Charles Bronson was on the television. Everyone took turns cutting into the old tough guy and I was surprised how much he looked like Enrique. It must be the mustache I thought. "No, its his whole face, his expression," Jen said. "He reeeeeally does look like Enrique!," Sara cackled loudly. Then she exclaimed gleefully, (or maybe it was Dan?) "Its Dutch Wish!" This got the whole crowd of 12 roaring as they waited in TV purgatory land to see the Pittsburgh Steelers crush the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the playoffs. "Dutch Wish" of course was the re-interpretation of the title of Charles Bronson's famous movie Death Wish. "So you're into Jesus huh?," Bronson said while pointing his pistol at the young gangster. "You're gonna meet him soon."
Everyone had eaten their fill of Tweet's lamb stew and after several rounds of hotty tawdy's (thats Jameson, lemon, honey, and hot water) we all settled in for the Sunday's max and relax phase of football watching. Today was special. On this winter day both Pennsylvania football teams were defending their not-so-stellar records in the playoffs. Until the lamb stew, I had been feasting on some potato and leek soup the week before and now had a pot of borscht sitting half full in my refrigerator. The borscht was such a beautiful soup. Such a deep red color and simple sweet flavor making one feel charged and healthy after a warm bowl of it. Like a straight shot of vitamin C to the blood stream.
The Monday evening before it had been Tim's grand dinner of mushroom gravy over winter vegetables and mashed potatoes completed by a stout london broil cut of beef from Stutzman's Pasture's Pride farm. Those rutabagas and turnips and carrots with all their bitter hearts. And not the least was the salad made from Bordeaux spinach and bull's blood beets taken from the greenhouse topped with some blue cheese and a little balsamic vinegar. "And ramps!," everyone seemed to blurt out at once. "Well I'll have to try the salad if it has ramps," said Kim. These little cousins to onions might have been some of the only non-local ingredients to the meal but were still very much appreciated. These were the kind of vegetables that "foodies" would make such a fuss over. Tess reminded us that they were just peasant vegetables. If you could just explain to people what they were and what you do with them then everyone could easily enjoy them. Thanks to Tess, this dinner for eight which seemed somewhat spread about the kitchen and slightly array came together beautifully. And the three layer chocolate mousse! Oh man!
Back in the living room the second game of the day, Pittsburgh vs. San Diego, was winding down as Tweet said for the last time that evening, "Its all over." Some of those attending being die hard sports fans but others just appreciating the warmth of the fireplace, the lamb, the good cheer, and the eclectic community in this small part of Pennsylvania. Whether serious football followers or not, we are all fans of the keystone state. Everyone agreed that it was just too damn cold for those boys from California to be playing this far east today. The snow that had squalled in the first quarter was now barely visible on the field. "How do you feel about them now Steihl?" someone asked Mark again. "Well, I'm less uneasy now, but then, I'm always kind of uneasy," he replied with a half grin.
reflections from the southeast PA rural underground