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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Toast to H.

The flask is really handsome.
Too tired to write much. Had some white wine and a couple sips of fine Kentucky bourbon on the rocks from the elegant bottle of Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve that H.'s friends Michael and John brought tonight for his 54th birthday. They came over with their families [my friends Anne and Barbara, and their kids], and Sis and Don came, too. I've really only had bourbon in bread pudding, I think, or maybe in barbecue sauce. I really liked the caramel color and rich fragrance tonight--better than the taste. I think it is acquired. The name, Woodford Reserve, brings back memories of freelancing at Cigar Aficionado Magazine, where topics include the finest smokes and most desirable spirits.

It was a busy day. Some work, some appointments, then a scramble for the right recipe in a tall stack of my cookbooks and a supermarket chase for ingredients for a lemon pie, H.'s favorite. Settled on a nice lemon tart from Ina's Barefoot in Paris--though I made a much quicker graham-cracker crust and fluffy whipped cream topping rather than meringue. Had no choice due to timing; started making it at 6:30 and guests were coming around 7:30. [Fortunately, it had time to cool in the fridge while we ate sandwiches.] I put all of my effort into the filling, with six lemons, squeezed and zested, a long stirring over heat with a wooden spoon and then a whisk once it was thickened. I do recommend it. Classic homemade pudding--I've made chocolate and lemon--takes patience but yields rich rewards when the spoon plunges in after cooling.

Birthdays dish up such old-fashioned beauty. The cake, the flickering colored candles in a darkened room, the china plates, the smiles, the off-key singing. The people you love gathered around you. Birthdays are good.

Good night.

  1. Walked Sug around block once.
  2. A little rest.
  3. Faced music with work.
  4. Private Benjamin.