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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 (Mister Camouflage), 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 festivities...

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 quality.
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 Cabernets.
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 Cabernet.
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 Cabernet.

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.


Okra!


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 kitchen...

...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 Burlingame!

Valery lit some candles and soon we were all singing "Happy Birthday..."


...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 Gelato.

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 "braiding party."

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!



Camo bedding!


And a nice bag for books or groceries!

 


Oh my!  Sandals!

But not "just any sandals!"  "Clemanna/Alanteen" Sandals!

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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