This is the first article I’ve written since November 2012 when Nurit, my wife, companion, lover, inspiration and fellow Israelwinetaster suffered back pains after a fall. The simple compression fracture turned into a spinal epidural abscess leaving her a permanent, complete, T-9 paraplegic. Let me tell you, it’s been a nightmare for us both, physically and psychologically. We are now on a long road together coping and learning to enjoy the life that we have together. My preoccupation has been Nurit’s care and obtaining the help in the home, medications including 27 pills/capsules just for uncontrollable muscle spasms, catheters and all the paraphenalia necessary to carry our urinary bladder catheterization, physical therapy, pressure sore treatment and prevention. wheelchairs, physical therapy machines and personnel and all those other things to be able to overcome this curse on our lives.
But tonight, I put another vegetarian feast together. It included the curried quinoa with zucchini that we have had before and German potato salad from a modification of Nurit’s recipe, and……WHOOPS, the garbanzo beans that I thought were left over had been completely eaten two days ago. So we put some store-bought hummus on the plate, dressed it up with Koranica olive varietal oil from Eretz HaGashur presses on the Golan Heights, and two half slices of the juciest, sweetest, reddest, Beefsteak tomato that you have ever seen or tasted. And we opened our first bottle of Petit Castel from the 2010 vintage.
First let me share our innovation of the German Potato Salad which included small cubes of approximately1.5 pounds of potatoes with a bare minimum of water in the microwave oven for 25 minutes thereby bypassing heating up the house with the usual method of cooking the potatoes. We mixed in about a teaspoonful of Dijon mustard, a slog (about 1 Tbsp) of olive oil, one third of a slog (about 1 tsp) of apple cider vinegar (2006 vintage hard cider from our orchard), 1 clove of finely chopped garlic, and several tablespoons full of fresh chopped herbs from the garden (chives, oregano, basil, and a bit of dried zaatar, also from the garden). All this was mixed together and allowed to sit for a bit before serving.
We opened the wine and allowed it to breath for about an hour before partaking of its splendor. The fragrances it emitted were abundant and complex, reminding me of a mexture of dried fruits (prunes predominating) and mixed nuts, especially hazel nuts. It also reminded me of a carpet of mixed fragrant flowers, and of a deep and dark New England forest. I inhaled and floated away with the waves of deep, dark caves used for wine storage. The complexity of lingering tastes included a hint of oak overlaying berries and beer. It had an “everlasting” finish. This is truely a wonderful tasting experience and would enhance any food, from light pasta to fish, to a heavy meat meal.
Bon Apetit — B’Tayavon
L’Haim — To Life