Food, Wine & Friends Page 245
We hosted the Annual Princesses' wine & food marathon on a
Sunday in late September and this year included a young Prince, too.
And there was a special banner to post for the occasion...
I had found that old snapshot of Princess Alanna and Princess
Clementine which was taken when they were all of 8 years old.
Not much has changed, as you can see.
There was a bit of a "camouflage" theme to the day, as Prince Tristan
who had also recently celebrated a birthday, his 16th, participated in the
festivities with his Mom, Queen Valery.
We fired up the ovens and began our culinary excursion for the birthday
Valery shows off the Mushrooms stuffed with Sage Sausage...
We had acquired a box of interesting Paper Airplanes and Prince Tristan and Dane
Fitz-J went about folding some of these to see how they fly...
Both fellows proved to be capable pilots!
Meanwhile, we taxied into the kitchen and prepared the salads for take-off!
Amy brought a bowl of home-grown cherry tomatoes to adorn the Dungeness
Crab/Romaine Lettuce Salads...
We had two Spanish whites...A Castro Martin "Sobre Lias" Albarino
which was a nice, crisp, dry, light white wine...and a Pazo Barrantes 2009
Albarino called "La Comtesse." This was more reminiscent of a
French White Burgundy, say a Meursault, perhaps. It did not have much
varietal character (as we know it, anyway), but more a woodsy, toasty, creamy
In this setting, I preferred the Castro Martin, but can imagine the La Comtesse
to shine with other, richer foods.
Amy, Clementeen, Alanna and Pierre, the Jet-Setter!
Tristan seems to be received an audio message via his camouflaged ear-phone,
while Valery and Amy share a laugh.
While Amy distracted Clementeen, Alanna was able to 'sneak' a bit of crab off
her plate without The Clemster knowing...
After the salad, the next course featured a bit of Pesto...
A nice, fresh Italian pasta with homemade (cheese-free) pesto, topped with a pan
roasted Sea Scallop and topped with fresh chives.
With this dish we poured a Niedrist Sauvignon Blanc from Italy's Alto Adige.
I like how the herbal, mildly 'green', grassy notes of the Sauvignon pair with
the very intense basil.
The guests commented on the intensity of the basil in the Pesto sauce and that
it shines brightly...good olive oil helps the cause, of course, as does fresh
garlic and some pine nuts.
Tristan inhaled the pasta...gone in, what?, 60 seconds???
The Sea Scallops were exceptional, despite having been
purchased in a frozen state!
These were 'fresher' in all aspects than the thawed Sea Scallops one finds at
most of the local fish counters in the area.
We had two vintages of Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain
The 1997, Tristan's year and 1998, Alanna's and Clementine's vintage.
After the pesto, a palate-cleanser was a good idea...
Mint leaves in the Garnacha ice...
After the ice, we brought out the decanted Cabernets...
Here are the two "1998s" with a glass of Dunn Howell Mountain
In six years they will be old enough to actually have a taste instead of merely
posing with a glass!
Tristan poured a bit of "his" vintage, the 1997...
Aviva tried comparing the two wines, hoping to decide which one she preferred.
Tristan and his Mom compared notes regarding the bouquet of the 1997 Dunn
As both Clementeen and Alanna are Yorkshire Pudding Fanatics,
this year I had two pans full of these!
I tried to imiate both Clementine and Alanna as they had posed
in the snapshot from 2006...
...not quite, though.
And I was wearing a special apron for the occasion:
The Yorkshire Pudding was finally ready, so we were able to
serve the main course...Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, Oven-Roasted Potatoes and
Braised Okra with Mushrooms and Peppers.
Dane's plate became some sort of Flying Saucer...
Amy had a platter of grilled Asparagus and Grilled Prawns...
The 1997 Dunn seemed a bit muted on the nose, to me. The flavors also
seemed a bit diffuse and I wondered if the bottle had a cork issue? The
1998 was much more complex, showing bright red fruit notes and some earthy,
loamy elements. In terms of tannin, the wines were both very good,
beautifully balanced and showing handsomely in that regard.
Those will both go another ten years...maybe more!
Clementine went back and forth from the table to the
...I think this snapshot shows Clementeen with her 20th Yorkshire Pudding (or
something close to that number)...
The next course feature two cheese boards and some wonderful
bread from our local "Fresh Market."
The cheeses were quite aromatic and served near room temperature...
The Mongeard-Mugneret Echezeaux "Vieille Vigne" bottling was very
good, but a bit young, of course, coming from the 2010 vintage.
Still, it shows handsomely and holds much promise.
Dane was busy checking out the baseball scores, I think.
Alanna got busy on a braiding project...
The Great Dane and His Mom...
An apparition of The Great Dane quietly haunts Clementeen, who waited patiently
for Birthday Cake, Ice Cream and other festivities...
We then got busy with dessert...
A beautifully "camouflaged" cake from The Copenhagen Bakery in
Valery lit some candles and soon we were all singing "Happy
...Blowing out the candles...
The budding kendoka, Tristan, shows off his form with a cake knife
instead of the shinai.
Dane was impressed.
After the cake, we brought out a batch of homemade Nutella
Someone had seconds!
Then we had a bunch of little birthday presents!
I explained this was a "birthday party," but some felt I said it was a
And then I suspect Clementeen and Alanna gave Dane a "wedgie."
Birthday cards & gifts!
Clementeen was delighted to have a "Habs" cover for her cell phone!
And a nice bag for books or groceries!
Oh my! Sandals!
But not "just any sandals!" "Clemanna/Alanteen"
And with that, everyone made tracks for home!
It was a lovely gastronomic marathon and everyone was well-fed by the time we
reached the "finish line."
Thanks to everyone for helping clean up afterwards!!!
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