Some of my cousins came by my parents' house yesterday to say goodbye and have a bit of a party. My mom gave me the above books, which will undoubtedly come in handy.
The Brillat Savarin has made a couple of appearances here recently, so my parents went a little overboard and bought a 1.13 pound wheel of it.
My cousin June's egg rolls also made an appearance here two years ago, but there weren't as many readers then, so I will offer a refresher: she grew up in China (she's actually my cousin Ed's wife, as my family is not Chinese, but I've know her for more than two-thirds of my life so I think of her as my cousin) and developed a recipe based on her favorite foods. She went to the Chinese market for this batch and had them grind up pork and beef, to which she added veggies and a sauce.
Then she assembled them all while the rest of my family drank alcohol and anxiously awaited the moment the oil would be hot enough to fry them up. It's like waiting for Christmas morning when you're a kid: Come on, is it time yet?
My parents had picked up some mustards at the store, but I remember a few years back when I made a really simple sweet & sour sauce and everyone devoured it. (It was just ketchup, red wine vinegar, and sugar.) So I put out two of the mustards and made the sauce.
Testing the oil. Getting closer.
These egg rolls disappeared out of the dish in less than five seconds.
Did I get the first one? Perhaps.
They were good. Oh so good.
Ed makes a Caesar salad dressing that many people - myself and Elizabeth included - think is the best homemade version they have ever had. It's a peppery dressing with a refreshing blast of citrus. I've never actually watched the entire process. Part of me would like to know the exact recipe, but part of me has always enjoyed not knowing. (I think it has something to do with the way he coddles the egg and the exact time he adds in the anchovies. I think.)
The salad is always great.
To be honest, after the egg rolls and salad, nobody is ever all that hungry, but I said I would cook a few pizzas, so I made six of them.
Roasted garlic and basil.
Sausage, mushroom and olive.
Beef & pork meatballs and green onion.
Barbecue chicken, red onion and cilantro.
Spicy "Sierra Madre Caliente" sausage and pepperoncini.
Grilled corn, caramelized onion, green onion, and goat cheese.
It was, as you can see, a very nice evening of eats.
"You should move to New York more often," my cousin said to me.