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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hamptons Easter

Gorgeous spring weekend in the Hamptons! Friday night we had dinner with a lovely couple that Neil and Nate know, Chris and Brian. Saturday I took a two-hour walk/run and went into Sag Harbor, where I stumbled on an Easter bonnet parade.

Saturday night we cooked dinner. The unofficial theme was "All Pig, All the Time." Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Bacon-Sesame Brittle, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Raisins, Grilled Pork Chops with Marjoram, and Sauteed Spinach. 

First, we had a little snack of toasted country bread with fresh ricotta cheese, toasted nuts and honey. Excellent! I had something similar last year at Morandi. 

Back to the dinner menu! For the brittle, you start by cooking the bacon almost all the way...
Drain it, reserve the grease, and then return it to the pan with sugar, sesame seeds and a little bit of the reserved grease. The sugar will slowly darken as it caramelizes...

The Brussels sprouts were lightly sauteed in some bacon grease...then you add shallots, raisins and a little chicken broth. (I substituted wine. No sense opening a can of broth for half a cup.) After that cooks for a while, you add cooked, crumbled bacon and a little vinegar.
Nate did a bang-up job grilling the pork chops, and it was all-around a really solid meal, though I didn't think the sweet potatoes were quite as fabulous as I'd hoped. The candied bacon was almost too much, and the simple filling (just mashed sweet potato, grated ginger, egg and butter) would have been fine on its own.

Neil and I learned once again it's really not possible to have too much fresh spinach when you're going to saute it. Our two bunches cooked down to about a cup.

This morning we went to 10 o'clock church at First Presbyterian of East Hampton. (Celebrity sighting en route: George Stephanopolous out for an early bike ride with his daughter. He was wearing his "Rahm for Mayor" sweatshirt. The boys had seen him a few months ago at the Episcopal church.) They invited members of the congregation to join an outstanding rendition of the Hallelujah chorus at the end, and kids hunted eggs on the lawn after the service.

We had brunch at Pierre's in Bridgehampton. Before we left the house, I made the boys pause for a family portrait with Molly and Buddy. How cute is this??
Finally...a little thanks and explanation for my loyal readers. As you've noticed, I've fallen off the blogging train lately. There are a couple of reasons:
1.  Technology. My regular camera crapped out a few months ago and got all blurry on close-ups. I can't access Blogger at my new job, and the iPhone app for Blogger is a wreck when you upload multiple iPhone pics. It doesn't upload them in order, so it took me a good 45 minutes to upload and sort out the pics in this post. Blogger is also driving me crazy in general...fortunately, I think an update is coming.

2. Time. I am also pleased to report my social life has been so busy, I haven't had time to sit down and write it all up! Plus, after spending all day in front of a computer, who wants to come home for more of that?

3. Triteness. I have been less keen on taking restaurant food pics ever since I saw four Asians stop their meal to get out their phones and simultaneously photograph their burgers at the Spotted Pig. It was one thing when most of my posts were about cooking, but some of my restaurant eat-a-logs of late just seem unoriginal.

So...given that I have now celebrated my one-year NYC anniversary...I may or may not continue the blog. Either way, I am so grateful to those of you who have enjoyed reading it and inspired me with your comments.

It has truly been an AWESOME year. What a lucky girl I am to have gotten to spend the weekend celebrating with the two men who have made my life in NYC so special!  


Dee Stephens said...

Don't quit the blog!!!! Love the recap!

Karen said...

Keep writing, please! My stomach and I beg of you!

K groover said...

I love reading your blog. Please don't stop.

Aunt Jean said...

Don't you dare quit...think of us Gadsden Countians living vicariously through you! :)