I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Park Slope the past few weekends. One main reason is that our office gets no heat on weekends. I asked our super Gino about it, and he told us that there was no heat on weekends, period. Then he said he’d talk to the owner for us, but I doubt it. We’re debating how much to tip Gino and his assistants for the holidays. In our slow and dingy elevator, Gino taped a holiday greeting card – laminated and definitely used in previous years – as, we think, a friendly reminder to fork over some year-end cash to him and his team. Gino, who must be pushing seventy, is hard of hearing and shuffles his feet a lot. He’s an old Italian man with unpredictable mood swings. Sometimes he’s helpful, and other times, we know better than to approach him. We like the part-time assistant Shamir, who fixed up our electricity problem when we first moved in (we paid him good money in cash), but overall, the lack of weekend heating, no warm water, and a defective toilet (Gino did a half-ass job of “fixing” it) makes us not want to be in the giving mood.
Anyway, it’s been nice being at home as a result. Most of the time spent here is on the couch with Melanie. We’ll have our matching white MacBooks open and the television on – usually football, Food Network, or Bravo – and constantly think about what to have for dinner. Based on what we decide, I usually think about which wines to get from Slope Cellars. I really enjoy the two avenue walk to what is fast becoming a favorite wine store. A couple more trips and I’ll be eligible to get a $10+ bottle for only 99 cents!
Here’s an overview of things eaten in the past few weeks:
1 Lamb ragu over pasta, went incredibly well with a Chilean merlot. 2 A simple breakfast. 3 Lambchop, orzo’n’cheese, and broccoli rabe. Had it with a yummy petite syrah.
4 Another breakfast, this time with hash browns. 5 A steamed flounder with veggies. Had it with a crisp GewÃƒÂ¼rztraminer. 6 Italian white bean salad – so simple yet so good.
Sometimes, eating at home feels more luxurious than eating out. We can try better wines without worrying about the heavily marked up price, we can control the portions to our needs, and it’s nice to know exactly the ingredients going into every meal. Doing the dishes is a bit of a pain, and we’re sometimes left craving dessert, but we make do with sliced oranges and tea.
Although I still like my weekends to be productive in some ways, it’s nice to lounge about and anticipate another round of good food and wine. I’m thinking about becoming more of a contributor than the occasional cheese grater, cream whipper, and dishwasher. Maybe I’ll make a Korean dish so that Mel will have to turn the kitchen over to me. A nice kimchi jigae with hefty chunks of pork ribs or even a soothing bean sprout soup might do the trick. The wine pairing for those will be tricky, though.