Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What, No Cheese Curds?

There is a state dinner tonight in Washington for Chinese President Hu Jintao (And if you didn't see Letterman do a parody of Who's on First last night in reference to the Chinese missed it). I was not invited, but for that matter, neither was Rick Bayless (a famous Chicago chef who HAS worked the White House before, and who HAS restaurants in which I have eaten). It's probably a good thing that I was not invited because there would be far too many forks, and choosing which one to use might be awkward. Starting from the outside and working inward toward the plate has always been my rule of thumb (or "thumbs" if I drop one or two), and that works great at Perkins, but I would suspect a formal state dinner would require, oh, say four or five forks, three or four different wine glasses (though I might be tempted to use the biggest one a la Jake Blues), and a couple of different plates.
Then, of course, would be the problem of the menu. Growing up dirt poor in the middle of nowhere, I learned not to be picky with food. In fact, being picky usually got me, no, I've never been fussy (after all, there WERE all those starving Chinese children who would give anything for what I had on my plate). But then, you never know what they're going to serve at a fancy schmancy dinner, especially one with a foreign dignitary from China. You can bet they won't be bellying up to the buffet line at China Garden tonight. So, my somewhat more advanced palate could suffer if there was a Chinese delicacy involving the innards of some rarely-found fish from the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean. While I realize that presentation is important for any dish not containing bacon, there's no telling what a graduate of the Iron Chef might toss out for consumption at such an affair.
However, I was able to find a copy of this evening's menu, and I'm rather sad that I wasn't invited. Crashing the affair would be impossible after the last couple of people did that...besides, I wouldn't want to end up on a Desperate Housewives type program like she did. Here's the menu, and, to be honest, I think I've had at least representative samples of everything on it:

D’Anjou Pear Salad with Farmstead Goat Cheese
Fennel, Black Walnuts, and White Balsamic

Poached Maine Lobster
Orange Glazed Carrots and Black Trumpet Mushrooms
Dumol Chardonnay “Russian River” 2008

Lemon Sorbet
Dry Aged Rib Eye with Buttermilk Crisp Onions
Double Stuffed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach
Quilceda Creek Cabernet “Columbia Valley” 2005

Old Fashioned Apple Pie with
Vanilla Ice Cream
Poet’s Leap Riesling “Botrytis” 2008

I don't generally have a sorbet to cleanse my palate between courses, but there seems to be enough wine so that Hu can get snockered and agree to cancel our national debt. Apple pie and ice cream? Couldn't get any more American than that, though I might replace the evening's entertainment (various jazz musicians performing under the auspices of the Thelonius Monk Institute) with a replay of the final game of the World Series...if we're going American, let's go all the way, I say.
More wine, too!


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