If some friends emailed you on a Wednesday morning, inviting you over for a “very simple” dinner that very night, what would you think the dinner might involve? Maybe they’d order out for some pizza, or they’d pick up some Thai on their way home, or, if you were going to give them more credit than you would give yourself in the same situation, they’d boil some spaghetti with a sauce from Trader Joe’s?
Well, I don’t want to make you feel bad about your friends, but our friends made the following “very simple” Wednesday night dinner:
- A cheese plate with La Tur and Tomme de Crayeuse, served with a Brut Rose Pinot Noir. (All of these were acquired at the excellent new Lake Wine and Sprits in Minneapolis.)
- Salmon marinated in a sauce with Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, and tarragon.
- Roasted potatoes with chive pesto.
- Asparagus with shiitake and crimini mushrooms.
- Salad with glazed pecans, goat cheese, and oranges.
- Gingerbread cake with candied ginger.
Of course, I’m not implying that you should get new friends, or that you should be embarrassed about the “simple” dinners you’ve made for your low-achieving peer group. Nor am I claiming that all my friends have the wherewithal to produce a 4-star meal on humpday. I’m just saying that “simple” means different things to different people.
(Please note also that I’m not comparing this excellent gourmet meal to anything Bruce has or hasn’t cooked lately. He made some really thin potatoes that were almost like potato chips. He made chicken thighs in a nice sauce. He made steak. He always makes a zingy salad. It is possible that his definition of “simple” has been affected by his part-time job and other activities. There is nothing wrong with that. I forbid you to infer that I am making an unfavorable comparison to the unreachable bar our friends have now set. Thank you for your cooperation.)