Sunday, February 21, 2010

Boeuf Bourguinon Goes Teenage

So Hannah really wanted to cook for me for my birthday. She started thinking about it the day before. She asked what she should make and I told to go down and look in the freezer and see what kind of meat we had. She came back up and rattled off a few choices. Then she had an "Aha" moment. She asked, "What kind of meat do you make Boeuf Bouguinon with?" I was so impressed with the way she was thinking, I let it go by without even correcting her grammar. Why, a chuck roast will do, I told her. She brought one up and put it in the fridge to defrost overnight.

Here is a picture of Hannah with her girl scout troop she is third from the left.

The next day, I left around 11:30 to go to the New York State Ice Wine Festival. Now, I don't like sweet wine, at all, but a friend invited me to go and I decided to keep an open mind. I am really glad I did. Although most of the wine was dreadfully sweet, a few were actually complex enough for me to appreciate them. A Cabernet Franc was superb.

Ice wine is wine that is made with grapes that have been allowed to freeze on the vine and are then hand picked in the freezing cold. It is really expensive, mostly I'm sure because it is really a drag to pick grapes in the snow. Or worse, freezing rain.

The festival was actually quite nice. Vendors were sampling everything from wine ice cream and chocolate flavored cigars to microgreens and cupcakes. There was fake blackjack to be played and a guy throwing fire batons. They were serving cocktails outside on a bar carved out of ice. A jazz combo played  nice music. Then we went to lunch and had fabulous crepes. Thanks, Deb!

When I came home, Hannah had cleaned up from the pancakes I made for breakfast and she had done a really nice, thorough job. She started to make a cake and stew. (Is it alright to call Julia's masterpiece stew? Not really, but I'm tired of typing Boeuf Bourguinon every time. Oops, did it again.) It took four hours and two trips to the store. She got nervous along the way, but a little (nice) encouragement from me (this means I didn't call her a dork) and she did just fine. The cake was incredible. I don't even know what recipe she used and I was busy drinking champagne and cosmos with Meagan, but it involved melting chocolate chips and raspberry jam and then drizzling that into whipped butter. It was (and still is) yummy.

All in all, a great birthday, now back to reality.




adrienne said...

Happy belated birthday! That cake sounds like something I should be baking right now.

The Mendon Foodie said...

Adrienne: I will ask her what recipe she used and post a link. You should be making it.

adrienne said...

Oh, I would like that. I have this one last jar of raspberry jam from the summer that I have been reluctant to open. The cake sounds like a worthy occasion.

Incidentally, I tried this recipe today: I'd never thought of soft pretzels as something that might potentially taste good, as I had only ever tasted the ones they sell in the mall, but these were a revelation--chewy outside and soft inside with a nice flavor. Come to think of it, I might need a snack before bed...