He and She will live on, just several hundred miles away.

Graduation

Brittany and I have now graduated college (in 4 years!), with our degrees from the oldest and most prestigious journalism school in the world (suck it Northwestern).  With that comes the end of what was, and a new beginning of the rest of our lives.

Brittany will be staying in Columbia at least the rest of the summer, with our friend Kat and various other people we know.  She’ll be working at The Missourian, our lab newspaper as a Teaching Assistant, which is right up her alley.  In her immense amount of free time, I imagine she will cook a ton of fun summer things.  Her cilantro and tomato plants are getting huge already.

I have already returned home to Chicago, living with my parents until I find a salaried job (for the moment, I’m gonna say I’m a freelancer!).  It’s practical, and mainly, free.  I will miss the farmers market, and all the people we met through this blog (big shout out to Mike Odette).  Deerfield’s saving grace is that we do have a Whole Foods down the street, in addition to a really nice kitchen in our house (convection oven, kitchen-aid stand mixer, counter space… all nice things).

More than anything I will miss the planning, seeing the excitement in Brit’s face as we develop our menu, plan for the week, or most consistently, as her and Kat start discussing options for dessert before we’ve even finished eating dinner.

In conclusion, the blog will not suffer, but it will probably feel a little different.  I have no doubt in mind we’ll call each other every day, but for better or worse, we’re kinda adults now, about 400 hundred miles apart.  We’ll visit, and you better believe there will posts on those epic adventures.  Of course, we’ll also let you know if either of us gets real jobs.  (I find out in a few days if I’ll be hired at a paper on the west coast).

Grilled Pork Kabobs with Thai Dipping Sauce

Missouri is very capricious when it comes to weather, so we relish every warm, sunny day we get. For us, that means barbecuing.

Well, when Missouri graced us with nearly a week of sunshine we grew tired of burgers, brats and Italian sausage. To mix things up one evening, we had a Thai-inspired barbecue.

As seen on the plate, we had ground pork kebabs with a soy/chili/cilantro sauce, rice, crab wontons and cole slaw with a sesame-ginger dressing.

The wontons and cole slaw were the product of our own experimentation, as most of our recipes are, but this time we didn’t keep track of what we did. The kabobs came from a Thai cookbook, so you can absolutely recreate those.

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Ginger Berry Ice Cream

It’s putting it mildly to say I like ginger. I love the stuff in the most potent of forms — pickled, candied, dehydrated, juiced. The only way it’s too strong is if I take a bite raw… but don’t think I haven’t tried.

This ice cream was maybe a bit heavy on the ginger if you’re not in love with the ingredient, but for Kat, her mom and me, it was perfect. (Just reduce the amount in the recipe if you’re iffy.)

Ice cream is my favorite way to end any meal, but the digestive properties of ginger make this flavor an extra pleasant dessert. And the recipe isn’t too difficult because you don’t have to make a custard first.

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Farmer Portraits: Pierpont Farms

Rob and Angela, while still new to the farming scene, have built quite a reputation for themselves.  Growing vegetables mostly, with some poultry too, they provide CSA shares as well as supply restaurants like Sycamore with ingredients.  They live just south of Columbia, on some really old land.  They’ve implemented these Haygrove tunnels, that allow them to extend their season with the sheltering and refraction properties of the plastic shell.  I had a hard time not taking the picture in their awesome old barn, even though it had nothing to do with their business, haha.

Farmer Portraits: HWL Meats

Mark, the manager of the place, and Austin, the grandson of Harry (who owns the farm), pose for me here.  Harry was busy fixing up a tractor, and these two seemed more than happy to be in the photo.  After rounding up the buffalo with some feed and the big red pickup they seemed to love, I started shooting.  I think I like this one best.  The 1000+ acre farm is out by Kingdom City.

Tacos de Lengua

I wish I could tell you these tacos are delicious and leave it at that, but I should probably address the issue of lengua — tongue.

Watching hours of Anthony Bourdain and reading more about food convinced Michael and I that we ought to be less discriminating in our meat choices. We like to be informed carnivores, people who eat meat, well aware that it came from a live animal, instead of ignoring what a steak once was.

We realized, if we’re going to eat the spinal muscles (T-bone) and diaphragm (skirt steak) of cattle, we shouldn’t squirm over tongue just because someone couldn’t come up with a more marketable name for it.
So at a Mexican restaurant in LA, Michael ordered a huaruche de lengua. It was awesome. A month or so later we made tongue and oxtail stew. Friday it was tongue tacos after Michael got a tongue from Missouri Legacy Beef. (See Michael’s portrait of Mark and Susie here.)

For the tacos, the meat was cut so small and mixed with other ingredients, even Kat was OK with it (It was her first time trying beef tongue). Cooking tongue might be difficult for some because there’s no hiding the fact you’re cooking a giant tongue. But it didn’t really bother me, especially the second time around.

If you can get over the idea of eating tongue, it’s to your benefit. The meat is really tender and tasty. Plus it’s so cheap. Remember, it’s just another muscle of the animal. Nothing to be afraid of.

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