Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Ham Bone is Connected to the...

For some reason I have been sucked into the world of new recipes, fine dining and travel. So who's complaining. On a very cold Winter day I thawed the car out, headed to Fresh Market and dragged back enough food to make lunch today and have a hearty soup that will last through 7+ hours of Playoff NFL TV coverage this Sunday. Just need to pick up a baguette.

Had a 'Teapot' mussel lunch with a great wine pairing while I toiled away building the soup with what to me are some new ingredients. And thanks to Hyde Park Meats for the free ham bone. I promise to stop in more often to support you.

I followed the recipe as religiously as I could but when vinegar was called for, I poured wine in. My bad! And a little cayenne pepper lets me keep the thermostat at 68 in the house. I can't tell you how well it turned out critically but it will be gone by the time, and I HATE saying this, the Steelers roll into another Superbowl. (This is actually an easy call as I will root for the Steelers before the Jets any day.) But the game to watch is the Bears v. Packers. Should be a classic. But back to the soup. Early indicators are very positive.

So below is the evidence of where I've come from in a year. Thanks to Paris. And if you're nice you can use my new knife but be careful as it is wicked sharp.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oregon Pinot Noir

I agree in particular when there is more finesse and less fruit bombs, and the region has done a great job of promoting the whole brand collectively with events like Pinot Camp. OK, do I get invited back now after this shameless plug?

And not sure why everyone was so happy after being wined and dined and driven all over Willamette Valley for three days? I knew this was going to be a fun group when our bus 'den mother', who owns one of the big wineries there, had the bus driver pull over at a local convenience store before the morning discussion session the first morning to load the cooler up with cold beer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Neighborhood Pub

With restaurants coming and going these days it's good to see an old neighborhood pub stand the test of time. There have been ownership changes and some remodeling but the place still takes care of the neighborhood with a warm place to watch the game with good food and cold beer and a cheery welcome. "You back again? Want another Rivertown Winter Ale?"

I've been going there since the mid 70s and the faces may have changed, and you can't run a tab anymore, but the place is packed with smiling faces and is busy so they must be doing something right these past 40 years.