Monday, January 26, 2009

Meatless Monday: Neiman Marcus Popovers & Strawberry Butter

In a former life, I was an acquisitions editor for a textbook publisher. While at a convention in San Francisco one of those years, I was looking around for somewhere to take one of my authors to lunch and discovered The Rotunda. I was surprised to find out that it was located in a department store (Neiman Marcus), but it had been rated very highly in the reviews I read and the menu sounded really inviting. I decided to take a leap of faith and was not disappointed.

The Rotunda lunch was memorable for two reasons. Reason #1: As my marketing manager friend S- and I sat there having a great conversation over a delicious lunch with my author friend Dr. H-, we noticed Dr. H- quietly wave the waiter over and start whispering to him and subtley motioning to us. I thought he might be slyly trying to pick up the check, so I tried to pleasantly and politely interject. When he realized he wasn't going to be able to keep his secret, he calmly pointed to the back of the booth, right between S- and me, and there, I kid you not, was THE biggest grasshopper I've ever seen. You know, just hanging out there on the back of the seat between our shoulders.

Now, I'm not very good with insects when they're in the proportions that nature intended, so, needless to say, I was more than a little taken aback when I turned my head and Jumbo Jiminy in all his orthoptera awfulness was staring me in the eye. Okay, maybe I was a little more than "taken aback." Closer to the truth? I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I did indeed let out a yelp and jump from my seat . . . to the annoyance of a woman seated very close to our table. She said in a very snarky tone, "It's just a grasshopper. . . . You know, they're actually good luck." I mean, come on! Even if I were okay with insects, that was the last place I would have expected to see one - in the middle of the city, in the middle of a restaurant, on the third floor of a department store! And, again, this thing could have easily scored a role opposite one of those giant ants in a Creature Double Feature movie. Anyway, the waiter quickly collected our party crasher (and, I like to think, kindly escorted him to the door where he released him without squishing him) and we got back to talking business.

Reason #2: The popovers . . . Ohhh, the popovers . . .

Neiman Marcus Popovers

Strawberry Butter
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups strawberry preserves

Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the preserves and beat until well combined. To serve, spoon or pipe into one-ounce ramekins or bread-and-butter plates.

*If you're looking for something a little more hearty this Monday, is featuring chili recipes on their site today.

Got any favorite vegetarian or vegan recipes?? Please share!

Other Meatless Monday posts

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