Monday, October 10, 2011

next time don't thank me (m)

My brother invites us and my friend, V, to dinner at his home to thank us for taking care of his dog, Charlie, during those two weeks he and my sister-in-law were in the Azores for the wedding/vacation.

Among the many things my brother and his wife are known for, three stand out:

-fat-laden foods

My sister-in-law brings casseroles (casseroles) to Thanksgiving every year.  She says they are vegetable-based, but I defy anyone to identify exactly which vegetables are in there given all the other stuff--four cheeses, butter, cream, breadcrumbs.  Yes, of course, they are delicious.  They also are deadly for a diet.

I had to tell him that V is fastidious about watching her weight and I am trying to shed a chunk more of my weight.

Phil: So, what does that mean?
Me: Just go easy...light fare, please.
Phil: What exactly do you mean?
Me: cheesy stuff.  No butter, no cream.
Phil: Then stay home.
Me: C'mon.  Just steam the vegetables.  No meat.
Phil: What about appetizers?
Me: No appetizers.  We'll have seltzer water and then eat the meal.

We pick up V at 6:15 and head to my brother's house.  V brings some beautiful French wines. "Sancerre," she says in a perfect French accent.

Upon arrival at my brother's house, the dog goes beserk, jumping all over V and then me.  He's beside himself.  It's as if he's thinking, "All my favorite people are here! What a great night!"

I knew we were in trouble when I saw the table setting.  Five utensils per person.  Soup spoon, salad fork, dinner fork, knife, dessert spoon.

We begin with soup--white bean soup with tomato puree and basil.  Outstanding.  I grill them on the ingredients.  I was just about done with the soup when they finally admitted how much olive oil was in there.

Next course, salad.  Lots of vegetables, walnuts, no cheese.  I sidestep the walnuts and use only a teaspoon of their dressing.  Perfect.

My brother takes a loaf of fresh baked bread out of his special bread oven.  V is done for.  This is her weakness.  She succumbs.  I have a slice.  It's incredible.  I could live on this and water for the rest of my life.

Then the heavy artillery--lemon risotto, baked fish, broccoli in garlic and olive oil ("just a touch"...b.s.), carrots with chives and a "dab" of butter, and butternut squash.  Everything tastes so good. 

We brought dessert.  A large bowl of cut up fruit, an angel food cake, a German chocolate cake (for the skinny people) and Haagen Daz 'simple' vanilla ice cream (lower fat, but still...).

We leave feeling so full we are disgusted with ourselves.

Thankfully, my brother and sister-in-law won't be going away for a while so we'll have no more "thank you" dinners to sabotage our diets.

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