Damn the Torpedoes
The subject heading on the email was cryptic and hinted of espionage. I think it said something like “We must talk of a certain matter which is of interest to you” and it was from my former co-worker and longtime foodie friend, Ian. I expected instructions to follow involving a discreet location and knocking out the shave-and-a-haircut code in a darkened doorway. But no such luck. Instead, it was an invitation to join forces with those who were as passionate about finding the perfect morel mushroom as I was. Menus would be discussed, a theme finalized and I would participate with a dessert and another entrée if I had time. Who was I to pass up such an opportunity? Besides, I’d heard there was going to be longanisa, so I had to come. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s the Filipino equivalent to a Smoky Link, but tastier. I had introduced my friend Ian to it many years ago at a barbecue, and it became his personal mission to come up with other uses for the beloved Filipino sausage. I was intrigued to see what he was going to do with it this time. I was also intrigued by what the evening was going to bring. The menu looked extraordinary enough, and I was hoping to be able to pull my weight amongst the individuals that had been described to me. I mean, I cook, and I do it well, but making food for people I hadn’t met whose palates I wasn’t familiar with seemed a bit scary. But like all new adventures, I went for it. Because sometimes, you just have to consider the possibilities and say damn the torpedoes. The evening produced a variety of “firsts”. All of us ate or drank something we’d never had before, and after feasting we concluded that the evening was a huge success. Now, had I decided that I wanted to live a safe and uneventful life and decline Ian’s invitation to join the Rogue Estate for an evening of food, camaraderie and boozing, then I would have missed several opportunities. I wouldn’t have tasted two beers that I enjoyed immensely (and that I can still taste if I think on it hard enough), or goyoza with pea sprouts and crab, or softshell crab cooked over pecan wood. Oh, and let’s not forget the longanisa, skewered with shrimp and green onion and barbecued to perfection. Meat candy, I believe my husband called it. So, here’s to more “firsts”. And I hope you, the reader, will be inspired to experience some as well. Taking a chance can prove quite delicious.