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September 02, 2006

Summerset: wine, food, friends...does it get any better?

Pinotgritable_1 As part of their "100 Geek Dinners" promotion, Stormhoek Winery was kind enough to send a case of their wine out here to evenTinierTown and we put it to good use last weekend by holding a potluck wine tasting. Our good friends, Sunrise and Jessica Fletcher, loaned us the lawn by the pond at the Inn at Lucky Mud and we gathered a dozen and a half friends on Sunday afternoon to sip wine, nibble delicious food, and listen to a little guitar music (contributed by Sunrise and someoneElse, both charter members of WAGS). Sunrise even came up with a song pairing for each of the wines, which was a real hoot, especially as we got further into the evening.

I decided that we were going to make our wine tasting a potluck so that we could let everyone's efforts shine in the appropriate setting, with the right wine, and it turned out to be a wonderful idea. Invitations included an "assignment" of a wine to cook for, some tasting notes that Sam from Stormhoek provided, and what I could glean from the blogosphere on food pairings from earlier Geek Dinners. This turned out to be a great idea, everyone brought food that was very tasty and went well with their wine. It may have helped that the people who replied sayng they'd been drinking Shiraz a lot lately were given Shiraz and the farmers got a white to go with their abundance of fresh vegetables, but I'm happy with the results.

My job was bread, desserts and coordination...and onon tarts...and I think I pulled it off; the tarts didn't hurt. I decided to make an assortment of bitesized sweets for dessert, which was almost as good of an idea as having other people bring the rest of the food (did I mention it was all excellent? plus made with mostly locally produced ingredients...I wouldn't be surprised if we were darned close to meeting the locavores goal of a 100 mile radius for our foodshed...well, except for the wine from halfway around the globe...)

Details on the food and wine after the jump.

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February 17, 2006

Dangerous chocolate

Late one evening, you and several of your closest friends stare at the twelve shells in a circle in the middle of your dining room table. Each of you selects a shell in turn, wondering if this time, this one, will be it.

It all comes down to this: Are you feeling lucky?

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November 21, 2005

Thinking out loud about Thanksgiving dinner

After the party last weekend--which somehow grew from not-quite 36 hours to about three days--I find myself blinking at my not-quite-recovered house (and my very not recovered self) and wondering why someone scheduled Thanksgiving for his week. My feet still hurt from the last orgy of cooking and my creative juices seem at an all-time low. Somehow I doubt this will be a convincing argument for why I am serving sandwiches on Thursday. (Oh relax, I am only kidding.) But you know, with an alter ego named kitchenMage, one can't exactly afford to slack off on the greatAmericanEatUntilYouDrop day.

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November 18, 2005

Getting ready for a party

I apologize for the odd layout. This post is from a time when screens were narrower and center columns were much thinner and it shows.

My place is the scene of a reunion of sorts, a handful of no-longer kids who've known each other since they were actually kids have converged for a couple of days of network games and food. I asked what people wanted and was amused to see how specific their memories of my food are. Determined to relax once people arrive, I've spent a couple of days in the kitchen and just had to take pictures before the hungry hordes descend. Click below to see what I made.

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