What’s For Supper?

Okay, I know you’re out there.  Please reply to this post and let me know exactly what you had for supper.  You can tell me in one sentence or practice writing a paragraph description.  I’m eager to know, so indulge me and POST!

28 responses to “What’s For Supper?

  1. My supper yesterday consisted of a glass of inexpensive Barefoot Chardonnay accompanied by four grilled chicken strips basted with barbecue sauce, a serving of Bob Evans’ original mashed potatoes, a serving of Green Giant green beans and four fun-size Three Musketeer candy bars.

    I sat at our pub table writing on my laptop and sipping my wine while the guys did all the work. Lon manned the grill on the screen porch while Bob Evans, the Green Giant and all Three Musketeers bustled about in the kitchen.

    The gang treated me like a queen and asked for no help from me after I promised everyone that I’d write about them someday. That day came sooner than any of us expected.

  2. It was the preprandials that got my attention.

    “Preprandials” is a word I learned in a construction camp in the Aleutian Islands. The British men who were running the three-way joint venture job thought it barbaric to work on Sundays, at least they thought so until the owner of another one-third of the joint venture set them straight.

    “In Alaska,” he said, “there are ‘work days’ and there are ‘can’t work’ days. There’s no such thing as ‘Sundays.’ You work every day the weather allows.”

    But before that life-altering advice, the British project manager invited the heads of the various departments under him to his room for “preprandials.” I had to ask. Turns out, that’s a Brit way of saying ‘appetizers’ or ‘hors d’oeuvres.’”

    So, when the preprandials were set in front of me in a hotel banquet room in Lhasa, Tibet, I didn’t expect anything different from the multitude of cold appetizers I’d been consuming on this tour for a couple weeks already. Except for the yellowish tea.

    I picked it up and raised it to my nose just as the ever-helpful hotel manager came around the table. “Is this….?” I started to ask.

    “Yak butter tea,” he said. He also mentioned something about the wee bit of a clear liquid in a shot glass next to the tea, something about the customary drink in Tibet. But the yak butter tea already had my undivided attention.

    Aha, I thought. Finally. I’d already seen lots of yak butter in the merchant stalls and shops everywhere, along with the bright yellow knock-off version from Nepal for those who couldn’t afford the real thing. I’d seen literally thousands of yak butter candles burning in temples and monasteries and palaces, lighting the way for the deceased. I’d smelled (and almost gagged) a yak butter churn, and I’d seen the huge beasts grazing in the highlands of Tibet, or harnessed in tandem to a sod-busting plow.

    The closest I’d come to yak butter tea was the black tea served to me by a Tibetan nomad woman who heated the tea water by burning dried yak dung. No yak butter involved.

    Now, before me on a banquet table set for the sixteen of us on this last evening in Tibet was a cup of real yak butter tea. I administered the sight test. It looked like clear water with a slightly yellow cast.

    I gave it the sniff test, expecting a rancid smell like the butter churn. It didn’t smell bad at all, and I wondered if this wasn’t a tourist version of yak butter tea.

    I gave it the taste test. Not bad. Tasted a bit like butter. I thought about that for a while, and when I took my next sip, the tea had cooled to tepid, and the result wasn’t entirely pleasant.

    Therefore, I deduced, yak butter tea should be consumed right after you come in the winter-cloaked fields, after tending to the yaks and cattle gathered within the stone walled corral for the winter, after a high wind blasting off the icy Himalayas has any exposed skin tingling, and frost clings to your eyebrows. Then you shrug off your coat and snuggle up next to the small stove where smoldering dried dung suffuses the rock-walled house with a pleasant warmth, and your wife (who is also your brothers’ wife, regardless of how many brothers you have) places a small cup of boiling hot yak butter tea in your stiff and frigid hands.

    And, oh, it tastes so good! In your tummy the fats will keep you warm for hours.

    Dinner? What did I have for dinner that night? I really couldn’t tell you. But I had yak butter tea as a preprandial.

  3. I feel like I just got invited into a yurt! The Tibetans have always intrigued me, and I’ve used some of their migratory shepherding life styles in my current (though stalled) novel. How great you got to go there! How great that you are back!

  4. We had a friend to dinner last night so tonight, Bruce and I ate the leftovers.

    Together, we make THE most delicious pizza. Bruce’s feather light flatbread crust is crispy on the outside with a slightly chewy center. Although we sometimes vary our choices, this time we stayed with our traditional recipe, topping the crust with sweet, caramelized onions, thinly sliced fresh tomatoes, aromatic basil and garlic from our kitchen garden. Shredded Asiago and Parmesan cheeses round out the flavors and pull everything together. The most amazing thing about this combination of toppings is that each flavor is readily identifiable. Unlike pizzas that use a tomato sauce as one of the toppings, you get a fully developed roasted tomato flavor that still allows the other flavors to shine through. And best of all, it’s equally as flavorful and crisp when reheated as it is when first baked.

    We both have a tendency to over indulge on this favorite treat so I served it with a crisp green salad tossed with a light red wine and vinegar dressing. The only thing missing was a bottle of rich, fruity Lambrusco. But the one we like is way over-the-top expensive so I settled for a nice tall glass of ice water and Bruce had a soda. Kind of anticlimactic.

  5. Fortunately, the following – while true – is NOT my usual dinner experience. Here’s what I had for dinner:

    *a hissy fit as I raced out the door, late for a meeting
    *a too-sweet, under-baked butterscotch chocolate chip brownie during said meeting, which had turned contentious before it even started (the meeting, not the brownie, was contentious – though the meeting was also half-baked, IMHO)
    *a glass of Chardonnay as soon as I walked into the house
    *the realization that chugging a glass of Chardonnay on an almost empty stomach isn’t such a hot idea
    *a second glass of Chardonnay, this one accompanied by an Asiago cheese bagel and a big bowl of salad

  6. “Hey Grandpa, What’s for dinner?” (remember Hee-Haww?)

    Baked Salmon with Mango and cucumber salsa, brown rice top with freshly sauted mushroom, and chocolate graham-cracker pie. Yum, Yum.

  7. Last night I was absolutely famished, and dinner was nowhere in sight. This creature of habit expects to eat between 6:00 and 6:30 every single evening, without fail.

    The day started as usual. After breakfast, I ran around for while before settling into my household tasks. My responsibilities around here are too numerous to list. In fact, my many responsibilities tired me so much that I had to take a long nap.

    Waking up was challenging, but a few rejuvenating stretches did the trick. Once again alert, I checked on the house to make sure none of my morning tasks needed to be done again.

    The six o’clock hour was fast approaching, so I washed for dinner and went to sit patiently in the kitchen. I waited. For a momentary distraction, I watched the shadows of the leaves dance on the ceiling as the wind woke up the trees in the back yard. I waited. Looking out the window for a few minutes took my mind off my empty tummy. I waited. The leaf shadows dropped to the walls, so I made a game of trying to touch them as they moved. I waited. The sky went from blue to orange to rose to periwinkle to navy. I waited.

    Another nap was trying to whisk me away when the back door opened; my humans were finally home! Immediately, my mom took a can of my favorite Friskies Ocean Whitefish and Tuna Savory Shreds out of the pantry. Dad picked me up, and we walked over to the counter, so I could watch Mom spoon the delectable shreds into the left side of my blue double-diner dish. She thoughtfully spooned extra sauce on top of the mouth-watering mound of moist shreds. I wanted to jump onto the counter to eat then and there, but Dad knows how to hold on to a kitty with gentle firmness.

    Dad and I then followed Mom over to the plastic bin that stores the pièce de résistance: my Friskies Seafood Sensations crunchy food! I love crunchies more than anything else in the world. Mom put a few more crunchies than usual in the right side of my blue double-diner dish—in an effort to make up for my late dinner. Her effort succeeded.

    Just as Mom put my dish on the floor, Dad eased me down right next to it. Immediately, I started chomping on the crunchies—just what I was waiting for. Next, I relished my favorite taste treat: I took a crunchy and then took a sauce-laden bite of the shreds and then chewed them up together. Dinner does not get better than that. All I could do was purr and eat.

  8. Lassie:

    I thought the first four paragraphs were written by my husband.

    Just kidding. Good job and very clever.

  9. Yesterday (Sunday) is Farmer’s Market day. I dragged the dog, and went with some friends. I filled my over sized canvas bag with a big, white cauliflower, a large solid heavy butternut squash, then of course, carrots, celery, onion (in culinary school we learned that this is the mirepoix – flavor base), beautiful long and slender green chives, assorted fruit, and some spicy greens for salad.

    The weather was gloomy – unusual for sourthern california. My tennis games were cancelled. So, I stayed home and cooked – comforts food for the soul on the very rare gloomy days. I made a vegetarian – no dairy creamy cauliflower soup, another no dairy butternut squash soup, waistline friendly, until the large loaf of homemade country bread.

    Also, being very economically minded, I make parmesan croutons from the bread left over from last week.

    Cooking and cleaning finally done, I sat down with a wonderful glass of Cava – the wonderful sparkling wine of Spain, a good book, and some cheese and olives. I woke up on the couch about 2 am, disturbed the dog , took off the jeans, went to bed – albeit, slightly hungry.

    Guess I’m eating soup tonight for dinner. Oh yeah, and finishing the bottle of Cava.

  10. Great cooking! Save me some wine….

  11. Butternut squash soup? I’m going to have to try that.

  12. The easiest soup in the world – Cut up the butternut squash, add one sweet potato (optional) – cook in chicken broth until really soft – I seasoned with a little cinammon, nutmeg, clove (like pumpkin pie) – salt & pepper, dumped into the blender – add a touch of sherry wine vinegar (or sherry) just to brighten – then eat!

    You can get fancier, and start with sauteeing onions, add apples, cream, all sorts of stuff – but I take the low cal, lazy way – use my calories for the wine and bread to have with it.

    For the more ambitious or if it’s a party, I garnish with either fried prosciutto, pancetta, creme fraiche, or buttered croutons. And for the really dinner party fancy-serve the soup in bowl sized cut out pumpkins…very impressive.

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