Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Flocko

eG Foodblog: Flocko - Dining in the Desert

Recommended Posts

Greetings all from the heart of the canyons: Moab, Utah.

I look forward to blogging this week from Utah's red rock country. It certainly won't be anything fancy, but I plan to dine out a couple of times this week, lunch out a few times, have a lot of coffee (yes, coffee IS legal here..........just frowned upon by some :sad: ) maybe go on a picnic, and cook up some vittals of my own :wink: at home......just sort of my normal routine.

About me: I was fortunate, foodwise, to have been "bred and buttered" in New Orleans and North Louisiana. Then I was lucky enough to spend my teenage years in the San Francisco area. These locales provided me with a love of food and cooking, and an addiction to good restaurants that is still very much with me.............even out here in the wilds of the Utah desert.

I moved to Moab from San Francisco in 1971, right out of law school, and have been here ever since. I served as the DA here for 6 four year terms, and now practice criminal defense law exclusively................There are plenty of "mother stabbers and father rapers" here to keep me busy :rolleyes:

Moab is a town of about 7,500 persons, located on the Colorado River in South East Utah. It is quite remote, with it's closest two towns being each about 60 miles away, and both being about 1,500 in population. The closest "city" to Moab is Grand Junction, Colorado, which is about 110 miles away and has about 60,000 people. We are about 250 miles from Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, and the only real "city" in the state. I travel there about twice per month on business and ..............TO DINE :biggrin:

I am single and love to cook for myself and friends. I dine and lunch out fairly often in Moab. There are a couple of very good restaurants and many good ones. This week we'll see some of them.

It is a beautiful balmy early morning here, but it is getting quite late, so I'll see you all in a few hours and get started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With this description, all I envision is a little rinky dink pub like the one filmed in crocodile dundee. Probably get an interesting snake burger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the third time I've heard mention of Moab in two days: once in a phone call from a friend whose daughter is there now, setting up a website for a client; once when Chris was reading a passage from Louis L'Amour to me, and I said, "Mo-Ab, not Mobe--like in the Bible."

And then the sight of those rosy spires this morning---sunrise on a promising week.

And I do hope my pronunciation was correct---a lifetime of Sundays spent in uncomfortable Baptist pews, fire and brimstone ringing round the rafters, is my only guide...perhaps the Deep South pronunciation leaves something to be desired.

Looking forward to the week from a place I've never seen save in vista-laden photographs. Wide open spaces, endless possibilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flocko,

I have been fascinated recently with the Fremont Culture, long-hidden in that box canyon near Range Creek, apparently north of you by 75 miles or so.

Apparently, they hid grain in high caves, so I couldn't help but think of ancient dishes using long-lost types of local heirloom corn or beans.

Have you ever looked into the indigenous foods of your part of Utah and what ancient cultures subsisted on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi racheld:

Indeed, it is pronounced Mo-Ab. I think it's great to live in a town that is named for the fruit of incest :shock: I have a photo of "the other Moab" in my office.......taken from Masada looking east toward Moab across the Dead Sea, with the Herodian ruins of Masada in the foreground. It stumps most people who think its from "our" Moab......the red and gold rock.....it even has the ruins, like our Anasazi ones..........They just can't figure out that sea, though :wink:

Bill


Edited by Flocko (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flocko,

I have been fascinated recently with the Fremont Culture, long-hidden in that box canyon near Range Creek, apparently north of you by 75 miles or so. 

Apparently, they hid grain in high caves, so I couldn't help but think of ancient dishes using long-lost types of local heirloom corn or beans.

Have you ever looked into the indigenous foods of your part of Utah and what ancient cultures subsisted on?

Hello johnnyd:

How appropriate........I was reviewing your Maine blog last night in preparation for this one of mine. I enjoyed yours very much, and love your area.

It seems that the general subsistance of the Freemont and Anasazi cultures in our area was based on corn and beans as you mentioned. Also squash played a great role in their diet........thus the proliferation of the squash blossom as a symbol in Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo art and jewelry. They also hunted deer, rabbit, bear, big horn sheep, and other animals. According to a recent book, "Man Corn, Cannibalism and Violence in the Prehistoric Southwest" by Christy Turner, they even ate each other.

I spend quite a bit of time down on the Hopi Nation. The food there must be similar to that of the ancients, with the addition of mutton. Their piki bread..........paper thin blue cornmeal cooked on a griddle or rock "greased" with sheep brains is really very good!

My stepson, who is studying archeology at the Univ. of Utah, has spent the last two summers at Range Creek. He says it is fascinating up there. His father lives up in that area, so it is a perfect area for him to specialize

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Western blog, excellent! :smile:

With all that great landscape, do you hike or camp a lot around Moab? If so, what are your culinary standbys for trekking?

Look forward to reading more!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please tell me you're going to make piki bread this week.  :wink:

mem

Sorry, I don't have the brains :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A Western blog, excellent!  :smile:

With all that great landscape, do you hike or camp a lot around Moab? If so, what are your culinary standbys for trekking?

Look forward to reading more!

I don't backpack anymore. I take some short hikes, and usually carry dried fried, jerky, nuts, and water. Backpacking is tough in the canyons due to the necessity to carry so much water.

I used to be a river runner and guide on the Colorado. We used to eat pretty well as we packed dutch ovens and made beans, dutch oven potatoes, stews, biscuits, steaks, etc. These were generally 5 or 6 day trips so the freshness factor began to wane by the end. Some other river companies actually took generators along to keep their food fresh. I kind of thought that ruined the "wilderness experience" :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eG foodblog fans, we are having some "technical difficulties" with posting images. Please stay tuned for additional posts while we work on resolving this. I promise you, the continuing blog brought to us from the place often called God's Country will be worth the temporary wait. Thank you for your patience and in the meantime, please feel free to post questions and comments for Bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is piki bread the same thing as the knee bread, because of the way it's cooked? (I'm having a flashback to American Cuisines class; my chef/instructor was so into it.)

Flocko, Utah is one of those places we'd fly over between Modesto and the Carolinas/Ohio, and I'd always be taking notes and asking about where we were, because it just fascinated me so much. Beautiful place, and Moab is pretty near the four-corners place (Utah, Colorado, AZ and NM), am I right? And is it anywhere near the place that Chuck Yeager used to race his plane? I guess I could Google this, but I have a feeling your answers will be more interesting. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hiya buckaroos and buckarettes:

The technical difficulties MAY be arrested.......so here goes with a picture or two.

For breakfast this morning I had the same thing I have every morning:

gallery_8919_3572_115473.jpg

The Starbuck$ stuff isn't bad and will get me to the book store where I have my first real coffee of the day, usually in an iced form this time of year:

gallery_8919_3572_121554.jpg

For lunch today it was a BLT, with some tomatoes and bread I got at the Moab Farmers Market yesterday. We'll take a trip there next Saturday.

gallery_8919_3572_127270.jpg

As you can see, I have definitely weighed in on the "Miracle Whip Controversy" :raz:

A late supper tonight, hopefully, will feature some wahoo/ono that I got at the local supermarket...................ahhhh..........nothing beats that fresh Colorado River wahoo :wink:

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blog on, Bill! And while we're asking questions: what's "dried fried"?

Hi Chris:

Well, being a trial lawyer, and taught to think on my feet :hmmm: , I could spontaneously say its an old Utah trail food, akin to pemmican, made with fried beef testicles for energy or something.....................ACTUALLY, it's a typo, it's supposed to be FRUIT...................Sorry, my fingers tend to get in the way.


Edited by Flocko (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is piki bread the same thing as the knee bread, because of the way it's cooked? (I'm having a flashback to American Cuisines class; my chef/instructor was so into it.)

Flocko, Utah is one of those places we'd fly over between Modesto and the Carolinas/Ohio, and I'd always be taking notes and asking about where we were, because it just fascinated me so much.  Beautiful place, and Moab is pretty near the four-corners place (Utah, Colorado, AZ and NM), am I right?  And is it anywhere near the place that Chuck Yeager used to race his plane?  I guess I could Google this, but I have a feeling your answers will be more interesting.  :smile:

FFB, Hi:

I'm not familiar with knee bread, sorry. Also, I'm not sure where Chuck Yaeger raced his plane. The Canyonlands is definitely a place one flies over from California to the midwest. It is stunningly beautiful from the air.....................red rock canyons and fins..........very gnarlly and desolate looking. We are not too far (by Utah standards :rolleyes: ) from 4-corners.........about 100 miles. Closer to Moab is Arches National Park, right next to Moab on one side; Canyonlands National Park, right next to Moab on the other side; Natural Bridges National Monument, about 75 miles south; The Manti Lasal National Forest............a 13,000 foot mountain range, right outside of Moab, and the Colorado River just north of town. We're about 80 miles from the Arizona and line, and about 40 miles from Colorado. It's a trippy place to Google Earth :smile:

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how far away you are from Boulder Utah (I think it's near Moab). Is there any chance you'll get to the Hell's Backbone Grill during your blog? One of these days, I'm going to make a pilgrimage to HBG, which is a 10-12 hour drive from here in New Mexico. I hope Moab is hard by, and I'll have some SW Utah dining tips. Blog on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My stepson, who is studying archeology at the Univ. of Utah, has spent the last two summers at Range Creek. He says it is fascinating up there. His father lives up in that area, so it is a perfect area for him to specialize

What a lucky guy! The odds of finding a site untouched for centuries in this day and age are long indeed.

I found this recipe for Hopi Piki Bread which uses the considerably tamer sunflower oil for "greasing". I'm sure it's not nearly as interesting as the original "brain" food. :wink:

---

I'm not sure where Chuck Yaeger raced his plane.

Bonneville salt flats? That's 120 miles west of Salt Lake City.


Edited by johnnyd (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure how far away you are from Boulder Utah (I think it's near Moab). Is there any chance you'll get to the Hell's Backbone Grill during your blog? One of these days, I'm going to make a pilgrimage to HBG, which is a 10-12 hour drive from here in New Mexico. I hope Moab is hard by, and I'll have some SW Utah dining tips. Blog on!

Hey Chow Guy:

Yeah, I've tried the Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder. I love Boulder!!! The Hell's Backbone people did a book signing for their book on the restaurant at Arches Books (where I coffee up each morning) here in Moab.

Boulder is not far "as the crow flys"..............But there is a big canyon (the Colorado River gorge) in the way :wink: , so it's about 3 and a half hours from Moab by car . I go thru there on my way to Vegas if I have all day (about 11 hour trip), and want a pretty drive. Otherwise Vegas is about 7 hours by I-70 and I-15.

I won't get over that way this week, unfortunately.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been some 20 years since I was in Moab, but I think about it a few times a year when I'm passing through the Salt Lake City area. (Provo and Ogden make great fuel stops on the way between central California and northern Minnesota.) Utah is beautiful, but my husband and I always wonder whether we'd enjoy living there. To the extent you can within the context of a food blog, please talk about the cultural influences. I know beer can now be purchased in some places. Are there wine stores? Do you drink, or cook with, alcohol? What altitude are you at, and what sorts of crops (if any) are grown there?

I agree with you that taking a generator along on a rafting trip is cheating. :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For my late supper last night I grilled wahoo fillets that I had marinated in sesame oil, ginger juice, and ponzu:

gallery_8919_3572_15626.jpg

With them I sauted some beans with elephant garlic and maui onions:

gallery_8919_3572_9287.jpg

The both turned out very well and made a nice supper for one :smile:

gallery_8919_3572_72636.jpg

This morning I had my usual Starbucks Double Shot at home and an iced latte at the bookstore. A friend came into town and took me to breakfast at a funky little place I like, called The Eclectica Cafe. My friend had lox and bagels:

gallery_8919_3572_81079.jpg

And I had eggs, ham, and potatoes:

gallery_8919_3572_11134.jpg

Both were very good. It was pretty busy in Eclectica this morning as the tourist season is back in full swing. It dies off a little in the mid summer, though we still get a lot of Europeans then, but in the spring and fall it is nutz :wacko: , but fun :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bill,

Are there any special regional dishes for the Moab/Utah area?

Besides jello, that is. :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay a Great Southwest foodblog!

Moabians sure seem to like their Fiestaware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" We are about 250 miles from Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, and the only real "city" in the state. I travel there about twice per month on business and ..............TO DINE :biggrin: "

Flocko,

Interested in knowing what your favorite eating places are in Salt Lake City. My husband Al and I will be there for three or four days in mid October and we would love to get your recommendations.

Thanks, Kay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Mullinix18
      I'm thinking about starting a blog featuring the recipes of antoine Carême that I've translated from 1700s French? No English versions of his works exist and his work is hard to find, even though he is the greatest chef who ever lived. After I get through his works I'd add menon, la Varenne, and other hard to find, but historically important masters of French cuisine. 
    • By Duvel
      Prologue:
       
      Originally, we intended to spend this Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. We have travelled a lot last year and will need to attend a wedding already next month in Germany, so I was happy to spend some quiet days at home (and keep the spendings a bit under control as well). As a consequence, we had not booked any flights in the busiest travel time of the year in this region …
       
      But – despite all good intentions – I found myself two weeks ago calling the hotline of my favourite airline in the region, essentially cashing in on three years of extensive business travel and checking where I could get on short notice over CNY on miles. I was expecting a laughter on the other side of the line but this is the one time my status in their loyalty reward program paid out big time: three seats for either Seoul or Kansai International (earliest morning flights, of course). No need to choose, really – Kyoto, here we come !
       

    • By Tara Middleton
      Alright so as of a few months ago, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Europe--mostly unplanned but with several priorities set in mind: find the best food and locate the most game-changing ice cream spots on the grounds of each city I sought out for. One of the greatest, most architecturally unique and divine cities I have visited thus far has gotta be Vienna, Austria. But what in the heck is there to eat over there?! (you might ask). 'Cause I sure as hell didn't know. So, I desperately reached out to a local Viennese friend of mine, who knows and understands my avid passion for all things edible, and she immediately shot back some must-have food dishes. Doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I had to try the classic "Kasekreiner". Please forgive my German if I spelled that wrong. But no matter how you say it- say it with passion, because passion is just about all I felt when I ate it. Translated: it basically means cheese sausage. Honestly, what is there not to love about those two words. Even if that's not necessarily your go-to, do me a favor and give it a shot. Trust me, you won't regret it. A classic Austrian pork sausage with pockets of melty cheese, stuffed into a crisp French Baguette. No ketchup necessary (...and as an American, that's saying a lot). YUM. Best spot to try out this one-of-a-kind treat?! Bitzinger bei der Albertina – Würstelstand. Now here's a shot of me with my one true love in front of this classic Viennese green-domed building-- Karlskirche. Now, go check it.
       
       

    • By KennethT
      OK, I'm back, by popular demand! hehe....  After being back for 2 days, I'm still struggling with crazy jetlag and exhaustion - so please bear with me!
       
      This year, for our Asian adventure, we went to Bali, which for those who don't know, is one of the islands in Indonesia.  Bali is a very unique place - from its topology, to the people, language, customs, religion and food.  Whereas the majority of people in Indonesia are Muslim, most people in Bali are Balinese Hindu, which from what I understand is a little like Indian Hinduism, but has more ancestor worship.  Religion is very important to many people in Bali - there are temples everywhere, and at least in one area, there are religious processions through the street practically every day - but we'll get to that later.
       
      Bali has some food unique to it among its Indonesian neighbors, but like everywhere, has seen quite a bit of immigration from other Indonesian islands (many from Java, just to the west) who have brought their classic dishes with them.
       
      Basically all Indonesians speak Indonesian, or what they call Bahasa Indonesia, or just Bahasa, which, anyone who has read my prior foodblogs wouldn't be surprised to hear that I learned a little bit just before the trip.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to use any of it, except a couple times which were totally unnecessary.  When speaking with each other, most people in Bali speak Balinese (totally different from bahasa) - many times when I tried using my bahasa, they smiled and replied, and then tried to teach me the same phrase in Balinese!  As time went on, and I used some of the Balinese, I got lots of surprised smiles and laughs - who is this white guy speaking Balinese?!?  Seriously though, tourism has been in Bali for a very long time, so just about everyone we encountered spoke English to some degree.  Some people spoke German as well, as they supposedly get lots of tourists from Germany.  As one of our drivers was telling us, Bali is heavily dependent on tourism as they have no real industry other than agriculture, which doesn't pay nearly as well as tourism does.
       
      While there are beaches all around the island, most of the popular beach areas are in the south of the island, and those areas are the most highly touristed.  We spent very little time in the south as we are not really beach people (we get really bored) and during planning, decided to stay in less touristed areas so we'd have more opportunities for local food... this didn't work out, as you'll see later.
       
      So, it wouldn't be a KennethT foodblog without photos in the Taipei airport and I-Mei Dim Sum, which we called home for about 4 hours before our connection to Bali...
       
      Beef noodle soup:

       
      The interior:

       
      This was the same as always - huge pieces of beef were meltingly tender.  Good bite to the thick chewy noodles.
       
      Xie long bao (soup dumplings) and char siu bao (fluffy barbeque pork buns):

    • By KennethT
      Recently, there was a thread about stir frying over charcoal, which immediately brought to mind memories of eating in Bangkok in July 2013.  At that time, I hadn't gotten into the habit of writing food blogs, and considering that I had some spare time this weekend (a rarity) I figured I would put some of those memories down on paper, so to speak.  Back then, neither my wife nor I were in the habit of taking tons of photos like we do nowadays, but I think I can cobble something together that would be interesting to folks reading it.
       
      In the spirit of memories, I'll first go back to 2006 when my wife and I took our honeymoon to Thailand (Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Singapore and Hanoi.  That was our first time to Asia, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it.  I was worried the language barrier would be too difficult to transcend, or that we'd have no idea where we were going.  So, to help mitigate my slight anxiety, I decided to book some guides for a few of the locations.  Our guides were great, but we realized that they really aren't necessary, and nowadays with internet access so much more prevalent, even less necessary.
       
      Prior to the trip, when emailing with our guide in Bangkok to finalize plans, I mentioned that we wanted to be continuously eating (local food, I thought was implied!)  When we got there, I realized the misunderstanding when she opened her trunk to show us many bags of chips and other snack foods.. whoops...  Anyway, once the misconception was cleared up, she took us to a noodle soup vendor:


      On the right is our guide, Tong, who is now a very famous and highly sought after guide in BKK.... at the time, we were among here first customers.  I had a chicken broth based noodle soup with fish ball, fish cake and pork meatball, and my wife had yen ta fo, which is odd because it is bright pink with seafood.  I have a lime juice, and my wife had a longan juice.
       
      This is what a lot of local food places look like:

       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×