21 April 2010

Breakfast With My Brother

My brother John works night shifts, and last year I decided to surprise him with an invite for a little wine dinner at 4 a.m. I hadn't had the opportunity to hang out with him for a few months, and decided to replicate the experience.

This time the wine isn't quite as fancy, but it turned out to be a great one. I've got a soft spot for Paso Robles red blends, and this one did not disappoint. The 2005 Bishop's Peak Rock Solid Red was a steal on clearance at $10 (down from $15). 14% abv. 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah, 23% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petite Sirah. You never know with those bottles that end up on the sale rack, but this one aged well and had the structure to last until 2010. Soft and low tannins, full fruit flavors of black cherry, plums, and stewed fruit. I'm not going to recommend it for a typical breakfast, but with the more dinner-oriented meal we had it was a great match.

Needless to say, the meal was somewhat above the freeze-dried mystery rations we had to eat during a mountain backpacking trip in New Mexico. As I was on the tail end of housesitting for Paul and with the commandment to clean out the cupboard and larder, I defrosted a 2 lb. ribeye. I thoroughly covered it with Penzey's Northwoods seasoning and slow roasted it for a few hours until medium rare, and sliced it down the middle for two thick portions. For sides, I fried up sliced fingerling potatoes in a cast iron skillet and braised some baby bok choy with soy sauce. To top the beef, homemade red onion marmalade and a fresh sour cream-horseradish sauce.

Despite all of that description, you can't really see any of the food in this picture. But you can see a hungry and happy brother that had spent eight hours toiling in the dark. He put up with my early days of cooking when the results were often unpredictable and occasionally inedible, so the least I can do is put a good meal in the boy once in a while.


Allen said...

What a great story. Thanks for all you both do.

Your father


Samantha Dugan said...

That meal sounds absolutely perfect. What a nice thing to do Benito and a truly giving way to spend time with your brother.

Benito said...

Dad & Sam,

We had a good time. Just hated to keep the boy waiting while I took the photo.


John said...

I do not take it for granted that I have a truly amazing and talented brother. Being able to sit down to this meal after a night of unending stress and problems was a real treat. I cant remember what I had for dinner three days ago, but it seems that I can recall every meal my brother has fixed for me in the past three years. I am lucky to have you as a brother Ben.

Benito said...


I'm going to have to eat another weird fruit or something in order to lighten the mood around here. I'm just about on the point of posting the "Lil Brudder" cartoon from Homestar Runner. :)


Joe said...

brothers are awesome. While I don't see mine very often (lives at the complete opposite ass-end of the state from you, Benito), I fondly recall some of our late night dinners. Of course, most were in college and went more to the tune of a sackful of $0.29 McDonald's hamburgers, a case of Budweiser, and a "Planet of the Apes" marathon. Sometimes guitar jams or football games, but usually obscure movies or music and comforting junk food.

Not exactly hot dates with the sorority co-eds, but definitely some fond memories.

Benito said...


My brother only lives 15 minutes away, but he's married and has a teenage stepdaughter, so schedules sometimes clash.

Still, we get together with other gents for a guys' night every now and then, and there are also those occasions that involve shooting off firearms in the backwoods of Mississippi...


Michelle said...

Very nice! That photo cracks me up - it looks like John is about ready to pounce on that plate.

Benito said...


When we did this last year, he had one arm wrapped around his plate, guarding it prison-style.