Sunday, November 30, 2008

WIth Great Thanks

On Sunday after Thanksgiving, I am thankful that I am not in a car with my children stuck in rainy traffic. And I am thankful for a few days in Washington DC where I watched mouths agape in awe of the T-Rex and the spaceships and the grandeur of the mall. But I also need to step back a few days to give a nod to those who fixed a fabulous turkey day feast.

To the Salps for their hospitality, Uncle Jimmy for his stories, and Uncle John for his jokes.

And here's a shout out to some of the highlights of the meal:

Andrew for preparing one of the best darn turkeys that I've ever eaten- a fried masterpiece.

To Amanda for her stunning spinach pie ( or is that from a stunning Amanda and her spinach pie) from our favorite barefoot food maven.

To Jill's Mom for the nostalgic 7-up jello fruit layered concoction that's pretty creepy and very 70's:

And to me, who overcame a lifelong fear to bring to Thanksgiving my grandmother's longtime favorite Mabel's rolls. And you may ask, who is Mabel ? Mabel Harris was a friend of my grandmother's back in the 40's when she lived out in the Northern Neck in Montross, VA. My mom and aunt have carried on the Mabel's tradition for years, but this was my first attempt- maybe its because I am not typically a cook by the recipe kind of guy, but lately my sourdough bread has gotten palatable enough to give me the confidence to branch out. And they turned out damn good. And I'm not scared any more. Well, maybe only that they will become my ask for specialty- they are that good- a hint of sweet, a taste of yeast, light yet substantive enough to hold some left-over turkey. Check them out below:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

keep on grazing

went back to the Black Sheep after a few months and had yet another fantastic meal- Kevin is constantly changing up the menu, and one new dish, Leaf & Lamb, features lightly dressed arugula with goat cheese, pine nuts, and thin slices of flavorful lamb. One of the best salads in town. Kudos to keeping it fresh...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A prayer for the earth

The earth is not ours. It doesn’t belong to us . . . we are guests, temporary guests . . . and part of why we are here is to manage the place, to be stewards of God’s creation. In fact that’s our highest calling, our holiest vocation, to manage God’s creation.

John Buchanan, “Holy Earth,” September 17, 2006

“Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.”

Chief Seattle

In the past few years there has been a clarion call to be kinder to Mother Earth. Al Gore has been preaching the global warming side of it, Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver have been eating it, and the burgeoning Slow Food Movement is picking up steam and converts every day. Almost overnight it seems, Richmond has 5 or 6 healthy farmer's markets, CSAs are sprouting up everywhere, and everyone wants to be a locavore. This week's Style Weekly has a fantastic cover story by food writer extraordinaire, Brandon Fox , that explores the the philosophies and Faith of Our Farmers.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Wake of the Flood

When it opened five years ago, CafĂ© Gutenberg brought a refined quality to a space long known for the crunchy hipster scene of Jeff Ruggles’ Main Street Grill. Unfortunately, in Gutenberg’s second year it faced the floodwaters of Gaston that made Main Street seem more like the Grand Canal in Venice. but it defied the odds and continues to serve a diverse menu in a great setting. You can read all about it if you click on GUTENBERG