“Take your Broken Hear and make it into art.”
Meryl Streep, Golden Globes, 2017
I’m going to say up front and first off that, since the election, any effort on my part to write this blog has stalled out, utterly. Along with many around me, I fell into a deep well of despair, thinking, “What cannot be, is.” In the two months intervening, my head has been bent down with grief – but also in the concentration of effort towards distraction. Hobbies & small tasks have moved to the front of the brain. Trying to figure out how to put LED lights around the roof of the café has been and still is my most compelling issue. In case anyone wonders why that would be difficult (outside of the weather), it’s because LEDs require a boatload of power (watts) and because the signal to control them cannot travel long distances. (The cafe is 75′ long.) So if you ever see this project make an appearance, you will know all that has been resolved.
Here is something else I have been working on. Barb and I, and Jillian, our head chef, want to try to jazz up the winter this year. We are putting together a series of theme dinners that investigate a topic and illustrate it with menu and beverage tastings. Here’s what I have simmering on the stove so far:
- “Terroir” – is it real or is it a marketing scam? A lot has been made about how the flavors of wines are affected by the place where the grapes
are grown. A new book has been written saying that terroir is a made up idea put forth by Europeans when the California industry began to catch up and then surpass them. The Europeans were trying to manufacture a proposition that would protect their markets. But some oenophiles now believe that the interactions between a rock and a grape vine are zero. Somewhat predictably, that group is clustered at The University of California, Davis, near Napa-Sonoma.
Our plan is to have a tasting of several cabernets from around the world and discuss the experiences – to see if we might discover anything related to terroir. Served alongside will be a cab friendly menu featuring pot au feu in the main course.
I do not know exactly how this experiment will turn out but am interested to do it.
- Trade Routes of the East India Company and the history of India Pale Ale – One of the most popular modern brews originated in London in Colonial times. We will take a look at that story plus the route that sailors took to Bombay during that period. The menu will include recipes from Portuguese Madeira, South Africa and India. We will taste some London gin, four premier IPAs and some Madeira while we discuss the British Empire, the mining businesses in India
and South Africa and the residue from all that in the world’s present political situation.
- Best Cookbooks of 2016 – So many recipes so little time…. Yes, I know, there are soooo many cookbooks. But believe me, the four I have chosen are worth looking in to. This is a tour of the press they have received and a sampling of the recipes within. Plus we will taste some of the year’s best wines. This dinner promises to be very special.
I’ll post here and on FB the dates and times and complete details when we get them. Hopefully, these events will help to cheer us all up.