Monday, August 31, 2009

exercise and health

I am troubled by the recent Time Magazine Article, Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin. The author suggests that it is possible to separate weight from other health issues. Even as the author concedes that exercise is important for cognitive abilities, prevention of disability and mental health... He goes on to expose that exercise alone will not make you thin. I do not know what audience he is talking to but I think that most human beings understand that there is a relationship between calories taken in and calories expended.

I cannot imagine there are many individuals being swindled into weight gain by exercise. Furthermore the author does not seem to differentiate between appearance and actual health. How many people have become fat from exercising? If someone is already overweight and is active are they worse off than if they are overweight and sedentary? Or is this conversation about individuals who want to loose 5 pounds but whose health is not in jeopardy?

The author goes on to talk about the type of exercise that we should be getting, maybe it is better to do prolonged exercise throughout the course of the day rather than short bursts of intense organized exercise at the gym...yes maybe for some people it is...however we live in a society full of conveniences that preclude moving our bodies. Many peoples only opportunity to move comes in the form of organized exercise...I do not see how that is not preferable to no exercise.

The whole conversation is flawed. There is a health crisis in this country that is centered on the food we are ingesting. Yes, each of us is different in the way our metabolism works, what brings us pleasure and even how our day is composed. This prescription to eliminate what is generally a positive health benefit in our daily practice because of some inconclusive studies and an individuals dislike of his chosen exercise seems bizarre. Instead how about some ideas...if you are running every day, not enjoying it and not happy with your body why not try walking to work or riding your bicycle. If your weekend is your only chance to exercise and you find yourself sore and unable to walk up the stairs all week try gardening or swimming on the weekends. If you are not getting the results you want from your exercise routine try adding up the calories you are burning and taking in...It is a known fact that one of the contributing factors to the overwhelming weight problem in this country is a sedentary life style. I find it offensive that this article suggests otherwise.

There are lots of questionable facts used in this article including: a flawed study which is central to the conclusions; a misleading statement that fat turns to muscle; and offering the information that extremely overweight people burn more calories (what is his point overweight people do not need to exercise because their bodies are working so efficiently??).

The author also totally ignores other conflicting studies that suggest that exercise actually suppresses some peoples appetites and that studies show that people who are able to maintain a weight loss for an extended period of time nearly always incorporate exercise into their daily practice.

A European Time article Cracking The Fat Riddle, shares a more inclusive view on the many causes of the epidemic weight gain that we are experiencing across the world. Also check out Benjamin Opipari's rebuttal to the Time Magazine article.

Ultimately we have to acknowledge who Time Magazine is written for...the upper class professional who is worried about the "gut fat that hangs over my belt when I sit", is a far cry from those suffering from diabetes and obesity. For many whether or not they exercise is a life or death situation. Nutrition advocates are already working against financial discrepancies and the high cost of healthful food. Exercise, although hard for some, is free and one of the most important weapons in the fight for good health and to have to argue against the fallacious argument that it makes you fat is infuriating.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Peach Curry

Last weekend we had a couple of home restaurants and made a peach curry that we served with red lentils and a mashed potato bread. Wanting some more we made it again for ourselves for dinner this weekend. The peaches that we used were a variety of white peaches from Pennsylvania, yellow peaches from West Virginia and some small yellow peaches that were hard that we gleaned from a neighbors tree in our alley. A friend of ours who we have cooked for over the years and who travels often to India regularly brings us a variety of spices. They are always outstandingly and the extra connection of them being hand carried to us makes them precious to us. We also get spices from a company based in Southern California called, Le Sanctuaire. Last summer we visited the store in Southern California (there is also one in San Francisco) and ever since have ordered regularly from their extensive website.

This dish is really about the peaches which are plentiful and delicious right now. Any single variety or a combination of different varieties can yield a delicious curry. Any spices that you have available will suffice.

Peach Curry

grapeseed oil
finely chopped ginger
finely chopped garlic
sliced onion
peaches peeled and sliced
fresh hot pepper
coriander seeds
very little clove
very little nutmeg

Heat a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add some grapeseed oil and add ginger, garlic and onions. Cook stirring often until onions are soft. Add peaches (reserve some to add fresh after cooking). Add hot pepper and slowly add spices tasting often to adjust to your taste. Remember, you can always add more so add slowly.

Cook over a low heat for about 30-45 minutes. Incorporate slices of raw peaches.

This dish is never the same twice, adjust the spices to your specific taste of the moment.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Chia Breakfast

A few mornings ago we started the discussion about school food for
Martin-Lane. During the summer eating is luxurious, we can prepare
food based on immediate needs and desires. During school it is a very
different situation. There are breakfasts that often need to be eaten
on the run, lunches that need to travel, snacks that must be taken to
school in the morning to eat after school and before ballet that
ideally will have some protein, must be vegan and ideally do not
contain nuts (many kids she knows have nut allergies).

All this will evolve over the year and as the seasons change but we
have found a new breakfast that we can put in the mix. Awhile
ago I purchased a bag of chia seeds because I had read about their
nutritional value and did not know much about them outside of Chia
Pets. I added water to them, made a gel but was never certain exactly
what to do with them. Last night I soaked them for about 15 minutes
in almond milk, added a little bit of the inside of a vanilla bean and
a drop of agave. Martin-Lane loved it. The consistency and taste is
similar to tapioca but there is much more nutritional benefit.

Chia Seeds were an important component of both Aztec and Mayan diets.
Chia was actually the Mayan word for strength.

They are high in essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3. I read
that chia has the highest content of any plant food. They are a good
source of easily digestible protein, making them an ideal breakfast
food. Studies suggest that they are good for diabetics because they
slow the conversion of carbohydrates to sugar. This same process is
helpful not only for diabetics but also for endurance athletes and
everyday breakfast. Other research claims they can lower blood
pressure. Chia is also full of vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and

There is a story that a group of long distance hikers were divided
into two groups one that ate only chia seeds on a 36 hour hike and
another group that ate whatever they wanted to. The chia eating group
finished the hike more than 4 hours ahead of the other group…

I got my original bag of Chia Seeds from, One Lucky Duck and just
ordered some more today from a company online called Raw Reform.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Organic Tools

A little over a week ago we planted pumpkin seedlings at Scott Montgomery Elementary School. Since then school has started, the seedlings have grown and so has the grass that we attempted to remove from the bed before we started planting. During the last week or so I have learned lots about this grass which I believe is Bermuda Grass. It is an intensely strong and invasive variety of grass that has a rhizome structure that is difficult to pull up.

Internet research generally advocates using an herbicide to remove it. However this is not something we would consider doing anywhere let alone at a school where we are trying to grow food. We have been trying to keep up with the new growth by weeding but yesterday it became apparent that unless we were planning on recruiting a large group of people hand weeding was not the answer. Furthermore, with this grass it is nearly impossible to remove the roots so you get the feeling that by weeding you might actually be strengthening the grass.

Early this morning when I went to visit the pumpkin patch I remembered the weeding tools that were introduced to me at a SPIN Gardening Class that Martin-Lane and I attended last winter. At the class people from Purple Mountain Organics demonstrated a variety of hand tools used to efficiently remove weeds in between rows of plants.

This morning I found Purple Mountain Organics on the Internet and called. The woman who answered said they were busy preparing for a Raw Food Festival but would be happy to meet us if we could get there within the hour. She ended the telephone conversation with "look for the large purple house on Carrol" and wished me "Peace".

When we arrived at the large purple house in Takoma Park and drove into the driveway, a woman in a long beautiful purple robe followed by two gorgeous kids dressed in purple greeted us. "Did you call for the tools?" We followed her into the side door and there was an elaborate display of internationally made hoes, rakes, shovels, tillers and weed pluckers of various sorts. In fact, these guys had anything you needed to wreak havoc on the industrial food system philosophy of growing vegetables with herbicides and chemicals. I mean the "brothers and sisters" as I was asked to refer to the people of Purple Mountain as. Which sort of confused me because from then on I had trouble putting together a request–not feeling comfortable with second person personal pronouns being banned as well as not wanting to seem unwilling to fulfill their request. "Do you–I mean the brothers and sisters lend out tillers?"

The sister was a great help we chatted about everything from vegan and raw food to bio-diesel hand held tillers. We took her advise and purchased her favorite weeder, the cobra head as well as a hoe from Germany. The children wished us peace as we left. I look forward to returning for a rain barrel later this month.

We left thinking about how exciting and somewhat unnerving the experience was of visiting these openly devout followers of Nahziryah Monastic Meditation and Wholistic Living Community. We left also thinking about ritual and culture and what the connection is between the spiritual and organic farming–we buy most of our organic produce from Amish Farmers in Pennsylvania. We chatted about this and I immediately thought of reading about New Yorkers freaking out upon visiting Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm and seeing a Jesus fish on the door. Joel is an Openly Libertarian Christian and an amazing organic farmer practicing permaculture. Maybe involving oneself in a spiritual practice lends itself to the discipline of Organic Farming as does the simple gratitude and respect of some secular practices?

Ultimately what I find interesting here is that if the secular ecological movement and the long standing spiritual ecological practices, with their cultures and traditions ever allow for an alliance we could actually see real change in the way food is grown and distributed. Anyone interested in Organic Gardening should checkout the Bothers and Sisters of Purple Mountain Organics.

Ominivore's Möbius strip

“A charge leveled against organic agriculture is that it is more philosophy than science. There’s some truth to this indictment, if that is what it is, though why organic farmers should feel defensive about it is itself a mystery, a relic, perhaps, of our fetishism of science as the only credible tool with which to approach nature.”
Michael Pollan, Omnivore’s Dilemma, p. 150

In the Omnivore’s Dilemma Pollan makes clear the cost of privileging science over perspective. Almost to say that the way we see the problem is the problem and that Non-Organic systematic standardization has taken the place of Organic living organism complexity. Mastering nature has taken the place of living in nature. Ultimately the shift needed to repair our agriculture is one of perspective first and then science.

I spent the day reading Pollan and terms like interdependence, complexity, feedback loops and organisms. One particular term Pollan gets from Joel Salatin is Holon. From the Greek term holos meaning whole and the suffix on as in proton–an entity that from one perspective is a self contained whole and from another perspective is a dependent part (such as a body organ). Of course Pollan gives us a history of the word and helps us to understand Salatin’s use. What a nice way to help understand that permaculture is so much more than science–yes it is important to understand how animals are hardwired but just as important to understand individual animals are not static. The holon works with other holons but also inside other holons, or better yet as a Möbius strip of inside and outside at the same time, depending on perspective. You have ecology, farm, species, individual, and parts all working independently yet inseparable in non-hierarchical ways.

One last quote from Pollan, p.212:
Industrial Processes follow a clear, linear, hierarchical logic that is fairly easy to put into words, probably because words follow a similar logic: First this then that; put this in here then out comes this. But the relationship between cows and chickens on this farm (leaving aside the other creatures and relationships there) takes the form of a loop rather than a line, and that makes it hard to know where to start, or how to distinguish between causes and effects, subjects and objects.
And that loop maybe one of a feedback Möbius strip...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Organic Gardening

Founded in 1940 by JI Rodale a health food fanatic from New York City Lower East Side, the magazine devoted its pages to agricultural methods and health benefits in growing food without synthetic chemicals...
Organic Gardening and Farming struggled along in obscurity until 1969 when an ecstatic review in the Whole Earth Catalog brought it to the attention of hippies trying to grow vegetables without patronizing the military–industrial complex. "If I were a dictator determined to control the national press," the Whole Earth corespondent wrote, "Organic Gardening would be the first publication I'd squash, because it is the most subversive. I believe that organic gardeners are in the forefront of serious effort to save the world by changing man's orientation to it, to move away from the collective, centrist superindustrial state, toward a simpler, realer one to one relationship with the earth itself."

Michael Pollan's, The Omnivore's Dilemma, p. 142

I have been visiting gardens this week–checking up on all the vegetables I have planted with my clients. While I have been driving around with JT, my assistant, I have been paging through Michael Pollan's Work... Maybe it is because I am excited to have just signed a contract with Rodale/Prevention Magazine for recipes, or maybe its because I am always thinking about how and why my projects are connected but this above quote stuck as I checked gardens and thought about feeding others.

The Rodale story is something to checkout. Currently the publisher of The Inconvenient Truth and Men's Health– who knew that it all started from J. I. Rodale living in tenement housing in the lower east side trying to make a better life for himself and others–similar to what Will Allen, of Growing Power, is doing in Milwaukee...


Frances, the librarian at Scott Montgomery Elementary, had lunch with us yesterday. She shared with us an amazing list of projects: Veggie gardens for each grade, community compost and us getting to spend Fridays with the preschoolers in the Pumpkin Patch…

After we finished business, Martin Lane and Frances began discussing BOOKS! The Invention of Hugo Cabaret, Everything by Roald Dahl and Coraline … Martin Lane has never read Coraline and was not interested in the Movie when it came out. Frances thought ML would Love it…

This morning after a run and watering the pumpkins I came back to a copy of Coraline waiting for ML on our front stoop. What a kind gesture from a librarian taking time on her second day of school…

We spent the morning taking turns reading chapters from Coraline. We had plans but they got pushed back. This morning was a morning of play and what that meant was reading to each other.

Studies declare that what is missing from children’s lives is free play. The concern is that all play is scripted either by a computer or rules of a game or even adult supervision. My concern is that as soon is there is language involved or even a scheduled time then the so-called Free Play becomes part of the arrangement… So we look to play as part of the arrangement, a sort of slackening of rigidity and in this we find the ability to get done what we need to and enjoy the play that spontaneously shows up on our front door step…

Monday, August 24, 2009

Water Melon Pudding

For this weekend's home restaurants I wanted to do a small watermelon course after cheese and before dessert. I did two experiments with agar agar the seaweed that acts as a thickener but I was not happy with either of my attempts. Watermelon and agar agar do not go well together, I think their textures maybe too similar... John reminded me of a watermelon pudding I used to make–based on an old Sicilian recipe.

For the dinners I served an Asian spoon full of the pudding with a slice of fresh watermelon. I was pleased with the combination of the silky pudding and the fresh crunchy watermelon. Some recipes call for the addition of vanilla, anise, rosewater, jasmine or cinnamon. Often it is served topped with whipped cream. I might make another batch this week infused with fresh jasmine flowers from my garden.

The recipe calls for cornstarch an ingredient that I had banned from my kitchen for a few years for no legitimate reason. Recently I discovered an organic cornstarch that I used for this recipe.

1 1/2 pounds watermelon seeds and rind removed cut into chunks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup organic cornstarch

Puree watermelon in blender until smooth

In a non-reactive sauce pan combine sugar and cornstarch, slowly wisk in pureed watermelon. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, reduce heat slightly and continue cooking, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes

Pass the watermelon mixture through a fine sieve, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled.

Becoming Amateur

As the summer comes to a close ML and I have been on a food movie binge. I think it may have been in direct response to our disappointment with Julie and Julia, but for whatever reason it has been inspiring to revisit films like The Big Night, Babette's Feast and Eat, Drink, Man, Woman.

What is interesting for me watching these movies (and what sets them apart from J and J) is that all three deal in one way or another with the aftermath (or the impending aftermath in The Big Night) of a career as a successful professional chef. Instead of the usual making of a success or rise to success, these movies deal in the living after the success. Begging the question of what is success seems to be at the heart of these movies.

Babette moving through the frame to feed the infirmed or Master Chu making lunch boxes for school girls–­both of these chefs have moved from a place of professionalism to a becoming amateur. Babette claims at the high point of Babette’s Feast, “An artist is never poor”, Martin Lane looks at me and says “good line”… I think, “YES!”

What is striking in Eat, Drink, Man, Woman on a second visit, besides the humor (the film is really dry and funny), is how gorgeous, luscious, voluptuous Master Chu’s food comes across when he cooks for his daughters, in their home. The same dumplings, fish, greens come across almost as unappetizing when being portrayed in the large restaurant he is affiliated with after his semi-retirement. Maybe it is because of all the handmade apparatuses he uses in his home and juxtaposed all the shiny stainless steel in the restaurant, the food comes across as cold. The fact that Master Chu goes outside to light a smoker, just to get the ham right at home, portrays a level of love for what he does, for who he is, that could never come across in a professional kitchen. He cooks for his girls now, not the big wigs.

The word amateur comes from French, Italian and based in Latin as an offshoot of the word for lover and to love. We see this in Babette’s Feast when we watch Babette work the stoves. It starts when she returns from the shore having retrieved ingredients from France, a turtle, a cage of live quails… at this point Babette’s walk is different, her rhythm, her stride equals pure confidence. She is about to prepare a Feast she is paying for from lottery winnings and in which she has asked the guest to attend as a favor–­How exciting to watch this film again… However the true portrayal of amateur, love of a practice is, as her guests are worshiping their spiritual Father they are repeating maxims over and over again to deny their bodies, their senses while eating Babette's food. The tension portrays a pleasure that is born out of necessity.

Watching it again it struck me, I use to think that the General (non-puritan) was at this feast to sort of make it all worthwhile for Babette, for he knew her former career and successes–A sort of I need a witness of my past to make me what I need to be for my new crowd, but watching again I realize the General is only there for us, the movie goer, to fill in the back story as a professional… the puritans don’t need him and neither does Babette… This is a becoming amateur cook with pure amateur eaters and it is a wonderful thing to watch.

I will leave The Big Night for another post, for it may have nothing to do with becoming amateur. Babette's Feast and Eat Drink, Man, Woman were two very important movies for me as I was becoming a professional chef and now as I am becoming an amateur…

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dinner August 22, 2009

There are thousands of pages written about repetition–the impossibility of any repetition being the Same. One only has to spend time trying to throw wadded up paper balls into a trash can to discover that repetition has nothing to do with repeating the same. For my repetitive act does not always result with the paper in the can and quite often as this folly is played out the focus will change from the trash can to another target. If one can stay in the active motion of repetition, one begins to understand the small deviations that ripple out into larger effects. Even if one where to perfect the toss and actually repeat it as the same, Time would always turn the observing of this action into the difference between the time before and the time after...

What repetition does amount to when set into motion and accumulated is a practice. And when acknowledged as such offers us the ability to slightly adjust, tiny movements of equilibrium and deviation that shy away from expressed goals, understand the enjoyment in the nudging of a practice along with its structure...

Tonight we cooked the menu that we cooked the night before–a repetition in much the manner mentioned above. When we had Rupperts Restaurant we would say the menu changed every night but in fact often the menu changed only slightly as the dishes themselves were never the same. Always a nudging in the direction of whatever variables where presented us AND what we felt was the best possible outcome for us and our guests... "It takes years to perfect a dish" and I can honestly say that we have never approached cooking this way. Maybe because we felt as though we never had set goals of rigid expectations when it came to cooking. We did perfect certain moves or processes that contributed to dishes and always tried to see where we could go with them–never wanting to become static, understanding the goal of perfect is antithetical to perfection. Things are what the are, always in motion and isn't that wonderful?

Chefs will cook a dish a thousand times and no matter how hard they try it is never truly the same, for them or their observers, and this is what I find exhilarating about cooking... I guess its also why opening a big production restaurant in Las Vegas or any where else has never appealed to me... We had a blast in our Laboratory tonight and want to thank our guests for braving such a soaking wet night in the middle of August...


Dinner August 22, 2009

Lima Bean Puree on Spoon
Braised Cucumber
Salmon Cake on Beet Chip

Thyme Lemon Vodka Martini


Curried White Peach and Red Lentil Soup
Sliced Potato Bread

Chardonnay Borgogne Domaine de Montmeix 2006

Raw Mushroom Marinated in Lemon and Chive with Pea Shoots
Stone Baked Onion Bread

(Dom. des Roy) Touraine ROUGE "Les Linottes" 2008

Baby Chicken Gumbo, Calaloo, Okra, Tomato, Black Barley
Salty Baguette
Hot Sauce on the Side

(Puffeney) Arbois Rouge Vielles Vignes 2004

Panache D’Aramits, Cracker and Kale Sprouts with Walnut Oil

Watermelon Pudding with Fresh Local Watermelon Slice

Cremant de Loire

Honey Cake, with Frozen Honey and Vanilla with Raw Fig, Dried Fig and
Warm Fig Compote

Fennel Seed Shortbread, Oatmeal Chocolate Cashew Drops, Mint Cake with Mint Icing

Playlist for a rainy August night began with the melancholy contemporary cowboy poet Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and moved toward the Hammond B3 jazz/soul of John Patton to the quick tempo of Oscar Peterson playing Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story, then Mingus, some Sun Ra and finishing with another melancholy cowboy–Townes Van Zandt... Some Cassandra, Ella, Willie, Miles, Brubeck and Etta sprinkled in along the way...

Hard Life, Master And Everyone, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Three Questions, Master And Everyone, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Lessons From What's Poor, Master And Everyone, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Maundering, Master And Everyone, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Master And Everyone, Master And Everyone, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Ain't You Wealthy, Ain't You Wise?, Master And Everyone, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
The Way, Master And Everyone, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Rich Wife Full Of Happiness, Ease Down The Road, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Grand Dark Feeling Of Emptiness, Ease Down The Road, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
A King At Night, Ease Down The Road, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
May It Always Be, Ease Down The Road, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Tupelo Honey, Blue Light 'Til Dawn, Cassandra Wilson
Ev'ry Time We Say Good-Bye, The Cole Porter Songbook (Disc 1), Ella Fitzgerald
Cantaloupe Island, Cantaloupe Island, Herbie Hancock
The Sermon, Blue Note Years- Vol 3 Organ & Soul (Disc 1), Jimmy Smith
Prayer Meetin', Prayer Meetin' [Bonus Tracks], Jimmy Smith
Let 'Em Roll, Blue Note Years- Vol 3 Organ & Soul (Disc 1), John Patton
Memphis, Memphis To New York Spirit, John Patton
The Mandingo, Memphis To New York Spirit, John Patton
Bloodyun, Memphis To New York Spirit, John Patton
Steno, Memphis To New York Spirit, John Patton
Man From Tanganyika, Memphis To New York Spirit, John Patton
Cissy Strut, Memphis To New York Spirit, John Patton
Dragon Slayer, Memphis To New York Spirit, John Patton
Something's Coming, West Side Story, Oscar Peterson Trio
Somewhere, West Side Story, Oscar Peterson Trio
Jet Song, West Side Story, Oscar Peterson Trio
Tonight, West Side Story, Oscar Peterson Trio
Maria, West Side Story, Oscar Peterson Trio
I Feel Pretty, West Side Story, Oscar Peterson Trio
Noddin' Ya Head Blues, THREE OF FOUR SHADES OF BLUES, Charles Mingus
The Bat Cave, Batman and Robin, Sun Ra and the Blues Project
Batman and Robin Swing, Batman and Robin, Sun Ra and the Blues Project
Batmobile Wheels, Batman and Robin, Sun Ra and the Blues Project
Take Five, Time Out, The Dave Brubeck Quartet
So What, Kind of Blue, Miles Davis
In A Sentimental Mood, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
'Round Midnight, Thelonious Himself, Thelonious Monk
Stardust, West Coast Jazz Box, Dave Brubeck Quartet
Stardust, Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton, Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton
Stardust, One Hell of A Ride, Willie Nelson
If I Needed You, Be Here To Love Me, Townes Van Zandt
Don't You Take It Too Bad, Be Here To Love Me, Townes Van Zandt
To Live's To Fly, Be Here To Love Me, Townes Van Zandt
Time After Time, Traveling Miles, Cassandra Wilson
Don't Explain, Mystery Lady: Songs Of Billie Holiday, Etta James

Dinner August 21, 2009

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's Physiology of Taste begins with twenty APHORISMS OF THE PROFESSOR... Pithy sayings like: "To invite a person to your house is to take charge of his happiness as long as he be beneath your roof." Martin Lane and I read them to each other as we bathed, relaxed and anticipated cooking for a group tonight in our home... Here are the first five and the menu from tonight below...more tomorrow–we have another party we are excited about!

I. The universe would be nothing were it not for life and all that lives must be fed.

II. Animals feed; man eats. The man of mind alone knows how to eat.

III. The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they are fed.

IV. Tell me what kind of food you eat, and I will tell you what kind of man you are.

V. The Creator, when he obliges man to eat, invites him to do so by appetite, and rewards him by pleasure.

Dinner August 21, 2009

Lima Bean Puree on Spoon
Braised Cucumber
Salmon Cake on Beet Chip

Thyme Lemon Vodka Martini


Curried White Peach and Red Lentil Soup
Potato Bread

Chardonnay Borgogne Domaine de Montmeix 2006

Raw Mushroom Marinated in Lemon and Chive with Pursulane
Grilled Herb Bread

(Dom. des Roy) Touraine ROUGE "Les Linottes" 2008

Baby Chicken Gumbo, Calaloo, Okra, Tomato, Black Barley
Salty Baguette
Hot Sauce on the Side

(Puffeney) Arbois Rouge Vielles Vignes 2004

Panache D’Aramits, Cracker

Watermelon Pudding

Cremant de Loire

Honey Cake, with Frozen Honey and Vanilla with Raw Fig, Dried Fig and
Fig Compote

Fennel Seed Shortbread, Oatmeal Chocolate Cashew Drops, Mint Cake

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Last Days of Summer

We are sitting around the kitchen table... some cooking for us tonight and prepping for two Home Restaurants... Tired from a week of planting... Excited about a weekend of cooking...Our banter is raw and silly...we have been punning "the Sunnyside of the Street" to privledge The Shady side... Trying to learn Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First"... chatting about Whole Foods–something just does not feel good about going there to me... John's Mom asks what took so long and dares us to try the WFM on River Road, "it's just hateful!"... Martin Lane expresses anxiety about the coming fifth grade... John exclaims this has been the best summer ever and I suggest moving some where and dropping out of society... Ultimately for many reasons we are sad that summer is ending... more photos from Jackie...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scott Montgomery Elementary

Tuesday was the hottest day of the year...Which really was not so bad since we have had an amazing summer weather-wise... However we chose this day to dig up a patch of land at The Scott Montgomery Elementary School to plant PUMPKINS! The Mayor's Conservation Crew came and helped out. Jackie Maisonneuve is documenting us for her Senior Thesis and shared these images...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009