Because I Know Myself

I pride myself on my knowledge of food and wine. I am a self-made gourmet, specializing in southern cooking. Is there anything else? In Texas, there is so much in the way of local cuisine and many people think of barbecue. I have been known to whip up a pretty good sauce, but I have other skills. I can make a feast for family and friends in no time at all. I have all my favorite recipes in my head—and also a book just in case. I collect them and have acquired a real stash over the years. To get invited to my house is always a treat.

To stay ahead of the game, I try out new wines that hear about or taste in fine restaurants. Then I know what to serve. I have my old chardonnay standby, but a different wine now and then is something special. We talk about it at dinner and compare notes. People love to make recommendations so I listen up. Time being at a premium, one night I had my glass of wine when I was eating leftovers in bed. I wanted to watch a favorite TV show and thought I could kill a couple of birds with one stone. Unfortunately, I spilled the wine all over the place. The moisture got down to the mattress protector. I am glad that I had the foresight to buy one. Now all I had to do was toss it in the machine. It air dries laid out on the kitchen table. These handy mattress protectors are waterproof as one might expect so you can launder them yourself and not have to go shopping for a new one. Plus, it spares the actual mattress itself. You are only supposed to have to buy a new one every eight years. I wonder if that is true or is an old wives’ tale.

You can also spot clean your mattress if the protector fails. There are numerous cleaning products out there, mostly spot removers. The problem, however, is sleeping in a wet bed. My sheets were affected and also had to be washed. It was a bit late to be doing so many loads of laundry. I got to sleep late that night and woke up grumpy. I did like the wine I was drinking and vowed to soon try another glass. I want to be sure it will be a good focal point of my next dinner. I try to imagine what guests like and after all this time, I think I know my friends. I do like to challenge the palate when it comes to new dishes and wines. It is my role as hostess to open up the taste buds with tantalizing dishes and drink.

Entertaining is an art and everything you serve or offer as a beverage has to be great. It takes some research and personal testing. Given what happened to me in bed, in spite of the mattress protector, I suggest you experiment in the kitchen.