Carol and David are our good Raleigh/St. James friends. We love to get together and play spades and have dinner, and usually we jump right into spades, but we had a new toy! My parents gave us this nice outdoor fire pit and we'd just gotten it the day before. So we needed to inaugrate it. David was enthralled. I knew it was just a matter of time, and sure enough, like every other male I have ever known, it wasn't long before he was looking for a stick for some fire poking. It's in the blood.
I started us out with a Northwoods #2. It's one of my favorite fall cocktails. Brandy, gold rum, apple juice, a little maple syrup, lemon juice, shaken with ice and strained. Yum!
Dinner was appropriately fall-like to go with the cocktail.
Roasted Turkey Breast with Apple Cider Gravy
Wild Rice-Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash
The turkey breast was just salted and peppered and cooked on the grill. The Acorn Squash was split, scooped out and roasted, then I filled it with a mixture of wild rice, toasted pecans, and dried cherries. The applesauce was made from some honeycrisps we'd gotten at the farmer's market that were, frankly, past their prime. They were on the mealy side, and we weren't going to eat them that way without cooking them, so I peeled them and diced them, put them in a pot with a little apple juice, a pinch of salt, about a tablespoon of maple syrup (for four apples) and a sprinkle of cloves and a couple of cinnamon sticks and simmered it down. I love warm applesauce. Even David ate it, and he doesn't like cooked fruit much.
We moved inside to eat dinner and then settled down for some cutthroat card playing. This is Carol and me, taking down David and Pootie Pie on David's nil bid.
I'm just going to say that there were some negative points involved, and that Carol and I pretty much pwned them. We were nice enough to not do a victory dance.