If you’re ever invited to the Portland Comic Book Show, go. Not just because Richard Finn puts together a nice show and treats his guests right, but because the Saturday night before the November show, Richard and some of the guests come to my house and I cook dinner for them. Richard kindly foots the bill for the evening, and I get to meet and hang out with some very cool people.
Last Saturday, November 12th, It was my great pleasure to cook for Mike Royer, Kurt Busiek, Pete Woods, Paul and Anina Guinan, Brandon Jerwa, Stephen Sadowski, Jason Gorder, and their wives/girlfriends/significant others. I always have a great time at these gatherings, and it seems like others do, too.
This time around, we had a Southern-inspired menu:
- Appetizers: Spiced Pecans, Pickled Shrimp
- Fall Salad with Blue Cheese, Pumpkin Seed Brittle, and Sherry Vinaigrette
- Pork Loin Roast Stuffed with Onions and Bacon, a Carrot-Ginger Sauce on the side
- Sautéed Kale and Collard Greens with Caramelized Shallots and an Apple Cider Gastrique
- Savannah Red Rice
- Skillet Corn Bread with Maple Butter
- Dessert: Apple Crisp with Brandy-Soaked Currants, Pear Chocolate Upside-Down Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream
I’d never made the Pork Loin before, so the sauce was a fall-back in case it turned out dry— which it didn’t. But the sauce was still a nice extra layer of flavor, and the bright orange color looked good on the plate. The Big Hit of the evening, however, was the salad’s Pumpkin Seed Brittle: nutty and sweet with just the right touch of cayenne heat. It’s addictive!
I enjoy cooking almost as much as I love cartooning, and certainly enjoy that people like to eat what I make, but I’m no “chef.” What I am is a fairly solid cook, and a really good follower-of-recipes. It’s like anything else: if you like it, and do it, you get better at it.
Last thing: Someone needs to write Mike Royer’s biography. The man’s seen it all, has an amazing memory, and tells some of the best stories I’ve even heard. And I’m not saying that just ’cause he signed my page of Kirby Jimmy Olsen original art.