Food, Wine & Friends Page 199
What a day! I was in the kitchen early to prepare a lot
of things for dinner, having a ticket for Aviva's daughter Clementine's
performance in the early afternoon.
She was dancing the role of Clara in the Nutcracker, performed at Wilcox High
School in Santa Clara.
Clementine was a delight and so was the entire performance.
After the show concluded, I raced back home to put the finishing touches on the
And at 5pm, they all arrived.
Jesper opened the bottle of Cremant de Bourgogne, a perfectly pleasant fizzy
from the Ambroise winery.
Lots of nice nibbles to go with the bubbly...
Meanwhile, I put the game hens in the oven and began making
Aviva's Mother Hugette was here, visiting from Montreal.
Inspired by a Seafood Risotto Pierre and I enjoyed at the home
of Piero and Anna Masi in Tuscany this past year, I made a local version...
Carnaroli rice cooked in a seafood stock...with rock shrimp, prawns, sea
scallops, clams, mussels and calamari.
The Ricard "Les Trois Chenes" is showing incredibly
well. It's so intensely fruity!
We also enjoyed the Coulbois Pouilly-Fume, though, as it was a bit more austere.
The kids had their own dining room and seemed to enjoy the risotto...
Ballerina and Seafood Risotto Fan, Clementine "Clara, as in Santa
We all hoisted a glass to toast the birthday girl.
A little palate cleanser...
We decanted two lovely bottles of Chianti from Castell'in
And these were soon poured for everyone...
Pierre was thrilled, as we had visited the winery and spent a
lovely few hours drinking wine and chatting with the owner, Principessa Coralia.
Amy grabbed the camera...
We'd been waiting for the game hens to turn golden brown, so
we had a minute or two to enjoy the Chianti.
We passed around the serving dishes...
Toasted Israeli Couscous with Chanterelles and Portabellas...
Homemade Cranberry sauce...
Steamed Jerusalem Artichokes...
Braised Baby Artichokes with red peppers...
Dane thought everything was A-Okay!
And Santa Clara was enjoying the meal, aussi.
Homemade Cranberry Sauce...
The 2000 Riserva is quite deep and still young (like Aviva). It is
evolving nicely, but I'm expecting it to continue blossoming for another
The 1996 is beautifully developed and was stellar. It shows nice cherry
notes and a mildly earthy aspect, too.
Once we polished off the main course, it was time for a stellar dessert wine.
Muscat de Mireval from Chateau d'Exindre.
And we had a nice birthday cake, too.
From The Cakery on Burlingame Avenue....a veritable work of
We passed the bottle of Muscat around the table and I suggested Pierre closely
examine it to reveal a small surprise...
Oh my gawd!
Soon Clementine came over to have a look...can this be right?
The Exindre estate is owned and managed by the Sicard family!
Dane then helped light the birthday candle...
We sang "Happy Birthday" to Aviva and then she made
And then...Birthday Presents.
Then Hugette began singing her favorite Barbra Streisand
And it was getting late...Amy managed to call the meeting to
order and she ordered them "up and out."
I missed capturing a shot of Jesper and Pierre giving each other piggy-back
rides and hoped the neighbors were as hard of hearing as some of my co-workers
at the shop...
So, thanks one and all for coming!
And Joyeux Anniversaire to Aviva.
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