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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mac and (Purple) Cheese ... And a few stops along the way

Wow! Has it really been EIGHT days since I last set electronic pen to paper? Where does time go?

So, a quick recap of the last week, and then on to tonight's main feature. Last Thursday, after eating lunch, I broke off the back of my second right upper molar (follow all that?) Paired with ever increasing shoulder pain, looked like Friday was going to be a great day.

Got an appointment with my dentist at 8:30AM, thinking I am going to need a crown. Yup. I was right. Crown it is. But wait! There's more. Seems a crown needs at least 2mm of tooth to bind to. I only had 1mm of tooth left on the back. Tell me Johnny, what our contest has one... That's right, a trip to the periodontist for a crown lengthening! Yeah!!! That sounds fun. So, temporary filling for now. See the periodontist on July 28.

On to my second appointment... the ortho. The pain in my left shoulder has gotten unbearable. I can't sleep. It hurts to drive. It even hurts to drink. So, off to the bone doc. X-rays... negative. Physical Exam... positive. Rotator Cuff Tenonitis and Secondary Biceps Tendonitis. But wait! There's more. Possible Rotator Cuff tear. MRI scheduled for 7/20. And a shot of cortisone. The next 24 hours are HELL on the shoulder. It hurt so much I cancelled my Saturday morning run.

So, up around 8, take Elvie to the vet for her shots. Drop her off at home, grab some tacos at Bill Miller's, and off to Johnson City to look at some river property on the Pedernales. The place has a ton of potential. Needs some work though. House hasn't been updated since it was built in 1983, and land needs to be cleared. But good water (such as it is in this Texas drought of 2011...) An offer went in today! We'll see what they say.

Head down to San Antonio for two of my favorite things... El Chapparal and John T Floore's Country Store. But, thanks to the Boerne Police, the trip was not without incident. After leaving Johnson City, we stopped in Fredericksburg for lunch then headed down to Comfort and SA. I pull into Boerne and a cop enters the highway right behind me. He follows me through town, changing lanes with me. Just as I am about to get out of Boerne, he pulls me over. I wasn't speeding... so what is it? He claimed that the Kerrville PD had called me in as a reckless driver. WTF??? I wasn't even in Kerrville today. So, he runs my license, and Jina and my sister's licenses too... again, WTF? Comes back and tells me he followed me through town (no shit... I have a rear view mirror) and didn't see any evidence of reckless driving. So, why, pray tell, did you pull me over, jackass?

Anyway, Saturday night. Start things off right. Nachos Compuestas as El Chap. Jina has the Beef Fajita nachos, Liz the mini sampler place, and Missy and Irelyn split the Helotes Delite.






Off to John T's.





As Willie says, John T Floore was a helluva man. And he had a helluva dance hall. The Rankin Twin opened. Beautiful girls, and a good show. They even tagged the stage.






Cory Morrow headlined... been a while since I've seen Cory.


He still goes barefoot on the stage.



But he puts on a high energy show. Played mostly the "old stuff." I like that. The music I have come to know and love...Only bad thing was my phone died so I couldn't give Millsap his customary call during Big City Stripper.






Oh, and along the way, I bought a Nook Color. More to follow on that.

Fast forward to Tuesday night. Jina and I have become regulars at the Jasper's Wine Dinners.




Each better than the last. So when Dustin Putska and Lane Strickland told me about this month's dinner, we were a lock to go. The reason? Mac MacDonald, winemaker at Vision Cellars , is hosting. And he is a hoot! Truly amazing and funny.




The son of a Texas Moonshiner from Fairfield, he and his wife now run a great vineyard in Windsor, CA. And Dustin paired his great wines with some fantastic food.

As Jina and I arrived, we walked into the restaurant with Mac. We were told he was going to be wearing his overalls, pretty easy to spot. As we settled in (and I showed off the new Nikon D3100 to Dustin and Lane,) the great food began to arrive.

Thanks as usual to William and Hunter for great service. This time, we were in the smaller dining room, perfect for a nice small wine dinner of about 18 people. Met some great Ags, told some lies, and had some great food.






The Passed Appetizers were first. We even got Dustin to server a couple of rounds.

Texas Blue Crab, Watermelon, Vanilla-Balsamic Reduction and Texas Peach Glazed Niman Ranch Bacon, St. Andre Brie, Toasted Brioche paired with the Vision Cellars White Wine. Nice and light, great way to start the evening.





As we all sat, a very nice Pinot was poured. Have I thanked Jina lately for not liking Reds? Yeah, that means I get more! WOOHOO!

Wood Grilled Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon served with Springdale Farm Heirloom Tomatoes, Blackberry Whipped Goat Cheese (YES IT WAS PURPLE!) and Wild Arugula matched perfectly with Vision Cellars Pinot Noir, Sonoma County 2008. By far my favorite of the Pinots.





The second course featured Herb Roasted Broken Arrow Ranch Wild Boar, Cinnamon Whipped Sweet Potatoes, Garlicky Broccolini, Tart Cherry Demi along side Vision Cellars Pinot Noir, Coster Vineyard, Russian River Valley, 2009.




The third course was Smoked Venison ‘Bangers and Mash’ and Whole Grain Mustard Smashed Red Potatoes, Bacon Creamed Peas, Smoked Onion Gravy paired with Vision Cellars Pinot Noir, Rosella’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2007.





Yes, Jina pulled out the peas. She hates them apparently. Next time, she gets a plate of nothing but peas, carrots, and corn. Plan on it Dustin!


Finally, we finished with Summer Peach Semifreddo Pie and Texas Blueberries, Lavender-Honey Whipped Crème Fraiche together with a lovely Vision Cellars Riesling. I am not a huge Riesling fan, but this was pretty good.





All throughout the night, Mac regaled us with stories of his youth, overpaying a Univ of California professor to eat dirt (aks soil) and remembrances of his family, including his mother's 96th birthday party in Fairfield.
















As the night wound down, thank yous issued, invitations to the vineyard extended (hell yeah we are going!) and one last glass of wine enjoyed, I simply thought... Ain't it a great night to be alive in Austin, Tx! (And Helotes, TX ain't that damn bad either!)

P.S. The next wine dinner isn't a wine dinner at all. It's a Parton spirits dinner. Oh, so looking forward to that!!! See ya at Jasper's on Aug 3!