Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bottling Wine with the 36th Ave Winemakers and Manifesting Loveliness

The Corker

Last Sunday I joined the 36th Ave Winemakers in my aunt and uncle's backyard to help bottle the 2009 Mueller. Once the last golden carboy was drained, and the pristine white wine bottles filled, I had to snap a photo with my phone. As if it didn't already look like a scene one might set up for Gourmet Magazine, I wish I had taken a shot of the homemade goose sausage and the kalamata olive shortbread cookies that others had brought.

Each time I visit my Uncle Steve and Aunt Rae's house, a wave of nostalgia rushes over me. Playing hide and go seek with the cousins at family reunions, picking raspberries in their garden, always finding something wonderful to nibble on in their kitchen and always admiring their art.
"Blue Collar Wine," as Father Bruno would call it

Mark and I are fortunate enough to have two lilac bushes on our property, one is purple, the other white. I put a vase of lilacs in every room of the house while they were in bloom.
Lilac season is always too short. Prunella digs them too.
I haven't been overly inspired to cook lately. Mark made a lovely homemade squid marinara for me the other night, and I did saute some mushrooms with a basil pesto over salmon recently, but all my creative energy is sucked up with the New Vineyard Table Catering project, which is so very exciting!

I haven't even been gardening. I did manage to start some nasturtiums and I do plan to get some weeding done sooner or later. of all things, I've been inspired by all the poppies and peonies that are starting to bloom and I definitely want to put those on the list to plant next year!

I did manage to catch an attractive glimpse of this fast b.l.a.t. that I made for a recent road trip with Mark.
Thick cut B.L.A.T. on olive bread and onions with garden chard

On another note, I finally forced myself to take another creative writing class at the Richard Hugo House. Creative non-fiction! My favorite. I'm suppose to bring 4,000 words to work with. At first I found this to be impossible and limiting. But I already know what I am going to write about, even if it crushes me. It's called "expressions of my father." I'll post it when I get to a point when I am feeling more complete about it.
READ THIS! Blood Bones and Butter!
To get my creative juices flowing, all I really needed to do was read Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton. Mentally delicious. I needed a kick start- something to move me and it is full of gritty inspiration. Yes of course it's about food and chefs and struggle, and many other things that make me say, "ahh," out loud on a crowded airplane, but when was the last time I did that? mmmmm satisfying.

I've been seeking inspiration, and manifesting loveliness. I'm on a creative mission. What I am finding is that if you put it out there into the world, it will start coming back to you. Like exercising anything, the hardest part is starting. But once you are in a good rhythm, things come so much easier. There has been an abundance of inspirational conversation lately with great chefs like Kristen Schumacher and winemakers like Leroy Radford and I want to keep it all flowing. And on that note- a little inspiration, aka Bryan John Appleby, Cliffs Along the Sea.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Slow Food Teams up with Heath Putnam Farms and Serious Pie!

Mangalitsa Pig
Mangalitsa Pig
[To be added to our cancellation list for this event, drop us a note with your name, email, and phone number. If anyone cancels, we'll put you in touch with them to buy their ticket.]
Join Slow Food Seattle on Sunday, June 26th from 3-5pm and learn how to make your own homemade Mangalitsa pancetta and lardo at the Westlake Serious Pie location in South Lake Union. Heath Putnam (founder of Heath Putnam Farms) and Serious Pie chefs Tony Catini and Kenan Fox will lead a class on curing and producing lardo and pancetta with Mangalitsa pork. After the Mangalitsa presentation and demonstration, we’ll enjoy a three-course lunch provided by Serious Pie.
Brown Paper TicketsCapacity for the class and lunch is 25 people as space is limited.
Participants will be able to take their lardo home the day of the event, and can pick-up their pancetta once it has cured.
$50/person – Ticket includes the class, lunch, and selections of lardo and pancetta to take home.
Slow Food Members receive advance notice and a discounted rate for all of our events. This one currently has just 9 spots left!
According to Putnam, “Mangalitsa pigs are a traditional breed, essentially unchanged from 1833. In the past, when plant oils and margarine weren’t available, Mangalitsa pigs produced the fatty products like lard, lardo and bacon that consumers demanded. Mangalitsa pigs aren’t necessary anymore, but they taste the best and produce the best products.”
What is a Mangalitsa Pig?
In 2006, Heath Putnam, the founder of Heath Putnam Farms, encountered Mangalitsa while working in Europe. Impressed by its exceptional quality, and aware that America had nothing comparable, he imported a herd and began production here in Washington State. Unlike all popular breeds of hogs, which are meat-type, the Mangalitsa is an extreme lard-type breed. The Mangalitsa (pronounced MON-go-leet-sa) was created in 1833 by the Hungarian Royal Archduke Jozsef. Lard-type breeds produce high-quality fat and very marbled, juicy and flavorful meat. Mangalitsa fat is more unsaturated than normal pig fat, so it tastes much lighter, cleaner and melts at a lower temperature. The fat is also healthier and keeps longer, due to higher levels of oleic acid. For more information on Mangalitsa pork and where to find it, visit Heath Putnam Farms.
Serious Pie
Wooly Pigs