The Tulip Festival street fair was this past weekend, which for many years has also meant our Annual Corn Dog and Pinot Grigio Wine Pairing Event. Unfortunately our friends no longer own a wine shop downtown, so we can’t pick up a hot, greasy corn dog at a street vendor and carry it through the crowded festival to the shop for our wine pairing. Instead we had a sit-down dinner party with storebought corn dogs (which it turns out you can eat a LOT more of than the greasy street fair kind), and I made macaroni salad and rhubarb custard pie to go with.
I don’t remember all the wines we tried this year, but the two (by far) best were an Italian bottle that was light, sweet and slightly effervescent, which held up well to the sweet corn dog coating, and a complex and astonishing 2007 Weingut Knoll Grüner Veltliner. Maybe it was cheating, since it wasn’t a Pinot, but dang, it was good.
For the pie, which was made with my first harvest of rhubarb for the year, and bright orange local eggs, we drank the last of some amazing tawny port. I would never have thought of the pairing, but it worked splendidly.
Not sure how everyone else did, but I only needed to take one Tums that night, which I thought was getting off easy.
My family has a few traditions that we keep up pretty well. Some are new and just between J and myself, like having macaroni and cheese on my birthday, or pumpkin soup and Yorkshire pudding on Halloween. But the oldest and most sacrosanct tradition is the Good Luck noodle bowl on New Year’s Eve. There may have been a year when I have not eaten these noodles, but I’m not sure…even when I’ve spent the holiday with friends I’ve insisted that this dish get eaten. I just feel funny without it.
According to my father, our family has been eating noodles on New Year’s Eve since about 1950, when my grandparents became good friends with a Japanese family. The Fujitas introduced them to the idea that eating noodles with chicken, eggs, broth and scallions at the beginning of a new year brought good luck and health. When I was a kid, we always ate the noodles directly after midnight, after setting off fireworks in the snow and attempting to play each others’ instruments, loudly. These days, we tend to eat earlier in the evening and save some champagne for the midnight toast. It hasn’t seemed to hurt anything (knock on wood). J and I have also started buying a package of Chinese barbecued pork from the local deli counter and slivering it into the noodles, as being a little more festive than shredded chicken. And we sometimes use Japanese udon instead of the traditional Rose brand Chinese egg noodles (gasp!). But fortunately, it’s good no matter what. Continue reading