Grilled kale salad with beets, figs, and ricotta

September 18, 2012 § 49 Comments

We went up into the woods over the weekend.  It felt so good.  Always does, really.

We went to the Boundary Waters, the forest in Northern Minnesota bordering Canada.  A wilderness where the only real way to get around is by slipping a canoe into the water and paddling from lake to lake.  There you can glide through still water, bounce through choppy, scramble over beaver dams, dodge moose…the only sounds around are the slap of the paddles, the drips of water, the occasional loon call, or easy conversation with the others in the boat.

Every wild area has its own unique silence and peace.  I think that of the Boundary Waters may be one of the deepest anywhere.  It affords the most beautiful solitude  (and the most comfortable companionship with the others paddling with you) that you can imagine.  Where else in the world can you canoe or kayak between hundreds of lakes with only hikes of several – ok, sometimes several hundred – canoe lengths in between?  It’s remarkable.

We paddled a nice 12 mile loop on Saturday.  On Sunday afternoon we decided to hike up one of the low ridges to take in the views of the leaves that are just starting to show hints of gold and scarlet.  On the hike down, for the first time in several weeks, I began to think in earnest about food. « Read the rest of this entry »

Heirloom tomato tart

September 13, 2012 § 17 Comments

Although fun and life-giving and joyful and love-filled right now, if I had to choose a single word to describe life these past two weeks (and thank goodness I don’t have to choose just one word – a world where you use only one word when you could spout off a string of five to ten would be a sad world indeed, far too Hemingway-ian for the verbose among us), it would be chaotic.

Totally chaotic.  Connecting with old friends and nabbing as much quality time with family as possible on top of working on a dissertation on top of that ultimate relaxing free time activity of, ahem, starting a business, turns out not to be a recipe for order and quiet.  We did expect this, but you never fully appreciate these things until you’re in the middle of them.

But I love it!  We love it!  We love everyone here.  So far so amazing.  We even had a chance to ride around on The Lake and under the Aerial Lift Bridge on a decommissioned coast guard cutter owned by friends of friends, all in the name of settling in.  That’s pretty darn cool. « Read the rest of this entry »

Corn and bacon pie

September 21, 2010 § 7 Comments

I love the word cornucopia.  Do you have any vivid memories that have to do specificly with learning a favorite, “fancy” word?  Or is that one of those things they teach you not to do when you attend ‘how not to be an incorrigible geek school’?  Either way, I distinctly remember learning the word cornucopia in early grade school and being instantly entranced by it.  “Cornucopia!”  Doesn’t it just ring with the sound of everything lovely and wonderful…and delicious?!

It was around Thanksgiving time, unsurprisingly, and our lesson in class was to draw a cornucopia by drawing a loopy spiral that grew smaller and smaller and curved off into a little tail, and then outlining it to turn it into a horn.  Then we were to fill it with drawings of all the wonderful bounty of fall, the corn, and squash, a pie (since that was my favorite part of the concept of Thanksgiving) and, if my memory is accurate (which I’m told it isn’t always – the curse/gift of storytelling) a big fat turkey wearing a pilgrim hat.  Because apparently the pilgrims were prone to using their dinner as either a hat rack or a source of entertainment before fire roasting it on a spit.

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