Monday, May 23, 2011

Farm Time

I've been waiting to write this sentence for weeks: The Honey Brook Organic Farm's season has begun!

Yesterday was our first farm share day of the season, and it was a small but rich bounty: 2 lbs of almost flawless arugula, 4 lbs of beautiful baby spinach, two big bunches of scarlet radishes. And, ankle deep in mud, the kids picked three quarts of intensely red ripe strawberries. Big, juicy strawberries. Yes, a strawberry-spinach salad with sliced almonds and an onion-poppy vinaigrette is in our future.

Also snagged some fresh oregano and tall, flat chives from the herb fields at the farm. Some of the oregano was tossed with grape tomatoes, garbanzos and olive oil for a quick salad for last night's dinner. Some of the chives were tossed with sliced potatoes and onions and olive oil and stir-grilled for dinner as well.

And this is just the beginning. The farm share season has begun!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grilling In The Time of Rapture

This is not really a food post. Well, not completely.

But the End Is Near, or so they say, and well, I'm going to be prepared. I plan to be grilling some chicken when the Fateful Hour arrives on the west coast, bone-in chicken marinated in some of Wegman's excellent BBQ Chicken marinade. Maybe some grilled Yukon golds, tossed in olive oil and garlic, alongside, and some grilled New Jersey asparagus. The grill's plenty big enough, I think.

So if this Harold Camping fellow out in Oakland, CA is correct, things should get under way at about 6PM, prime grilling time at Casa Lawrenceville. I'm going to miss seeing my kids grow up and make me proud. Oh heck, I already am proud of them! I'll be missing those weekly beer chats in the "No Bull Inn" on that I've been a part of on Friday nights (and now Saturday nights, too!) for almost 15 years. Good times, guys, good times. Heck, I'm going to miss beer. And Delorenzo's tomato pies. And the annual NJ Hot Dog Tour in September. The Grey Lodge. And Friday The Firkinteenth, for that matter. And of course, watching the Phillies win an other World Series. And maybe even (should I dare hope?) the Eagles winning a Super Bowl. Unless both of those teams are saved and swooped into the heavens too, of course.

I would include my family among the things I'll miss, but, frankly, if I make the cut and get whisked away in The Rapture, I fully expect to see almost all of them up there with me, or wherever that there place is. It could turn into one giant Salamido Family Reunion (my mom's big, loud Italian family, all of whom are priceless to me) for all eternity.

I better plan on grilling a LOT more chicken.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mirrors, Ladders, Umbrellas and Ale

I'm not the superstitious type. That's why I love when Friday the 13th rolls around every year, even when it occurs as much as three times in one year. But this year, it rolls in only once, and it rolls this week. That makes for an extra special FRIDAY THE FIRKINTEENTH at the Grey Lodge Pub in Northeast Philly.

The only beer festival dictated by the calendar, FTF is, to my mind, the greatest of all American beer festivals for the sheer simple democracy of it: arrive, wade through the amazingly friendly mob of cask ale lovers, order a beer from one of the seven or so firkins atop the bar, and savor some pure heaven in a glass. Beer as it was meant to be, fresh from a small keg, poured by gravity as its propellant, amid the cameraderie of old and new-found friends. And beer folk are the best new-found friends in the world.

There will be about 30 firkins of fresh, cask ale served throughout the day at the Grey Lodge, beginning at noon on the 13th. They will be served 7 at a time, and the sheer variety of them all is impressive. Here is the most up-to-date list of offerings, from the Grey Lodge's own website:

Cigar City Humidor IPA
Cricket Hill Reserve Series Brown
Dock Street TBA
Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA
Flying Fish Farmhouse
Fullers London Pride
Lancaster Milk Stout
Manayunk Brewerytown Brown Ale
Manayunk Hop Phanatic
Nodding Head Marauder
Philadelphia Brewing Fleur de Lehigh
Prism Bitto Honey
Sixpoint Modern Rye
Sly Fox 113 IPA
Sly Fox Chester County Bitter
Stoudts Pils
Stoudts Special Bourbon Barrel Aged Scarlet Lady ESB
Troegs Hopback Amber
Troegs Javahead Stout
Victory Headwaters Pale Ale
Wells Banana Bread
Wells Bombadier
Weyerbacher Verboten with Camomille Tea
Yards ESA

Feeling lucky? I'll see you there. Bring an umbrella. Or a ladder. Or a mirror. Oh, never mind.

Monday, May 2, 2011

To The Sea, To The Sea.

Is there really anything left to say about this? Probably, or why else would there be blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and all those news channels?

In a move that likely solidifies his presidency for four more years, Barack Obama gave the order to proceed with a cover of darkness raid on a compound in northwest Pakistan. And there, unthinkably brave Navy SEALs found their target, Osama Bin Laden, and shot him dead, and took the body with them. They verified through DNA analysis that the body was indeed the loathesome terrorist. And then, keeping with the precepts of Isalm with regard to burial of the dead within 24 hours of death, they dumped Bin Laden's corpse in an ocean. Thankfully, we know not where.

Just 24 hours earlier, Obama joined members of the Washington press corps and their guests for the annual Correspondents Dinner at the Washington Hilton. There he did 20 minutes of standup, skewering rivals, opponents and even his own Vice President. He also gamely laughed at jokes from Saturday Night Live's Seth Myers poking fun at him, Donald Trump, MSNBC, C-SPAN, and even Bin Laden. On that night, Saturday night, he already knew what plans were underway. He had, earlier that day, given the order to proceed with the Bin Laden operation. Now that is one, cool, calm President.

So much for all that talk branding Obama as weak on terror.

God Bless America.