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Meanderer

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  1. Back in the mid-90s, I sampled a Rowan berry whisky distilled by or for a vendor at the Balnakeil Craft Village outside of Durness. It wasn't very appealing. I would think, however, it might serve to provide an interesting hint of flavor to a chocolate dessert.
  2. Lunch outdoor on a mild and sunny day in a quiet location (garden, atmospheric village square, quaint side-street, bucolic countryside--any of those will do) where we can linger for a couple of hours with well-prepared regional, farm-to-table food. A decent, though inexpensive, bottle of wine doesn't hurt. Sadly, none of those places can be readily found around here so we tend to try to seek them out when we travel.
  3. Just off I-81 in the little town of Draper is the Merc, open for breakfast and lunch. A little bit cutesy, but the kitchen does a nice job.
  4. We are in the preliminary stages of building a new home and have made a few decisions on finishes. Countertop material is one of those and we have decided on Soapstone. While it isn't cheap, it looks good, is resistant to heat, and it does not need to be sealed. My wife was sold on it when she read that soapstone has been used in laboratories because of its antimicrobial qualities. The only disadvantage is that the material is relatively soft, but I don't see either of us as particularly violent cooks so we aren't too worried about it.
  5. Irn-Bru is pretty vile. So why do I keep buying it whenever I am in Scotland...?
  6. Like TdeV, we don't have anyone who delivers out here but I wouldn't use the services even if they were available for the same reason I never use take-out--the waste stream. While our trash service includes the pick up of recyclables, no Styrofoam is allowed, nor is cardboard that has been in contact with food.
  7. We will be in the Sierra de Aracena in March. I fear, though, that all his product goes to the big cities around the world and that none will be available in local restaurants.
  8. A rather odd one that we really like consists of olive oil, garlic, white wine (though a non-oaky red can work), crushed tomatoes and a bucket-load of paprika. Parmesan or pecorino romano doesn't hurt it a bit. I used our homemade piment d' espelette pepper once and it was quite good too but we can't always get a crop of the peppers to grow so I tend to hoard the stuff when we have it to use for other things.
  9. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to this kind of stuff so I asked my wife. She said she would take fresh flowers.
  10. I'm guessing the gold variation of Jacob's Cattle.
  11. We particularly enjoyed 4 amb 5 and Pla when we were in Barcelona in March. Celeri was also quite good but the noise level hurt the overall experience.
  12. I will be curious about how you decide on suppliers. Not so much about who launders your linens but rather, for example, who is your chosen meat purveyor(s) and why. I imagine, in the metro St. Louis area, there are plenty of butchers, bakers, and growers, organic and otherwise, so you will have a wealth of choices. How, and when, will you investigate your options and decide with whom you will do business?
  13. We were in Reykjavik a couple of Februarys ago and, by lucky chance, our visit coincided with the annual Food and Fun festival, during which the chefs of most of the better restaurants (of which there are a good number) pair up with chefs from Europe and North America and perhaps elsewhere to create special set-price menus using Icelandic ingredients. The most difficult challenge was deciding which of 25 or 30 menus sounded the most intriguing. No problem with the abs, though. They haven't been seen in years.
  14. My wife and I have often fantasized about purchasing a second home and spending months in particular place that we visit with some frequency but the thing, other than money, that puts a damper on our fantasy is a situation similar to what you are describing (though not quite as dire, I think). The area is three hours from a first-rate grocery and more than an hour from a small, but plucky one which will attempt to obtain anything we want if we notify them well in advance. The climate is not conducive to growing anything other than cool weather vegetables. Growing fresh fruit is out of the question. Farmers market? Nope. The coastal scenery is stunning but seafood isn't easy to come by and the only local restaurant that prepared somewhat interesting food stopped serving evening meals a few years ago. An artisan bakery came and went in a blink of an eye. We love the place and will continue to visit as long as we are able but living there would cause psychological challenges because, like you, food variety and quality is important to us, as is being able to enjoy that food with others. You may be in luck, however. Depending on how the U.S. presidential election goes, Canada may have a small flood of immigrants from south of the border and, surely, some of them will share your desire for good, fresh food.
  15. I prefer restaurants where the pace is sufficiently relaxed and the noise level not so overwhelming. Those are the conditions that help facilitate long conversations with my dining companion(s), one of the nonfood pleasures of eating out.
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