dinner party for three, tenderloin, baked potato, apple pecan salad

"I never had steaks like this that cut so easily with one slice."

"I know, right?"

I sharpened the knives to make sure.

The vinaigrette is a balancing thing; garlic and ginger an Asian combination then mustard and strawberry preserves. See the switch? You expect mustard and honey, the switch is mustard and strawberry preserves. Another balance-y thing. Two balance-y things together. Then oil and rice vinegar. Salt and pepper. I don't even have to taste-test it. I'm exactly that arrogant. I know that it's great. But I test anyway, eh, it's what we do.

But it's a tradeoff. Here's the thing. I hadn't a clue what I would make when I went to the store. In fact, at checkout the woman asked, "Did you find everything you are looking for? " Their stock question. I answered, "Yes, I came looking for inspiration and found it." 

She looked at me as if I'm putting her on. My gaze held steady and told her I meant it. Her face changed and so did her manner. But that was when I left. 

Before that, before entering, I visualized what I would do tonight and came up entirely empty. Just nothing. I don't like having no ideas at all. I asked, "Please help me." Asked whom? I don't know. I just asked. Pleaded, actually, "Please help me."  How? "Please have all this sort." I don't even know what that means. 

What a stupid prayer.

I really am stupid. 

I went through and picked up the things that I need anyway. A plan formed and I picked up the things for it, chicken breast with roasted poblano, the nearby restaurant showed me that. So now I have all the stuff needed for that. Then circling around I recalled the tenderloin that turned out so well. Very tender but no flavor to speak of. For half off because expensive and smallish cuts do not move very well at this specific location. But they must move. They must be offered and they must move. So, bang, half off. Maybe they will be again. Sure enough, as if guided to rummage through the pile of newly discounted meat cuts I found two, and guided to not give up to the very end, keep rummaging until I have the very last three. As if placed there for me to find them. Three perfect things. Thank you, Universe. The second plan formed fully and took over. That's how the choice happened. Very stupidly. And feeling as if a prayer is answered.  

But it's a serious flavor tradeoff. 

Without the benefit of outdoor grilling. They need help. They're the one expensive cut that can legitimately accept sauce-help. Otherwise commercial sauce like this will ruin a great steak. 

Dexter works downstairs. Deena is his employer. She is in charge of two buildings around here. Deena is in charge of everything around here.

Now, I want to tell you something. I told this already to my sibs. Dexter and Deena wanted to hold hands and say Grace. Dexter said a beautiful and brief Grace custom made for the evening, one that included blessing the hands that prepared it. Bless this food and the hands that prepare it. Is that sweet, or what?  

My four brothers and sisters do this with their families, but nobody else that I know. 

Dexter gave me this card when he came in a short time after Deena. 

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