In the times leading up to the dinner, I’ve pre-testing a number of these dishes, sometimes to exhaustion. But it occurred to me at the beginning of this week (the final week leading up to the event) that I’d never actually done them all at once. I don’t actually have a limitless number of pots and pans to cook in, as it turns out! I decided I’d better do a pot inventory.
Good news! Looks like I’ll make it after all. But I would have felt a right prat if I’d come up short on the Saturday.
The Drinks of Ice and Fire
Back in August, when I first conceived of this dinner idea, I was spending a pleasant and warm day on the patio at Brewster’s with a couple of the geeks in question. After an afternoon tasting their assortment of house-brewed beers, Jeff’s wife Heather dropped by to pick him up. She ended up staying for a pint or two as well, and I discovered that she is a big fan of Caesars. So I decided then that I’d have to serve those at my dinner.
For any Americans who stumble onto this blog, I should explain what a Caesar is. You can imagine it like a spicy Bloody Mary, only instead of tomato juice, it uses clamato juice, which is a mixture of tomato juice and clam juice. Right now you have three questions: One, what the hell is “clam juice”; two, why would anyone drink that; and three, seriously, what the hell is wrong with Canadians? I grant you that it sounds disgusting when described, but it honestly is pretty tasty in a drink. In fact, it was invented solely for the Caesar; the invention of clamato juice came when some bartender in Calgary invented the drink to go with his hotel’s new Italian restaurant. Why he felt that clam juice would be particularly Italian is unclear to me, I confess, but there you are. And now you can buy it in job lots at any grocery store in Canada. Obviously, you can find more details about it on Wikipedia.
Some time after that, I settled on Spicy Chicken Rellenos for my Targaryen course, and it cries out for margaritas. Cries out, I say! And really, who doesn’t like margaritas? You in the audience with acid reflux can sit back down; the rest of us like them. So I’d known for weeks that those two drinks were going to be featured. But last Saturday, it suddenly struck me like a bolt from the blue – those are drinks of ice and fire! Seriously, this was starting to come together with almost spooky precision.
I’m still insufferably pleased with myself over the Drinks of Ice and Fire line, and it looks like I have enough pots. So we are good to go! Next up, I shall go through the dishes one at a time.