Food, Wine & Friends Page 73
Bagna Cauda ~ Bagna Cada
Marjorie Martin hosted this delightful party in January of
2005, a lovely winter repast.
Early in the day I "pressed" numerous cloves of garlic into a
wonderfully aromatic "mash." To this I added dozens of anchovy
filets and a few liters of olive oil. The whole "cauldron" is
set on low heat and cooks until it offers a most exceptional perfume!
Massive amounts of vegetables are assembled. Thanks to Jonathan & Lucy
Tolmach, we had a number of platters of fresh, home-grown vegetables including
Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Broccoli, Beets, Carrots, Radicchio and a few types of
the backbone of Bagna Calda, Cardoons.
Yes...they even had purple Broccoli. I think they irrigate the plants with
Dolcetto or Zinfandel.
Celery Root! We had plenty, and I mean plenty, of celery root...
...and a ridiculous amount of Radicchio.
Belgian endive, Zucchini, Portabella mushrooms...baby peppers...little
White and green asparagus...radishes...snap peas and more.
A platter of baby potatoes had been steamed for 10 minutes, or so, to facilitate
their cooking in the Bagna. Jesper Jensen is a Potato-Head, so he
especially appreciated this plate.
The mushroom foragers were enchanted by the Porcini platter.
And we had a small bowl of "mints" (whole garlic cloves) for those who
just can't get enough.
Paul Obester was "under the table" well before anybody else even had a
glass of bubbly!
Actually, Paul and Sandy are gracious enough to bring
electrical cords, duct tape and some table-top burners to accommodate some
"community" bagna pots to go with the Piemonte Ceramic pots.
A magnum of Bellavista Brut is customary...the official
spumante of our Bagna.
Alexia brought some nibbles to go with the Spumante, including some nuts and crudits.
Jesper and his potatoes.
Paul presents the steak platter to Amy, who is mighty impressed.
The Vietti and Bruno Giacosa Arneis wines are from the 2003 vintage. Both
are quite good.
A Gavi from Villa Sparina was also delightful.
Alexia, who had been using the platter of greens as a booster seat, finally
shares some with another vegetarian.
Marjorie hoists a glass!
Villa Sparina Gavi.
Jesper's Mom, Herdis Jensen, joined us again this year.
Cliff and Marjorie.
Henry is stunned, apparently, to see Jesper's new camera.
Sandy say "No more!" before helping herself to another round of
Henry finds this amusing.
Alexia, always counting calories, goes for a thumb.
Bob found his "Wine of the Night."
Lucy and Alexia are curious to know which wine it is.
Jesper and Jonathan, chowing down.
My buddy Paul Obester, always keeping an eye on the food being passed around the
table. Not to mention the wine bottles.
Alexia suddenly realizes that's not the water pitcher, but a spit bucket.
Bob goes for the Bagna "Insalata".
Amy and Sandy.
Alexia carefully evaluates another wine while Bob explains the particular "uvaggio"
of that bottling.
Marjorie, after a few hours of eating, finally says "Buona sera, tutti!"
and heads for a good snooze.
Sandy was ladling the remaining Bagna into containers for guests to take home
with them. Some probably placed a container under their pillow.
But, being as voracious as she is, Sandy was snitching one last bite before
Jesper's Copenhagen Crown Biscotti were perfect alongside the Sorbet of Blood
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