Sit back, relax, let me take you on a culinary journey that was my weekend.

I have never eaten so much and so well in my entire gastronomical history.

FRIDAY

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Friday started like any other day.  Breakfast was an egg and avocado over whole grain toast.  Lunch: brown rice with homemade daal and equally homemade plain yogurt.  I get out of work at 2pm on Fridays and shuffled my ever-expanding derriere to the gym for a run and strength training.

Normally, my gym sessions are meant to counteract the damage done by my never ending desire to eat delicious food.  In this case it was all done in preparation of the biggest meal of my life.  I needed to work up an appetite.

I’ve mentioned before that my aunt is very talented chef; I have never before revealed where it was she did her cheffing. My aunt has, for quite a few years now, worked in various kitchens at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York.

The hotel recently opened  The Garden Restaurant & Wine Bar and that is where you can find my aunt Monday-Friday, it’s not currently open on the weekend, but who knows, as its popularity increases, so may its hours.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it is worth mentioning again, that while my mother was in the hospital in September my friends were unbelievable.  They slept with me in the hospital night after night, brought me clothes and underwear, made sure I ate, made sure my father ate, cleaned my parents house so she wouldn’t have to worry about it when she got home, visited my mother everyday even after I had to go back to work, at one point I had friends come from as far as New Jersey to help out.  It was such a truly touching example of how amazing people can be.  I feel very, very blessed.

I wasn’t the only one who was moved, everyone in my family was.  Even complete strangers were. My aunt told her colleagues about the amazingness that is my core group of close friends and they were just as touched.

My aunt and her co-workers invited my friends and I to visit The Four Seasons for dinner.

I don’t know what I was expecting.  Maybe a glass of wine, perhaps an appetizer.  What we received so truly unbelievable and made us all feel so truly special.

Our dinner was not just a dinner it was the kind of experience long epic poems are made of.

It was NINE COURSES, complete with four separate wine pairings.

I cannot possibly do this mean justice, but here’s a breakdown of what we ate:

Gastronomical Olympics

1.       Sparkling white wine with olives and caperberry’s

2.       Cured meat & mustard assortment

3.       Shrimp and roasted peppers

4.       Muscles and fresh mini baguettes

5.       Salad with duck confit and cherries

6.       Black cod in a coffee reduction and vanilla oil

7.       Qual stuffed with foie gras served over Brussel sprout leaves and  accompanied by baked pears wrapped in crispy bacon

8.       Sweet breads and steak

9.       Cheese and chocolate

As for wines we had in addition to the sparkling white we started out with, we had another white that I can’t remember the genre of, a pinot noir and a malbec.

The mere words on the page cannot do credit to the magic that was this meal.  Each course came complete with a description of it’s contents and preparation.  During the cured meats, the diets and lifestyle of the pig.  During the fish course, the chef painted a picture of what he wanted to imagine and feel while eating: a late fall day, rustic leaves and a warm fire.

It was like being in an episode of Top Chef, only these chefs were already top!

If you are in New York City, or have plans to visit New York City I can’t gush over this place enough.

SATURDAY

Okay, we’re not quite at Saturday yet.  Friday night, after dinner, my girlfriends and I decided that the only way to end an evening like that was with a good ole fashioned sleep over.  We crowded into a cab with a cabbie who gave me dirty looks (dirty as in mean, not dirty as in grrrrarrrr) all the way to my friends apartment in Queens.

A night of getting cuddly with my favorite ladies on a futon, it’s like high school without the pimples!

The next morning our stomachs were sore, the kind of sore that comes from an hour long abs class, only there were no crunches involved.  We’d eaten so much our stomach muscles had gotten quite the workout.

I could have sworn after all that food I wouldn’t be hungry for a week, but nope, I woke up ravenous for some brunch.  From The Four Seasons to the Neptune  Diner (which incidentally darns a sign claiming it is the best diner in New York City)–the food couldn’t be more different, but there’s something homey and comforting about a diner breakfast.

A big brunch followed by a dinner party at the home of one of my favorite couples.  The meal=amazing in that home cooked, my friends are culinary geniuses sort of way.  I can’t recollect everything I ate, but there were cheese straws, olives, chicken with lemon and rosemary, and a French chocolate cake.  Okay, maybe I can recollect everything I ate.

The point is, I drank a lot, which made Sunday morning one of those “ow, my head hurts, and oh god, I hope I didn’t say that out loud-yeah, I’m pretty sure I did” mornings.

SUNDAY

IMG_0631Once I hydrated enough to be functional I had to get my own kitchen in order.

I hosted my book club on Sunday and made the theme a tea party.  I have a beautiful tea set a friend bought me many years ago, but I hardly every use for fear of breaking it.  This was probably the first time I let it out for some fresh air in a couple of years.

I decided I’d try my hand at making homemade doughnuts.  Because nothing puts the cherry on top of a weekend of eating quite like fried doughy comfort food.

Surprisingly, they’re super easy to make.  All I did was follow a recipe for whole wheat pizza dough and fry it up in vegetable oil.  When they were almost cool, but still a little warm I tossed the doughnuts in sugar and cinnamon.

IMG_0633 In a word: Amazing!

It was an amazing weekend full of food and friends, and a reminder how amazing life can be, and how tasty too!  There are times to watch what you eat, and then there are times to sit back, relax, an enjoy every bite, sip and sigh.

Now it’s back to the gym for me!