John, a Marianist brother and good friend of Phil's, offered to cook us a gourmet meal. Who are we to refuse? The evening before New Year's Eve, John came armed with all the fixings for a six-course dinner:
Maple and Mustard Glazed Salmon
Asparagus with Carmelized Onions
Divine Carrot and Sweet Potato Slices
Risotto with Precious Porcini Mushrooms from the Motherland
Garnish of the Most Luscious and Peppery Watercress
Warm After-Dinner Salad
Dessert of Mango Sorbet in a Papaya Bowl
And wine, of course
And his Kindle for background classical music!
John stirring the risotto and filling our home
with the most delicious aromas.
Phil pretends to be helping.
Dinner, fit for a queen, is served!
Warm salad with porcini mushrooms and walnuts.
Slice of sweet potato on the side.
The dessert looks a bit lost on my red salad plate from Macy's.
I should have drawn a design on it with chocolate syrup
or cream or something, if I stocked any of that.
We didn't get done with dinner and conversation until close to midnight. And if that weren't enough, John offered to come back and prepare us his specialty: Chicken Marsala! Any time, John, any time. I can get accustomed to this.
The next day I fixed a semi-gourmet meal from the leftover risotto by adding fresh carrots, onions, garlic, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. I also steamed half a cauliflower head and dressed it with a special Japanese Sesame Dressing with Yuzu (A gift from our realtor John Baessler - Thank you, John!) and a sprinkling of gomashio. And more of that unbelievably delicious watercress. I swear, I never liked bitter vegetables, but I can't seem to get enough of this bunch of watercress.
Everyone should have a friend like Brother John.
Thank you, John Campbell!!!!