April showers bring . . .

Flowers are nice, but give me a good bunch of pencil sized asparagus, morel mushrooms, ramps and all of the other wonderful spring forage items.  Some say that spring arrives when the daffodils bloom, me I like the edible crescendo that starts with maple syrup and keeps growing till all a sudden you can stop buying produce at the grocery store.  When the precipitation turns from flakes to April  showers they bring a ground swell of goodness. So get outside and taste the bounty to be had. DWC MOREL ASPARAGUS 003


If life where like maple syrup

With many things if everyone would experience other peoples lives you would probably treat others with more respect. When is the last time you tried to understand what a trash collector/sanitation worker aka garbage man’s day truly involve. Or the postal carrier, the high rise construction guy but what I think everyone should try being is the maple syrup making guy. You get to spend time outdoors, listening to the drip, drip of sap into buckets, tending to a fire, skim. strain and bottle. As the saying goes as slow as molasses well I think life needs to be more like maple syrup, slow, sweet and a little work. Which is the recipe for great syrup and in my humble opinion a pretty good way to live life. One drip at a time, savoring everyone. 

Forrest had it wrong,

Everyone knows the iconic line from Forrest Gump, “life is like a box of chocolates. . .”. I think life is more like bread. With bread you start out with a couple of simple ordinary ingredients and combine them. If you take the time to kneed them properly, cover the dough in a nice warm safe spot and you let it rise. You will as in life you get knocked down and from that you get a second chance rise again.  After a bit like in life you end up in a twist or all balled up maybe you get molded into loaf pan some shapes maybe “prettier” then others but other’s are more useful and in the end isn’t that what you get; a great loaf of bread. But before you can get that great loaf you end up being thrown into the fire.  And in the end your life can be the ends of a sandwich or sopping up gravy maybe you are a roll or a bread stick whatever you are if done right it is a thing of beauty to be savored.

But if you cut corners, don’t let it proof all the way, punching down, never take the time to shape it you get a hard crust-less mess that has a hard time being used except for maybe croutons or crumbs. And you are left to wonder, bread is hard what did I do wrong? But never fear you can try again tomorrow. Or today if you choose.

If a foodie wrote “sound of music”

True unadulterated lovers of food have a passion for food, and that might even be an  understatement. There are restaurants solely devoted to bacon, cheese, cake, hot dogs, lobster rolls and many others.  It takes over our lives consumes our thoughts, if the Sound of Music was written by a hard core foodie the title would have more then likely been Sound of Bacon, and a few of my favorite things would have been filled with Chiffon cakes and dripping icing.  So when you converse with one of many of foodies out there please remember we live life as if we where on a pile of goodies and a French pastry shop was on every corner. So the next time you forget about dinner just break out into a spirited rendition of when the roast burn I think of a few of my favorite things. . .

Pitchers and catchers which means tongs and spatulas

Spring must be right around the corner. We, as a strong/resilient/season loving group of northern Mid-westerners, can handle all that Mother Nature throws at us. But really?!  With a high of zero and no break in sight, it hardly seems like March. Hang on fellow mid-westerners; there is a ray of hope. The boys of summer are flocking to the training grounds, and the cracks of bats will be soon follow. I have my own “spring training.” I polish my tongs, spatula, and the grates in the grill and dry clean the “Kiss the King of the Grill” apron. Way before the first sighting of robins, the inaugural 2014 “Lighting of the Grill” will take place. And if you live in the northern climates too, remember to put your beverage in a cozy for the early season grilling—not to keep it cool, but to prevent it from freezing.

Create a meal, nightly

Have you ever stood in-front of the cabinets, refrigerator, pantry and stare into the abyss wondering what am I going to make for dinner? Many of us have excluding the proficient ones of us who diligently write weekly menus that correlate to coupons in the local paper and have it down to a science.  Well not I, how the hell am I suppose to know what I am hungry for on Friday on Sunday afternoon? I have always slightly admired individuals who could script their lives like that but I am too, what I like to call, a lighting strike thinker. As an example you walk past the fish counter and the just got freshly delivered striped bass and it looks amazing which the idea hits you like lighting to do an orange tarragon cream sauce with mushroom risotto and the eggplant look great this week blam lighting you see eggplant parmesan in your families’ future. How does the instant creative spark come into play with the neat list? No matter how you get there I applaud you all for taking the time to make it at home with love. As always making a meal nightly, from a list or a storm cloud called your brain.

Butter; or onions maybe sugar?

As I went grocery shopping this week I wondered what is the most used ingredient in the kitchen? While battling a wobbly wheel and a “I want to walk” stating three year old I noticed piles of potatoes and then onions turn the corner a whole pallet of flour then valentine’s day candies. Which begs the question is there a universal most used ingredient or is it a household to household debate? I might even go as far as saying it might depend on what week you are asking me. I go on baking blitzes and smoked meats for supper then stuffed peppers or other vegetables throw in a pizza night and what is the common ingredient? If you can figure it out here’s a beer to you which reminds me I need to write that on the grocery list.

Hold on it might get bumpy

In a week, or less, but maybe more once again the great American day will be upon us.  .  . Super Bowl Sunday. Even if you don’t like sports or football there will be the weather, the food, the friendships and of course the commercials. But I personally think it will be wonderful to see the biggest game of the season played in what us everyday Wisconsinites and other mid-westerners have had to put up with everyday.  So if you are one of the 1.2 million families that are hosting a party get ready it might be a bumpy ride.  The NFL has said if “bad” weather is certain to happen they might move up or delay the game. Well, what about the chicken wings, artichoke dip and guacamole do they think things can be whipped up with no effort?

So raise a glass get the chips and get all your friends we are going to have a party tonight, or tomorrow or who knows? I say party  Friday to Sunday and have all the bases covered.