I wrote about dinner there last year when I was joined by the lovely Megs. It was, again, an amazing dining experience. I don't imagine that I will be producing this kind of food, ever. It's not a question of capability, knowledge or commitment: it's a question of labor. All the really top restaurants get by with lots, I mean lots, of unpaid externs. Kids who want to get the name on their resume and will suck it up for three months. I know a cook there, he tells me it is a kitchen where every single person wants to be there. Imagine that, working someplace with continual, renewed positive energy. In the middle of this great meal, I kept flashing on the following demotivator:
Let's not call this "sour grapes" I prefer label "ver jus."
I just found a photo of the Reverend Dawn*. She's standing in my room, in front of the window, completely starkers. Yep, I can see all her piercings up and down. More obvious is that she was in great shape.
*This is not the Dawnami I have frequently written of. Although, interestingly enough, I have an oil painting of in her the nuddy. Go figure.
Does it do anything for me, this photo? No.
She and I saw each other when she came through town and needed a place to crash. And once, when I went up to Yosemite. Over a 4 year period, maybe a half dozen visits.
She's a 6ft tall red head, size 4, by the by.
Our first "date" started simply enough, dinner in North Beach and drinks on Polk. We were having a great time and, so she told me later, it was after the drinks when I was supposed to make my move. Instead we went to Bob's for coffee and donuts.
She smelled like lilacs, my favorite flower
Why didn't I make my move? Partially, 'cause I'm an idiot and didn't know that I should've. Also, there was some warning bell going in my head. So, sitting at the counter of Bob's she starts reciting Daddy by Sylvia Plath. Girls, this is the best way to end a date. Just memorize the first 10 lines.
You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.
Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time-- Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one gray toe Big as a Frisco seal
Rev. managed to get 45 lines in before losing it. I remember her repeating "Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute, Brute heart of a brute like you. "
The other thing I didn't know: it was her fifth day off speed.
After that she moved to Yosemite, then Colorado, then Arizona, then Portland. She became a "dancer" somewhere in there and fell in and out and in and out of love with a guy name Roger. I knew she was nuts (or, as KT put it: she lives in her own little Dawn world). But, I love me some crazy and being with her was always a rush.
She gave the most amazing scalp massage.
The weekend the photo was taken, she'd left Roger behind and was done with him. We spent a night up at Yosemite, had a lovely day in Marin, and had some great talks. When she left I thought for the first time that maybe there was something there.
She was, ahem, open minded.
A month later I get a postcard from Reverend Dawn, from Nicaragua. She and Roger are on their honeymoon.
In response to South Dakota's new abortion law, a hero has arisen:
"To me, it is now a question of sovereignty." President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, says "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction."
Sausages, ham, pâtés, and other cooked or processed meat foods.
This is also the name of a great new book by Brian Polcyn. Chef Polcyn has rocked the Detroit area for years. First as Chef at the legendary Golden Mushroom in Southfield, later at Pike Street in Pontiac, and now his homebase the Five Lakes Grill was last year named best restaurant in Michigan by the Freep.
The book has in it a recipe I've wanted for years: Chef Milos' Venison Sausage. I had it at a couple of times in Detroit (Milos' former apprentices form a sort of Pasta Nostra in the Southeastern part of the mitten) and this sausage is fantastic. I was all hyped up trying to figure out what to do with all these new recipes when I was asked to do a hunting menu.
So here is what I put together:
*Starting at 2 o'clock: Chef Milos' Venison Sausage. *At 5 o'clock: Green Tomato Relish. *At 6 o'clock: Duck Breast Proscuitto *Directly above that: Vodka and Beet Cured Wild Salmon. *The Brown/Orange stuff to the left is Rabbit Rillet (rabbit slowly braised tender, chilled, ground, mixed with mayo and seasoning). *7 o'clock to 12: Pickled Vegetables (Peppers, White Asparagus, Carrots and Onions). *1 o'clock: Beer and Carraway Mustard
Everything is served cold, which is kind of the point. Even a hundred years ago cooking wasn't just putting food on the plate. Cooking meant making food to last. Ma, Pa, Mary and half-pint couldn't eat a whole pig fresh, it needed to last the winter- so they had to know ways to cook that would preserve the food. The sausages and proscuitto, is kept in a cool place, will keep for months. The same with the rillet (traditionall made with rendered fat that would seal it airtight into the jar. Pickled veg, cooked relishes . . . so very utilitarian.
And with these same historical, traditional impulses . . . this weekend I'm making beer.