A Cook’s Delight

It should not begin with calcium deposits but this story does. Between two towers lies a terrace that leaks into the underground garage we pay a fortune per space to park in, whenever it rains or snow melts. It has ruined my baby’s paint. OK my lovely car is 12 now so not a baby but I’ve asked to change spaces twice in three years and now my husband’s car (nicer and newer than mine, like our computers and cell phones), sports a new car cover because the only space available for him was the one next to my first that ruined my car’s paint because of, yes, calcium deposits.

I was the one who suggested an herb garden on the terrace, however, in large sealed containers. It’s my best place to shop, free, in the neighborhood and as a service I also trim them to keep them from going to seed too early, also I tell neighbors to avail themselves of the herbs, and horrific prices at stores.

Finally, after years of resident complaints, the garage is being sealed so it will not leak on our cars, which we thought were parked safely in a gated underground garage. While they undertake this month-long noxious process, we are not allowed access to said garage for trash or recycling or to our vehicles.

We have valets. As we are not supposed to tip, I’ve been making a few sweets for the staff because everyone from management to concierge to maintenance to valets are stressed out because of us and the inclement weather.

This afternoon, with my husband flying in for the weekend after a stressful week, I picked up some of his favorite things, pork savory bacon, blueberry breakfast sausages and ground beef. What he wanted most was spaghetti and meatballs, which I will make tonight. I also had a Vidalia onion, a Granny Smith apple and a teeny bottle of cognac so bought some chicken livers and cream cheese and toasted some walnuts from the freezer and made a pate. My husband hates this pate because it has chicken livers in it. I don’t like chicken livers, nor do many folks, but they like my pate. All except Miko. We’ll get to him later.

Recipe to follow! I needed help so J assisted in opening the chicken livers so I had to reward him with the results (I feed everyone around here). I bought some artisanal roasted garlic crackers, that’s my next task, making excellent crackers, these were quite fragrant. I had two with aged cheddar for lunch and it was not a good pairing.

Dip a crunchy roasted garlic cracker into my pate and it’s heaven because the onions and apples are sweet. One of the valets, Sam, tasted my plate. Of course I had to make a plate for J because he helped me open the chicken liver plastic carton that is adult-proof.

Sam the valet came back, “May I ask a question?” Of course, I thought he wanted the recipe. “May I have some more? This is delicious!” Yep, he’s the guy I met the first garage/valet day and every day since he says hi, Dee and pets Zoe and makes her do a trick for a treat, a bag that she donated to the cause of people and dogs awaiting their cars to assume their daily lives.

A lot of verbiage for one line, I know, but I had to set it up.


1 container chicken livers, adult-proof packaging

1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored

1 package cream cheese, at room temperature

2 T brandy or cognac

1/4 c walnuts, toasted

salt and pepper, I like a bit of fresh or dried thyme with the onions

I usually let the cream cheese soften in its unopened package overnight.

Chop the onions and apples to be processed (food processor works, because you’ll need it later) and saute in a bit of butter until soft, seasoning with s&p.

Drain the livers. Remove the veg/fruit and add to food processor and let cool.

Add a bit of oil/butter to the pan and on medium high heat saute the livers, with s&p, until nearly done. Turn down the heat. DO NOT USE a full bottle of Calvados or Cognac to flame the livers. Pour the required amount into a measuring cup and add it off the flame. Heat, ignite and wait for the flames to subside leaving flavor, not alcohol.

Add livers to the food processor with veg/fruit and cream cheese and blend. At the very end add toasted walnuts and pulse a few times. You’ll want some texture. It looks like baby vomit at first. You made this in the morning, correct? Place in frig all day in your chosen mold and take it out an hour before your guests arrive. I like to make it in a simple bowl lined and covered with plastic wrap, turn out (invert) onto a serving dish leaving the top wrap intact until service. Did that make sense?

Serve with a cracker or crostini/toast of your choosing, perhaps sliced Granny Smith apples and some toasted walnuts. Always place a walnut on top of the spread so nut-allergic guests know what’s in the pate. Enjoy!

Well over 769 words so far. More now. Miko the huge Akita declined to lick the residual pate off my plate. Upstairs, our Zoe licked it no problemo Mommy. Undiscriminating. Must be why she loves Miko!!! Gotcha!

Do you know how long this would have taken me to write in high school or college? Age and wisdom, some do not have both but I love writing for you and hope you’ll try my off-the-cuff pate. You can always try it on your dog, first. Dee




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