Dinner at the McMurtrey’s

Last night Beth and I had the pleasure of dining at the home of our friends, Kelly and Lisa. They have a lovely home not too far from where we live. Kelly took the original house down to it’s foundation and rebuilt it himself. He has landscaped the yard, complete with pond, into a showcase that could be featured in a Home & Garden photo spread. But best of all, he has a man-cave garage to beat all garages. All I’ll say about it is that I have a severe case of garage envy.

We arrived toting some scallop ceviche and roasted red pepper hummus I made and headed inside. After the greetings we sat down to cocktails, munchies, and small talk. It’s amazing how easy small talk comes when you are with good friends.

After a bit Kelly and I headed outside to start the grill. Well, “start the grill” is a bit misleading. Did he use lighter fluid? Nope. Self-starting charcoal? Hell no, that’s for whimps. Charcoal chimney with newspaper? Feh. No sir. Kelly used an honest to god flamethrower. You know those things that hook up to a propane tank? Used to thaw frozen metal pipes, get rid of ice, etc. Well let me tell you, it makes a hell of a charcoal lighter. Man. Coals were up and ready in no time. Even fire, no hotspots and no lighter fluid smell. I gotta get me one.

Once the fire was ready, Kelly brought out the main course. Fresh halibut filets that looked like they came off a fish the size of a city bus. I know I’ve said this before, many many times, but one of the best things about living in this part of the country is the seafood. And when the halibut is in season, man, there just isn’t anything better. Kelly grilled it to perfection then topped it with a very tasty homemade orange-hazelnut butter spread. Drooling, we headed back inside.

Lisa had the table set with wine poured. The table looked spectacular as you can see. I’ll go into the wine list in a later post. Most came from a local winery run by a guy Kelly calls the “mad scientist.” The wine was incredible. Blends that will blow your mind. They blew mine so much I want to make sure I get the right ones from Kelly before I post them.

Dinner started with a lovely spring green salad with nuts and pears. Lisa made a dressing out of champagne vinegar, light oil, sugar, dijon mustard and sour cream. The dressing was very flavorful, yet delicate enough to allow even the light flavors of the pear shine. Wonderful. In addition to the halibut, we dined on roasted asparagus with bacon and feta cheese. She also made some jasmine rice that any professional chef would have been proud to serve. Fluffy. Fragrant. Fantastic. To round out the meal, Lisa made fruit tacos. The “taco” shells were made from almond dough, then filled with fresh berries and drizzled with white chocolate. A very tasty way to end a perfect meal.

Now I know I’ve used a lot of superlatives in this post. Wonderful. Spectacular. Perfection. But the fact of the matter is that the evening was all of these, and more. Not just because of the great grub, but also because of the company. Even though we’ve only known Kelly and Lisa for less than a year, I feel like I’ve known Kelly all my life. Kindred spirits in a way. We even have the same paintings. Kinda freaky.

While dining at the McMurtrey’s is a pleasure beyond belief, having them as friends is a heartfelt honor.

Buon Appetito


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