Remember that episode of "I Love Lucy" where Lucy stomps grapes ("Her feet—like two enormous pizzas!" observes the vintner) with a bunch of swarthy, unibrowed Italian women? It looked like fun, didn't it? If, like me, you've found yourself wondering what it'd be like to recreate some of that same purple-stained magic, your time has come. The St. Clair Winery and Bistro (near Old Town at 901 Rio Grande NW) is throwing a grand grape-stomping competition—and in the true bacchanalian spirit of a Roman orgy, it's raging for three days.
I pride myself on learning new things when I eat. Whether it’s a tricky pronunciation (I had a thing with gewürztraminer) or understanding the subtle nuances of a different culture (I’ve made a faux pas or two involving Buddha shrines), I try to walk away from the table armed with knowledge for posterity.
Let me tell you about my ideal cookbook. It's big, maybe 12”x12”—so while you're stirring (or frying) you can quickly glance at its 14-point font to make sure you added the right number of eggs. It's spiral bound and lays flat on its back when you set it on the counter. Its pages are laminated, so when you inevitably spill something nasty on it, you can sponge it off. You could drop my dream cookbook from the roof of a 60-story building and still find yourself making almond soup with it at the bottom. Also, it would do your dishes and speak to you in calming tones when all those nasty measurement details began to run away from you, like so many cats from inside a bass drum.