I spent part of my Christmas at the home of my friend Aimee, who lives on Park Avenue. Aimee, who is a very good cook, makes an Orphans Christmas Dinner each year and this was my second or third time at her holiday table. I’m not an actual orphan as my family all lives in Texas (which makes me a spiritual orphan I guess) but I’m definitely a culinary orphan since my friend Aimee is a much better cook than anyone who is related to me. Moreover, her friends never pick fights with me- or one another, like families do. In fact, the only downside to the otherwise-perfect dinner was that Rudy the corgi (see above) had to stay at the hotel across the street. (Rudy, short as he is, has a bad habit of grabbing food off plates which has resulted in semi-permanent exile from Aimee’s place though he has hopes of returning one day.)
The food was first rate: Aimee made an enormous whole roast salmon along with cornbread pudding and cheese biscuits shaped like stars – quite appropriate for this time of year. Her friend Carol contributed a kind of cauliflower casserole and I brought the wine, including the 2006 Oremus (a great dry white from Hungary), a few other less memorable whites and two North Fork reds, the 2007 Paumanok Cabernet Franc and the 2006 Sherwood Cabernet Franc. The former was bright and juicy- very Chinon-like while the latter was a bit earthier and chewier. Both paired beautifully with the salmon and my fellow guests commented more than a few times on how much they liked the wines. Aimee and our mutual friend Sylvia (who makes a mean beef bourguignon by the way) even promised they’d come out to visit. I promised more North Fork Cabernet Franc- as long as they’d cook!