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A Drive + New Things

Monday | 21 December 2020 | La Quinta, California: Seriously, no idea why I continue to put a dateline on this column. Where else would I be?

Speaking of going somewhere... Dave and I went for a drive yesterday. So wasteful, I know, but what a joy on a sunny Sunday. We only drove up to the cove near Old Town La Quinta to see the new round-about (thrilling!), and didn't leave the car during our 40-minute excursion. Just leaving the house was an adventure: we both stood in front of the burglar alarm panel, trying to remember which buttons to push in order to set the alarm and exit! The last time we used the alarm was a few months ago when we left together to visit the "drive through" flu shot clinic at our doctor. Geesh - old people pandemic problems.

I received a few new things for Hanukkah. I was very excited to use my new Mauviel 1830 gratin pan (from David). This dish is so gorgeous and so well-made, Lucile/Leo will own it one day.

To initiate the gratin dish, I decided on Mimi Thorrison's Butternut Squash Gratin, making about 3/4 of the recipe. If you are not familiar with Ms. Thorrison, I encourage you to research her blog. This woman went into labor with one of her children (she has had many) in the kitchen and - the baby came so fast - delivered the child on the kitchen floor - alone.

The other gift I received (because I ordered it for myself) was a gorgeous Bradbury cutting board from Sonder LA. This beautiful board is serious business. It makes me feel like a real chef somehow. (I am not.) I used the meaty portion of the butternut for the gratin, and reserved the neck for a risotto later this week.

The gratin was wonderful. I followed most of the directions, but roasted the butternut slices in the oven for ten minutes, instead of sauteeing... and, as with all my gratin recipes, it seems easier to toss the cheese and cream (and whatever else goes in the recipe) in a large bowl, before placing everything in a buttered gratin pan. There is always a jar of garlicky bread crumbs in my freezer, so they went on top of this gratin.

Great dinner! Beautiful pan.

We went golfing today! The temperatures were into the high 70s, and since our club is closed on our usual golfing day (Thursday) this week, due to Christmas, we grabbed a noon tee-time today. Though we have lived here since August, today is only the first time we have played a full 18 holes.

It was a beautiful day to play golf in the Coachella Valley.

Hmmm... I am the yellow ball; DT is the white. Did I out-drive him?

Our house from the golf course... looks just like every other house in this country club/sub-division.

Until my next update, I remain, your sore correspondent.