A series of announcements

November 14, 2010

Announcement 1: I have a new camera. Circuit City, demonstrating the effectiveness of direct mail marketing, sent me an e-mail singing the praises of its Olympus top-of-the-line point and shoot, at a price some $80 cheaper than I’d seen it anywhere else, and I bought that puppy. Figured if the DSLR shows up, then I have both the point-and-shoot and the bigger one; if not, well, I rarely used the DSLR on anything other than automatic anyway. If I decide I want to get into art photography again, or something that wants more than what I can do with this baby, I’ll splurge on a Canon or a Nikon.

Announcement 2: I have actually cooked. A little. And am going to cook more, today, because I am finally At Home with Nothing Else I Have To Do for a Full Day, and I am by-God going to enjoy it in the kitchen. When I get through enjoying it on the computer. I fixed the kid chicken tenders coated in panko bread crumbs the other night, not that that necessarily counted as cooking. Friday morning, I made pumpkin butter, pigs in blankets and bran muffins to take to work for a going-away brunch. This morning, I made the rest of the pigs in blankets I didn’t do Friday, for breakfast, accompanying some scrambled eggs.

Announcement 3: Fava beans do not like me.

I hosted a business dinner last night (yes, on a Saturday, after spending the entire day with a business prospect in town to check us out), and as I was out to impress, I took them to Central Park Fusion, which is one of the two best restaurants in Hot Springs (the other would be Jahna’s). And I was hesitating between the sea bass and the salmon over shrimp risotto, so I did what I always do when I go to Fusion. I asked Sears, my very favorite waiter there, which one I needed to have. He did not hesitate. He told me to order the sea bass.

And I always order what Sears tells me to. Because the man knows his stuff.

The sea bass, which was absolutely ethereal, came on a bed of greens over fava beans in some kind of silky brown, mildly Asian, mildly sweet, sauce. I forget what they called it. As I’m not a greens fan, I nudged them aside and concentrated on what I believe to be the first fava beans I ever ate.

They’re good. Plump. With a vaguely spicy flavor that I believe to be inherent in the bean itself, as it didn’t manifest until you bit through the  relatively heavy outside skin and into the pulp of the bean inside. I ate all of them that I could politely unearth without looking like I was playing with my food.

And about 2 a.m., you could’ve tied a string to my toe and called me the Goodyear blimp. The Pillsbury Doughboy had nothin’ on me.

Whew. Good thing I sleep alone. Because for the next two or three hours, I damn sure would have been, if I weren’t before.

Yeah. I know. Too Much Information. Deal with it.

That was actually my second trip to Fusion this week, which means that even though I didn’t cook much, I most assuredly ate well. We were there Monday night for another business dinner (have I told you I love my job?), and I had the diver scallops, a menu mainstay that may be my favorite entree in the house. They’re perfectly prepared — seared to a gorgeous caramel on top and bottom on a very hot grill pan, perfectly silky and sweet and not-one-second overdone. They serve them atop a bed of truffle-scented roasted corn polenta that makes me want to lick the plate. (I usually refrain.) We decided to forego dessert that night, as I was still getting over the stomach bug and several of the other diners had had the 12-oz. strip or the big rib-eye, and no one had room for sweets. But we made room last night, the three of us ordering and sharing white chocolate creme brulee, bourbon-sauced bread pudding, and key lime tart.

The creme brulee was my pick, that being one of my favorite desserts of all time. The bread pudding, though, was the pick of the litter. Barely sweet inself, it tasted buttery and rich (I suspect it kicked my cholesterol up into the 4,000 range) without being heavy. The bourbon sauce was a just-slightly-creamy beurre blanc style sauce that was….well….oh, dear God, there are just no words. I would have loved to have had a little demitasse cup of that sauce to just drink for dessert. Or to put over ice cream. It was the most decadently sensual topping I’ve ever tasted in my life.

Anyway. I’m going to go play in the kitchen, and play with my camera, and enjoy my Sunday. You and y’mama ‘n ’em enjoy your day.

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One Response to “A series of announcements”

  1. Len Cleavelin Says:

    Looking forward to seeing the pictures from the new camera.

    And having that pumpkin butter soon. 🙂


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