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Mar 7, 201911:17 AM
Haute Plates

A weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

I Am Old

getty

 

Sometimes I think that I should make clear I write these pieces in advance. I don’t know why I think that. None of you are under the impression that I am now writing the words you are reading.

That epiphany came to me as I was (am) writing a piece about my 50th birthday, which is today as you are reading this, but which has not yet taken place as I write from the distant past.

I am told my birthday celebrations will include pastries from Brocato’s, which makes me very happy. I have plans for lunch and dinner, and my youngest child asked my wife in front of me whether I knew about “the surprise,” so I suspect something else is planned. I hope it is a pleasant surprise, because if it’s something unpleasant – a beating, say – I’m going to be upset enough that almond crescents, cannoli, cream puffs and slices of ricotta tort and raspberry frangipane tart will just barely make it ok.

I have already received a gift from my wife, who bought me a replacement for the 10” chef’s knife I broke because I am a dumbass sometimes. It is the second such knife I’ve broken in the last 20 years. The lesson is that carbon steel holds a great edge, but it does not tolerate dumbassery. I have high hopes I will graduate to mere assery going forward and will not ruin another blade.

I have the knife already because my wife bought it a good ways back, and when it came last month she realized there was a 1 week return policy. She said she wanted to be sure I could send it back if I wanted the stainless model. That’s her story, but I think she just wanted to make me happy, which is what you want if you’re me.

But last night in the distant past I cooked dinner. My son expressed an interest in making sushi a few days ago, and so I planned to make some rolls with him last night. That plan did not include screwing up the sushi rice very badly, but that is what happened. I salvaged about half of it, but by that point we were long past the “rolling sushi” phase and well into “salvaging things.” Fortunately, the salmon I bought was really good, and I improvised a little. Very thin slices of preserved lemon pair well with raw salmon, as it turns out, as do serrano chile, apple, cucumber and pickled ginger. I was pretty satisfied with things for dinner last night, is what I’m saying as I write this from the distant past.

For the anniversary of my birth the helpmeet and I are going to dinner where we have for the last couple. A very awesome friend is going to mind the girls, so we’ll have a bit of peace. Having just endured consecutive daughters suffering from the flu over the last ten days or so, a bit of peace will be nide.

It is possible, of course, that tonight the odds will finally catch up with us, and my wife and I will be bedridden tomorrow. Worse, only one of us could be bedridden. But as I write, all of us are hale, and that’s just about the best birthday present one could want apart from a new 10” Sabatier.

 

 

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Haute Plates

A weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

about

Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.

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