Saturday, October 13, 2007

fall break

Holy crap, where have I been the past two weeks? Like, there anybody out there still listening? Have I completely lost my audience by now?

(thump thump thump.......a static-y clicking sound over and over) this thing on?

Oh, right, it's about me not the audience, yes that was it. This is a blog not a job, really here to be a collection of thoughts and ideas that need form, direction maybe, at the very least a place to reside. Being that the space is public, you dear reader get to look at what spills out of the head, however occasional it might be. So, where was I?

The end of september was a whirlwind of activity and food preservation, but it did have a few highlights. During one of our wrangler/monkey "date nights" we dropped by the opening party for our friend's new restaurant and got a chance to see a master dessertress in action. The food was delicious, the staff very accommodating and polite, the ambience most tasteful and soothing. But the dessert.......oh, my! Try, like, the cumin pot de creme for starters. Being a party though, we ate gobs of hot fried pastries (not on the menu yet) made outta something called shoe paste, while sitting at a bar or sorts and admiring the green shoed boss run the sweets department. It was witnessing a craft being performed in a niche of heaven. Fried puffs tossed with hot cardamon or rose or fennel or cacao nib, some sugar of course, then maybe some mesquite flour. You name the spice combo it was sublime. We sat around and ate till stuffed. I thought about how I just wanted to sit there all night and do nothing but eat donuts at the bar. I thought of the talking heads: Everybody's trying, to get to the bar. The name of the bar, the bar is called Heaven.

Choux paste, fancy food and delicious drinks aside, the monkey will probably always think of it as the place where she scored a lot of donuts and some tasty ice cream while sitting at a bar with her daddy. I just love building memories.

Speaking of childhood memories.......this was so frickin' satisfying it was nearly criminal. I had some mortadella in the fridge from the BFM and a craving for a sandwich. It brought me back with how rare a treat it was like when as a child, only this was from such a fine source. Nonetheless it reminded me of thirty something years ago. What I needed was some homemeade ketchup and hot mustard to round out the satisfying taste of what I now think of as my modern version of a bologna sandwich. Come to think of it, if the free mortadella had been stolen and not gifted it would definitley be criminal, but sorry to report, it was just nearly so.

The next day, I was out tending to the wild cherry tomatoes that are still going strong (okay, lurking about like some produce criminal) when I noticed that one of the teeny-tiny itty-bitty melons in the front yard was getting soft. I looked both ways down the sidewalk and picked it from the dry looking vine, giving it a whiff and nearly falling over. It smelled fantastic! Could it be true? A decent cantaloupe here in coldville? I brought it inside and hacked it in two. Low and behold it looked good too, even if it was only half size. It wasn't the sweetest thing ever, but damn it smelled good!

........and speaking of sweet! For the first weekend of October, we were stationed in picturesque Calistoga with our family for the wedding of H's brother. The last of the bunch (of 7, so I do mean bunch) just had to out do everyone else's wedding. Needless to say the ceremony was a grand and formal event with hundreds in attendance held in a medieval Tuscan castle, which fortunately was only a five minute ride from our cottage by the river in downtown. The kids held on till after 10 pm, which was quite remarkable. We knew it was time to go when we handed the elder monkey an extravagant looking chocolate dessert that was only met with a looking-through-us blank stare with glazed over eyes. "Sweetie, do you want some dessert?" No. (?!) Oh my, we better leave......

For those who know me in person, yes, in that photo at the castle I am missing some hair. A bit over 10 inches to be exact. I was feeling in of need a trim for the wedding and I figured it was about time for my second donation of hair to a good cause. If you know of anyone with a long rope dangling from their skull or some extra long braids that could lose some major length then send them over to the Locks of Love site. Or if you know someone who has really really long hair and they are resistant to the idea of losing a mere foot of it, then get them drunk and do it for them. When they wake up the next morning tell them it was for the children. If they are still mad then try and deflect their rage by saying something like "well, I guess I shouldn't mention the tattoo on your ass then!"

Back at home it was time to make some english muffins for my one and only customer who wanted to place a special order. Wait, one and only paying customer I should clarify. You see, when she places an order for them I think back to our tutorial earlier in the year and how I am ever grateful for the opportunity to fine tune my methods with a master. The muffins are now something I am rather proud of. To say dear Shuna is the one ordering them is akin to doing that little childhood dance we all know: "She likes mine better! Nyaah, nyaah, nyaaaaah nyaaah, nyaah! I get to make them, not you!" and all the other things or stupid stuff you'd say when you were feeling superior to your peers. It's not much, just some english muffins. And believe me, I know she could make them for herself, and better, but why? She probably has loads of friends willing to make and feed her anything at a moments notice, because in the past she'd shared some part of her knowledge or the most amazing dessert you'd ever had with them.

Speaking of the past, this one wasn't too long ago but if you've ever read this blog you might remember the bacon/chocolate combo thing and how in a vicodin induced stupor I blathered on about how great they are together. With weasel coffee of all things. Well, with the passing of my 135th birthday this week, my partner and monkey made me a choco/choco twisty candled birthday cake, and as a bonus I received a bacon chocolate bar from my older sister (yep, she's 140!) The cake was scrumptious and the bar was rather, uh......unique. It was, well, I mean is since I still have half, actually, really good. No, really. I guess if it was killer I would have snarfed the whole thing in one sitting, but it's salty enough to keep me from over indulging. It's pleasant and familiar somehow, like having a very smooth dark milk chocolate bar with smokey bits of salt in it. Only, after eating it, you realize that some of the smokey salty crunchy bits were bacon as you pick it from your teeth with your tongue. Overall though, the bacon works well with the chocolate. Really. I'm not gonna go start buying them and making a habit out of it, but if you find that the bacon chocolate bar is an itch that just needs scratching, then go find yourself one of these.

So, there you have it. I really have been alive and well, enjoying this love and food filled life, despite the radio silence. Sorry to my friends and fellow bloggers out there who I've failed to drop by and comment on lately. I've been overwhelmed with double-monkeydom and am still working on the groove........


K & S said...

Glad to hear you are still alive!! You sure had a great September.

muffintop said...

But, but... your hair!!
Sounds like life is good.

leena! said...

Welcome back!! Your posts were certainly missed, but hey, at least you got to eat a bacon bar in the down time. Score.

Callipygia said...

Hey I have no monkeys about and I can't get it together to post for weeks! Glad you're doing/eating well though. Funny you should mention it bec my friend just turned 140 and she got the bacon/choco bar and raved about it. Happy belated birthday!