Saturday, June 30, 2007

Eat Them Up, Yum

This, by the way, is the grill I got Doug for Father's Day. I think I did well. No, it's not charcoal, it's gas, but it's fast and it works just fine.

Saturday is the fabulous Montpelier Farmer's Market. We walked in today, right at 9 AM for a change, and there, at Highland Gardens farm, I saw they had brook trout from their pond. I can't tell you how excited I was. I got some other wonderful bounty, of course, from other farms (wonderful cucumber and tomatoes from Cate Farm and enormous red leaf lettuce and sugar snap peas from LaPage Farm). I almost always go to Pete's Greens, too, but I ran out of money before I got there! They are one of my favorite farms. They have a year-round CSA (community sponsored agriculture) that I would love to participate in someday. I haven't picked any strawberries this year, and frankly, I don't know if we will (so no jam), but I have been buying them every chance I get at Dog River Farm...who are not at the Capitol Farmer's Market, but are on my way home from Montpelier. Best organic strawberries and best price as well.

I just seasoned the trout with salt and pepper and stuffed the cavity with lemon slices and rosemary. I grilled them and served them with a simple salad made with cucumbers, red leaf lettuce, and homemade thyme croutons. I also made risotto cakes with an almond/whole wheat breading. The risotto was a bacon/spinach one Doug had made the other day.

It was a most satisfying meal. The girls ate none of it. They liked the croutons. Fiona did have one bite of fish. She had yogurt and homemade granola instead. Sophia is more interested in running around than eating. Hopefully, she'll have something in the next few minutes before bathtime and bed.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Who are these Wines?

Triana and Ellen Aim like to give personality to their wines by matching them up with people, so I will try that here, using the wines from our wine dinner, although my knowledge of Who People Are is rather limited. Thanks to Ellen Aim for help with this! I had a hard time finding the right match and some of them are not really perfect matches, but I think you would get an idea of the personality of the wine.

Gruet, Blanc de Noirs NV:
Rich and toasty. Plenty of immediate charm.
Ralph Fiennes

I was originally thinking Cary Grant, but after thinking about it some more...I think Ralph is a better fit.

Sokol Blosser Evolution #9 NV:
Appears simple, but is really quite complex.
Leonardo DiCaprio

I admit this is based on What's Eating Gilbert Grape? I didn't take Leo seriously at all until this movie. Doug said, "Who knew Leonardo DiCaprio could act?"

Mer Soleil Chardonnay 2004
Layered. Big (I don't mean large, I mean expolosive). Unapologetic. Tropical fruits, butterscotch, zesty citrus.
Robin Willams

This is a pretty good fit. I feel like there is an even better fit out there, and it's on the tip of my tongue, but for now, it's eluding me.

Cristom Sommers reserve Pinot Noir 2004
Youthful tannins with grip that will surely soften in the short term.
Keanu Reeves

From Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure on to movies like the Matrix.

Bridlewood Estate Syrah 2003
Tight upon uncorking, but left decanted, one is left with a rich velvety jammy wine with hints of spice and oak.
Kevin Spacey

Hm. Or maybe:
Nathan Fillion, from Firefly.

Schramsberg "Mirabelle" NV
Fresh and lively. Citrus leaps out of the glass. Refreshing.
Alicia Silverstone

Feel free to leave your ideas (especially if you have had the wine, but that's not a requirement) in my comments.

Red, White, and Bubbly. The Dinner.

Doug and I went out to Chef's Table last night for the wine dinner. I wore a black sheer slinky something. The kind of something where you hope your areolas aren't showing through the fabric. (I was assured they were not, and no, I did not take a picture). It was one of those dresses that I bought before children and has therefore shown me that it is not my imagination that my hips are now quite a bit wider. Oof.

We were one of the first people there (Of course. It is our curse to be on time and early to everything). From 6 to 6:30 PM there was "Pre-Dinner". We were served passed hors d’Ĺ“uvres of Beef Tartare Quenelles on Rye Chips with Chili Oil, Figs with Gore Dawn Zola Blue Cheese and Marsala Caramel, and Scallop Cake barded with Prosciutto. All that was most awesome (I kept going back for more, especially the figs, even though it seemed like I was the only person doing this). What was most surprising was the wine. It was a Gruet, Blanc de Noirs, NV from...New Mexico. This worked really well with the food and it definitely had what they call "aggressive mousse" (nice foam). If you can get your hands on this, it is fabulous and the history of the winery is interesting as are their methods. I have a feeling anything you got from this winery would be the bomb.

We then had an Amuse Bouche of Pacific Oyster with Gruet Rose Sparkling Gelee. Doug and I sat there staring at the oysters because we weren't exactly sure what to do. We were a little intimidated. I have a sort of handicap with seafood because I really haven't cooked a huge variety of seafood, nor eaten it. This is something I really need to immerse myself in, but later. Of course, we did slurp them down (and chewed a bit) and it was marvelous and briny (alas, Doug did not like it, but he does not like most seafood). Oh, and that white stuff underneath the shell? That is salt (it looked pureed, like a mousse, but it was still salt) holding your oyster on the plate. I know that is really obvious. I know you won't dream of taking a bite of this. I just mention this in passing. No, Doug did not take a bite of it. I will say no more of this.

Then, on to the micro greens salad with grapefruit chips and rose petal vinaigrette. I had read about micro greens in Gourmet, so it was neat to eat some. This went perfectly with the Sokol Blosser Evolution #9, NV from Oregon. Doug tasted the muscat grape first, but I got a strong grapefruit flavor (even before the salad). Later on in the meal, the wine seemed more and more like a dessert wine. (I'm sure this was also because the wines were getting bigger and bigger as the meal went on). The wine was complex, but light. This is something else I would buy on a regular basis. It went really well with food, of course, but I think it would also be nice on its own. But perhaps on its own you would miss some of those complex layers.

For the second course, we had Duo of Quail, Vanilla-poached Endive (the star of the plate), and an Apple Pear and Golden Raisin Chutney. This really brought out the vanilla in the Mer Soleil Chardonnay, 2004 from California. I am not usually a big fan of "Monster Chardonnays" that are malolactic fermentation butterballs, but this. This was so tropical and rich and full of butterscotch that I was really blown away. They kept referring to this wine as "unapologetic" and it was an apt description. Another great pairing.

The Intermezzo was a pineapple lychee sorbet, which was the size of a melon ball. It was cute. It tasted like fresh pineapple, with an undertone of lychee. Doug thought it tasted like fish. So that was interesting.

The third course was Sockeye Salmon with a Mushroom Duxelle Stuffed Pasta Roulade and a Cherry Pinot Noir Beurre Rouge. This was served with Cristom Sommers Reserve Pinot Noir, 2004, from Oregon. Salmon and pinot noir you say? It was an excellent match and unexpected (unlike, say, duck). This pinot noir had lots of cherry in it and you could tell it was rather higher in alcohol as well. Quite tannic and a bit tight. I think this is a bit young, but still enjoyable. As good as the salmon was (and even Doug ate it), we both swooned over the mushrooms. I love when wines are paired so well with foods from the region in which it's grown. It feels very satisfactory.

The fourth course was Vermont Aged NY Strip Steak, with Red Wine steeped Napa Cabbage (which I liked, but Doug thought it tasted like cheap pickled cabbage...), Chateaux Potatoes (Crisp, golden outside, creamy center. Like french fries for a goddess.), and Mole Sauce. This was served with Bridlewood Estate Syrah, 2003, California. Wow. This wine screamed blackberry jam (they decanted it 2 hours earlier). This was yet another fantastic pairing with the food.

Dessert was a delightful Citrus Baba With Strawberry Compote and Champagne Sabayon. This was paired with Schramsberg "Mirabelle" NV from California, which really brought out the citrus flavors.

After that, we had coffee (decaf for me). You may wonder we could walk after all of that, but we didn't actually finish all of that wine (probably most of it, however). It went on for quite some time as well and all of that food must have helped. It was all in small portions and I had absolutely no trouble finishing every last valuable morsel of food.

It is true and everyone was much chattier and jollier after the meal (we even ended up talking to the couple next to us).

If you see any of these wines in your store, I do recommend them all. Maybe the Pinor Noir should be aged a bit, but I think I would have to try it again to be sure of that.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Why Can't You Be Evil Like I Taught You?

So Sobo (my Mom) is here and has been for several weeks (She leaves on July 10, alas. I have to get used to not having help during the day again!). Tonight she is watching Fiona and Sophia while Doug and I go to Chef's Table (which I just read is closing in the autumn, so now I am thankful we are going one more time at least) for a wine tasting dinner, of which the theme is "Red, White and Bubbly". Not blue, thankfully.

I have to get "show" for the kids to make this easier. I'll probably have to get at least one disc of My Little Pony. In a moment of weakness, we let Sophia pick out her own movie at the video store one day. Now whenever we are there, she finds this same movie every single time. It's a new My Little Pony movie, so it's also full price rental--not the nice $1 rental kids movies usually are. I have sat down and watched it with them and while it seems pretty harmless, it makes me cringe. First of all, the ponies have very human like faces. If that isn't creepy enough, they all sound really vacuous. This one pony says "dahling" this and "dahling" that all the time.

They love it, though, and it is really a once in a while thing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Another Tag, Finally

INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.

1) What Greg Likes
2) A Blog of a Good Time
3) Wine When Drunk From a Mug
4) Triana
5) Veloute

Select five people to tag:

Um. If you read this, please consider yourself tagged.

What were you doing 10 years ago?

1997, eh? Okay. I think that is the year we lived in Charlotte, NC. I was working at The Peaceful Dragon (oh, it's still there!) when they used to have a vegetarian cafe/tea shop there (it looks like they no longer do). I cooked and baked. Doug and I took all the classes they offered. It was great.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

It's sort of a blur. Fiona was 4 and Sophia was 20 months. We took a couple of fun car trips over the summer. It was a rainy summer.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1) scallion pancakes
2) cookies and tea
3) popcorn
4) chips and dip
5) cheese and crackers or pretzels

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:
1) You are My Sunshine
2) Iowa - Dar Williams
3) Human Touch - Rick Springfield
4) On the Turning Away - Pink Floyd
5) All My Loving - the Beatles

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) Invest/Save
2) Buy a winter home someplace warm and sunny. Oh. Maybe Bermuda so I can be near Triana.
3) Update our house.
4) Travel.
5) Lend or give to those who need it (I'm thinking family and friends here mostly, but I would consider other cases, too. Just a general philantropic choice here.)

Five bad habits:
1) Being totally disorganized.
2) Not writing thank you notes consistently.
3) Spending money frivolously.
4) Not backing up pictures and music on the computer.
5) Being too short and grumpy with the kids.

Five things you like doing:
1) Cooking and baking
2) Reading
3) Talking to friends without interruption
4) Eating out with Doug
5) Traveling

Five things you would never wear again:
1) Large earrings
2) Blue eyeshadow/mascara/eyeliner (well, except on Hallowe'en)
3) Aqua Net (again...)
4) High hells (appropriate typo)
5) That colorguard pep rally/it's Friday! outfit. That, and that black polyester concert band dress.

Five favorite toys:
1) ahem
2) iPod
3) camera
4) Doug's grill
5) Kitchen Aid mixer

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Day Yesterday

Today is better. I'm pretty certain, though, that I have actual PMS.

The sun is also out and it actually feels like June, so that helps.

I'm also going to take the kids out for ice cream now because...well, I guess because Fiona's last day of preschool is tomorrow and she'll be going to the (gasp!) Public School next year. She's not really "graduating" from the Montessori school because we aren't doing the (ahem, 6 thousand dollars) final year, which is all day, every day. She is still going to be 5 1/2 next August (actually, she starts in September) and she is still going to be in Kindergarten, and even though it's half day Kindy in our small town, to me it still feels like a Big Deal.

Well, honestly, we don't need a special reason for ice cream.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I Palindrome I

Ellen Aim has tagged me once again. We'll be going back...back...back to the year 1991. Whoa, I'm feeling just a little like I should have some grey hairs.

1. Go to

2. Pick the year you turned 18

3. Get yourself nostalgic over the songs of the year

4. Write something about how the song affected you

5. Pass it on to 5 more friends


1. Unforgettable - Nat and Natalie Cole

Really? Well, okay, cool. It sure wasn't on any radio station I listened to, though...

2. Summertime - DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince
3. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams
4. Gonna Make You Sweat - C + C Music Factory
5. More Than Words - Extreme
6. O.P.P. - Naughty By Nature
7. True Companion - Marc Cohn
8. Good Vibrations - Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch
9. Strike It Up - Black Box
10. Power of Love/Love Power - Luthor Vandross

I don't know most of these songs, but I sort of like #3 in a "Oh my gosh, did I just admit that to the world?" kind of way. Actually, that is the ONLY song I recognize.

11. Its So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday - Boys II Men
12. Enter Sandman - Metallica
13. Motownphilly - Boys II Men
14. Crazy - Seal
15. God Bless The USA - Lee Greenwood
16. Unbelievable - EMF
17. Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless) - Crystal Waters
18. Lets Talk About Sex - Salt N Pepa

Wow, 1991 sort of sucked, didn't it? At least Metallica is on there. I had to listen to that song on iTunes because I haven't listened to Metallica in ages. I actually like Metallica when I am in the right mood, but I've already confessed to that earlier, I believe. Ah, Flying Tomato, you shall be missed!

19. Black Or White - Michael Jackson
20. It Ain't Over Till It's Over - Lenny Kravitz
21. When A Man Loves A Woman - Michael Bolton
22. Here We Go - C+C Music Factory
23. P.A.S.S.I.O.N. - Rythm Syndicate
24. Star Spangled Banner - Whitney Houston
25. Coming Out Of The Dark - Gloria Estefan
26. Wind Of Change - Scorpions
27. Things That Make You Go Hmmmm... - C+C Music Factory
28. Emotions - Mariah Carey
29. I've Been Thinking About You - Londonbeat

There's just nothing here. I guess I just didn't have the radio on. Thank goodness.

46. I Touch Myself - Divinyls

I. Hate. That. Divinyls. Song.

51. Justify My Love - Madonna

Okay, I actually like Madonna. So sue me.

56. I Wanna Sex You Up - Color Me Badd

Dark days, the early 90s.

61. Losing My Religion - R.E.M.

Finally! An awesome song. I feel better now.

66. Kiss Them For Me - Siouxsie & The Banshees

And again. Big sigh of relief. I don't feel totally lost anymore.

71. Wicked Game - Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak is only #71? What. Ever.

73. Do The Bartman - The Simpsons
74. Shiny Happy People - R.E.M.

Okay, so we'll end on a positive note!

I tag Triana and Lone Star Ma. If you would like to participate, please do!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Milestones and Playgrounds

Doug built this. It is so awesome. We will be outside all summer in our backyard. It is just so cool and the girls are so happy.

On a totally unrelated note--and I am just whispering this, now, so she doesn't hear me--Sophia is on day four of using the potty. All the time. Not at night. There are accidents here and there. It seems like the Real Thing, though. I'm not attached! I am NOT attached! Regression is possible and not unusual!

I have to admit after 5 years of cloth diapering, I am still pretty excited by this.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

8 Facts Meme

The rules of this meme, which Lone Star Ma tagged me for, are supposed to be that you list the rules, then eight facts/habits about yourself. Then, at the end, you tag eight people to do it, then go to their comments section and tell them they are tagged. I don't know eight people to tag, so I will tag whom I can!

8 Facts About Me:

1.) I am completely dependent on having a cup of Earl Grey tea every morning, with milk. Actually, there is a little room for variation here. Sometimes I can substitute another black tea, but Earl Grey is the dearest to my heart.

2.) I have really thick, wavy/curly hair. I hated it for a long time. It can be really frizzy. Now I love it (most of the time). I used to hate my small boobs, too, but now I love them. I remember really wanting a boob job in high school (I am pretty sure I never told this to anyone). I am so glad that never happened, because now the thought utterly revolts me. They also did/are doing such a good job of feeding my babies! I know, I know, I shouldn't brag, but I can't help it.

3.) I don't have broadcast TV here (or cable, or a dish, or anything like that), just a VCR and DVD player (oh, and the computer, of course). I really miss it for things like House and Battlestar Galactica and LOST (Oh, and the Cooking Network, of course! I would love to see Alton Brown or Rick Bayless or Anthony Bourdain), but then I see TV at someone's house or a hotel or someplace and I see the putrid commercials. Then I do not miss TV at all. I can't see ever getting it again.

4.) I've been to a slaughterhouse and I've seen animals get killed for their meat.

5.) Right now I think we have 4 dozen eggs (before I made chocolate lava cakes) in the house. 1 dozen are duck eggs, another dozen are hard cooked already.

6.) I have an intense dislike for working in anything resembling an office environment.

7.) The first time I saw my husband Doug was on the cover of the University of Texas student newspaper. He was looking hot in a cape and I was immediately interested.

8.) I love country fairs. But, really, all I want to do is eat all the food.

Okay, I tag:

Triana and
Ellen Aim
You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule. I'm not one of them myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or less. More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be, these are the people who will bring us into the future.

Scientific Atheist


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