuck in your teeth. Secondly,it is the flavor of toothpaste.
When was the last time you stood in the supermarket asking yourself, “Hmmm. Should we have fennel and citrus vinaigrette dental floss or roasted garlic with truffle butter dental floss?” Probably never. Because those are the flavors of food… the last thing you want to floss your teeth with is food! Right? So conversely, the last thing you want to bite into at a cocktail party is an overcooked egg that tastes like Colgate.
While the passing of all these crappy hors d’ouevres was happening… a man from the local wine shop was lecturing about wines.
Although he looked like Weird Al Yankovich, he was actually pretty knowledgable. I tasted some great new things. My favorite was a Pinot Blanc (I know. A break from Chard.) from Willakenzie in Oregon. It was hands down the most complex white that I had ever approached.
And it tasted great.
I waited with bated breath for the Pringle with Onion Dip to be presented, but was served such concoctions as gingerbread with some sort of pink aioli and topped with a marinated artichoke heart. Gross.
Then the dates came out…
I was nervous.
Are they hot? Are they crispy? I’m sure everyone’s going to hate them. Serves me right for being so condescending. Oh crap. Oh crap. They look awful. Of course they look awful. They are cured pig wrapped around dried fruit. Yuck!. What am I an idiot? What was I thinking?
Everyone took a bite.
“Whose are these?” definitely gay Cameron yelled out.
“Mine.” I said.
“Well actually they are not mine. They are Suzanne Goin’s from AOC.” Some nodded knowingly, happy and chewing. Some complimented them. The rest looked at me like I was cement. Overall, though, I think they were well-received.
Next, we were offered a dried apricot jammed with a piece of blue cheese… and as if our mouths weren’t scared enough, there was a half a walnut pressed into it.
Help me God.
Finally a reprieve.
Creamy smoked trout topped with shaved green apples on pumpernickel squares. The look, flavors and textures were perfect.
I was so happy.
“Whose is this?” definitely gay Cameron asked. What? Is he taking a survey?
Lo and behold it was the Home-schoolers.
For some “unknown” reason I was totally irritated. It was delicious… and I don’t even like smoked trout or apples or pumpernickel.
But Chef chimed from the back of the room:
“Sabrina? Did you bake the pumpernickel yourself?”
“Umm. No.” She replied. “Everything else I made from scratch by myself, though.”
It fell on deaf ears.
Weird Al was still swirling, sniffing, swishing and babbling.
“Who makes their own pumpernickel?” Sabrina muttered sarcastically through her teeth, just loud enough for everyone around her to enjoy it.
I chortled silently.
Next were my “rustic” mushroom cups. The TA came around to present them. I couldn’t even take a bite. I was too nervous.
“Why don’t you pass them around first. I’m afraid there’ll not be enough,” I said. Although I was lying, I must have looked pretty confident because she smiled at me and moved along.
Nobody said a thing.
Not one damn thing.
We all went to the next Australian big red and faced forward.
The mushroom cups were a failure.
Several more happy-hour-at- the- Embassy-Suites- culinary-delights were passed around until Weird Al finally poured the last glass and it was time to go.
We all began to gather our things and thank him.
Suddenly, Chef appeared again.
“Jules. The mushrooms. They were wild?”
“Was that truffle oil?”
“Umm. Yeah.” (At the last moment, in a desperate act of great self-doubt, I added a drop to the mushrooms)
As I went to pack up, she began rifling through my things. The TA stood guard. As she pulled out the miniature bottle of truffle oil and examined the brand she asked, “Where did you buy this?”
“Bristol Farms,” I answered.
“May I ask how much it is?”
“Seventeen. I think.”
“SEVENTEEN DOLLARS?” the TA bellowed.
The Chef just nodded.
Damn. I blew it with the truffle oil.