It should come as no surprise by now, that me and my tightly knit little group of friends don’t always do things entirely by the book. So why should last Wednesday’s dinner with friends be any exception? After all, why shouldn’t a weeknight dinner include Champagne, lobster and king crab?
Alright, maybe a more reasonable question would be why SHOULD a weeknight dinner include Champagne, lobster and king crab? Well, to answer that, we need to rewind the tape for a bit.. See, When Tina first landed her new job weeks and weeks (months?) ago, I bought her a reasonably priced bottle of Champagne to celebrate. And by reasonably priced, I mean not exactly top shelf, but not exactly bottom shelf either.. My only condition was that she’d share it with me when time came to pop the cork.
She was, of course, about as thrilled to receive the bottle as I was to give it to her and with time our little arrangement about sharing a fine bottle of Champagne grew into sharing a fine bottle of Champagne over a fine dinner.. And the plan eventually grew into doing it with friends as well, i.e. to include Jeppe and Emelie in the dinner arrangements.
Coming up with a luxury dinner for four people is the easy part. I had a nice bottle of Champagne and a nice bottle of red wine, I also had some frozen left over King Crab Ravioli and Tina had some frozen Ribeye steaks. So what would be more reasonable than having me cook Tina my ridiculously decadent signature shellfish dish of saffron-infused Lobster Bisque with King Crab Ravioli, while Tina would live up to her promise of finally frying up a big, juicy steak for me.. And then have Jeppe and Emelie tag along for the ride.. Simple!
Well, until it came time to coordinate the busy schedules of four young people with full-time jobs and other commitments. We went back and forth on the issue for a while until we eventually found a date which fit everyone.. And that date just so happened to fall on a Wednesday. I was, admittedly, a bit skeptical about the arrangement to begin with because Champagne and lobster isn’t the sort of thing that I normally associate with a weeknight and work on the next day.. But, y’know, what’s a boy to do? And, well, it kinda is very like us to not do things by the book.. So come to think of it, Champagne, Lobster, Rib Eyes and Rhone wine on a Wednesday was the only logical choice.
And what a dinner it was! Tina and I met up in the late afternoon and did some last minute shopping before working together on getting the dinner done. Well, the main dish, anyways, I’d done the bisque beforehand on account of such things taking forever to cook (or at least a few hours). We were, of course, joined by Jeppe and Emelie who were both anxious to taste the fruits of our labor and the fruits of the wine I’d brought. So we put on the good china as well as the good wine glasses and prepared to feast.
The bisque was good, albeit a bit burned (a property very luckily registered by no one but my snobby palate) but the real star was the Champagne. There’s something magical about good Champagne, it’s ridiculously good, captivating and decadent.. And, of course, ridiculously expensive. There are people out there who argue that you can get sparkling wines out there that are as good as Champagne at a fraction of the price.. And, I’m sorry guys, that’s just not right. It is true that you can get VERY good sparkling wines at a much lower price point than good Champagnes. But with those you simply just don’t get the craftsmanship and attention to detail that you get with fine Champagne. Neither do you get the special properties and nuances of the wine created by the earth and the climate of the Champagne region.. And, as Jeppe so rightfully added to the discussion, you don’t get quite the special feeling of decadence that you get from opening a real bottle Champagne.. Of course, you don’t get the heavy price tag either, but y’know, it’s a celebration, so why not f’ing celebrate and blow a little extra? But I digress, this wasn’t so much meant as a tirade against other sparkling wines as it was meant as a declaration of love to fine Champagne. Champagne, I think I love you! And that’s highly unfortunate considering my already pretty wide array of expensive habits.
As decadent as the starter was, it was the main dish that I had really been looking forward to. I mean, first of all, as a guy, there’s just SOMETHING about having a pretty blonde fry up a nice, big juicy steak for you.. I’m sorry, but there is.. Secondly, I’ve been cooking for Tina for.. umm.. I reckon about four years now (correct me if I’m wrong) and, in comparison, she hasn’t cooked a whole lot for me, so it’s still rather a special day in my book when she does. Thirdly, the little one has taken a real interest to cooking lately and is playing around with a lot of stuff and a variety of techniques, so I’m sorta really proud of her and interested in how far she’s gotten. Cooking a steak properly is a big step and not exactly as easy of a feat as some people make it out to be.. So in a sense, it was a bit of an exam night for her, I suppose.
How did she fare, then? Well, she definitely passed the test. Actually, Considering the quality of the steaks she had to work with and the fact that she was serving them to a food snob, I’d say she did pretty well indeed. And I mean that as an honest compliment. The quality of the meat, she couldn’t well do anything about: It’s quite sad that we live in a town of 60,000 people and still don’t have a single butcher’s store, and it’s even sadder that the only place we did have that sold high quality steaks have had to close down as well.. So we have to make do with supermarket meat.. And the thing about supermarket meat is that the quality isn’t always very good. In this case, the marbling was really bad, at least in the steak that I go, so.. Y’know, what’re you gonna do? ‘cept fry it as well as you can.. Which is what Tina did and that wasn’t bad at all. Of course, it was a little too fried for my liking, but then again, compared to most Danes, I enjoy my steaks very rare whenever possible, and I didn’t exactly tell her that, so I’ll let that one slip.. Other than that, I have no complaints and look forward to my next steak from the hands of Tina (wink, wink, hint, hint!).
While we were at it, we should have probably thought up some sort of dessert.. But, umm, we forgot, and we didn’t really need it either and we were quite busy chatting and all, so for dessert, we agreed to just open another bottle of red wine.. It probably lend us the same amount of calories as a serving of dessert and made things just as festive, so not really a bad choice there.
We spent the rest of the evening sipping our makeshift dessert and chatting till eventually both Jeppe and I, who both had work the next morning, started nodding off. By that time, we decided that it was time to call meeting adjourned and while Jeppe and Tina cleaned up the mess we’d created, I grabbed Emelie and walked home with her. This whole house sharing arrangement has its benefits. For starters you don’t have to walk home alone after a long, cosy evening out with friends..
So there you go. Lobster, King Crab and Champagne on a Wednesday? Why not?