The big payback

There are favors, then there are the kinds of favors that save you $500 on car repairs. A friend did one of those sorts of favors for me and all he asked for was dinner. It was not a burger-level favor, so it required more than a burger-level dinner. After some debate and noting his and his wife’s preferences (they’re charter members of the Carnivore Club), I decided on the ever-impressive standing rib roast. With it, I made pan-roasted rosemary potatoes, asparagus salad with sesame dressing and green beans tossed in olive oil, ginger, garlic and shallots. A smooth Cotes du Rhone in the glasses.

I made a blueberry pie for dessert using blueberries I froze last summer. And there was the problem. In my speed to get things ready, I didn’t thaw them out first. Beneath the nicely browned crust was blueberry soup. But my friends poured it over vanilla coconut milk ice cream (purchased for the dairy-allergic Hub), and after a few accompanying sips of cognac and Godiva chocolate liqueur, we hardly noticed.

Messing up the pie really bugged me, so I consulted my neighbor, the Queen of Pie. She verified that not thawing – and completely draining – the frozen blueberries was likely the problem. She said I might even need to cook them down a bit before putting them in the pie, although I’d like to avoid that to keep the fresh flavor. I will retry the pie until perfection is achieved. It’s just how I roll.


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