Time to come back to the place we always were at. How clouds of sadness and such seem to hide, cover up, and distort the basic truths of life. There is good, there is light, there is laughter and joy. We need to look for and strive to find it I think. This is one way that I relate to the world. Food is good, cooking is good, and it relates to us all. It binds us, it comforts, it heals, it nourishes, and it finds us in the light and in deep, dark places.
I can not and will not let all that is dark distract me from the pure joy of cooking any longer. It is time for a return to the kitchen and a true return to cooking. As Brennan put it so well, it is time for something simple. There is a common denominator that has bonded myself to the Pickren brothers and it is food in it's stripped down, true form. Really and truly, we were too young, stupid, and green when we first started our twisted relationship to see anything other than food and the business as raw, bare bones product and potential. We got caught up in it. We got clouded. We worked too many hours. The faces and breathes of those too near and dear are not familiar enough. Not constant. We saw many sides of this thing, this beast that is hotel/FnB/restaurants. I think and hope we are better people for it. But here we are searching for.......what?
I am in a food town. I have wandered an amazing food market, but I do not belong here.
Perhaps it is life's challenge to bring that which I know of to where it is not? How contrived is that? Very....look, very bottom line truths here. I have talked a lot of trash about the town I live in and it's food culture but no where in my self absorbed rants did I ever try or think to try to do anything about it. It's a specialty of mine. Selective judgement from a pedestal of apathy. Love to criticize, never feel much like doing anything about it.
But what do mine eyes see on yonder horizon? Could it truly be that we are back?
Crazy that we started this blog to get our name out, relieve stress, rant about nonsense-mostly me, but all of it across miles or hundreds of them. We have been given the rare opportunity to come back home where we first met, regroup, and go onward. I see better than to take that which we know and throw it out in a vast variety of ways. Foodbros @ ur next county fair or festival or street corner. Time to take the food I believe we know so well and bring it to the people.
So, on a real level, here's what's happened. I went to the Dekalb Farmer's market outside of Atlanta. For those of you like me who don't know better, in Georgia, the "L" is silent. Maybe it's me but if I wanted to say De-kayb, I would spell it as such. Anywhoo, this place rocks but no pics are allowed. Food network or some equivalent made them feel to big for their britches me thinks. But it is pretty cool comparatively speaking. Seafood and proteins aside, the produce, asian specific, along with spices and dry goods is pretty impressive. Honestly, the isles of spices, flours, legumes and their pack sizes at this place make me kinda in need of a shower and a cigarette after I'm done. Too much stimulation and culinary possibility at the risk of..no wait, I've already gone gross with this. A beautiful assortment of habaneros, chipotles, Garam Masala, Tandoori Masala, Poonjabi Masala, Cocoa Nibs, and Sechewan peppercorns all for less than $2 for a 2 oz. container.
I have made a valiant effort to keep my posts clean. I did otherwise a year ago because it seemed funny, rebellious. I come off sounding like Sir Lancelot defending some maiden. It's made me more of a douche I think. But here and now I have to cut down to the brass and say that it has been a pretty shitty end of 2010 and beginning to 2011. I want and demand better for us all, those of you who I know well and those who I know not. Happy thoughts people and happy cooking.
In Atlanta. My brother and sister-in-law live miles from a jealous for life, farmer's market. A famous one. I have spices to bring home and happy thoughts for my niece to be. Lucky man Kevin. For food access and from what I see from the baby bump and her mom, one beautiful and healthy baby girl. We will be back. Don't think for a second that I am not already planning her 1st tasting menu. Gerber has nothing on my soft foods.
To yonder faithful foodbros followers however few and far between, I am mid-post. Thanks for continuing to check us out these last many months. There is a 14 course dinner and lots of posts about such along with invites coming soon......ps......we invite who we think we want. If you want to come to a 14 course tasting for a meager charge comment back and get a seat. We swears on the precious.
P.P.S. Umphreys McGee, where have u been my whole life?
Driving by this on my way to work everyday doesn't help with my nonsensical urge to drop everything, invest in a really good smoker and a couple hundred pounds of pork and just start selling bar be que for a living. Forget shmoozing guests, sitting in meeting, or trying to manage a staff. Just commit yourself to doing one thing as good as you can possibly do it. I love the time and care it takes to do good bbq. The brining, the rub, the smell of smoke that stays on your cloths for about a week. It's more than just slapping KC masterpiece on a piece of chicken half way through cooking in on your gas grill(although that's probably delicious, but in my opinion, not real bbq). One day. One day one of us will take the risk of doing our own thing. Whether it's Chris, Mike or myself, it will be an exciting time. Until next time, Dream Big....
We miss you brother. You loved food, laughter and good times. You appreciated everyone for who they were and what they did. The world was a better place with you here. You made a huge impact on our lives and you'll always be in our hearts.
Me and my big mouth strike again. I go through phases, periods of slack, then decide to come out of hiding again. Mostly those 1st attempts are nonsense like my last post. I said we were back. We are in a sense but life, tragedy, and the trials of all that can be thrown by all that Is, has swept up a truly amazing, selfless, and undeserving group of people off of their feet for months now. This last tragedy was so sudden, so unfair. A good man is gone, some joy, and profound source of laughter has left this world which is eternal in it's saddness. I am truly sorry and wish his wife and family my deepest condolences. But a small favor....Greg, please watch over Keller and tell him stories of his incredible family. Show him to laugh.
Food talk, happy talk, something positive soon to come I hope.
How strange is the day and long since the hours found refuge for my weary, burdensom soul. This is real to me, was real anyhow. I went on an awesome vacation with my wife and friends. I got sick. A host of nasty bugs prodded at me and my bits. I went delirious at some moment through fits of ocean swells both external and those rocking my inner shores from end to end. It sucked. I felt like a bitch. I was without relief, without end.
But it was fun. I spent the 1st night watching the waves break through moonlight while those I traveled with slept. Before the party. I took my wife to see the waves break. We saw the Bahamas and Barry's daquiris, a strip mall with cheap booze, the bahamas version of Subway, moonshine, Half Moon Cay, and how difficult it is to serve 1000 people hot food in one seating.
It was an escape from it all. I feel like a douche that it was not more memorable of one. How interesting to serve 2000 people from a floating, moving hotel. How bizarre the constraints. Even water consumption, waste, storage, holding...what a nightmare.
We're back. Food Bros I mean. Slowly. It's funny how the cold that has raped the nation has slowed our collective skull to an output of mouse farts at best. But things are happening. Not to the degree that I say they will because I never live up to that which I say cause I'm a lazy person of massive sucking but we shalt try.
I miss cooking with my brothers. I miss cooking in general. I miss Chris. more to come. be good.... Go valentine's day......
Inspired by Mike's quest for cheese making and my need to think about something other than work for a while(starting to feel more like and peace keeper and a babysitter than a chef), I've decided to explore the craft a little myself. After doing a little research, I've found that yogurt can be a subsitute for thermophilic cultures and buttermilk, which I've used before to make farmer's cheese, can be used as a mesophilic culture. With the help of some rennet that Mike gave me, a candy thermometer, cheesecloth, a block of wax and Courtney's little knee high fridge out in the garage(covered in Pittsburge Steeler's flair. It's now been set to a temperature of 55 degrees), maybe I can make something that both doesn't suck and won't kill me either.