Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fire Roasted Hot Dogs and S'Mores

We've successfully settled in to the new house and last night, we broke in the backyard with our first meal in the garden. We roasted hot dogs over our fire pit with local kiawe wood. Fantastic flavor from the smoke and a good char made it one of the most memorable hit dogs I've ever had anywhere. 

I made s'mores for Jada and Michele, a first for both. They seemed skeptical at first but when they sunk their teeth in to the snap of the cookie and the goo of the marshmallow, their eyes lit up. I'm sure that we'll be doing that a lot more. 

Here's to la dolce vita

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Last Meal in This Kitchen? Dungeness Crab with Drawn Butter, Braised Kohlrabi, Sautéed Cabbage and Bok Choy.

We're crazy. Moving tomorrow and if you'd peeked in to our kitchen last night, you'd never know it. Amongst piles of boxes and random items splayed all over the counter, you would have found Michele and I, standing shoulder, making dunguness crab and drawn butter, braised kohlrabi, sautéed cabbage and bok choy. We'd cheerfully agreed to a dinner play date for Jada. The kids were being served a delicately prepared eggplant parm...Shows you where our priorities lie...I'll have to stop Michele from making that Ono defrosting in the fridge for lunch today- or we'll never get out of here.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

An Italian Soul Sendoff

That's what my mother calls it when Michele and I do a mash up like we did last night: We made fried chicken and pizza. Brought an overflowing tray of drumsticks and thighs and a cutting board full of all kinds of mini pies over to our favorite neighbors' to celebrate our move in the next couple of days. 

They took care of the booze: Red wine and tequila made the perfect pairings. The kids had their own bottle of sparkling cider. 

Easy breezy, we just stood around their kitchen noshing on our favorite finger foods while the girls ran in circles around us and through the rest of the house, tiny triangles of pizza in hand. 

No better way to mark our move than to do the things that we have always done together. It was a good send off. Gonna miss walking home barefoot and happy, after a fun night with the Austin's, but something tells me there'll be plenty more   good times to come. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

more than just another series of narcissistic ramblings or recipes

I've been away a long time, regrouping and reconsidering...I am thinking of this blog as more of a place for...examination, rumination...more than just another series of narcissistic ramblings or recipes...

...The year is off to a good start. Our new restaurant should be open within weeks. We are excited for another new beginning. We are looking forward to sharing our philosophy and our passion with the beautiful people of our new community. There is little time to record this process in the moment but it has been an incredible journey that we hope to share when we open our literal and virtual doors. 

Until then and always, I will be here...publicly mulling over the small details of our lives, in the hopes that sharing our experiences and insights will enlighten or and me...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Keen Taste Memory and the Printed Word

For an art as transitory as gastronomy there can be no record except for a keen taste memory and the printed word.  -James Beard 

Developing and combining these two skills is an earnest ambition, only because I love to eat and I love to write, but I think that Beard is a bit fatalistic here. The act of eating is fleeting. The art of eating is not.

It is true that the memory of a meal can live forever. Rituals around the table anchor. Time does not fly. It stands still in moments of heightened pleasure. It waits for our recollections.

Yes, written words are one way to tie down time and reign it in, but so are my mother's adamant instructions on how to make the perfect sweet potato pie. Her mother said the same words to her. These kinds of memories are only spoken. They are tradition.

Tradition's greater name is culture and in it, the same memories held in high regard yesterday make  time and space inconsequential when they are actively bound by the shared experience of strangers today. Our modern culture's attempts to digitize this inherent desire for connection, it's prompts to "post" and to "like" and to "share", are flat and disconnected.

There is a record of the art the eating, the art of living, the real connections, that transcend the printed word and our own limited attempts to hold them to ourselves. That record can be gleaned in the unspoken and unwritten rules of your own rituals, in the actions that you perform over and over again around your own table: the time that you set it, what you set it with, who sits before it, what is eaten, how the meal ends. Your records are your traditions, not a result of an intellectual exercise. Your records are the guides that you leave your children to follow and the the expectations that your parents have left to you.

Beard's ideas here are noble. They are only limited by how much importance he places on our finite minds.  The art of gastronomy, the art of life, lives on and on.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Marking Our Day with a Bottle of Moët

On January 1, we celebrated our four year wedding anniversary. An early afternoon escape to Shark Pit, our local beach, was the best we could do to mark the day. Asia was heading back to New York on a red-eye, so a dinner date was out of the question. And even under better circumstances, Jada would not have let us leave her with an aunt from Italy that she earnestly loves, but can barely understand. 

So, when our preschooler went down for her one o'clock nap, Michele and I, still a little hung over from the celebrations of the night before, creeped out of the house dragging our little beach cooler on wheels, full of ice and a bottle of Moët. 

We lost fifteen minutes in the walk alone and needed fifteen minutes to get back. So, we had an hour. One hour to sit still and reconnect. One hour to define our new goals and to mull over all that we had already accomplished. One hour for a little mid-day romance. 

The champagne was dry and crisp, as bright as the sun's reflections on the soft waves lapping at the shore, it's heady fizz like the foam left in their wake. It was good. 

We never finished the bottle. Our time was up at 2:15. But we carried the celebration through dinner, splashing the remainder of the champagne over risotto infused with a roasted beet purée. It was a nice send off before Michele took Asia to the airport for her long flight home, the meal together both comforting and indulgent, like the day.