And so Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone. It strikes me that whooping it up in celebration of traffic jams on the way to the beach and the consumption of fine processed meat products may not be exactly what was in mind when a holiday to remember the fallen soldiers was conceived, but far be it from me to put a damper in it.
I spent the weekend in western Massachusetts visiting with my parents and my sister and her family. Mr. Gateau joined us briefly, but mostly I had to cook in between handling the little Gateaux, who are not all that relaxing to deal with, frankly. Still, we managed to eat.
Saturday dinner -- my friend Sarah gave me a recipe for tarragon grilled chicken, which came out very well. You smush together some tarragon, garlic, and olive oil, and let the chicken (which you have salted and peppered) sit in that for a while, then grill it, and serve it with a fresh tomato sauce you make by sticking tomatoes, garlic, tarragon, olive oil, S&P, and balsamic vinegar in a food processor. You don't even cook it. I like this in a recipe. We had that with corn, salad, and string beans, plus some nice chilled Greek white wine. For dessert we had the best effing cherry pie I have ever had. Even by the excellent standards of Taft Farms where we buy our pies, this was spectacular. The cherries were sweet-tart and really juicy, the filling was not at all gummy, and the tartness was balanced by sugar sprinkled on top of the incredibly light and flaky crust. And then I was an ass and turned down taking the leftovers home because of some misguided notion that I am actually on a diet.
Sunday started off with excellent bagels and lox from the Great Barrington Bagel Co. which has not only the best bagels and lox in the Berkshires, but among the best bagels and lox you can get anywhere. These are old fashioned bagels, about half the size of what you get in NYC these days, and custom-smoked fish that is just incredible. The whitefish salad is basically mashed smoked whitefish without much more.
Sunday night we did flank steak, and I was in a fajita kind of mood, so I organized all the accoutrements, including some red beans I cooked up with a bunch of spices and half a bottle of dark beer for good measure. This was a good idea. Also grilled a number of veg, including rings of Vidalia onion. My father made sangria under my exacting supervision, which involved saying things like "Now dump in the bottle of wine. Good, now toss in a glug of brandy. Oh come on, don't be stingy."
By Monday we were all exhausted, and so went out for brunch. Dinner was hamburgers and hot dogs with the leftover grilled vegetables and some organic brand of baked beans. Not as good as the regular supermarket kind, but they were adequate. The meats were good, the location was spectacular, and the company didn't suck either.