This has been an eat-ier than usual time for me. I spent a few days at the beach last week, on retreat with some art quilt friends. I ate a substantial breakfast and dinner every day we were there. Three days out of four, I had two scoops of Tillamook ice cream -- at the creamery, which made it taste even better -- for lunch. I'd intended to stay off the scale til I'd gotten back into more normal eating for a few days, but curiosity and habit got the better of me. Gulp.
And yet, one more indulgence loomed: Last night was Taste of the Nation, a fundraiser for Share Our Strength, an organization that deals with ending childhood hunger in America. The ballroom and foyer at the Convention Center were filled with food and drink booths. We sampled dozens of fine wines and uncountable bites of unusual and delicious snacks prepared by top local restaurants. Many of the chefs were there, prepping and presenting. It was exactly the event that we'd hoped last summer's way-too-corporate Bite of Oregon would be. We justified the ticket price because it was a benefit, with most of the proceeds going to SOS. If it were simply a culinary pigout, I doubt we would have indulged.
The truth is that, even when we're eating "normally," we eat very well. Starting in late afternoon, Chef Jerub toils quietly and uncomplainingly in the kitchen, prepping culinary delights both casual and more refined. Here we have half a turkey burger garni, catfish with a cornmeal crust served with lentil stew and fruit salad on the side; salmon piccata with asparagus and a tart filled with layers of caramelized onions, sauteed spinach, and chevre; a spicy Thai shrimp and rice dish with a side of Israeli couscous pilaf (two intensely flavored dishes that played off each other nicely) and a simple green salad for relief. The motto around our table is "nobody eats like we do," and I'm convinced that that's true. It's our version of saying grace.
While I'm on the subject of food, here's a photo of a batch of rugulach that was my contribution to an Easter-Passover potluck, just because it looks so pretty. Ditto the festive-looking drinks, which are grasshoppers that Jer whipped up to celebrate St. Patrick's day. They're made with green creme de menthe, of course.
Starting tonight, we'll eat more sanely. This is not a sacrifice if you dine at Casa Jereva.