Thursday, June 21, 2012

Big Fatty's for Big Daddy

My man loves his meat. So much so that we have an unwritten rule for Father's Day: meat and lots of it. Braised or smoked, roasted or cured, the word meat reduces hubby's vocabulary to a three-syllable grunt: Bring-It-On!

For Father's Day weekend, we drove down to Burlington, Vermont for a soccer tournament for our eldest. (The Nordic Cup was great fun on beautifully manicured fields.) We cruised downtown Burlington and spotted a place that looked like they really know their meat. One glance at Big Fatty's menu and we were Pavlovian puppies. (Cue panting.)

We had our first taste of hush puppies - a fried dough of cornmeal and black pepper, flavoured with bacon, green onion, cayenne pepper and dunked in a sweet vinegar sauce.

We also devoured fried catfish, pulled pork, Memphis style ribs. Hubby consumed so much meat that he felt like the original Big Fatty the next day. And the day after.

Near Church Street, we were pleasantly surprised to see an inviting selection of eateriers that celebrate local farmers. August First, the Skinny Pancake and the City Market  just to name a few.

So much good local food. So little time. Burlington, we will be back. Until then, I'm almost certain we'll get another hankering for southern-style barbeque in the very near future. Luckily, we can stay close to home and indulge at the Ottawa Rib Fest.

As hubby would say, "Bring-It-On!"


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Heirloom Garden Marks Big Progress in Small Package

I'm testing my green thumb with miniature garden. I planted a some heirloom seeds of tomatoes, peppers and basil. The "garden" is really a metal planter that sits in the window sill of my home office.

The organic growing kit was gifted to me two years ago by my long-time friend Aviva. At the time, it was her gesture of hope, a way to keep me preoccupied when I homebound.

When I first opened the package, I couldn't make out the instructions. The page was a dizzying blur. In frustration, I pushed the package to the very back of my pantry. I'd see it at least once a week when I was putting away groceries. Everytime I'd attempt to read the instructions, my eyes and brain failed me.

Until this morning. The page was as clear as day. I was able to identify every letter, number and punctuation mark. Huge progress!

I carefully read over the instructions with gratitiude for my re-newed abilities.

I soaked the disks of coconut fibre in water, transfered half  into the metal planter, sprinkled in the seeds and covered them with the remaining coconut fibre. Easy enough, when you can actually see and feel what you are doing.

Over the next few weeks, I'll tend to my itty bitty garden. I'll keep my fingers crossed for signs of life. Hopefully, in a few more weeks, my planter will produce tomatoes, peppers and basil. I'll be able to make a homegrown salad to celebrate a new chapter with my friend Aviva.

"The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place."