Sunday, November 27, 2011

The "F" Word

I'm not the biggest fan of the word foodie. Yes, I'm pretty sure I am what people would call a foodie [hellouuu, I write a food blog and keep chickens] but I really just think of myself to be someone who really loves good food. Eating it, preparing, sharing it.

Don't get me wrong, I like foodie things. I shop at my local farmers market every Saturday. I've participated in a weekly CSA for years and years. If I had the chance to go to one of these amazing Outstanding in the Field dinners, I would go. I would run, actually.

One of my strongest food memories was made when I visited Dan Barber's fabulous NYC restaurant Blue Hill several years ago - maybe the best meal I've ever had. Tons of courses, interesting and unique ingredients, amazing wine, the freshest of everthing. The folks from Blue Hill also run the Stone Barns Center, a wonderful farm in New York where they raise everything from vegetables to livestock. It's all about sustainability [ah, there's that word...] and having the very freshest food possible. Love that. taste in food varies - doesn't yours? People who say they only eat this or would never eat that...that is so not me! One night, I might have a meal of local and organic stuff like roast chicken, bibb salad or maybe some homemade soup. Then, another time, I want something super simple [and greasy] like a grilled cheese sammie. And I must add that to me, grilled cheese means just 'normal' cheese, no fancy bread, with butter in the pan. Yum.

Speaking of CSAs, did you know that Clementine has a meat CSA? Check it out! [I'm hoping to split a share with a friend.]

Life's short. Dig in. And don't take yourself too seriously.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

wines fit for a thanksgiving feast

when it comes to wine for thanksgiving dinner, lots of people will tell you what goes best with turkey. and stuffing. and potatoes. and...pumpkin pie. i wanted to get some insight from a pro, so i visited my friend carey williams at the wine source in hampden for some advice. found some easy, happy crowd pleasers, as well as a few choices that are little bit different. here we go...

i used to be one of those 'i don't like chardonnay' people. but all these years later, i now know that i simply prefer a cool climate chardonnay like eve chardonnay from washington state. you'll taste apple and a hint of honey...thirst quenching, too. it pairs well with mashed potatoes, green beans, etc. definitely a great basic, easy drinking wine many folks around your table will enjoy - a real crowd pleaser. $10.99

rose makes many people think of summer. some people think it's white zinfandel. um, no...but it's a great choice for thanksgiving! one great option is the 2010 artzuri garnacha rosado - a luscious, dark pepper rose. this always seems balanced, soft and fresh - really great with turkey. $9.99

for a little more&nbs adventurous palate, you might consider 2010 francois villard viognier from the rhone valley in france [the fancy name on the label is les contours de deponcin.] when you smell this one, you get rosey, perfume, exotic fruit. drinks so nicely! medium weight, not super acidic, very elegant.  really nice with sweet potato pie. $31.99. [treat yourself for the holiday.]

you often hear about medium bodied reds for thanksgiving and if you'd like to go that way, give the 2008 kesseler spatbergunder a try. it's a german wine using a grape transplanted from burgundy where it's known as pinot noir. this wine has a nose of blackberries and a hint of cherry and is on the rustic side. this would be a great red wine for someone just getting into reds - not too intense, with a juicy palate. $19.99

want a red that's a bit more spicy? give the 2010 tramontane roussillon rouge a try. carey described it as "juicy, forward and brimming with spicy red fruit." i agree! bold, juicy, complex. $9.99 [a great value, by the way.]

don't be intimidated or try too hard to make 'perfect' pairings with your entire thanksgiving meal. for example, it's close to impossible to pair sauerkraut with wine. beer is great with it, fact, if you're more of a beer person, do your thing and have some really good beer! the folks at scribbleskiff  have some great suggestions for beer pairings. and i also recommend that you visit my friend jed at the wine source for some advice. he has introduced me to so many of my favorite beers over the last few years.

so, as we enter the holiday season, make sure you try something new and HAVE FUN!

eat, drink and be you, hon.