Archive for September, 2007

The Year of the Goat marches on

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Margaret Hathaway’s memoir of a year seeking all things goat has garnered a nice review in the Boston Globe.

You can still see the photographs by Margaret’s other half, Karl Schatz, of their goat encounters. The exhibit will remain up until next Monday, October 1st at Rabelais.

Some tips on heirloom bees

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

A backyard apiary can be a hedge against the dwindling presence of bees and the loss of their all-important pollinating skills. The step beyond is heirloom bees, and Leslie Land tells us about it in the NYTimes.

The 20 Mile Meal

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Don’t forget this Sunday is Cultivating Community’s 20 Mile Meal, held at Turkey Hill Farm in Cape Elizabeth. For more information, visit the Cultivating Community website.

A macho chef backlash?

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

A call for civility in restaurant kitchens and on food shows appears here, here, and here.

Rosemary, sage, thyme

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, author of the wonderful River Cottage series of books (and a forthcoming River Cottage Fish Book), has an interesting column with recipes on this trio of herbs in the Guardian.

Cleaning up the Fish on Franklin

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

We see all sorts of interesting things outside our big plate glass windows. Mostly it’s deliveries of tasty ingredients going into Hugo’s to be transformed into delectable bites. But we are also just off Franklin Ave, or Arterial as it is commercially known. Franklin is the route for big tractor trailers full of seafood on their way to 95 and the rest of the country. These trucks are loaded with heavy duty plastic cube shaped containers, about four feet square with lids, perhaps fourteen to sixteen cubes per load. I had seen them drive by since we opened our doors in April but it wasn’t until sometime in June, I believe, that I realized that they were full of seafood. I was crossing Franklin just after one such truck had passed and the aroma was pungent. It is not the contents of the cubes that smell, mind you, just their conveyance, which I would imagine has been spilled/leaked on for years. They also seem to trail water that is perfumed, and leaves it’s mark on the road. There have been two occasions when these trucks have parked right in front of the store. My guess is that the drivers are running in to the bank, across the street from us, and their truck idles while they do their banking. Not too bad on cool days when the door is closed. But there was one day last month when we had an appearance and the odor was rank. Luckily the truck was only there for about ten minutes.
So today I have seen at least three of thee trucks driving up Franklin. It appears that one of them must have sprung a leak, because there were fish in the road. Before you get images of flopping fish on the tarmac, these fish are already deceased. But still there was a trail of silver creatures, some whole and some understandably crushed by tires of unsuspecting drivers. So there were fish and fish guts in the road. Mercifully It is raining hard today. But when I recogized what had happened I was concerned for the mess that would remain tomorrow, when it might not be raining. But I just saw two guys in foul weather gear with reflective tape cleaning up the fish. One guy with a shovel, the other with a garbage bag.
So the fish are gone, but the guts remain.
Hopefully it will keep raining, hard.

An Eggs-clusive showing

Monday, September 10th, 2007

I’m not quite sure how I missed this local culinary event. This past Friday, Portland’s Nikolodeon hosted the regional premier of Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead. Poultrygeist is the newest release from Troma, and is billed as the first chicken-horror-zombie-musical. A graveyard has been bulldozed to make room for a fast-food chicken restaurant and… need I say more? The film runs at the Nickelodeon through the week.

Hamming it up gets expensive in Spain

Monday, September 10th, 2007

When I finally get around to having a mid-life crisis, I’ll take a pass on buying a Ferrari and instead line up for one of Manuel Maldonado’s Alba Quercus Reserve hams. The starting price at auction (yes, auction) for these hams is almost $2000 for a leg or about $160 per pound. The impression I have is that the crowd at the auction is likely to include everyone from celebrities and captains of industry to Yakuza gangsters. Read more about it here.

The Brass Sisters come to Portland

Monday, September 10th, 2007

The Brass Sisters have been collecting original recipes in cookbooks, family cookbooks, journals and scraps of paper for years now, and last year’s Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters is a fantastic compendium of dishes rediscovered and tested by the two top-notch home cooks. They will be appearing to sign their books this weekend in Portland at the 78th Annual Maine Antique Dealers Association show. Info about the show can be found here, and a discount entry coupon is available as well. Copies of Heirloom Baking will be available and the Brass Sisters will be signing. Check with MADA for scheduling information.

A pleasant but hot evening

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Suzanne Heller, artist and the sister of Faith Heller Willinger, stopped in last night to sign copies of Adventures of an Italian Food Lover, which is illustrated with Suzanne’s lovely watercolors of the landscapes and people of Italy. Antipasti by Aurora Provisions was much enjoyed, along with some Italian cheeses, Stephen Lanzalotta’s wonderful bread from Micucci’s and, of course, a few glasses of wine. The 80+ degree temperatures didn’t keep the Italophiles away.