This past Saturday, I ventured out into the freezing winter cold to catch up with Kevin and Tom, seeing them for the first time in over a year. Kevin had promised to make something called a “garbage plate,” which is apparently a Rochester specialty. Despite being from upstate New York myself, I had never heard of this monstrosity before, although in fairness I did live five hours from Rochester (and even when I was at school, I was still two and a half hours away). I finally visited the city for the first time last summer.
At any rate, a garbage plate is a combination of various different foods: pasta salad, potatoes, sausages, and meat sauce. To that, Kevin added shredded cheese, which is always a good call. This was my plate before I dug in (and before the cheese melted).
On the bottom left is the pasta salad—Kevin actually made two versions, a vegetable pasta salad and a bacon pasta salad for Tom, who is allergic to vegetables—and on the bottom right is a huge pile of rosemary lightly seasoned with potatoes. On top of this the ingredients get a little harder to distinguish, but you can see some sausage peaking out from beneath the meat sauce and cheese.
Here are my buds getting ready to dig in. On the left, Tom is holding up one of the beers we drank as his face spasms violently in anticipation of the feast. On the right, Kevin stares sultrily into the camera.
With the pictures taken, we sat down and set to. In the end, both Kevin and Tom finished their plates, but I had to raise my hands in defeat. I could tell I wasn’t going to finish, so I left some of the pasta salad, which I felt was the only incongruous ingredient in the dish. Potatoes, sausage, meat sauce, and melted cheese all work for me, but the pasta salad seems like something that is added just to be unique and quirky. It’s basically the hipster ingredient of the garbage plate. Even the pasta salad I did eat was eaten separately from the other ingredients.
After stuffing ourselves full of garbage, Tom and I had another big bottle (750 ml) of beer to finish, and then there was the cake that I had brought. It was a simple yellow cake with my bourbon cream cheese frosting (that I forgot to take a picture of, but thatĄ¯s OK because it wasnĄ¯t the belle of the ball). The cake was the first I’ve baked in our new oven (we got a new oven, by the way), and it turned out OK, but it wasn’t stellar. The frosting was popular, though, and saved what would have otherwise been a mediocre confection. The biggest problem, I think, was that it was slightly over-baked, but I will also tweak the ingredients the next time I bake this.
Tom left at around four o’clock, but I decided to stick around to catch up a little more with Kevin, and I hit the (still freezing!) road at five or so. It was good to see my friends again, and my only regret was that Patrick, the fourth musketeer and a fellow beer lover, was not able to be with us. Sometime in March we will all get together at a bar somewhere, where Kevin the teetotaler will sullenly nurse a Coke and stare sultrily at the wall.
I ended my previous note about the total lunar eclipse with a complete non sequitur, and I’m going to do the same today, as I just have to congratulate the Philadelphia Eagles on their first ever Super Bowl victory. Now, I’m not going to lie to you: To say that I am not generally a fan of the Eagles would be a massive understatement, but I was rooting for them this time around. Apologies to all my friends and colleagues back in Boston, but there is no professional sports team I despise quite as much as I do the Patriots, and there is nothing sweeter than seeing them and Tom Brady lose. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.