Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Evening

(I do not know how or why blogger mobile is changing the shadows/highlights of this photo, but I promise it looks nothing like this on my phone) (also, blogger mobile -please center portrait oriented photos. Please) 

We're surrounded by the coming snow here in Minnesota, it's awfully chilled out there too, so why not stay in to cook and decorate today. Betsy did the tree (Rex has always done it before so it was a challenge for him) and I cooked pork butt and pork skin braciola and meatballs. Inside the braciola is back fat and guanciale, parsley and garlic. It makes a richly flavored sauce. I'm looking forward to it. 

We discovered an expensive, quality butcher in Minneapolis (we searched online) called Clancey's. Manned by several guys that would be labeled hipsters if this were Brooklyn, the butcher had locally sourced meats and a nice selection of cured products (guanciale!). They had garlic going for $19.99 a pound! I bought fennel pollen pork sausages, ground pork, guanciale, pork butt (which they sliced for me), and a giant beef chuck roast for slow cooking on Christmas. 

Outside I made sure to slip on the snow covered pack ice (the arm is still sore) as we headed diagonally for a place called coffee and tea. Inside green beans  of every denomination were being roasted. 

There was one that topped $143 per pound. Looks like the foodie thing is on in Minneapolis, but the proprietor here was an elderly man, not the young entrepreneurs we expect. (Blogger mobile, why do you mysteriously change fonts when there is no way for me to change fonts in mobile?)

Merry Christmas all! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter's Garden

I feel a polarity shift coming on. Is it the sun's magnetic reversal, or was it the problematic upstairs tenants who were high pitched and pleasant to me yesterday evening when we were caught in the vestibule together? The weather is cold and warm as we straddle opposing highs along an unusual wintertime funnel boundary. Whatever it is, 2014 is preparing to look quite different from 2013 and I welcome it. Caio two thousand and thirteen!

We pack the van for Minnesota today, head out by noon and shoot for western PA by evening. It appears we will have some weather to deal with (the boundary rides the lakes like us). From temperatures near 50 to those in the teens, singles, and negatives. Blankets in the van. Mobile reports are possible. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hundred Pines

For years we have not furnished our apartment with a tree, but I always appreciate when they come in. This year they did so on Thanksgiving morning, a semi from Canada (hell, it's not their holiday). At night, returning bleary-eyed from 9 hours with frantic students in a windowless room, I turn the corner, almost home, to inhale the scent of a hundred pines. It's very good.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Gift

Betsy gave some garlic to a coworker and he gave us this tool in return. I love when something discarded is reborn. The old claw, somewhat deformed yet looking all the more a claw, was reattached to a hand-turned ash handle. I love people that can make things. Gorgeous tool.