Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Wonders of Kraut

In the last week I have become completely enamored with two things: the coconut vinegar that La Reine bought some months ago at the Vietnamese shopping mall
and green cabbage. I am so enamored with cabbage that I have earned the nickname krautina from my mean spirited brother, who is completely to blame for my infatuation in the first place.

Every time he comes over he is mentioning numerous times how he made this 'killer' cole slaw and can eat nothing but, just loves it blah blah blah.

 I bought a head of cabbage then last week and it sat around for days until I decided to make an alternative to boring potatoes or rice by using it as a side dish. Remembering the brother I saved a quarter of the cabbage to make 'slaw'. Always, an ingredient I need is missing in my kitchen, this time it's vinegar, managia, off to the pantry to find some alternative and that's when I found the coco vinegar from the Vietnamese store.

It doesn't really taste like coconut, barely a hint - a bit sweeter and lighter than regular vinegar. The coconut taste does come out in the finished dish though, a subtle Thai flavor.

I made my fresh chopped coleslaw salad with a few tablespoons of coco vinegar, a tiny bit of mayonnaise, a few teaspoons of simple sugar, a teaspoon of fish sauce and a bit of chili flakes, sea salt, pepper.

                     The Wonders of Kraut

Maybe it is in our blood to love cabbage. It is obligatory for Bosnians to make Sarma for the Christmas holidays which will last from December, January and half of February, since we make enough for an army and it's cold enough to store on the porch. Also, there is the pan fried German-y (sour) sauerkraut with flekice, flat noodle like squares of dough Baka made once a month whether we needed it or not. I think we are a kraut infused family, by tradition.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Feed Denver Team on the Green Carpet

I just found this picture of me and the Feed Denver team on the 'Green Carpet' that was laid out for The Urban Conversion release party in November. Julie, who I am entwined with has since decided to move on from Feed Denver and pursue her dream of traveling South America. Ariel, the production manager at Feed Denver: Urban Farms & Markets is wildly planting in the hoop house and soon, the outside beds at the farm in Stapleton , while her husband is celebrating that he has just been accepted to film the 2011 Oscars. The Girl, who is standing next to Ariel,  lets me hang out with her so that I can improve my street cred and is looking alarmingly farmer- like in this picture.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The joys of Italy! Just browsing around reading my twitter feed and happened on this fellows' blog (via @TheUnknownChef) and this beautiful picture of cured meats in a shop window greeted me. Prosciutti, culatelli, speck, salame....I dream of visiting my bel' Italia again soon so that I can nonchalantly stand in front of this window and know that I can get an etto or two at any time I want. Thank you Adrian for reminding me why I should not stop dreaming away or saving soldi to go back home. And now I'm going to go downstairs and speak Italian to the Queen and make her laugh by telling her some joke with the gorgeous word 'culatello' in it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Duck Mission Fail

It is with a tinge of envy that I am reading noticies of foodies, divine chefs & bloggers brag about their success with the duck prosciutto that is the first 'assignement' for Mrs Wheelbarrow's Year of Meat, otherwise known as CharcutePalooza.

 Me, I started off with a big mouth bang and then for reasons too simple to elucidate on, I sort of petered out as the days passed on. Today is the deadline. I am late. As always.

Don't get me wrong. I am determined to get it done, I have been dreaming about it non stop - not so much to show off, but to finally eat that damned duck breast made heavenly by a bit of salt, some herbs and hanging around the inside of my garage door for 7 days. I've even bought olives and saved money for  least 2 luscious loaves ($10 each) of bread from the Denver Bread Company in anticipation of savouring every little morsel.

So, I know you really want to know what happened to the duck I did get from the generous Mr. P, who went hunting and brought back wild duck just for me, you might wonder? Well. It's like this. Not only were the birds whole, which means that I would have had to debone them and carve out their breasts BUT there was no fat on either bird. Like, you know - size 0. I hadn't thought about that when I eagerly accepted the donated birds. Wild duck are not as fatty as ducks bred for fois gras production. Um, yeah.
To add to the suddenly daunting nature of something that seemed fairly simple, at the moment, my rat race life has become more hectic and scattered with a new second job and wasting time on twitter and it took me forever to get to the store for more kosher salt. Of course I forgot the cheesecloth. That I got the next day.  I did have the Queen's ancient German scale (grams, kilo's etc) but by that time it was 'the next' Thursday. I had no thermometer.
It just came to the point where I had to eat the little fuckers them before they started to rot in the refrigerator.  I put them in the oven with some sort of sauce, I think oranges and some Cointreau's on one and spices on the other.

To my great disappointment they were nothing like I had anticipated - and truthfully, they were down right horrible! I mean to say, the mallard was ok - dark, musky, a bit tough but similar to duck I have eaten at restaurants or at other people's homes. But the girl duck. Pew Ewww. She tasted like a fish. I mean a fishy fish and a greasy, boney one on top of that. That has cured me of pretending I know what to do with wild duck for a while.

You are snickering, I can tell.

I admit, I probably did not put a lot of love into that day of cooking - and that is why the ducks might have tasted so ...mediocre...and that is the most kind thing I can say about my adventure...
But undaunted, I will go on with this simple little lesson learned. Do not go into this kind of thing unprepared. Buy the necessary ingredients ahead of time even if you think you know it all and are an accomplished home cook of sorts. I will post when I have done what I had set out to do, chime in with the big girls - till then...I suggest everyone look at the pics on Flickr to see the more successful of my colleagues.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Emblematum liber

The Power of Love

(found Emblem web site while reading my twiter feed this morning, via @threepipeproblem - always a wealth of information!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

True Women

Here is a short story about Taryn Andreatta  and  L Anne Enke. Both women are, for different and similar reasons, very special to me and why I mention them on my own blog today. This article is Anne's discovery of Taryn a few months ago. In the blog post, my name was featured prominently as the stylist on the photo shoot (by Meghan Savage) and it is precisely this kind of generosity of spirit that makes me feel proud to be a friend to both women. Taryn is a beauty and she is a decent human being. Intelligent and kind. She is genuine in her simplicity and yet in her art, her modeling and dancing, she is fierce and daring, something that no ingenue can pull off by mistake. I love that as a young woman she is as together as many women twice her age sometimes only wish to be.
Sensuality News's recent interview where Taryn expreses her ideas on her art and motivation is clearly an homage to Taryn by Anne who strikes me as a  wildly intelligent and thankfully, sensual person. I believe in Anne, who like Taryn and myself, is fiercely dedicated to freedom, the feminine and the exploration of what it means to be a woman in this world.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sex in Action

 Just read this about Sir Peter Smithers, the supposed inspiration for Flemming's James Bond.
Inspired myself, I went on to read other information and found this quote in a NYT article that was just so satisfying I couldn't help but share it:

{His lush photographic images of flowers won eight gold medals from the horticultural society, where some of them hang. They have been called "floral pornography."
Sir Peter fleshed out this idea in an interview with The New York Times in 1987.}

"This is Playboy in flowers," he said. "What are flowers but sex in action? The bee performs the wedding. I take the pictures on the wedding day. Two days later, the flowers are exhausted."

What can you say to that?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

From Where?

A door handle
to open, 
the patiently waiting dzezva behind glass.
How often it bekons
the reflection,
mother's cheek & father's
eye in diffused light
or hair.
 Iron gates
closed in
or maybe safe.
Sometimes I notice,
others not.
Sometimes the blood calls

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Meat & Showing Off

Yesterday morning while I was supposed to be cleaning the house before the New Year, I just happened to be on Twitter, because that is where I always am when I'm supposed to be doing something else and found my way to Mrs Wheelbarrow's Kitchen blog where I discovered a cool project #432 for the New Year named CharcutePalooza. I'd like you to go to her blog, where the whole set up and idea is spelled out in detail, no need to repeat here.
The brilliant thing is that as the first 'project' Mrs Wheelbarrow & crew have chosen to make Duck Prosciutto. I love duck but know nothing about curing meat. Instantly, instead of being intimidated, I started imaging how to fit time, money & photo blogging about the project into my schedule.

In the afternoon, I rang up my friend A to check in for a

NYE party and she told me that her husband had gone hunting. What pray tell was he hunting for?
 She didn't know but after I told her about my new adventure told me to call him up and ask him to bring back some

Seemed unlikely, but you know what??? He texted back immediately and said, I've got two with your name on it if you share the Duck Prosciutto when you are done.

Ha. I call this Kismet. I was meant to make Duck Prosciutto even though everyone I have told so far thinks I am somehow out of my mind - I can't quite say why...
So here is a picture of my fresh, organic, beautiful, local (kind of..Nebraska hunting grounds) ducky duck.

One boy one girl. I am a very happy new year person right now.