Mr. BT made me a lovely birthday dinner last week. I couldn’t have had any better at a restaurant. My dinner began with my surprise gift. After 45 years of life, I was presented with a dark blue Kitchenaid, something I have wanted for years. It has already made a two honey cakes, whole wheat bread, and some beautiful challah for Rosh Hashana.
Dinner began with a very artistically displayed portobello mushroom framed by grilled asparagus. It looked like the evil eye was protecting me for my birthday.
The next course was grilled fresh barramundi stuffed with a bunch of fresh tarragon and served with a porcini mushroom and shallot sauce. Barramundi is especially popular in Australia and is now also farmed at a kibbutz in the Negev. We buy it fresh from the kibbutz. It is a lovely sweet, white, flaky fish. Mr. BT served the fish with sauteed fresh spinach and steamed rice.
Dessert were two lovely homemade sorbets: Pink Grapefruit-Campari and Granny Smith Apple-Calvados. They were both delicious and the granny smith apple sorbet was like a whole apple orchard in your mouth. It has an amazing appley flavour accentuated by Mr. BT having left the peel on.
We drank a delicious and fruity white wine blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Gewuertztraminer made by our local boutique winery, Yekev Mond (website only in Hebrew) at Moshav Mishmeret, which is literally a five minute drive from our house. This winery has been producing wines for several years, but only started selling three years ago. Moshe Keren, the winemaker, gave us the grand tour lasting about two hours, most of which was taken up by tasting his wines and liqueurs. We began by tasting grape juice that had been crushed four hours earlier. It already had a lovely fruity flavour. He then gave us a taste of a Shiraz, also straight from the fermentation tank, that had been fermenting for the past 28 hours. It was obviously quite young, but you could already taste the alcohol and it had it a lovely fragrance.
From there we went to the tasting room and tried a Merlot, the white blend (see above), Cabernet Sauvignon, and a blend of Merlot and Cab. However, the big surprises were a Muscat Alexandroni that had an absolutely intoxicating aroma of honey, a Port that wouldn’t have disgraced any Portuguese maker (and it’s the first Israeli Port we have tasted that is really worth drinking), a mulberry liqueur, and a mint liqueur. It is just as well the drive home was only five minutes on quiet country roads because we both happily skipped to our car.