Thursday, December 24, 2009

First Ice Skating Trip in Vermont

Thomas practically walked himself down to the pond - through two feet of snow.

Eugene has a serious discussion with Thomas regarding skating safety.

I am bundling back up before hitting the ice

Me and my boys! Hugging it out.

Finally on the ice with Thomas.

Back at home, the boys get a hold of our snow boots. Hysterical!

And the fake Christmas tree has them all excited for the holidays.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Cooking With Fire

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Mmmmm... can you smell the basil?

As you know, a new part of my job is brand promotion and marketing for... well for a wine company. As part of the process of becoming at least remotely expert enough to discuss wine without sounding like either a pompous ass or a complete idiot, I have been attending wine classes here.

It is a fantastic opportunity, and the classes are much more academic and rigorous than you would think. There is lots of reading (Kabinett? Auslese? Trockenbeerenauslese? This week was heavy on the German) questions, and intimidating commentary about the industry.

And yes, when we do taste, we spit.

Since the class is at ten AM on Monday it's for the best, really. Plus, not all of the wine is too my liking. Some of it is interesting, in that it has a flavour that I have never experienced before, and some of it probably shouldn't be tasted without some sort of food accompaniment.

I don't count the water crackers as food, by the way.

Some of it I just downright don't like - though I think that may be as much the fault of the people selecting the wine as it is the actually varietal. For instance, we had a Spanish cava this week that was god-awful, but I have had some wonderful and very inexpensive cavas. This one, for example.

If you want champagne - errrr... I mean sparkling wine - on a beer budget, this is the wine for you!

It has really opened up my mind to trying a lot of different things, things that challenge what I think I would normally like. Happily this has extended itself to my kitchen. I am finally finding the motivation to get more experimental in the kitchen again.

And I really like it.

My shopping is limited to Fresh Direct, for the most part, but I have the space for a well-stocked pantry, so I am trying to take advantage of all the spices and whatnot I have floating around.

Mom sent us some amazing jam so this week I made a pork loin roasted and glazed with her jam and red pepper. I don't think that I am exaggerating to say it was pretty phenominal.

Just ask Eugene. Really! Just ask!

Maybe it is just the nature of getting in touch with my palate, that I want other things to taste just as interesting as the wine does. I have a long way to go before I can be regarded as anything approaching expert - this is one of those situations where the more you learn, the more you realize that you know nothing. Nothing!

In the meantime, tonight, it's shrimp with mushrooms and basil (we're growing it in the apartment) with lemon, olive oil and organic fussilli. And an Orvieto I've never tried before for accompaniment.

Wanna come over?

Just A Little

Somewhere among my possessions there are three rolls of film from the Diana, ready to be taken in for developing. Sunday there's a writing deadline that I am wholly unprepared for. But the holiday party shoes will arrive on time and a photo I forgot I put into the desktop rotation totally made my day.