November 28, 2006 at 9:21 pm (Family, Wine)

Let it be said that, although having a warm, purring cat sitting contentedly in one’s lap is indeed one of life’s great pleasures, it can make it a tad bit more difficult to type. Especially if said cat mistakes one’s tip-tapping fingers as play toys and tries to stand on the ‘m’ key. But, since Heather and I leave in a couple of days to spend a week in Hawaii, I’m trying to stock up on kitty-time, so I haven’t the heart to stop her. I’m such a softy…

This past Thanksgiving holiday turned out to be a success on all points, except the “getting school-work done” point. Le sigh. But let this abject failure minor negative not distracts us from all of the positives. I spent an excellent Thursday with Mom and Mark. Mark and I got on the back hill, doing some brush-clearing, and we followed that up with a fantastic dinner prepared by Mom. My contribution to the feast was a bottle of Columbia Crest “Two Vines” 2005 Riesling, which I can highly recommend to anyone who likes sweet wines. It was quite popular with everyone there. I also got to spend quality time with the god-babies, Luke and Lucy (who are two-legged trouble-makers now, it’s great!), as well as their slightly more conversational siblings, Emily and Madeline. Should it bother me that I get along at least as well with the kids as the adults? I hope not, since I’m not planning on changing any time soon.

I followed that up with a feast of my own, at Casa Lynch-Maine. Since Heather was working Thursday, Friday and Sunday, we hosted my dad on Saturday, as well as a bevy of other homeless and not-so-homeless friends. It was my second TG turkey; last year’s came out okay, at best, and I was quite nervous about this year’s. I considered following Chris Kimball’s recipe for butterflying the turkey, but then decided to stick with the Cook’s Illustrated salted turkey recipe, but cooked in one of the bags. It worked perfectly. The little timer popped up right on time (last year, it popped up almost two hours early…), the meat thermometer registered the right temperatures, and the flavor was fabulous, if I do say so myself. :o) My wine choices also worked out quite well, for the most part: We only opened one red, a Chalone Vineyards 2005 Pinot Noir, but it paired excellently with the turkey. As for the whites, I finally got to break out a bottle of 2004 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Turkheim that I’d been saving, which was quite sweet, although it tasted a little… fermented? I don’t quite know how to describe the aftertaste, other than to say it almost tasted like a sparkling wine. I don’t know enough about Alsatian Rieslings to say that this isn’t a deliberate feature, but I didn’t like it quite as much as the Columbia Crest’s smooth aftertaste of two nights before. Someone also polished off a 2004 Parker’s Estate Blue Ash Road Chardonnay without consulting me, but it must have been good, it went so fast. Finally, the bargain Honey Moon 2005 Viogner was a hit; true to its name, it tasted of honey and syrup, and my friends loved it. The only downside was the Trader Joe’s brand Raspberry Wine I’d bought, which turned out to be more of a liquour than a wine, I think. It was too thick to drink, and we had our ice cream on a plate with the pie, so the conditions weren’t ideal for drizzling it, either. Still, if that’s all I have to complain about, I consider myself quite lucky. Finally, my first pecan pie also came out rather well, so I’m quite happy.

Now onto preparations for Hawaii and, after that, getting more serious about both the dissertation and the game. I’m seriously considering starting my own company in some form or another to produce the game; Ryan is quite supportive of the idea, and, if I have to be working while I write, I might as well work for myself, right?

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