Zen Recreations

  Posted Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 7:20pm by Darren Baker

The Captain and the Monk

Alas, there were none of the traditional chlebiček at the birthday party, rather more manageable bite-sized hors d’oeuvres. The slice of smoked salmon on garlic-spiced sour cream became a special favorite throughout the evening. There was also salmon for dinner, but it was gone by the time I walked up with my plate. A word to the wise about dining in the Czech Republic: Just because something is on the menu doesn’t mean it’s there, and huffing and puffing with the staff will get you nowhere. There was still goulash and bread or steak with fried potatoes, followed by Panna Cotta for dessert, but the real treat was a red wine from Portugal, Eirados 2012. It’s dry, smooth, balanced, with a hint of jam in the finish. As for the man of the hour, he’s been a yachtsman all his life and his crew came up with a dazzling gift, a puppet replica of the captain that spent most of the party hanging off a window next to a picture of a tonsured monk holding a cherub. You can see for yourself it’s not the wine talking here.

About our author, Darren Baker (1961- ), his career path is almost as unlikely as Simon’s own! He was born in California and spent his formative years in South Carolina, before joining the U.S. Navy. His first book was based on his years in the submarine fleet. He later attended the University of Connecticut, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in modern and classical languages (a double Russian and German major with a minor in classical Greek). A backpacking tour of Eastern Europe in 1991 led him to settle permanently in the Czech Republic.

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