Tag Archives: food

TBT

It’s Throwback Thursday… or Truth Be Told? Either way, it’s a beautiful day. Crisp, but the sky is a clear and cheerful robin’s egg instead of the bottom of a bucket of grey mopwater that we’ve been staring up into for days.  The birds are out, and I’ve been up since 7:30.  But not this far up!  This is me, on Fine Nine, a 5.9 route in Southern Indiana.

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These are from a trip I took years ago with some friends I used to climb with.  When they moved away, I lost my ride to the rock gym, and my climbing buddies.  I have been thinking about getting back on the wall for awhile. Traditional gyms aren’t so much my thing… Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to yoga class tonight ( especially after two days on my knees gluing paper to my bedroom floor… kneepads once again paid for themselves, but my back, not so happy with me) and the treadmill and pool will be welcome friends this winter, but otherwise I prefer to combine workouts with play, and to flex my brain while flexing my muscles! My legs are strong (thanks, bike) but building my upper body and core are my winter project (OK, one of many projects…). So, time to stop dreaming and start doing, or doing more than just planks and pushups. I just signed up for a two hour class at BKB Chicago (a new Brooklyn Boulders gym) that’s opening in the west loop… And if it kicks my ass, my gym is on the way home… Heloooo, hot tub!  It’s been long enough since I’ve been on a rope that the two hour intro/refresher course will be just the thing, this Sunday at noon if any of y’all want to join me! It’s only $50 if you sign up by the end of today: www.bkbchicago.com

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Went on a great ride last weekend organized by Slow Roll Chicago in partnership with CAPS and the 11th district CPD. Slow Roll started in Detroit, as a rolling peace march for safer streets, an end to violence in our communities, and as an effort to inspire more diversity in the cycling culture. And a diverse ride it was! Young, old, black, white, urban and suburban bikers, and even a dog! We rode from the Harrison police station to the lake and Northerly Island, winding our way through neighborhood streets, eight miles there and six back.  I skipped the pizza party after (have been eating so much pizza lately, it could be a food group) and made a long-overdue trip to Pete’s and bought ALL THE VEGETABLES.  And coffee.

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Massing up at the Harrison Station… ready to roll!

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At the lake, Adler Planetarium to the north.image

 

Our sag wagon/escort/photographer, taking a group shot.

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In other news, noms!

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Made up a bunch of veggie spring rolls for healthy quick snacks.  Cucumber, cilantro, red jalapeno slivers, bean sprouts, rice noodles, spinach, and homemade gingery spicy peanut sauce… yes please!  Can’t outrun (or ride, or climb…) your fork! If the healthy choice is easy, it’s easier to make when you’ve been working on a house all day and you’re HANGRY.

And that house is shaping up:

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Walls are clean and bright… I’m standing where the bed will go, with a giant closet to the left, and room by the window for my desk and a comfy chair, with a rug in the center of the room to stretch out on.  image

The floor is as clean as it’s going to get, and the bigger gaps are patched with water putty…

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Now the fun part begins… paper mache! I’m using the paper bag floor technique to cover the splintery, gluey, uneven mess that is the original softwood floor with irregularly torn piece of builder’s paper. After it’s stained and covered in a couple coats of poly, it should be clean, durable and look something like leather. And won’t give me splinters or the creeps to walk on in stocking feet. Finally, a clean space, with room for sun salutations, and plenty of south-facing sun to salute! The end of this particular project is in sight, which will really be just another step towards new beginnings and a new home.  After spending the past 5-6 years in various cluttered dark caves, this room is a dream, and I hope to keep it somewhat spare.  That stained glass sends dancing patterns across the wall as the day goes by… rainbows from the beveled diamonds, and splotches of red and orange.

It will look something like this, perhaps (and a more thorough explanation of the process).  Mine won’t be this smooth, as they’re going over uneven plank flooring, not a concrete or plywood subfloor, but it will be a million times better than what I’ve got, and for the price of some poly, a couple rolls of paper, stain, and a gallon of wood glue (you can use regular Elmer’s, which is cheaper, but they don’t sell that at the Home Despot).  I’ve got to sand a couple rough patches, then get gluing, so it will hopefully be dry enough to stain this weekend when it’s going to be warmer and I can open the windows to air it out a bit!  Stain stinks.  But the results will be worth it!

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canine parkour and the old man jogging club

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Fast, fast dogs.
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Three modern wolves in a sumac thicket.

Sunday, B and I took the dogs to the prairie for a hike and some rock-pile scrambling.  What we call the prairie is a 30 acre vacant field of urban wilderness. It’s a dog paradise, and a tonic for tired city souls needing a little open space and emptiness, hidden away on the west side. All had a wild time, chasing, tracking, sniffing snow for rabbit tracks, and playing kings and queens of the mountains. Zeus ran until his feet were bleeding, then ran some more, grinning the whole time.

We piled back into the truck, all muddy and satisfied, and headed back to the block. Fed the pups, and dropped Zeus off at home then it was our turn to run- this time indoors, at her gym. I haven’t been in a gym about 10 years probably… not since college the first time around, but was happy to take her up on the invite. We ran 4 miles on the treadmill… I still can’t believe I did that.

Usually I get winded or give up halfway down the block, and only do it for the dog’s benefit. Bella, especially, needed as many ways to blow off steam as possible, so I’d sprint a bit with her on most walks but never far or long. Zeus is more mellow, and this long winter has kept us both cooped up. I haven’t run for running’s sake in many, many years.

We ran 2.2 miles at a lazy pace, walked about a quarter mile and drank water, then ran some more. I wanted to quit a few times, as did she, but since it was never the same time we both kept going, sometimes chatting, sometimes lost in thought and space and endorphins. She was shooting for a 5k run, and we both had to push to get there… but we did, and then kept going. 50 or so minutes and 4 miles in we called it and walked for a while. Could maybe have gone farther but glad I didn’t push it any more. I felt like my legs were made of jelly getting off, and they definitely would have melted if I’d gone longer, leaving me in an embarrassing red-faced puddle on the floor. Luckily I made it across the room and settled down onto the fake grass (So. Weird) with my water bottle, surrounded by medicine balls and kettle bells and a giant rope and other implements. All I needed was the floor, and time, and some “intuitive yoga”… that is, doing whatever stretch or movement that my body told me that it needed and taking lots of deep breaths. We both stretched for a long time, talked, did a few girly- pushups, then hit the shower. Then the rewards… first a quick soak in the hot tub, then back to the cabin for beers and black bean, cheese, and carrot burritos with salsa from last year’s garden. All the noms, and couldn’t have tasted better.

She’s got 3 guest passes left, so we’re gonna try to go once a week for the rest of the month, then keep it up outside- should be thawed by then enough for “the old man jogging club”, which is how she describes her preferred pace, which is good, ’cause that’s about my only speed. We’ll jog with the dogs, or anyone who wants to join us, and on off days, strength train by shoveling and spreading the massive mountains of composting horse manure that are across and down the street. Thank you, unnamed garden angel who delivered them! I feel great today, but sore for sure. I slept like a rock, no question about that, and woke with a fresh mind and stiff limbs. I ache, but it’s the good kind that reminds you that you’re alive and getting stronger.

Dang, why wasn’t I doing that all winter? Next year, maybe I’ll join for the worst months, if nothing else to get really warm in the sauna, thaw these cold bones. Gyms are weird, but I think I could deal. Cheaper than therapy or a spa habit I suppose. Seriously, I feel so good, even though my hips are sore, my muscles are pleasantly achy, and even the tops of my toenails are tired. Time for some new sneakers… Here’s to a new season, and healthy habits, and the return of the light! We’re finally getting a thaw and a break in the weather. I rode without a scarf this morning, and the sun is shining on the increasingly muddy and retreating snowbanks. Crocuses, coming soon!

And now, more shots from the wild gymnasium …
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Canine parkour
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Industrial circus tricks… wire walking on the post-apocalyptic balance beam. B made this look easy. It was not, at least on the skinny edge that she did. I walked the wide plank and then bailed.
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Trail running along the ridgeline of loose granite.
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So. Much. Love.

neighborly soup and gestures

This week has been filled with laughter and hospitality.  My gal B called me on Monday asking if I was home, and if I had any adult beverages.  But of course.  The fella owns the kegerator, so I’ve had to start getting creative with the bar lately.  I pulled out a cheat sheet and looked at my available ingredients- since we primarily drank beer, our bar is a mish-mash collection of liqueors and odds and ends… but I had orange juice in the fridge, and spotted a giant bottle of tequila a friend brought to a party last year, and an ancient bottle of grenadine… I told her the options were mystery wine from the cellar (probably homemade, possibly good, possibly terrible) or a shaker of tequila sunrises.  “Tequila! Sunrise!” she replies. She lost a lot of her stuff to a space heater fire a month or two ago, and is just starting to get moved back in after splitting her time between her folks’ place up north and her fellow’s apartment a few blocks away, and was feeling a little overwhelmed by the work to be done at home.  A not-at-all unfamiliar feeling, so I was happy to help provide a little liquid courage.

She’d bought some new houseplants to inject a little life and green into the space, done some rearranging and sprucing up, erasing and replacing charred memories, and we both agreed her place was looking pretty good!  I poured us both a couple of drinks which echoed the brilliant ruby tones in the upholstery on her new cushions, and we leaned back and had a lovely conversation.  She also fairly recently went through a painful break-up with a not-entirely-dissimilar man and it’s always encouraging to see someone else not too far from your situation, thriving.  We share tales that lend perspective… such as her mom asking her, of her former partner, “Do you remember how X would come over in the afternoon and have a jumbo cup of soda from 7-11 and he wouldn’t offer us any… because it was half vodka?”  And we’d both laugh knowingly… and she’d look at me and say, “Yeah… that’s not normal.  And we don’t have to deal with it anymore”.

This girl’s spunk and spirit always get me out of whatever funk I might be in… one of a million reasons I’m as torn up about leaving the house eventually, as it’s so close to her place, and I’d looked forward to years of similar spontaneous hang-outs.   I’d love to buy it but I’m certain he won’t sell it, especially now that one of his best friends just closed on the house next door… I’d asked the first time around if he would, when we split up back in April (when B had already bought the house across the street), and he said he loved this house from the first moment he walked in the door, had done way too much work to part with it, and how would I ever finish it on my own?  Though of course when it was convenient and we were arguing, he’d say he’d never have bought it if it wasn’t for me, I’d “tricked him” into a giant project that wasn’t what he’d have chosen and wasn’t helping him enough, blaming me for all of the hardship and difficulty… which, since he owns it, and I get to walk away from the work that I put in to the house and garden, I don’t buy for one minute.  His default response when we had disagreements was “if you don’t like it you can always move out…”.  There was no negotiation, no discussion, no give-and-take… just my-way-or-the-highway.  It’s all the more motivation to get my game together and figure out how to get my own place (before the damn speculating investors buy up everything from here to the expressway… urgh. Stop. It.).  But this girl is in control of her own destiny.  Look out!

Some neighbors to the south invited me over on Tuesday for a soup supper- goulash (in honor of their recent trip to Belarus).  Spent the evening around their kitchen table chatting with some old friends and making new ones, and lots of laughs… and as always, I am blown away by what dynamic, compassionate, eloquent and interesting people who live in a three to five block radius of me.  We shared stories, of breakup disasters and squirrel-i-cide, of world travels and butterfly gardens, rain barrel maintenance and litterer-confrontation catastrophes, and lots of deep-belly laughs.

Last night, around another table, with the VK’s, another neighbor who stopped by with a freshly-repaired guitar (“no charge… but I’m going to drink some of your beers”), and one of their fellow homeschooling moms whose unrented and vacant condo had just suffered catastrophic pipe freeze-thaw-flood damage.  She’d discovered the disaster yesterday, and of course after calling her husband, her first call was Mrs. VK… because the woman knows how to get things done.   She got the water shut off, and came up with a triage plan.  Today was the aftermath, waiting for workers to come deal with the larger problems… in the meantime, this woman needed comfort.  “Insurance isn’t paying for anything.  I’m at Home Depot buying an industrial shop vac.  Then I’m coming over.  Your mission is to get me drunk and to have Sweet Home Alabama playing when I show up, and then meet me in the barn”  (she’s from Kansas, don’t judge… and meet me in the barn is code for “I’m going to have a cigarette”- a very occasional vice for her).

Papa VK was making gumbo, with amish chicken and his homemade andouille sausages, and the kitchen filled with layers of spice and delicious smells as he seared the various ingredients, and as the stock slowly simmered on the back burner, bright punctuation notes from the sweet and hot peppers rose above the deeper savory aromas of browning meats and caramelizing vegetables to permeate our conversations with bubbling sizzle.  A bowl of pasta with lemon-cream sauce, red onion brunoise, and capers showed up in front of me, and a couple bottles of beer and then a glass of cava.  More heartfelt laughter and stories… and then a ride home, with a stop on the way at the fella’s place so I could grab my poor banjo that I left out in the backyard while taking a carload of stuff back to the house (thanks for the help, Tree!), and a stop to drop off guitar-repairing neighbor, who loaned his dehumidifier for the Operation Condo-rescue cause.

I’ve made more progress in two days than in the previous two weeks in rearranging the house into a place that I’m delighted rather than dismayed to come home to.  I’m getting the last of my things out of the studio… and mostly down to books and pantry items from the apartment (a chef’s pantry and a bookworm’s library are not a small undertaking to move… but it will get done a bit at a time).  I’ve got long term and short term plans to look forward to, and a few exciting surprises (good things always happen when you’re not looking for them).  I’m nervous, but in the good-butterflies way, not the anxious dread of weeks ago.  I’m going to Barbara and Barbara this afternoon and getting my hair done- it’s been almost exactly a year since my last cut… way too long.  I’m sick of everyday boring braids, about all I can do with it at this length… and i could use some of that confidence boost I remember from the last time- feeling frumpy going in and coming out fabulous.  I’m singing at the top of my lungs in my chilly house… only I and my sleeping dog can hear.  I’m writing, and finding my voice, and remembering all the things I used to love… It feels good.  As Cici said the other day, “Go gettem tiger!”.  You bet.  Grrrrawow!!!

 

 

candy break

Enough heavy stuff.  Who wants candy! (all raise hands)

Anti-Hero Caramels with Himalayan Pink Salt, to be exact…

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I take commissions.  Bring me your favourite beer and I’ll make it into candy.  Noms!  Or, you know, we could just drink it.  It’s all good.

the vortex and cosmic ordering

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Today, when all the world is deep frozen and drifting, but bright, I sit, the fire at my back, and try to heal. Outside is arctic, a polar vortex of frostbiting winds colder than Siberia, than the south pole, colder even than the dread in your heart.  Cosmic ordering, like The Secret, is simply writing down what you want.  Hell, I’ll try anything these days.  I’ll start with where I am, then get to where I hope to be going.  It’s good advice.

You’re taking a break.

A break from drinking a pot of coffee a day. Too-long to-do lists left yet undone. Unrealistic expectations. Trying to justify my day before I have even entered it. Saying yes always, and I’m sorry too often when I fail, or am slow to succeed, or just have different ideas. Feeling guilty, or burdensome, or afraid. Scratch that- I’m terrified… but also relieved. Relieved to only have my own problems to solve, but grief-stricken and angry and still trying to be productive… in my own way. If that means reading and writing and cooking all day, so be it… no one is going to come home at 5:30 and ask accusingly, “yes, but what did you DO all day?”.  I wrote a few good paragraphs. The ricotta and serviceberry pancakes were delicious. I am glad I spent the time in July, while working two jobs and helping him at night, to go pick and freeze those berries- their nutty blueberry-almond notes, a hint of bitterness to go with the sweet. I tended the fire, and the animals. I did not freeze.  I drank bitter healing tea, and dandelion wine I made in and from the sunshine of several years ago. Dinner will be spaghetti with sausage and homegrown tomato sauce, baked acorn squash with brown sugar and butter for dessert. He can drink his… mine will be better. I’ve missed having dinner… he always wanted a big lunch (leftovers) to eat at his desk, and usually beer only after work. It’s not like you had a table to sit down at together anyway… or you did, but it was always heaped up with his clutter, in spite of your many requests to please please keep it clear.  Now you have three tables.  Sometimes you still eat standing over the stove.

I hated that, but I dealt with it, like everything else, until I was just a shadow in his world, hanging on to the dream that it would all get better with time. Just finish this project, or that one, and those, and then we can just relax and enjoy being together again. It wasn’t always bad. Sometimes it was god-damn amazing, or I wouldn’t have stayed. And we really were so aligned in so many ways, so close to getting it right that it’s heartbreaking to be where you are now… “You’re so close to perfect,” he’d say, deadpan… “why can you just BE perfect?”. Well… because. I’m not. No one is. The fact that you unreasonably expect that of anyone, and can’t let past mistakes go and truly forgive means you’re right; you’re not ready for a partner. Call me when you are, and realize what a mistake you made… maybe I’ll still be around. In the meantime, clear the clutter out of your own head and heart and house, and stop living in the past and for some idea of a perfect future. Stop living for and through things, and learn to let things go. You let me go. I can’t believe that could be easier than paring down physical objects and crap that made it so difficult for you to truly share your space and your life with anyone else. I know you have hurt, deep hurt. The stuff is a crutch. It’s not who you are, and it’s bogging you down. It drove me crazy, and I only lived with it for five and a half years. That’s my only advice. That, and of course, to take care of yourself, and the pup. Rest. Drink water. Eat real food. Cry.  Know that you are loved by many. It won’t make it better but it will keep you strong enough to deal with it.  Hey, it’s working for me… I’m not giving you any advice that I’m not first testing out on myself.

I hold a glimmer of hope that both your ways could still work, dreams still converge, but there would have to be real change in both of you and more forgiveness than many could measure. What you had started out comfortable, like the favourite pair of pants that you want to wear every day. You feel great in these pants, and everyone tells you how perfect they are for you. Put them on, and you can conquer the world. Go anywhere. Try everything. Those pants were with you in some of your best and worst moments. You didn’t always treat them with care, but thought they’d be there for you regardless. But by the end, all that was left was a broken thing that just got more tattered the more you tried to mend it until the threads couldn’t hold the patches together and it all came apart. Now that you’re naked, it’s cold, but you wouldn’t even think of going back there (there is no “there” there), but sometimes dream of making a new thing together better than what we had- take the good pattern and inspiration you started with (altered to fit the shapes you are now), and more durable fabric, and take them to an exceptional tailor. Forget about the holes, the duct tape patches, the worn places and heartache and stains on the last pair you two made… but it takes a lot of time to make something exceptional by hand, and not many folks are left who remember how to do the work. You are willing to make changes, but not if you are the only one.  It’s not a perfect metaphor.  It’s your whole world we’re talking about here, not a stupid pair of pants.  But you get the idea.

I will not settle for conditional love, for one that wants me in health but not in sickness. I’m holding out for one that puts a proper value on care and nurture, for putting the “home” into homesteading, and that values all the traditionally devalued “women’s work”. You may have brought home the bacon, but I cured it, smoked it, sliced it, tended it in the pan and then did the washing up.  I deserve kindness, and patience, and most of all, respect. For someone to believe that the work that I do, that I can do, has value and equal merit… for my partner to want what I have to offer and not what they think that I should. The difference is everything.

You hope, and you still love, but you’re not holding your breath. You are holding on to your dreams, at least the ones you can do for yourself… putting your heart back in your work (and you’re back at work, which feels so good). Trying to figure out where you’re going to land after this freefall, and how best to steer to get there. Outside, the polar vortex blasts half the country with frigid gusts. Inside, you try not to drift into that dark spiral of heartache and loss, the void and nausea. See it, yes. Touch it, carefully. Try to know it, without falling in. Feet firmly planted on the floor, hands at work, hope, always. Remember all the other kinds of love… your dog is ever faithful, and you are his world. Family, friends, neighbors, all there for you… and of course, the love for yourself. This glorious world we all walk around it, with all its imperfections and many flaws, like each of us, beautiful. You can’t change the whole thing. Just the important parts… and we each get to decide what the important parts are. Isn’t that grand? Now get started!

tom and jerry time

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So I realized I didn’t drink any eggnog this season.  How did I let this happen?  While searching for recipes on line for that, and for hot buttered rum (as some friends made a tasty nightcap of those to our Dickensian Christmas Eve dinner), I came across this instead.  I remember seeing Tom and Jerry batter in the grocery stores in North Dakota the few times we spent the holidays up there, and asking my mom what it was… she said they were good, but we never made them… thought is was worth a try since I had plenty of fresh eggs on hand.

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The batter… mostly used this recipe, though I added all the sugar once the whites were starting to get some loft, and beat it into a stiff glossy meringue before folding in the yolks and other ingredients.  Seems to be holding together really well… put a healthy dollop in a glass, poured on some hot water and a splash of whiskey, gave it a stir and grated some fresh nutmeg on top.  Delicious!  Only “problem”- this recipe makes a lot.  Who wants to come over tonight and help me drink a few and rearrange furniture?

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Luckily, it’s also really good in coffee.  Don’t worry, I left out the booze for the breakfast drink… though that would be tasty too.

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Fifty degrees outside!  The bees are busy, bringing out their dead and taking care of their bee business before the mercury plummets again.  And so should I be!  Lots of stuff to move, and daylight’s a burnin’… I’ve got Bobby Blue Bland on the stereo, potatoes, onion, and pork belly frying in an iron skillet, and lots of work to do.  Enjoy the sunshine everyone…

AWSC IV: Thai Benefit for The Plant and Alewyfe Potager

Tom Kha Gai- coconut chicken soup
Spring Rolls- fresh greens, pickled vegetables, noodles (v)
Bahn Mi Sliders- pork belly or house-made tofu (v) with pickled vegetables
Kaeng Phet Het- red curry red kuri squash, mushrooms, and tofu (v)
Kaeng Khiao Wan- green curry tilapia
Khao Tom Mat- black sticky rice and pear steamed in banana leaf (v)
Aisa-Khrim Ka-thi- cardamom-scented coconut milk ice cream (v)

Farms: The Plant (Chicago), Alewyfe Urban Potager (Chicago), VK Urban Farm (our neighbors, who make a smokin’ Bhut Jalokia HOT sauce, among other things), Ted’s Organic Grains (Dekalb, IL), Breslin Farms (Ottawa, IL), Kallas Honey Farm (Milwaukee, WI), Growing Power (Chicago), Ellis Family Farms (Benton Harbor, MI), and more!

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Tom Kha soup
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soon-to-be pickled vegetables and spring roll assembly
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spring roll sushi with homemade peanut sauce and garlic chive oil

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prepping the mushroom and squash curry… wish I got some pics of the finished dish, it was a party favorite!
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Homemade sauces- Peanut sauce, green curry paste, red curry paste.  Home-grown fresh lemongrass and thai peppers from the potager!
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Whole pork belly, before and after braising for 10 or so hours in a slow and low oven with rice wine, Revolution beer, pork stock, soy sauce, mirepoix and five spice.  So. Good.
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Steamed banana packets of forbidden rice with pear, cocoa, coriander and ginger.

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The calm of the rustic dining room and chaos of the kitchen.  Currently seeking a new dishwasher and maitre d… the last one quit.  So to speak… it’s a long story, but not for here.  Look for the book in a few years when I’ve had time to mull it over (credit for these last two great shots to our good buddy and hopefully future neighbor, Chuck. Let me know if you want your full name in the credit… ).

Lots of changes in store for the new year, but fear not, friends… supper club shall continue!  Hometown pals- let me know if I’ve overlooked you in the guest list (lots of folks I’m sure- still perfecting that ever-evolving perfect contact list) and I’ll make sure you’re invited to the next one.  Thank you all for your company and support thus far- looking forward to new and better things to come!  Much love and happy holidaze!

Cheers,

The Alewyfe

Breakfast of champions

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Farm egg, homemade peanut sauce and sesame bun, five-spice braised pork belly, pickled vegetables, watercress. Oh yeah, and oj. Take that, frozen locks and bitter cold. Take that, heartache and frustration. You might be lurking but I’ve got too much on my plate to stop for you. In other news, got a cool part-time job and a daily dog-walk lined up… and it’s been a busy soapy season! Hope all of you and yours are warm and merry… cheers!

supper club late fall edition

This one was a special edition to celebrate the 50th birthday of our friend and neighbor. Surprise!  He was… when he walked into a room full of his friends and family instead of the usual supper club crew. What fun!

Sunchoke and dragon carrot soup, garlic chive oil
Winter salad, vk farm chevre
Garlic smashed potatoes with wild mushroom ragout
Smoked brisket or beets with fresh horseradish cream
Sorgum, buckwheat honey, and beer baked beans
Cranberry apple walnut tart, multigrain crust

featured farms: Alewyfe Urban Potager, VK Urban Farm, The Plant, Breslin Farms, Ted’s Organic Grains, Kallas Honey Farm, Ellis Family Farm

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Back to the roots… all from the backyard potager. Horseradish, sunchokes, and dragon carrots.

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Revelry and photobombing in the kitchen …a guest and my talented sous chef for the evening, Officer VK carving up the brisket.  He also whipped up the horseradish cream sauce, vinaigrette for the salad, his house-cured canadian bacon and holiday sausages as apps, and brought a hot-off-the-presses bottle of his mustard bbq sauce. Thanks papa! Can’t wait for your food network debut… we’ll cheer you on, but only if we can come watch on your couch. Or I suppose it will be online eventually? Our tv only plays dvds. Or vhs…
Lady VK was equally indispensable bringing her fresh goat chevre, pesto, jams, crackers, and mixing up some mean Manhattans. We * heart* you guys so much! Seriously. Thanks for the help, and thanks to all who came to celebrate with us! See you next time…

two-fer yer noodle

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Double yolk fancy-pants ramen!  I’m chicken-sitting for Dave Snyder at one of the Heartland sites while he travels for the holidays… stopped by today to get a coop tour and keys and took a couple eggs home.  Thought I’d make myself a little snack before cleaning house in preparation for the farm dinner this weekend … cracked open the biggest egg (so. Hungry…) to find this.  I love bonus surprises!