Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Low Tech Cooking

Call me a Neo-Luddite, but much of technology is just downright scary. Take Google’s latest product, now in beta testing: Google Glass. Isabel, my seventeen year old, brought this to my attention after some of her friends were raving about it, saying that they can’t wait for it to hit the market. Thankfully, Isabel herself is skeptical and concerned about Glass’s ramifications. To me, it seems not very far removed from the 1991 Wim Wenders sci-fi film Until the End of the World, in which people become addicted to glasses that allow them to view their own dreams, as society collapses around them. I’m aware of the irony in my writing this blog post on a Google platform, using technology that didn’t exist in the not so distant past….

How does this relate to food, you may wonder? I’m a low tech cook. I don’t tend to own a lot of fancy kitchen gadgets or appliances, in part because I don’t like clutter, but also because I’m of the belief that they don’t necessarily make food taste better. Most of the time, in fact, the opposite is true. If you start with quality ingredients, the less you fuss with them, the truer they taste. Elaborate preparations often just mask a food’s essential flavor with an inferior flavor.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Birthday Dinner

I celebrated a birthday this week. It wasn’t a big one, but it was the birthday before the Big One. We fĂȘted it as a family by going for a long cross country ski at a location we hadn’t tried before, a tradition we started about five years ago. This year we went to Mountain Top Inn, down near Killington. It was a gorgeous March day with a deep blue sky, “computer screen” blue as one of my daughters described it. That’s not the word that came to my almost-50-year-old mind.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Complexities of Being an Omnivore

I’m in the process of writing an article for Edible Green Mountains about Icelandic lamb. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this primitive breed (I had never eaten it before now), it’s a premium lamb that’s highly sought after for its incomparable flavor and lean quality. In the interest of research, I of course had to taste some. The lamb is raised at Stark Hollow Farm, a small sustainable farm in Huntington run by Vanessa Riva and Laura Smith. They ship their lamb all over the country, with some customers paying more for the shipping than for the lamb itself.

I had visited Stark Hollow Farm already and seen their happy sheep grazing on a hillside (they’re 100 percent grass-fed), but I hadn’t bought any lamb that day.