Hope you all had a nice weekend! Ever since Friday, when Ash and I served homemade Coq au Vin to our wonderful friends, I have been on a recipe rampage. Tonight I’m making Chana Punjabi with the spice kit my mother bought Ash from Vij’s Rangoli. I found the recipe on the blog, The Wednesday Chef, who writes: “I have been rendered mute by a chick pea.” What a great sell.
Also, I read this post recently on the blog of food writer, Dorie Greenspan. Very Champagne Wednesdays, don’t you think? This weekend, for the first time in so long, we pulled our little grey, wicker loveseat out to our front patio to enjoy the spring weather with home-fried pot stickers and edamame. The sun, much like a good bottle, should never be saved. We find Stella Artois in our fridge hard to save as well.
Lastly, much excitement in our home about the recent purchase of one of these babies! I am hoping it means big things to come for Champagne Wednesdays and a few other projects we have in the works. That’s one of the things I love most about life with Ash – we have so many great ideas together, the best of which happened one year ago this week.
Say you’re in San Francisco, it’s a Wednesday, and you feel like having champagne. And you’re broke, or you’re not broke, but it’s not in your blood to drop $65 on a bottle of sparkling wine in a so-so restaurant. And maybe you’re not even all that hungry. It’s 3 o’clock, and long before any kind of dinner planning happens, you are thinking that plush bed in the Fairmont on Nob Hill deserves a midday nap. From you.
I understand completely.
That’s why it’s so nice to share with you what we’ve learned over the past 4 years…
Sometimes champagne just happens.
It’s the sound of guitar music escaping out the door of a small wine merchant, who’s willing to pour you a glass on the side.
And that is why it’s important to wander. Wherever you are.
The best glasses of champagne are enjoyed that way. Trust me.
The great thing about having a regular event like champagne wednesdays in our life is that sometimes people want to share it with us. People like the Crooks (Christina, I stole this picture from your blog).
Michael and Christina – a creative, smart, engaged couple we like spending time with – had us over last night for dinner. They even popped their engagement bottle of Henkell (a year into marriage, mind you). Christina is a writer and asks questions like, “when do you make time to be creative?” – all things that make me like her very much. And Michael even shared a bit about what’s it’s like to be married. I found that comforting, talking about marriage, because sometimes the act of getting married feels like setting off on a long journey with a blindfold on. A blindfold, or maybe blinders. Because you’re not supposed to look into anyone else’s.
Henkell is not for everyone as it’s a bit on the dry side. But for me, just the sight of the bottle gives me a homey, Christmas morning feeling since its been the Hargreaves’ drink of choice on Christmas mornings for as long as I can remember.
Finally, I make an open apology for the chocolate mousse, two of which I knocked over in their kitchen. It was really more like chocolate soup.
Yes, I bought it. Yes, I love it. Yes, I will run home every day for the next two weeks to check my mailbox. Yes, I sometimes wonder if Michelle Brusegaard thinks she’s as fabulous as I think she is.
Yes, there are others:
Believe me, your girlfriend, sister, best friend, mother, etc would like one. Michelle makes the most beautiful stationary and linens as well. And yes, she’s from Etsy and yes, she has a blog.
Then another kind of red: Kat came over for dinner last night and she, Ash and I launched life plans over Thai red curry and red wine (don’t ask about the bean burgers – they died an early death). Plans that I really hope will come to fruition. It was the perfect way to spend an evening. And it’s not even Wednesday yet.
Something about having less than 100 days until Ash and I get married is making me a bit of a Weepy Wendy (sorry, Wendys!). For instance, when I saw this picture of my beautiful sister (and Maid of Honour) and my handsome brother-in-law from their wedding in Naramata. I know what you are thinking, how can you beat that? The sun was shning, a long table was set under a vine draped veranda, the smell of grapes, wine, amazing cheeses and love were in the air. It was so….them. And that’s what Ash and I are trying to do with our wedding. Create a moment, a night, that says something about the life we are madly, amazingly, clumsily stitching together. I have no idea how it will all unravel. Some days I want to throw up (in the good way, honey). Some days I mutter why oh why couldn’t we just do Vegas like I wanted? Most days, I just sit here (yes, at work) hoping nobody notices that I’ve turned into a neurotic version of myself, now named Wendy, who is obsessed with the finding the perfect mix of songs to express us.
Hot Rocks. Heart shaped rocks. Filing through rocks on a beach called Sombrio.
For today’s Champagne Wednesday, I’m raising my glass to a homemade red.
Yes, all those of you who’ve suffered through Uncle So-and-So’s special bathtub brew, go ahead and cringe now. But I swear it – one of my dearest life-friends, Jaimie, has been trying her hand at homemade wines too. And they’re pretty darn good.
Ash and I were lucky enough to sample her first, Gypsy Spit, on our trip to Victoria to see Cirque de Soliel. Now, the Smith-Windsor clan is relocated to Prince Albert and (not to spare a minute Jaimie and Al!), I’ve heard word there’s a second edition. A red wine named Sombrio.
How much fun to name your wines with all the memories and places that you slip too anyway on that second or third or fourth glass? Here, Jaimie, is your label:
These little rustic organs brimming with their blood red juices are the object of my current (and deepest) food desires. Replacing fresh dill, and so nicely matched by Ash and I’s new weekly forays into the world of fancy cheese. I will try to take a picture of our next Sunday afternoon patio lunch. There’s just something about my rectangular white tray pilled high with labouriously selected food treasures from Rapers…I mean, Capers. There’s just something about it that brings me such peace (Note: Ash thinks it might also be the bottle of Dirty Laundry’s Hush 2007 which induced said “peace” feeling).
Back to beets. Try them:
…tossed with champagne walnut vinegar.
…in the roasted beet salad at the Libra Room on Commercial Drive.
…on a pizza like food designer Sweet Paul did. No no has made a beet look better.
What’s summer sun without summer music? And what’s summer music without pretty you on a patio with memories to remember, and futures to entertain? Five years back or five years forward, music and champagne taste good. And so does a glass of Joie’s Rosé with just enough pinot meunier (it’s champagne cousin) to make it a great option for a Wednesday night. I promise, whatever you might think about this rosé or that rosé…Joie has concoted a blush of light, stupid, breezy fun. It’s also great with pakoras (as we found out this weekend on Rangoli’s off-Granville patio).
If you’re not cooking, it’s $8.95/glass. If you are, it’s about $20 a bottle, split however many ways you like.
Go ahead. Dance. Have fun. Tell someone you’re happy.
I’ve always been a dad’s girl. (Hi Dad! Love you!). Here he is posing with my pretty mom at Hastings Race Course. We had four big winners on Saturday and then celebrated our men with a big dinner and a nice Brunello. If you are ever invited to a fancy dinner and want to impress, pick a bottle of that. For about $50+ (with an emphasis on up), you will be forever revered as dinner guest of choice, and often invited back.
Off for a hike. Time is mine this week. I plan to indulge in exercise, life organization and possibly a mini trip to Seattle.
PS: My most reliable purveyor of French champagne and not-so-expensive brunello is this shop on Davie Street.