Hubby and I had the chance to take up a dinner out Saturday. (All three kiddies were at violin girl’s gig.)
We went to one of our favorite spots, Bluegrass Kitchen, hungry for their grilled fish dish. It comes out on a terrific-looking white plate, set atop the most flavorful wilted turnip greens and the smoothest of grits. Yep. Greens and grits. Two of the most under-rated (if prepared well) and under-served food items outside the deep South.
Although Kaukab is quite familiar with greens of all states, she generally used them in soups (remember the lentil soup?) or sauteed with garlic and olive oil, with a touch of salt. That’s all I knew about them. Grits, she implied, were a close cousin to what Kaukab referred to as Farina. Personally, they seem more sisters than cousins, but we’ll keep that between us, if you get my drift?
So, back to the dinner. Every time we go to Bluegrass, Hubby gets the fish. Not wanting to seem hum-drum in my food selections, I survey the menu–countless times–thoroughly engaged in the various offerings: meatballs atop smashed potatoes–too heavy so late in the evening; seared tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes–again, the mashed potatoes seem too heavy. Plus, the wasabi doesn’t seem appealing tonight, as it normally would have. Note: They do serve more than mashed potatoes; it’s just that on this particular night the chef seemed to have gotten a great deal on them. Or, maybe he thought it was Thanksgiving. No matter, hubby and I ended up with the fish. We’re close to celebrating our 17th anniversary (next week) and by now we’ve settled into a routine-of-sorts. I think the numerous fish selections are a reflection of that.
What’s fast becoming a routine with me, is looking for bread pudding. My dear foodie friend, Agnes (a character grander than her small-town life), and I had the most amazing bread pudding at the Bluegrass about a year ago. It was a key-lime pudding with warm caramel sauce, and it was so different from anything bread pudding-ish. I never thought I like bread pudding–until this one came along.
Ever since that meeting, we have become engaged in searching the world over (well, not the whole world) for a bread pudding to surpass, or even match, our expectations. I have since tried three. None even came close. Agnes doesn’t even want to talk about it. It’s become too disappointing a matter.
While at Bluegrass, last Saturday night, I noticed on the dessert menu two words which brought it all back. Bread Pudding. There it was, taunting me, like a perverse dessert could only do. It wasn’t the key-lime one. Not even caramel sauce. But, it was bread pudding, and I had decided that I would have some. It had been so long. At other times, we’ve seen it on the menu, but by the time we had finished our dinner and were ready to order, the blasted pudding was gone! This night, I believed, was meant to be mine.
Sadly, after eating the beer-laced cheese fondue and the requisite fish dinner, I had no room left for the puddin’.
Darn you, bread pudding!