When friends visit, the visit expands to more friends, new friends and much food.
Beginning with a breakfast of Veron’s special frittata, a perfection of eggs, cheese, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and onion.
A Mediterranean salad with french beans, grilled peppers and more. Sausages. Rocket tossed with raspberry vinaigrette and pomegranate arils.
A jug of crushed green apples, ginger and cucumbers, topped with mint, apple juice and sparkling water. Toasted walnut bread. Gouda and Edam. A punnet of cherries, freshly picked off a farm in Dunedin, air-flown in hand luggage to Singapore.
And then it is lunch and lunch is at another friend’s, and it gets christened Dog Day Afternoon in its sated aftermath.
Beginning with the wine from the Dog Point vineyard. A crisp, chilled sauvignon blanc, from Malborough, New Zealand, (straw green in hue, with a flinty bouquet, floral notes complemented by guava, melon, lemon, lime. A soft lingering acidity, a strong citrus core).
The wine sets the atmosphere, a cloudy day outside, warmth and laughter within. Our hostess is charming, the food, delectable. Boursin cheese wrapped in grilled zucchini strips with a jus of balsamic vinegar. A variety of artisinal bread. A magnificent spinach-coconut soup, served as expresso shots. A palate cleanser of cucumber, fennel and lime. Chicken grilled with oranges. A chocolate cake with clotted cream. Cappuccinos.
A few glasses of Dog Point and the name is mis-remembered. Dirty Dog ? Dog Day Afternoon comes to mind, both the movie and the phrase, though we are thick in a Singapore ‘winter’; it is certainly not a hot summer afternoon. Balmy and cool, rather.
Two dogs enliven the meal.
They are gorgeous, they are polite, and the talk is about dogs for a large part of the time.
More wine is drunk. A spouse drinks for two, given her husband is self-detoxing. Another husband is seduced into having a glass; his protests that he doesn’t drink in the afternoon righteously dismissed by the hostess. The conversation is expansive, frequent breaks are taken between courses, news is caught up with, memories dusted, wine poured, plates handed out, wedges of cake passed around, the aroma of brewing coffee.
Truly, a wonderful way to spend a weekday afternoon.
Sasha, this one is especially for you.