Half the fun of sitting down with a glass of wine or cocktail are the small nibbles you arrange to go with your drink. Tired of baby carrots and Chinese rice crackers? Here are a few of my favorites:
- dates split then filled with cambozola cheese, topped with a dry roasted, unsalted almond
- dried figs topped with a dash of goat cheese, garnished with half a toasted pecan
- pesto spread on baguette slices
- Gorgonzola cheese mashed with butter, garnished with a few snips of basil and a sprinkling of pine nuts. Use as a spread.
- sliced beets topped with chunks of salt (we had baked the beets, wrapped in tinfoil, for 2 hours-350 degrees-they turned out sweet and smoky, and we just rubbed the skins off before slicing)
- peeled orange slices
- trimmed radishes
- julienned jicama
- a handful of the Spanish peanuts we needed for the mole.
It was colorful, flavorful, and allowed us to keep our appetite for the main event.
What are your favorite nibbles?
And there, gentle reader, was my original end to the post. Since I try to write these a few days in advance I reread it a few times, happy and fairly proud of it and the image of myself that feels fun to project: dress me up I'm sophisticated, dress me down I'm down to earth.
But the psyche has other plans.
Inwardly, a couple of voices made polite coughs. When I ignored them they raised their voices. As I continued to avoid their catcalls they picked up their tin cups and started banging them against the bars, the windows, the walls, the railings. This is what they said:
Voice 1 "Frickin' beets and oranges?!? Are you out of your frickin' mind? Give me 3 ounces of Jack Daniels on the rocks pdq and a pound of dry roasted cashews. Or a pound of pistachios. Screw the frou frou cheese!"
Voice 2 "Just give me a real Coke, a 39 oz bag of nacho cheese doritos, a tub of sour cream and go away. "
Voice 3 "Could someone smuggle in a cigarette? Please, please, pretty please? Just one, I swear to God..."
Yeah, as I alluded to in my very first post, sometimes the conflict is fully embodied within the chef. Or, as Walt Whitman put it, "I contain multitudes."