ragù encore



careful what you wish, they say and it is true, the rains are here and portland is inundated. the ancient copper beach out my window is burnishing color, sinatra mellows from downstairs: 'when i was thirty five' and it do feel like it, as he'd say. now it turned autumn asudden and what will i say? winter is coming, and yes, it was a very good year. 
spirits aside what will keep me warm when stephanie's gone? tonight it will be a spicy ragu. a dish made with half pork, half beef. home dried porcini and dark, spicy, smoky brown chipotle peppers.



a spurt of rich tomato paste in the end, but as a base finely chopped cipollini, ditto carrots and quite a bit of fresh sage all done up to be tender in grape oil. i like to fire the meat in a dry pan to give up its fat. yes, it gets sticky and might burn, but what are scrapers for? wine will deglace my pan and render the meat saucy, the dry and the fresh goods abandon their flavors into that sauce, thick with meat, warm from the peppers and dark with porcini. the whole thing, as they say in brooklyn, gets spooned over crushed crescent potatoes, mealy, flowery, cozy and way too well done. 
and so it goes. the dish, a glass of wine and my read, kawabata's 'the old capitol' keeps me company into the night. i'll be a sleepy head when my spoon drops 'round midnight.
things, as they want, didn't quite work out that way. i was asleep before the spoon fell and woke wholly past the witching hour. i went downstairs in search of a sweet. looking in the fridge i found a pear, previously poached in wine. heating the wine, warming the pomet, and yes, spooning honey over the whole thing.



a languishing sweet. enough so that now i can't remember closing my eyes. i must be dreaming.