Sunday, August 17, 2008

Perfect Score

Sometimes it all comes together -- and today it did.

The August weather here in Ohio continues to be more like late October with little humidity, day time temperatures in the low 80 degree range and night time in the mid to low 50 degree range. That is ending in a day or two so today was all about enjoying it.

Both dogs got walks this morning and Scott is happy to report that the park along the Great Miami River is once again free from Canada Geese and more than one tree and one bag from a fast food restaurant have been properly anointed.

Since they both had such a good time I decided we needed to drink a "dog wine" this evening. I opted for the 2004 Frem, a Barbera d'Asti from Italy. I know of no wine that has a Gordon Setter on the label so the English Setter on the Frem label was more than sufficient. The wine is a cooperative wine from the Piedmont region. It was full of bright cherry fruit and great acidity. There was also some fully ripe raspberries going on with this wine. All that fruit was laid over the top of a earthiness that smelled like freshly turned earth in the spring. It was a great combination of tastes. There was some oak, but one had to search to find it. The wine was fresh, alive and delicious and well worth its $19 price tag.

Having chosen the wine it was necessary to find something to go with it. We opted for grilled rib lamb chops and a very un-basic macaroni and cheese. The dish used tubetti pasta with a sauce that included Swiss, Gruyere, Parmigiana Regiano and Pecorina Romano cheeses, a little Dijon mustard and finished with a dose of white truffle oil. Everything was combined into a casserole, sprinkled with bread crumbs and popped into the oven. The result was cheesy and fragrant and had a great, crunchy crust to match the creaminess of the pasta and sauce. It smelled wonderful baking and even revived the dogs who decided to ignore their dog food in hopes of some pasta.

I added some fresh asparagus and called it a meal - which is pictured below.

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