New Year’s Eve with The Lady and The Man
January 1, 2009
The Lady and The Man don’t party “hearty” on New Year’s Eve but they do enjoy ringing in the New Year (via HDTV) with the million or so humankinds crowded into Time Square in New York City.
After the ball drops at midnight, The Lady and The Man dance to Auld Lang Syne and then feebly croon along as Frank Sinatra sings New York, New York. The Lady and The Man call it “Our Song”; something I don’t understand for two reasons: they didn’t write it and they can’t sing worth a darn, with all due respect. To say they can’t carry a tune would be disrespectful to Roseanne Barr or dogs baying at the moon…but I digress…
The Lady was delighted a few days ago when she received an email from Better Homes and Gardens with recipes for several appetizers that all used cheese as a main ingredient. She printed a few and shared them with her other Cheese Stewards at the Kiosk.
Two she decided to prepare for New Year’s Eve and “share” with The Man and The Cat.
The first one was Hot Artichoke and Asiago Dip. As the name implies it featured Asiago Cheese, a hard Italian Cheese that is sold at the Kiosk. The recipe also used Artichoke Hearts and Roasted Red Peppers, which came from the Antipasti Bar section of the Kiosk. (The Lady used Baby Artichoke Hearts.) Because this dip was very rich and creamy; The Lady and The Man ate only a few bites. Assuming I would react the same way; they shared a small amount with me. I do wish they would allow me to make such determinations on my own.
Woohoo, this is one tasty dip. In addition to the divine Asiago, the ingredients also included Cream Cheese, a cheese The Lady shared with me back in the day before she went on THE Diet…she liked to have cream cheese on her bagel and always give me a spoon of it to enjoy as she ate her bagel. Somedays, I miss the good ole days…
Please note: The Lady used shredded Asiago from the Kiosk, one of the “extra” services they offer customers. For an additional one-dollar per pound, they will shred several of the Hard Italian cheeses or Gruyere, which is used extensively in recipes, especially around the holidays. They also crumble Blue Cheeses upon request. A tip for you, it is usually cheaper to request the shredding and crumbling at the Kiosk than it is to buy the pre-packaged cheeses. One Blue that The Kiosk sells is Black River Gorgonzola, an Award-Winning Wisconsin Blue. At the Kiosk, it runs just under $10.00 per pound crumbled; however, the same cheese is sold pre-packaged elsewhere in the store and costs about $16.00 per pound.
The prudent shopper always checks the “per pound rate” when buying pre-packaged shredded or crumbled cheeses. In fact, it is always prudent to check the per pound price on any food item.
The second appetizer that The Lady made was Gourgeres, a miniature cheese puff that used Swiss Gruyere (yep, she bought the shredded Gruyere at the Kiosk). Wow, these were tasty little morsels of cheese, Grey Poupon Mustard and a hint of cayenne pepper. She piped them onto the cookie sheets using a pastry bag and star tip. In addition to being yummy, they were also very eye-pleasing. The Lady does like to cook and is becoming a passable baker, in my humble opinion. Must be that puffy white hat she likes to wear while in the kitchen.
In addition to the two appetizers she prepared, The Lady also served a Pork and Champagne Pate from France. For some reason, this brought to mind the days I spent observing a farmer in the Spanish Province of Ciudad Real. The farmer and his sons were known throughout the region for their superb Jamon Iberico (they did not cross-breed his pigs; raising only 100% cerdo negro). The Lady was discussing this delicacy with The Man and I was shocked to learn that it sells here in the US for about $60 a pound and boneless for as much as $175.00 per pound. The Farmer’s Daughter fed it to me for lunch most everyday following the yearly slaughtering time…another fond memory for this feline foodie.
This was my fourth New Years Eve with The Lady and The Man and by far, the most enjoyable for me, despite the “singing”.