fiddlehead definition

fid·dle·head [ fídd'l hèd ] (plural fid·dle·heads) noun
Definition: edible fern shoot: the coiled frond of a young fern, often cooked and eaten as a delicacy

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Vinyl Lager

A hot spring day and a trip to the beer fridge. What's that I see? A lovely Vinyl Lager from Magic Hat Brewery's spring seasonal novelties. Someone hands me a church key. I pop off the top (save it for art projects though) and take a big, cold gulp. Queue this cause it feels like summer!
I am no beer expert, but I know what I like and I like to pull out the flavors just like drinking wine. I hear it pours rich, dark amber but I drank straight from the cold, dewy bottle. The bottle reads lager but it's not lager like to me. It is malty and tastes of caramel but not in on overly sweet way. It starts off smooth but has lots of hops that hit the taste buds after the caramel. Know what it tastes like? Sunshine.

From the brewery: "This brand-new, never-before-poured spring offering to the ancient deities of sunshine and blue sky is a rich and malty smooth-drinking amber lager sensation that makes the season sing."

Jim Pollock, of rock poster fame, designed the beautiful label.

Please go to the website and view the little video promo. So. Adorable. It reminds me of being a kid and watching those great stop motion Christmas movies only this one has a pixie with wings and daisies.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

morel journal

The journals I carry with me are full of reviews, quotes, wines to remember after I have had too many glasses and memories. I think I will add this one to my collection because it fits me perfectly. I found it on Etsy here.

I love reading up on morels on this great site,, that is chock full of everything morel. From hunting to recipes this site has it all about the ever-elusive mushroom.

Monday, May 10, 2010

giddy in the garden

I walk out to my garden 3 times a day. I check on it, water it, talk to it and stare at it. It is a thing of beauty that changes every day. We have a relationship, the garden and I. It is symbiotic. I nurture it and it feeds me. The nurturing of the garden feeds more than my body, however. I have found that it is feeding my soul. Veggies fresh picked and still warm from the sun taste better than any I have ever tasted. They taste better too knowing that I can grow them.

I found this quote today and it made me think of my garden.

The greatest delight the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me and I to them. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now I must go check on it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Farm Burger but more about the market salad

I can't count the number of times I have headed to Farm Burger since it opened. There is a line out of the door no matter what time I show up and I mean that in a good way. The crowd is always happily waiting, knowing that good food is prepared to order with fresh, local ingredients. On this particular Sunday I arrived at around 1:30 and stood in line for about 15 minutes. In that time I was able to fully read the menu, make some friends and read the fresh ingredients from the chalk board stand. The atmosphere is electric. There is action in the kitchen and there is a convivial hunger from the crowd. Tables are rustic with forks and knives in jelly jars and food arrives (promptly) in metal baskets after orders are placed. Your baskets sit on craft paper place mats with a simple Farm Burger stamp.

The first thing I saw on the menu of the day was fiddleheads. Fiddleheads! My market salad arrived and I gazed a while. Really. It was beautiful and simple and like nothing I had ever seen alongside burgers. It was lovingly composed of Moore's Farm mixed greens, local, sustainably grown green's I can order online and pick up at many convenient locations. Mixed into the greens were easter egg radishes that were crunchy, fresh and peppery. Most of the veggies come from Full Moon Farms, a community supported byodynamic farm or Dillwood Farms in Loganville. The cauliflower was out of this world tasty and fresh. I am not sure how they were marinated (maybe turmeric) but they were not ordinary and they were a terrific compliment to the dates sprinkled about. Slices of carrot rested on the top along with the star of the salad, braised celery. That's right, braised celery. Celery is usually an afterthought in salad, something extra for crunch, because it is in the fridge. Check out this blog about braising celery. My thoughts exactly. On top of it all was a grainy mustard vinaigrette (you could also choose farm Goddess dressing), Parmesan cheese and crunchy, perfect fiddleheads. Every bite was different, complex and savory.

Oh yeah, I had a burger too. The buns were soft, warm and held up. Meat is locally sourced and house ground. I ordered mine with house cured bacon and couldn't get over how thick, smoky and flavorful it was. In short, a tasty burger that i felt good about eating. Sustainability is a mission here and they even focus on materials they use to serve and wrap their products. Fries were hand cut and tasted like the ones I make at home. Onion rings are crispy and beer battered. They come with a paprika mayo that i did not try. I don't really do mayo unless it's hidden but others seemed to really like it. This is a complete aside, as it may pertain only to me, but I don't usually feel that great after eating a burger. Burger remorse is what I call it. It never came that Sunday nor the morning after. Is it the fresh, locally raised beef that is grass fed without hormones prepared thoughtfully?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Artazu Artazuri Garnacha Navarra 2007

Lots of bang for your buck from this find by importer Eric Solomon. This Spanish garnacha goes with just about anything I have tried. Chicken off the grill, pasta with vodka sauce, even spicy poblano sauce. What a gem. It's funny reading other wine reviews about this wine. Some taste plums, blackberries, raspberries, even strawberries. It is definitely fruit forward but inky, oaky and with a mineral essence. I taste cherries, smoky cherries like the cherry tobacco my uncle used to smoke. I also read a review that noted it's friendliness. It's not much for conversation, but we are definitely friends.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

edible butterflies

Formulating plans in my head for baby showers and wedding showers that start popping up this time of you, I came across these delightfully realistic and EDIBLE butterflies. I want to throw a theme party around them, they are so lovely. A designer on Etsy called SugarRobot makes them and I am placing an order today.Check out the peacock feathers.

Monday, May 3, 2010

King of Pops

I have been hearing so much about The King of Pops handmade popsicles that I ventured to the adorable Irwin Street Market to try one. My mouth began watering as I read the flavors tangerine basil, grapefruit mint... I don't know what I expected, but I wasn't expecting flavors in my wheel house. I tried the grapefruit mint and it knocked my socks off (well, I was wearing flip flops). It tasted like grapefruit and mint. It didn't taste like a version of grapefruit and mint. It tasted just like eating the citrusy tart fruit only it was refreshingly cold and didn't spray at me as my spoon hit its fleshy parts.

Reading up on creator, Steven Carse, made me smile as much as the popsicle did. The popsicles are handcrafted, emphasizing natural, local and organic ingredients. In addition to the Irwin Street Market, the popsicles can be found at Souper Jenny's and a cart at the corner of Highland and North Ave. Steven is the nicest guy. I watched him work in the kitchen and was truly amazed by his one man show creating such a delicacy.

Some of his flavors: Grapefruit Mint
Lime w/ fresh squeezed cane juice
Pineapple Ginger
Strawberry Margarita
green apple lemonade (I think there was a mix-up with this because it tasted like apple pie)
tangerine basil
chocolate seasalt
grapefruit mint (my favorite)
mango mojito (fleshy bits of stringy mango-in a good way- and lots of mint)
blackberry lemongrass
strawberries and cream (fresh bits of strawberry)
Strawberry Orange
honeydew watermelon
lemon lavender
Mexican chocolate
watermelon blueberry

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My face is red

My face is red...because I just got slapped! My son slapped me (lightly) after I asked his review of his first bite of Chocolate Slap Yo Mama ice cream from Jake's Ice Cream. He didn't come up for air until there was nothing left. I couldn't wait to try the strawberry rhubarb piescream. It was sweet, light and had big pieces of frozen rhubarb and strawberries throughout along with graham cracker crumbs. The crumbs added a perfect texture that made my bowl seem more like a dessert than just a scoop of ice cream. We also tried the red velvet, a surprisingly perfect imitation of a cupcake. It tasted like a cupcake with buttery icing but was cool and refreshing like ice cream. sold.

The Irwin Street Market was a delightful spot, as I had hoped. It is brimming with hope and possibility and filled with locally made foods and gifts. Can't wait to try more flavors, cannolis, coffee, Candi's breakfast.... on my next visit.

Quintessential Chocolates

I love pulling into my driveway to find a package at the door. Today there was a big brown box awaiting me. Inside, deep inside, was a mylar insulated package which revealed yet another package. Chocolate! This unexpected gift came from Quintessential Chocolates out of Fredericksburg Texas. Lecia Duke,a former architect and graphic designer founded Quintessential Chocolates in Nashville, Tennessee in 1984 after apprenticing under a Swiss master-chocolatier to learn the almost-lost confectionery art form known as liqueur praline (sugar crust). Duke has made liquid-center chocolates with over 150 storied beverages including Frangelico, Amaretto, Crown Royal, Crème de Menthe, Hennessy Cognac, various Kentucky Bourbons, Tequila, and Tennessee Whiskey plus wines of the world including Champagne, Bordeaux, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Port. I read a bit about the process of forming a capsule of cornstarch to house the liquid and the process of enrobing it in chocolate. Fascinating.

The California cabernet was mellow but not overly flavored with the wine (which I would have preferred). The chocolate has just the right amount of richness to blend with the filling but not be too overbearing. I learned a valuable lesson with this first one; take one bite unless you want liquid running down your chin.

The Tennessee whiskey packed a punch. It was an explosion of newly distilled whiskey that ended with the crunch of crystallized sugars. She has really put her knowledge of architecture to use. The liquid centers of the chocolates are unmolested by sugars or additives and enter your mouth in their purest form. I have tasted many liquor filled chocolates but never like this. I may need to call up Ethel M and compare for comparison.

My favorite so far is the Tawny Port. Its smoothness compliments the rich, dark chocolate perfectly.