Friday, January 27, 2012

a weekend on a cold farm

cautiously, I allowed myself to feel good at times. I found moments of
peace in cheap rooms just staring at the knobs of some
dresser or listening to the rain in the dark the less i needed the better i felt.
 -Charles Bukowski, Let it Engulf You

Sometimes, I need to get in touch with nature, escape the bounds of the city and feel the raw, winter wind rip across my cheeks and through my knee socks while I mingle with livestock and snowflakes.

Minus the merciless cold, it's nice to get out of the five boroughs once in awhile. Especially if it means a trip to a wonderful sustainable farm just north of the city that also happens to house a prolific farm-to-table (literally!) restaurant: Blue Hill. The farm tour at Stone Barns might have thrown me for a frigid loop but it might have been the most fun I've had while numb--the farm is an incubator for young regional farmers looking to learn skills to start their own ventures and also houses heritage breeds of sheeps, pigs and chicken. Using greenhouse technology, the farm turns out amazing produce year-round. During our four-hour incredulous dinner at Blue Hill later that night I had a taste of some of it...

Beets so many ways! Sushi! Chips! In champagne! On a veggie "fence!" The best (beet)burger ever! 
Sweet potato donuts!
The crustiest Balthazar bread
Gorgeous veggie carpaccio!
2 dessert courses!
A bottle of Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz mountains!

I'll dream of this meal for years to come. The unmatched service and and thoughtful accommodation throughout the custom "vegan" eight courses--which felt more like 20--- are hard to find. The quality of the produce was impeccable and it came without an organic label, something to think about for hard-nosed shoppers. Our farm guide chalked up the lack of an organic certification to the unjustifiable administrative cost for the small farm. Definite food for thought!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

...and we're back!

The end of marathon training really took its toll when school started--November 6th couldn't come soon enough once I began attempting to fit in 20 mile weekend runs in the midst of midterms, econ tutoring , group meetings, lectures happy hours. 2011 is over, I'm back in NYC starting the new year off right with a new internship, frigid weather, museum trips, theater and funny baking adventures (to make "Persian" Chocolate Cake, add chopped raisins to typical German chocolate cake icing.) I'm aiming to revive this little project. Without further excuses, I'll wrap up with an abbreviated collage of iPhone photos tossed with some anecdotes for a new year full of characteristic forgetfulness, messes and laughter. Onwards and upwards!

From left to right, top to bottom:

First row:
1. A nice local kale salad for Thanksgiving: massage with vinaigrette, add chopped hazelnuts, diced apple, caramelized onion
2. Good riddance to the marathon, moving on to running retirement and yoga binges at my lovely studio
3. The big 2-4
4. Final printed version of my tattoo art before inking

Second row:
1. Jamaican spring break
2. Last day lunch at Cook+Fox 
3. Craiglisted a bike for sweaty summer rides

1. Saluting Lake Tahoe on a chilly winter hike with the whole family in our first vacation in years. Minimal fighting!
2. Ending the year with plastic fur, chopped strawberries in prosecco and a wonderful night of music at Brooklyn Bowl with great friends.
3. Caramel pretzel brownies from one of my favorite food blogs
4. Last day of 2011, Carston Holler's freaktastic world at the New Museum

1. Home sweet Los Gatos
2. Playing with pears...
3. So much great live music in '11! Bon Iver at Prospect Park on a warm summer night
4. Moved from one neighborhood to another in Brooklyn, still had to run over many, many bridges

1. Started a nice weekly dinner tradition with the girls, sadly let this one fall by the wayside
2. Amazing restaurants! Where I went over and over: Gracias Madre (SF), Curly's, Pure Food & Wine, Westville, Mud, Caracas, Milon, Rockin Raw, Juice Generation, and countless others.
3. More running, really?

1. Roommate friendship bracelets at Fashion's Night Out. Mine fell apart later that night. 
2. Successful group presentation on water & sanitation in rural Guatemala!
3. A very brown, Gaga Halloween.

That's all I've got!