Posts in Food
Ten.One Hundred & Seventy-Five

1. 4:28 AM. I think this just might be the result of anxiety.

2. I go to his car and grab my early Christmas presents: a studio light kit and reflectors. Because this Black Food & Bev project has me doing something I haven’t done much of before, which is exciting but also scary. And maybe this is just another edge to step to and over. 

3. He’s coughing a lot which means he needs a full day of rest and breathing treatments.

4. One of the flash heads is broken. He will need to return it. And actually I am okay with this. I remind myself that I've only ever shot in natural light, with no kinds of tools at all. I think of his advice: work with your limitations.

5. "Raimundo Panikkar...said the future will not be a new, big tower of power. Our hope in the future is the hope into well-trodden paths from house to house, these well-trodden paths from house to house. That is the image that holds a lot of promise for our future." - David Steindl-Rast

6. The restaurant is small and intimate. It feels like a neighborhood bar, like the kind of place you want to come to  shake off the world and feel like yourself again.

7. Eldridge is smooth and thoughtful and kind. He's got good energy. And as I move him from bar to window to wall to table he moves with ease. His beard and the way he smiles reminds me of my brother. When Andrea begins to interview him, and he gets into his own story and the story he's creating with The Delta, I can feel my insides begin to glow. Because this is what I love. I love listening to people talk about themselves and their passion and when it's so beautifully honest, it's like magic. Everything is alive.

8. "Ultimately, everything boils down to relation." - David Steindl-Rast

9. This chili recipe is not up to par. My cornbread, however, is on point.

10. I think of the old black and white images in The Delta's bathroom and on the walls and think of history and lineage, food and memory. What is my own? 

Ten.Twenty-One

1. Dark skies make it hard to wake.

2. Black dress. 

3. 10 years. How quickly the time passes. I can believe it but I can't. 

4. Sets of espresso and cappuccino cups. Indigo ceramics. In this life, I'm determined to find ways to make the ordinary more magical. This is what I live for.

5. I also live for sunrises, sunsets, moody skies, linen, cotton, fresh flowers, dried eucalyptus, their smiles, a firm hand on the small of my back, hot coffee, good wine, the goat cheese croquettes from Barn Diva.

6. Silence.

7. Abundance. Community. Creativity. Curiosity. Inspiration. Grace. Gratitude.

8. Hibiscus flower. It's been imported from Australia and soaked in its own nectar and some sugar. It is delicate and delicious and sweet. 

9. Bison hanger steak with pork cheek angnolotti, charred ramp butter, caramelized carrot puree, fresh peas, pickled garlic scape, and tangy veal jus. 2010 Chateau La Garde Pessac-Leognan. 

10. Don P.X. Gran Reserva. 1986. My first sherry. I am in love.

Life + Bacon Jam

I feel as though I'm retracing lines in a book, over and over again, watching the pen marks deepen and widen. But this is life: some sort of motion that looks like a sine wave but feels more like a circle. Every transition—the wishing, the getting, the releasing—is different and yet the same. And yet, that doesn't make each one any less hard. So I'm here, still gripping on to the bits of myself that have stayed the same while staying open to what newness might develop. 

A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything.
— East of Eden

After a morning of antiquing, we stopped to have lunch at Preservation Bread and Wine in downtown Geneva. Why we had yet to dine there, I do not know. Small plates are our favorite way to eat and their charcuterie and cheese options are amazing. It's tucked into a narrow building with exposed brick and close tables, and filled with the smell of grilled dough.  The wine list is eclectic and fun with a good mix quality, affordable wines. But it was the slab of slate hosting large crostinis topped with a savory and sweet bacon jam, peppery arugula, and tangy blue cheese that gripped me.

The following morning I set out to find a recipe that I could replicate and share for an upcoming dinner party. Thankfully, my neighbor Katie shared her version with me. I made only a slight modification from her original: cooking the bacon first so that the onions can cook down and caramelize in the drippings, adding a little more depth and flavor. There are a handful of other recipes I'd still like to try, but this one is a simple one to begin with. 

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BACON JAM CROSTINI

  •  1/2 lb of thick cut hardwood smoked bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup dried pitted dates
  • Black pepper to taste
  • French baguette
  • Butter
  • Arugula, washed and dried
  • A good blue cheese of your liking 
  1. Using a cast iron skillet, cook bacon on medium-high heat until done but not crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan. 
  2. Toss in your onions. Stir constantly to keep your onions cooking, but not burning, until they turn deep in color.
  3. Add your caramelized onions (plus any remaining drippings), bacon, dates, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until smooth. 
  4. Slice your baguette into 1/2-slices, spread a thin layer of butter on both sides, then add to a heated pan. Toast both sides until golden brown.
  5. Remove your grilled bread from the pan, top with the bacon jam, a layer of arugula, and a few sprinkles of blue cheese.