Annual (?) Summer’s End Feast at the Williams’
Good morning, sunshine! It’s hard not to be up-and-at-em on a morning like this, sunny and crisp, wow. Debbie and Stu the Wine Genius have probably already had breakfast at Lucia’s and climbed a mountain, despite hosting us (and Ana Scofield and Rudy Maxa) for a fabulous din last night. That’s just how they are – full of energy and fun. It’s always a great hang with the Williams, and last night was no exception.
John and I walked into their lovely kitchen to find Stu smearing triple-creme brie onto toasted baguette slices – topped with slices of ripe pear, a few leaves of fresh rosemary, and washed down with sips of Veuve Cliquot Champagne, we were off to a good start…ha! After Rudy and Ana arrived, we moved the party outside, with views of Debbie’s gorgeous garden and a platter of melon and prosciutto. Debbie and Stu’s beyond-cute pups joined as well – flirty little Margo the long-haired dachsund, and graceful Turley, the tomato-loving dalmation. We sampled a couple of delicious Chardonnays (I…wrote nothing down, and although I did snap a few photos of bottles, it’s hard to glean the specifics from them, my apologies) and heartily dug into a platter of the same grilled shrimps wrapped in pancetta and sage that Stu made on The Fourth (I modified the recipe for smaller shrimps, but really, you must try it the way it’s supposed to be made; I’ll get the recipe from Stu).
Thanks to absolutely perfect weather, we hung outside for a nice amount of time, trying to catch up with Rudy & Ana’s travels and hard work filming and producing Rudy’s PBS travel series, Rudy Maxa’s World. They have been crazy-busy and of course the summer has flown by, so it was great to steal them before they’re off again.
We did finally move inside for the main course – Pinot Noir, er, I mean grilled duck breasts, alongside wild rice and tomato salad. I joke because as I sat down at the dining room table, I heard Stu say from the kitchen, “I chose duck because it goes with Pinot Noir.” I declare that as Stu’s official tagline, it’s so perfect. (The Pinot Noir, by the way, was incredible. As was the duck!)
After a slice of berry tart from delicious Rustica Bakery, followed by lots of chat, we finally let Debbie and Stu go to bed! I just about fell over when I saw that it was midnight – BIG oops, since Stacey was hanging with Nathan and I had no intention of keeping her up so late. We rushed home, Stacey was off into the night (er, morning, sorry again, Pooh), and John and I sunk into bed, stuffed and happy after another beautiful night at the Williams’. I don’t know how I got lucky enough to have such amazing cooks and entertainers as friends – I mean seriously, bothFriday and Saturday nights? Sheesh. Needless to say, I am very grateful.
I don’t know about you, but I am more than fortified to enjoy this golden, juicy Sunday!
Moderate it: I’m very lucky that both Friday and Saturday’s dinners were fresh and healthy, lightly prepared, chock full o’veggies, and oh yes – deeeeeelicious!