Placesettings & Holders for Dinner

“We kinda suck as bachelors” my dear friend, the Only Slightly Sleazy Lobbyist, remarked this weekend as we sat on his patio an hour or so before dinner.  It was a “Guinea Pig Dinner” – me trying some new recipes on friends prior to cooking them for paying clients a week later.  The other two guests, one of OSSL’s high school mates and his girlfriend who is blisteringly bright, exceedingly attractive, retired army colonel and could kill you six different ways with a demitasse spoon*, had yet to arrive.

“OSSL, how easy is it to meet women if all you want is to meet a woman?”

“Very easy, I guess.”

“Do you not think that there were at least a half a dozen women who could have filled the other two chairs if either of us had really tried?”

“Let’s go with four instead of six.”

“Fine Four then, the larger point still stands.  Some might call us poor bachelors; but I just think that we make more careful choices. I don’t want to cook for just anyone in a skirt, and this is a dinner party at your place… would you really want some placeholder in the chair next to you?”

“Depends on how hot the placeholder is” OSSL says with a smile.

“Fine, you have a point, but really? I mean really?”

Over the next four hours we dined, imbibed, conversed, laughed, cleaned blood spewing from my middle finger after I got careless with my new mandoline, and laughed some more.

Sweet Corn Velute with Lamb Sausage & Mini “Loud Puppies” was a hit but the spiced hush puppies need some work.

12 Hour Pork Roast rolled in Potato Pancakes tasted amazing but isn’t pretty enough for primetime yet.

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Spinach and Potato Cassoulet was a monster hit and I somehow avoided getting blood in any of the dishes.

Mini Apple & Cinnamon Spring Rolls with Caramel Dipping Sauce would have been great but given my injury we passed on this course in favor of continued drinking.

Throughout a glorious evening on a lovely midsummer night I didn’t miss the placeholder not sitting next to me, I did miss the woman I have yet to meet and for whom I would love to cook.

* What is it about a woman who can really kick my ass that is such a turn-on?


19 Responses to Placesettings & Holders for Dinner

  1. Titania says:

    I’ll beat the crap out of you if it can get me invited to try those dishes… they sound delicious.

    Beating the crap out of me is more difficult than you think, conversely, getting an invitation to dinner might be easier than you think.

  2. lacochran says:

    “* What is it about a woman who can really kick my ass that is such a turn-on?”

    To quote Counting Crows, you “belong in the service of a queen”.

    And, where it sounds yummy, I’m thinking, why not use seasonal fruit in the dessert given the plethora available at this time of year?

    I do belong on Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Sadly, the search for Her Majesty is more arduous than I would hope.

    And the reason I chose apples rather than something more seasonal (although that is a term with decreasing meaning in a global marketplace) is because of a strong preference for the classics and there are few things more classic than apples, cinnamon, and caramel. Add the gentle savory nature of frying and salt to the mix and the dish is gold.

  3. lacochran says:

    Well, actually Counting Crows said “the queen” but…

    I am with the Crows then, because I would prefer the “The” to an “a.”

  4. I cut myself while drying my bread knife. That lovely Shun sliced right through the towel and into my finger. *sigh*

    But I understand your point. I’m not going to risk a transfusion for just anyone, either.

    I just got a new custom made Bob Kramer Shun Chef’s Knife (it was a horrifically bad week and I deserved a serious pick-me-up) and it is so sharp it can Julienne the irony in a Sarah Palin’s speach. And no way, no how, am I pulling that puppy out for just any old so and so.

  5. Gilahi says:

    When you said “mandoline blade” to me last Wednesday, and again when I read it here, I can’t help but think of some sort of death-ninja bluegrass instrument. I know what a mandoline (as opposed to a mandolin) is, but that’s not the first place my mind goes.

    As this is the first day i can sort of type normally with this heavily bandaged finger, I understand that spelling is irrelevant.

  6. I definitely have a love-hate relationship with that same mandoline.

    Dinner menu sounds wonderful and am impressed that you believe dessert can be more than just chocolate. Kudos to you…

    I love it, I just got careless with a new toy which bit me on the finger. By the by, I will be posting recipes and pictures soon.

  7. laloca says:

    women who can kick your ass ooze confidence.

    the menu sounded lovely, btw. especially the spring rolls that you didn’t make.

    The thing is that it is not just a physical thing. A woman who beats me at Trivial Pursuit, or Billiards, or Running, or a number of other things works too.

  8. Lisa says:

    Yummmm – sounds delicious!

    You could of course just have a hot placeholder if you wanted. I was just talking with a friend about how, if you have the type of checklist – a particular look, job, type of education, whatever – that neither she nor I nor any of our other close friends have, you can find it easily and maybe even be really happy. But if you want someone who makes you FEEL a particular way, well, that has brought us to our mid- to late-30s and beyond in our searches.

    FEEL – my kingdom for a woman that makes me FEEL.

  9. kathleen says:

    i wonder — can a placeholder turn into something more? ever?

    Ever? Sure, because only fools say never. Likely? I think not.

  10. Jean says:

    That’s the worst part of the whole being single thing – being picky enough to want the right gal/guy vs. just any gal/guy.

    Too bad you’re so far away, ’cause I’d totally be a guinea pig.

    I don’t know that I would call it the worst part… more like the most paradoxically unsatisfying part. And you would totally have an invite if ever you were to make your way to the Capital City.

  11. Sara says:

    A better decision for you and a better decision for the placeholder; there is little worse than realizing you were the ‘until something better came along’ girl.

    This is exactly the reason that I hate when I have to call a woman at the last minute because all she can do is take it on faith that she’s not the last available call.

  12. Man or woman, i think we all like to know that if the shit REALLY hit the fan, you’d have a strong and bale partner beside you rather than the chick shrieking under the bed.
    ps- you have no idea how many little pieces of your menu ideas that I steal and blend into my arsenal. Thanks for that.

    We’d all like to know and believe that. Your comment does inspire a question for me… What happens if you meet the seemingly perfect person but the two of you lead a charmed life for one or two years without trauma. That person proposes to you. Would you accept despite never having seen this person in crisis?

  13. nicole says:

    rr: my brownies don’t even compare…..

    Tell ya what, we can meet in St. Louis. I’ll bring the savory, you bring thee sweet and everybody wins.

  14. hmmm. I think that should have read “ABLE” unless I meant Christian Bale…. Dunno.

    Not that I go that way, or that there’s anything wrong with it, but you could do worse.

  15. elle dubya says:

    placeholders are unnecessary. i’d rather have a thousand hours of brilliant silence, then a brief moment of audible stupidity.

    beautiful. that is all.

  16. k8 says:

    I would rather not be someone’s placeholder. I mean, I am rather hot and can carry on a decent conversation, but I would be hard pressed to enjoy myself if I knew that I was but a filler. I demand to be center stage.

    And today? That’s a very good place for me to be.

    And don’t use a mandoline when you’ve been drinking. Consider this your public service announcement.

    Mandoline’s are perfectly safe, even when you’ve been drinking, if you use the safeties that are provided. Mandoline’s don’t cut people, people being careless and stupid cut people… with the help of a mandoline.

    By the by, our relationship is only virtual, but yes, yes, you do deserve center stage from my vantage point.

  17. kitty says:

    paradoxically unsatisfying. well said. placeholders are exceedingly easy to find, and hard for me to let go. you think i’m cute? word. let’s hang out for six months and see if we can’t make a go of this.


    I think you’re pretty fucking adorable… when do my six months begin?

  18. kitty says:

    ha! thank you sir, now i see why you don’t abstain from facebook entirely.

  19. The answer to your above question is obvious. I would land our charmed asses into a situation where one was guaranteed.
    That’s the kind of girl I am.

    I am oddly not shocked in the slightest bit by your answer.

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