About three months ago, we organized a getaway weekend with two other couples to the Grass Valley weekend home of pals Irene and Guy. We have to plan that far ahead as everyone except me has a busy schedule. The weekend finally arrived and we organized the food with a series of silly emails back and forth.
On Friday night, I cooked the sausages we had made and froze over the Fourth of July and was astonished to see that every single bite was joyfully consumed with hardly even a little juice on the platter left for Lola and Dell, the household hounds, to lick. These friends are serious eaters. We all dined heartily while discussing other great meals we have eaten and other great restaurants - a fairly typical dinnertime conversation with this group.
During the email barrage and the subsequent in-person teasing, Jeff had made the daring bet that he would bring steaks that no sane person could possibly finish - two inches thick and about a pound apiece. I remarked that he shouldn't dare us like that - he's fairly new to the group so he's a little naïve. He's a bold soul, however, so even after my friendly warning he rashly promised to eat the Manhattan phone directory if we could each finish our steaks. Sari, his girlfriend, promised to butter the pages for him; she has known us for a long time.
So, come Saturday, Jeff unwrapped the steaks. Looking more like aurochs than beef steaks, they truly were immense and so heavy that he could barely hold the platter long enough for me to snap this picture. Seven monster grass-fed rib eyes for seven hearty eaters.
Needless to say, Sari didn't need to butter any pages. Only Guy, who is about 6'5" tall and built like the Scottish caber tosser he is no doubt descended from, could finish his steak. The rest of us were slowing down at the 1/4 mark and defeated soon after. We all wrapped our leftovers and I was able to feed three people well the next day from mine.
We did do other things besides eat - shopping in Grass Valley for skirts (the women) and black powder (the men) for Jeff's little cannon, which we shot off each evening as we took down the flag; wading in the Yuba River near the longest span covered bridge in existence; playing cutthroat Scrabble; yakking; petting the dogs; and toasting our twelfth wedding anniversary with champagne - but when each of us looks back on the weekend, I'm pretty sure what will come to mind is that serious beef.