Thursday, August 5, 2010


I think the one thing that differentiates my husband and I from many others we know is that we delight in extending a meal as long as possible.  To help with this, we eat in courses.  Tonight for instance I had a bunch of veggies to use up, and some leftover turkey kielbasa.  So I cut up all our red potatoes (it turned out to be enough for about 4 meals for both of us!) and began roasting them in the oven.  While they roasted, I sliced thinly a white onion I had on hand and in a pan with hot olive oil began to caramelize them. (Later, once they were caramelized I added chunks of the kielbasa to brown a bit.)  While that continued I cut up the broccoli and cauliflower we had, grated leftover Gruyere, and sat that aside to await time in the oven.  I put a pot of water with corn on the burner to boil.  Finally I sliced up the 1 1/2 portobello mushrooms left from Saturday and quickly sauteed them in a bit of butter.  While that cooked (shortly, so they were still firm) I sliced a tomato, plated it, drizzled our new amazing olive oil (it's literally green rather than golden, and tastes like the nectar of the gods) along with a bit of balsamic.  

Our first course was the sauteed portobello mushrooms on a petite plate.  It was delcious, full of flavor, small in quantity.  Our second course was a two inch piece of the kielbasa on top of a scattering of caramelized onions and a side of 8 small pieces of roasted potatoes with sea salt.  Our third course was the roasted cauliflower and broccoli with Gruyere.  Then we moved onto the fourth course of a half of an ear of corn, no butter.  Instead we ground salt and pepper onto our plates and squished the corn into it before each bite.  Our final, fifth course was the tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic.  

Our dinner took us about an hour and a half.  We ate very small portions of many things, and neither of us was full when we were done.  Instead we were both wonderfully satisfied.  I quickly squeezed the remaining half of an orange (from the fruit salad) into a glass and made an orange presse for G and I to share.  He headed out to continue weeding our jungle of a backyard, and I came in to watch a chick show.  We had enjoyed a leisurely meal along with a very small glass of red wine conversing about world politics (I hadn't heard about the attempted assassination of Iran's president....serves me right for not reading The Post today).  

We normally would have coffee or tea afterwards, but with the heat we thought it might be unwise.  What do you do to extend a meal? 


  1. Honestly, we don't try to extend our meals. We try to keep them to a good amount but we couldn't relax and enjoy as long as you do. Could be because our two year old doesn't quite have the attention span for that yet. :) But we have moved out of the "eat fast before the baby wakes up" and the "shovel in bites of food between helping the toddler" stages. So it's nice to be able to relax and slow down and enjoy food again! :)

  2. Kaycee, that is so understandable! It's something Garret and I have discussed for the future. We eat dinner so late, I'm not sure a kid would be up for most of it!

  3. As it's just me, I don't often want to extend the meal!! But to make meal times nice (and to stop me tasting the meal too much as I make it!) I will always have a wine glass of either wine or mineral water as I cook, and a small plate of good quality cheeses and a pate to nibble on as I cook or as the dinner is baking. As I know I can have this every night, it is easy to only have small amounts, and I really enjoy choosing different cheeses to try each weekend. (I was so nervous about trying goats cheese - especially those rolled in ash! And some others seemed so odd! But now I love this part of my meal/preparation!)

    I always set the table with a cloth and linen napkins, and I have my beeswax candles (in their lovely La Rochere holders!) and the fresh flowers I have bought that week in the centre of the table. I usually serve the meal in one course - eg last night was a baked herb-crusted salmon fillet with a creamy dill sauce, new potatoes and green beans with butter. So it was all on a plate together. I aim to play classical music during the meal....but sometimes the lure of a good book or television program I really want to see wins.....

    I only have dessert about half the time......and usually much later in the evening. Often it's a fruit plate, that (like the cheese plate) I just eat what I want that night and save the rest for another night. By the end of the week I often combine all the leftover fruits and fold them into a fruit tart - or if I have a lot of one particular one left over I will do something particular with it - strawberry shortcake, or cherry cheesecake etc.

    Dessert during the week is almost always with a book in my hand or the tv on. Now I have admitted that, I really need to cut that out!