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Daily Archives: May 4, 2012

Dining Al Fresco … West County Style

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One thing I learned moving out here. We don’t run out for dinner or order carryout like we did in Columbia. Not as many choices without driving. My neighbors and friends out here have more meals outside, in the quiet countryside, with family and friends. Friday night al fresco dining is this for us.

The view is way better from my chair than parking lots or storm water management ponds.

We can spend lots of money to go out for dinner, but honestly, dinner on the patio is so much more relaxed, and a fraction of the cost. Everything at dinner tonight was bought without setting foot in a chain grocery store. The entire meal, minus wine, cost about twelve bucks.

The soup: cauliflower leek

I made using CSA veggies with organic almond milk and vegetable broth. Indian spices. The sausage that finished the soup. Homemade hot Italian from Boarman’s.

The salads: CSA oranges and beets from the Lancaster market. Tomato and goat cheese mozzarella, also from Lancaster. The basil from my garden. The oil from Casual Gourmet.

The bread: Atwater’s rosemary Italian. The wine: Linden chardonnay. I figure the dinner cost me $12 in supplies. The wine $20. What would I pay for a meal this good in a restaurant? Two times? Three? The wine alone is the equivalent of a decent Burgundy, that would cost me $40-$50 in a restaurant. I suppose I could order a $10 wine marked up to $30 which is the usual markup.

I know I am unique in loving to cook. I know I now have the time to do so. But, I used to “pee” away how much time with a beeper at restaurants waiting for a table. I think I prefer spending that time cooking, and not roaming around being bored and paying ridiculous prices for a beer or glass of wine while waiting for a table in the chain restaurants in Columbia.

My cocktails are better, too. Meyer lemon basil fizz, anyone?

Have a great weekend everyone!