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Friday, June 18, 2021

The Pork Boys Do Spring

In recent weeks, we have celebrated my birthday and M.P.'s retirement from his retirement job, and just spring in general.  Here are some pics - click to enlarge.  

The first gladiola from our garden made a lovely centerpiece with a few tiny yellow mums.

Chilled cucumber soup and a bit of avocado toast on the side was just right for a springtime dinner.

At my request, for my birthday M.P. made Julia Child's coq au vin, served over rice, along with homemade croissants, fried eggplant, wilted spinach leaves and bacon, and gratin dauphinoise, a la Mme. Pepin (Jacque's maman).  That was damn good eatin', boys, I tell you what.

May was an uncommonly rainy month, so all our outdoor plants and the herb garden are doing very nicely indeed.  Here are some colorful kalanchoes and pansies by the kitchen steps.

Believe it or not, M.P. has grown this lemon tree from a single seed he planted several years ago.  No fruit yet, but it's over three feet tall now.

Gladiola and periwinkles from the garden are lovely in candlelight, along with some seashells from Florida.

One night, M.P. surprised me with a pair of luscious cheese souffles - a tricky bit of cookery he has been working on for years, and now has perfected, as you can see.

Believe me when I tell you that Philly steak sandwiches made on French bread with a spread of mashed avocado and ranch dressing are dee-licious.

M.P. deep-fried what he calls some golden nuggets made from Yukon Gold potatoes - scrumptious with a little Cajun seasoning sprinkled over them.

Plain old green beans sauteed with a bit of onion and tomato are very tasty too.

M.P. spent several days making this cardboard cut-out for the birthday party of one of his granddaughters - made for little girls to stand behind and have a "mermaid picture" taken - it was a big hit at the party.  M.P. showed off his fine artistic skills here - he painted all of this freehand, out of his imagination, no tracing or copying.

More glads, magenta and orange this time, with some sale-priced poseys from the grocery store.  Also check out the marble plates M.P. found - very chic, I think.  (I hate to admit they are not really marble, or even porcelain.)

One day while cleaning out the deep freeze, M.P. made the happy discovery of a long-forgotten duck sitting at the bottom of the box.  So he soon had it butterflied and roasted low and slow in wine and herbs - it came out so tender it was falling off the bone, and had a magnificent flavor.

Accompaniments included, right to left, duck gravy made from the drippings, lemon-butter rice, and carrots and peas in a wine and cream sauce.  So good.

M.P. made his wonderfully yummy Schoolhouse Rolls, too.

The piece de resistance was M.P.'s homemade coffee cheesecake, flavored with Kahlua, which marbled up beautifully as you can see.

A delightful end to a delightful meal.

And that's the way it goes for these two old shitkickers, now both retired and fancy free.  I hope all my truckbuddies are enjoying life and eating well too.



Frank said...

We do eat well but not nearly as fancy as your menus even on special occasions. We are your basic Southern Italian boys (Leon by osmosis). Pasta, homemade Italian bread, tomatoes, lots of veggies, pork, fish, chicken, cheeses. I think I would burst after one of your and MP’s meals! They look delicious.

Russ Manley said...

They are. But of course we don't eat all that at one sitting; in fact, we often mourn the paradox that at this late age, neither of us can put it away as we used to do when we were young and skinny! But what Mick cooks up on weekends we eat the rest of the week. It used to be that he would also take some for his work lunches, but now that he has really retired, we are trying to adjust to this new normal.

Ah, so you are a Southerner too, in some sense. Oh well, that's all right then. I think most of the "southern" peoples of the world share a common belief in "good food and plenty of it." Grin.

Davis said...

Gosh, I'm envious of all this luscious cuisine! Bon Appetit!

Russ Manley said...

Merci bien! Et toi aussi!

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