...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Friday, November 25, 2005

What rhymes with Orangery?

Under a rain-washed November Tennessee blue sky I walk with my siblings talking about food before our thanksgiving dinner. My sister Miriam laughs at our culinary preoccupations whilst indulging them. And why is it funny? Cuz it's true. We are obsessed. I tell reverently of a carmellized endive & cambozola sandwich on focaccia. MMMMMMM. We love food--and word games. Comfort food, gourmet food, puns, plays on words, food for thought.

Tht night we eat a massive trad meal with all the trimmings and diverse variations thereof. And then we play a smoldering round of fictionary which reaches a fever-pitch of such hilarity my brother Danny is laughing so hard that tears are rolling down his face. We learn the word "gibberellin" which doesn't mean a language of hand signals and foot stomping used by larger primates ( Sarah's brilliant fake definition).

The night after Thanskgiving we are taken to The Orangery by our hostess Sonya (my mom). Our mom. The Orangery is Knoxville's only 4 (or more) star restaurant. We enjoy each and every star, starting with slabs of hot bread the waiter delivers with tongs to each plate--and this bread is so important: as the conveyance for the Orangery's housemade pate. Sitting innocently in a wee dish this pate is shaped like a tawny floret speckled with generous flakes of black truffle (or you can have plain old butter which is molded into a botanical aspect as well). The wait staff appears with freebie mini-appetizers of tuna tartare with a sesame/ gingery dressing served with a crunchy fried wonton for texture contrast. Nice. Our real appetizers soon follow and I am treated to the sight of the gigantic white bowl/ plate with two plump shrimp in a shockingly green pond of pea puree (which can't possibly sound as good as it tastes). YES~~~ Another appetizer of note: Sarah has the bunny--I sample it, and yes, rabbit does taste like really great chicken.

Lobster Crepes. Need I say more? Well, I will: faultless flat tasty pancakes (crepes!!oh yes) filled with succulent toothsome hunks of lobster meat, and topped generously with a buttery buttery somewhat sweet sauce that reveals and amplifies the lobstery-ness of lobster, in all lobstery glory. When we were ordering the waiter had asserted somewhat alliteratively that the ladies love the lobster crepes. But I say: let no man miss his chance at this crustacean delicacy. Fear not for your masculinity! Eat on, man.

For dessert we send a few orders of warm-center chocolate cake round and round the table for tastes, a lemon souffle, and a special holiday dessert: "study in pumpkin" --the latter being three pumpkin treats, the best of which is pumpkin creme brulee. Oh lord.

After a meal like this we may wax rhapsodic. Or if you are my nephew Elan you might just rap. Some may wax their legs, or go compose a fugue--or enter a fugue state-- or try to rhyme orange with porridge. Or blog about it to you my fair readers.

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