Archive for October, 2010

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

“A good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
—-   Virginia Woolf

Fall – for Samantha

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I am a fall person.  No, it’s a not a ‘colors’ thing.  Although the autumnal palette does appeal greatly. No, I am talking about what’s on the plate. Having grown up in the Northeast I annually wait for the Spring to arrive.  And it always comes later than I think it should.  Those delicate little green sprouts poking up through the soil are so vulnerable. But I don’t know, they don’t bring out the best in me.

But Fall, now there’s a season. Crisp chill in the air, mitigated by the still warm sun creeping ever lower in the sky. The smell of burning leaves. The still green undercarpet for the blanket of fiery detritus. Late season tomatoes, bulbous winter squashes, newly harvested pork,  spicy greens that just get more so with the dip in mercury. The potential always seems greater to me than in Spring. The chilling of the temperature pushes one indoors to the hearth, to braise, stew, soup.  And yet there is still an abundance of raw materials to work with. Unlike Spring where you are trying make a whole meal from a few ramps…  I find the Autumn harvest abundance very inspiring.

A recent dinner menu included: meatloaf with beef from a cow we bought last fall; mashed celery root and potatoes (both from the garden) and a slaw of Hakurei turnips (from our friends at Fishbowl farm) with an Asian dressing.  The repast was topped off by a baked crisp with Grey Pearmain apples from the Out on a Limb CSA. A delightful and satisfying October meal.

We are still working our way through the ground beef from the animal we bought a share of last year, not being huge burger people. Buying meat directly from a farmer ensures the ethical and sustainable (and delicious) standards that we have become accustomed to. But too many beautifully raised steers are ground up into burger. At the end of this month we are producing an event at the new Quimby Colony at the Roma to discuss just such issues.  I, for one, am curious to learn more.

food people

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

There are no people like food people.  They are an eclectic bunch to be sure. Some of them are more savory, more palatable, more camera-ready than others.  But still they are a lot I will throw in with any day. They appreciate the small joys that a perfectly ripe tomato, or the crispy skin of a roast chicken, can bring. I find them generous to a fault.

Every time I read some self-important twit on the internet (which I try not to do too much) giving the universe their definitive view on some restaurant/dish/chef I dismiss them as not a food person.  A true food person can find delight in the most mundane of eating experiences.  A food person does not need high accolades, of-the-moment reviews or TV personality sanctions to know when they are eating something fantastic.  They just know it in their bones.  Personally, when something I am eating makes me happy, I laugh out loud.  Ask Don.  Good food makes me giggle and squirm in my chair like a five year old. Kinda like Richard Hammond behind the wheel of a Maserati.

I believe that all food people have some version of that feeling. Professionals live for those experiences, and to create them for others. Those are ephemeral moments.  One needs to live fully in the present to appreciate them.  I am sure there is Buddhist philosophy in there somewhere.  Om. Whatever. Count yourself lucky if you know what I am talking about.
—     Samantha