We’ve come down from our mountaintop and have rejoined the world at large. I know there has been a long break in blogging, and I have the nagging emails to prove it…but my personal foodium-battery needed some recharging.
We’ve all heard the adage that all work and no play makes Jude a dull girl. Along with being a firm Play Advocate, I also believe in cross-pollination, meaning that pitching myself down a mountain on skis will ultimately make me a better cook, a better skier and an all round better person. No really, don’t scoff. There may not be a clear connection, but that doesn’t mean the connection doesn’t exist, sort of like AT&T and a 3G connection in Manhattan.
During my Mountain Sabbatical here’s what I learned:
* I LOVE my Snowbird family. There is a group of us that ski together, eat together, hang out in the hot tub together, and most definitely watch the Olympics together (sometimes in our jammies). Some of us are there longer; some of us come and go, but its all family. I think Liz compared it to one long Thanksgiving weekend: there is the crazy uncle, the erratic cousins, the nut jobs and the sane. I’m very lucky to be a part of this family.
* We eat really, really well. Cooking at altitude is a god awful bitch of an experience. Bread doesn’t bake, water boils at 180F/82C which means pasta turns to mush before it cooks, beans never get soft, making soft boiled eggs is a total crapshoot and pots boil over when the contents aren’t even hot. And if you open the Moka coffee pot too soon, it will explode. Wakes you right up!
* Eating local is not an option unless you like to eat snow and porcupines with a side of coyote. And just what was that huge critter that ran down the balcony by the light of the full moon?
* I am no longer a Wal-Mart virgin. After seeing Food, Inc. I was willing to visit Wal-Mart with an open mind, however their produce is yucky, without even a nod to seasonality, so I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t go back. I may have been deflowered, but apparently I’m still a snob.
* Ingredient adaptability is essential. Hot tub dinner planning conversations would go like this, “What do we need to use up before it goes bad?” “I’ve got a mango. I’ve got pork chops. And just like that there is a dinner plan
* When in doubt about flavor, throw in some guanciale (cured pig jowl, I do not leave home without it). This rule holds no matter where you are.
* Cocktails taste great after a day of skiing. It’s a civilized reward after a day of battling the elements. Not to mention having an ice machine down the hall is the ultimate extravagance. Years of living in Italy where 3 cubes in a glass is the height of indulgence and tests the boundaries of good health, abundant ice is divine. (Italians are convinced a cold drink will send you to the hospital, I don’t know why, could be nationwide hysteria).
* Oysters, caviar, lots of chocolate, good cheese and truffles should replace chili and burgers as ski food. Thanks Mosks! Thanks Masons!
*Having fresh Valentine roses in our room was a spectacular treat!
And that’s the Snowbird round up. Lots going on in NYC. Its good to be back in the blog world!