February 2, 2008

February has finally arrived...

Well, this year's month of frugality has come and gone, and here are the results. First, I'm reminded again of the importance of the choices we make regarding the things we purchase and consume. Second, I marvel at how quickly you can spend money unnecessarily when you're not paying attention. Third, I'm surprised that I didn't really miss drinking wine/alcohol the last half of the month. Fourth, I dropped 4 pounds.

All that being said, it's nice to have all the self-imposed spending/drinking restrictions lifted. I'd been thinking about what I'd have for my first glass of wine on Feb. 1st... scanning the crates, I saw a half-bottle of 1999 Corison that we picked up the last time we were up in Napa. A truly elegant, balanced cabernet (tipping in at just 13.6% alcohol) with beautifully dark color and well-integrated flavors of fruit and dusty earth, backed by faint wafts of savory herbs. That first sip was spectacular.

Rather than going out to dinner, we stuck with a simple but decadent meal of rich and meltingly tender syrah-braised shortribs with a potato-parsnip puree. A sip of wine, a bite of food... magic on the palate. Savor it... now I remember what I've been missing!

Sigh... I should still try harder to eat less meat...


  1. Anonymous12:43 PM

    jack this looks really good... i gotta learn from you sometime :)

  2. i usually don't eat very much meat.. but this look really good.. mm mm mm :)

  3. the short ribs look great. A long braise?

  4. the short ribs were braised overnight, so about 7 hours. when i have the time, i like doing an ultra-long braise (12 to 18 hours) at a relatively low temperature (68 degrees C) to dissolve the collagen without overcooking the meat... you end up with a very tender short rib while retaining just a bit of the meat's integrity for textural complexity.

  5. how do you get 68 degrees? A flame tamer? Or a very low oven? I love slow cooking. The results are amazing.