..something borrowed and something blue… doesn’t always have to signify a wedding-related series of items. In fact, I managed to cover all four bases in recent weeks while convalesing at home.

There was the evening when Jay asked me, “What’s a soldier?” Of course, initially I thought he had lost it, then I realized he was serious and translated the cultural cuisine item (mentioned in a current read, The Emigrants by W. G Sebald.)

A soldier is a simple breakfast delight — buttered toast cut into tall rectangles and often perfectly paired with a soft-boiled egg. I happily recalled many childhood breakfasts seated on the left bench of our Scandinavian-styled breakfast banquet, cheerfully dipping my child-sized slices of toast into the warm eggy goodness.

soldier_long.jpgSo it was no surprise that upon waking the next morning I had a compelling desire to have just that. Something old but good, a different kind of comfort food. (And if you missed another winning toast-egg combo, the ‘momlette’, check it out.)

Something new… and borrowed

Feeding growing, or growing together muscles is a hungry business and I found myself hankering after protein in the form of some organic ground beef. At first I thought I would make myself a pseudo Spur cheddarmelt burger — pure ground beef burger with fried onions and a cheddar-mushroom sauce. (Ahhh, Spur, an addictive South African steakhouse franchise.)

But then I found myself drawn to something I’d eaten a lot more recently: meatballs.

This past Christmas I had eaten far too many delicious meatballs. Simmered in someone else’s ‘mom’s special recipe’ sweet and sour sauce, they had that crock pot, slow food, goodness. So one extended Epicurious search later, I had a recipe matching the ingredients in the apartment (a critical factor as I wasn’t able to do any shopping.)

A meatball neophyte, I have to say the results weren’t bad. Especially paired with the cranberry stuffing I mixed up from frozen leftovers (breadcrusts, cranberries and chopped veggies.) The combination made quite a few tasty meals, but after toting up the combined calorie count of the ingredients, an experience I’m not likely to repeat until I need a food that has the caloric density of lead… or maybe as an annual indulgence.

And what about something blue? Well, there’s nothing like a banana, some pineapple chunks, orange juice, milk, a handful of blueberries and a blender to produce a smoothie in a violent shade of purple-blue. Delicious, nutritious and a colour that would make any child’s heart leap in anticipation of consuming something that looks like it would turn a dozen tongues blue.

But the top culinary honours go to an haute cusine dinner cooked up by Chef Jay. No average pork chop had it so good, ending up swathed in a delightful garlic, mustard, vinegar sauce. Paired with a Rust en Vrede 2001 Estate Wine, the only South African wine to make it on to the Wine Spectator Top 100 list and one of the bottles we lovingly carried back in our luggage. What a great way to induct our new and much anticipated Calphalon One frying pan.



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