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Aug 26, 2013 04:40 PM

Whats for dinner 241: Laboring for Labor Day [through Sept. 1, 2013]

So what cooking for the labor day weekend? BBQ? Cookouts? Tell us the deets!

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  1. Wee. I get to be the first post(unless someone posts while I type, which would be my luck since i said I was first.)
    I found some kick ass local tomatoes at my Amish produce market. Decided to get some chicken breasts and make a chicken salad stuffed tomato dinner. These are about softball sized tomatoes so these and crackers are all that is for dinner. I poached the chicken breasts with garlic, lemon, peppercorns,bay leaves and onion. Chopped in the FP and added mayo, mustard, dill relish, Badia, celery, almonds and parsley. These are honkin' tomatoes so crackers for me and a serving of some canned soup of choice for the man. Chilled blueberries and whipped cream for dessert.

    1. I have NO idea that far ahead.

      But I start my vacation as of EOB tomorrow night - so I'm NOT doing any laboring other than the kind *I* want to do around the house prior to Labor Day. :-D

      1. Sitting on the deck, drinking beer, reflecting on the day, enjoying the backyard.

        We drove north to wine country this morning. Morning being the operative word since marina management was clipping the water supply at 10 a.m. in order to cut over to new lines (very cool).

        I took Deb to BV for a private tour. This is one of the oldest wineries in Napa with ground-breaking history and a record to this day of innovation. All wines at BV are accessible to normal folk. I like that.

        Much later, I drove Deb down to Yountville for lunch at Bistro Jeanty. Glasses at the charming bar before sitting in the renovated back room. Escargots for me, the signature tomato soup with crust for Deb. I had not had sufficient butter and garlic in my diet on this trip but that deficiency has now been corrected. Deb's soup lived up to the billing.

        Next course was steak tartare for me and black cod with ratatouille for Deb. The skin on the fish was crisp, the steak was prepared to order. We liked our dishes. Deb ordered a California Pinot Noir to wash things down - a good call. Both the barkeep and our waiter were wonderful.

        We returned home just as water service was restored. I settled into my seat on the aft deck with a nice cold beer and all was well with the world.

        ::Commotion:: Noise!:: Screams!!::

        Emily the cat somehow got punted off the dock into the water! Children were aghast, parents wrung their hands. Deb ran out to see if she could help, boats were manned (womened?) and launched. I remained on the aft deck.

        Emily is a survivor. She has claws and she can swim. She navigated to her houseboat, climbed the lines, got aboard and has more than a few lives left. I like cats.

        steve's backyard:

        22 Replies
        1. re: steve h.

          What a delightful meal and story recounting. Everything from the tour to the lunch to the poor Emily. And to the amazing picture. I am in awe.

            1. re: steve h.

              It has sounded amazing, as all your trips do. The only thing I am not jealous of is the sky. Living in FL I see some amazing views. But, can I be Deb for a day? Purty, purty please?

                1. re: suzigirl

                  Hey. :::hip-checking suzi:::: Back of the line, missy! :-P

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        I can just see steve h. sitting on the deck of his houseboat, grinning like Emily the Cheshire Cat at the women of WFD fighting over him.

              1. re: steve h.

                Awww, poor Emily! I love how the women went to rescue. And the guys stayed on their decks quaffing. :D

                Lovely view. I'm envious of you both!

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Emily is one tough kitty.

                  Edited to add: It's real pretty out here. I'll have some thinking to do after we return to Connecticut.

                2. re: steve h.

                  love love love jeanty, so much. miss it so since it left the City. tho Napa certainly ain't Kansas.

                  i'm very glad puss made it back on board.

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    Yountville is less than an hour from our rental houseboat in Sausalito. Bouchon, Jeanty are practically neighbors the way I drive. ;-)

                  2. re: steve h.

                    I love the sound of your meal and the fact the cat survived.

                    Are you staying on at the houseboat for the America's Cup? Folk are getting excited here.

                    1. re: Frizzle

                      Unfortunately not. Staying on for another month would be wretched excess.

                      The Kiwis have a strong team. Ellison's crew will have their hands full.

                    2. re: steve h.

                      Oh, poor kitty! But other than Emily, it sounds like a great trip for all. Glad you enjoyed :)

                      1. re: alliegator

                        Thanks. August out here has been outstanding.

                      2. re: steve h.

                        Damn fine day, and damn fine post Steve.

                        You all and Emily shall live to relish another day, another meal, and hopefully - no one in the drink (the ocean kind) when they don't want to again!

                          1. re: steve h.

                            I love to collect 'top 10 days".... that is what life is made of:)

                        1. re: steve h.

                          No matter how many times I've had that soup, I still have to order it. BTW, Ellison's new house at Tahoe is going to have a spa carved from a single piece of rock!

                        2. A great big slab of beef that had been marinating since yesterday morning was grilled to m-rare, oiled and seasoned asparagus was grilled, a tomato and basil salad was made with Black Prince and some gold tomato I can't remember the name of. I'm thinking about quickly blistering and salting some Padron peppers. The man should be home any minute so I'm trying to decide on beverages. Its a hot night and very humid.

                          The only thing we've done for the holiday weekend so far is make excuses for why we cannot go up north with his parents. No way. :)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                            I think you've done MORE than enough planning for your weekend. :-)

                            1. Haven't gotten that far yet. Tonight I tried to use up some of the evil eggplant. Made eggplant stacks (fried/breaded eggplant layered with a ricotta mixture (parm, parsley, egg, salt, pepper, etc) and topped with tomato and shredded mozzarella, a vegetable calzone (with sauteed eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, onion and more ricotta mixture), and zucchini boats (hollowed out and filled with a slice of cream cheese, topped with tomato sauce and shredded mozz). The tomato sauce was made from all of the surplus tomatoes from the garden and pureed to deal with the skins.

                              Husband got home, heard what was for dinner, and asked if I would be offended if he didn't eat b/c he had a late lunch. To be fair, he did get up at 2am to go visit a job site in Manhattan and he probably did eat a late lunch.... but it was just funny that he didn't want dinner b/c he is the kind of guy who always insists on meat.

                              Sooooo tomorrow guess what's for dinner? Leftovers from tonight! HAHAHA The joke will be on him tomorrow.

                              As for Labor Day, not sure yet. We are doing a beach bonfire probably the day before complete with clams, shrimp, lobsters, ribs, mac and cheese, etc. on the grill. My assignment will probably be clams casino and macaroni and cheese. For the actual holiday, we will hit the beach during the day but have a very mellow meal (possibly pizza from our favorite place) that evening as I will be very sad. Work starts the next day!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Njchicaa

                                So far my only plans are to attend a bbq on Saturday. It looks to be rainy so we'll do the wet coast thing and grill outdoors under the eaves, eat indoors. I've offered to bring beef tenderloin since the host wants to do steak and we're completely ruined for all other cuts. I know some are said to have more flavour but the SO grills the filet mignon so perfectly... and it's called filet mignon. Who can resist cute steak?

                                Is it sad that I am envious of Emily the Cat? Oh well, may find myself in the Bay Area more often as the SO's company is opening an office there and he is the managing partner in charge. Looks like they found an office today, as it happens, so should be a go.

                                1. re: grayelf

                                  wha????? more grayelf in the Bay Area????? Banner day!!

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    I can only hope. Alas, the flights are outrageous unless I can get a seat sale so we'll see. The SO will certainly be in town more so I look forward to directing him and his colleagues (diplomatically, of course) toward the best that SOMA and points nearish by have to offer.

                                2. re: Njchicaa

                                  Your leftovers will be great, I'm sure. And I feel your pain, my dinner plans are often thwarted by the man's work, but somehow, I still get fed ;)

                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                    Sounds awesome Njchcaa. If you tire of the 'wretched eggplant, you can always send a case this way:)

                                    The day prior beach bonfire and spread sounds great.