Last weekend we flew to Sacramento to celebrate Sue's 66th birthday with friends and family, wine and food. Because I have had two recent complaints about my lack of attention to food, I will start the festivities off with food, good food.
Les was in charge of appetizers. (Some might say he went above and beyond, as Sue ate so many appetizers she was too full for dinner. Was Mary miffed? Hard to tell, she didn't say. Usually if she's not talking she's miffed.) I ate everything! This cold/bronchitis has not inhibited my appetite. He started us off with fish and shrimp cakes...
with a mango salsa. There was a also a heavily horseradished cocktail sauce that was almost as good as the mangoes.
The most interesting dish of the night, and my favorite, were the dove jalapeno poppers. Les has a friend who hunts dove near the Sea of Cortez in Mexico and brings them back in a cooler. Les wraps the breast meat in jalapeno and bacon...and the result is baconey-spicy-gamey goodness. There was some discussion about where the Sea of Cortex is, I knew it was at the tip of Baja and Les thought it was in the armpit, and it turns out we are both right.
Anyway, those poppers were my favorite dish of the night. I love game.
Les also paraded out crab stuffed mushrooms. These were giant.
Mom stuffing her chicken with Lucy & Ethel's pesto. Mom and Sue are Lucy & Ethel. They make pesto from scratch every year from fresh basil grown in Sue's garden. Heaps of it. They put it in plastic zip lock bags and distribute the bags to everyone they know. It's GREAT pesto, I have some right now in my freezer from last year. I always assumed Mom was Lucy and Sue was Ethel, but upon enquiry that night, they say they take turns..depends on who is in what mood. I like this.
The gorgeous roasted pesto stuffed chicken. It was also accompanied by polenta with a mushroom and bacon ragu, but at this point I had some wine in me mixing with my cold meds and was forgetting to take more pics.
No trip to Les & Nicole's is complete without visiting all the animals. They have a koi pond as large as my house, no exaggeration. They have a wide net strung across it to keep the populous crows away from the pricey fish.
There are hundreds of fish of all sizes in this pond. I was enamored of this huge white one, huge I tell you. And there was another beautiful orange & black one I loved with a giant mermaid-like tail.
Nicole also keeps chickens for laying, not eating. She collects the eggs every morning and sells them at the Elk Grove Farmer's Market. She is known as the "egg lady" of the Elk Grove Farmer's Market, wears a cute little apron and most likely some sexy high heels. She has great taste in shoes.
This is her newest batch of chicks. She got 44 this last week from her supplier. Those white columns are their water source. When she first brought them home she had to pick up each one individually and dip their beaks in the water so they knew where to go to drink. How cute is that? Dumb birds! Adorable fuzzle little dumb birds!
And I fell in love with this one.
This is Les & Nic's 6 month old vizsla, Remington. She is really the perfect balance between tons of energy but also a placid demeanor.
Remy wakes. You know she is thinking, "Why in Hades did you wake me?"
Remy and Mom. Remy is licking the chicken and pesto off Mom's hands. They look so sweet together. Mom needs a dog.