My dad never met a blind taste test he didn’t like. Over the years, we have sampled a wide variety of foods and beverages to figure out which we liked best. We’ve tried boxed mac ‘n cheese, ketchup, canned green beans, and tequila, to name just a few. It’s become a rite of passage, and their recent visit was no exception.
Friday, we taste-tested bourbon. We really got into the “spirit” of things lining up those shot glasses and knocking ‘em back. I’m happy to report that the winner was the $65 bottle, while the $35 bottle and $25 bottle ranked second and third, respectively. I’d have been annoyed if the bourbon I shelled out the most bucks for hadn’t been the best.
We might have gotten a bit carried away Sunday night. Tara was making linguine with a roasted tomato sauce using tomatoes from the garden and wondered aloud whether she should serve garlic bread with the pasta. Now, I am not Italian (two percent Jewish maybe), but the answer to that question is always going to be yes. That led to a discussion over how to make garlic bread. My wife’s methodology is quite different from mine; she seasons the butter and spreads it on cold, while I melt it and drizzle it over the bread warm.
“You’ve obviously never worked in a kitchen,” my better half said. “That’s just inefficient.”
“What does efficiency have to do with taste?” I replied.
“How does melting it first have any effect on the flavor?” she retorted. “The butter is going to melt in the oven anyway.”
“It’ll seep into the nooks and crannies better that way!” I insisted. Which certainly sounded plausible, though I had no idea whether there was any truth to that. And then my competitive spirit really kicked in and I threw down the gauntlet. “We can settle this with a taste test, you know…”
“Yes! Do that!!” my dad said excitedly.
So, we did that. Split a loaf of Italian bread and each took a half. Not only did Tara’s cooking method differ from mine; she even cut her bread differently.
The verdict was unanimous: Tara 4, Mark 0.
Which didn’t bother me at all. Obviously, because even I had to admit that hers was better than mine. Go figure! So much for my theory about butter seepage. Not that it mattered: dinner was delicious.
As was the fresh Maine lobster we enjoyed the night before. I hadn’t had lobster in years, but my mom is a big fan. So, when she saw our local grocery store advertising live Maine lobster for $9.99 each (what?!) on a first-come, first-serve basis Saturday at 10 a.m., you can bet your ass she was in line by 9:55. And came back with the full limit of four.
When the parents come to visit, good meals are guaranteed. Because we’re all trying to impress each other and cook everybody’s favorite dishes. I got into the act too and made fried chicken one night.
They left this morning, and as usual, the house feels extra quiet and empty now. But at least with my dad out of the picture, I get my recliner back now.