Monday, September 26, 2011

Mark and Lynn dig the Jones Family Farm in Herkimer, NY...

Lynn and I were fortunate enough to have the chance to visit Sharon Springs, NY on a mini-upstate swing over the weekend.  The cause for our visit was to attend the Sharon Springs Fall Harvest Festival.  We had attended a similar festival for the Christmas holiday in November of last year where we met Josh and Brent AKA "The Beekman Boys" who had chucked high flying lives to become farmers in uber-rural upstate New York.  The Beekman 1802 mercantile store looms large on Main Street but the prescence of Josh and Brent seemed muted this year and since there show was not renewed there was no sign of roaming TV crews this year as in years past. 

In any event, Lynn and I happened upon a couple of "finds" at the fest one of which was the cheeses of the Jones Family Farm in nearby Herkimer, NY.  Lynn and I sampled a couple of their offerings and bought a couple of goat cheese varieties including a very unique and frangrant goat cheese flavored with fig.  Needless to say the cheese didn't last the weekend and we are already trying to figure out how we can get a regular supply...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mark and Lynn experience Katleen Flinn's Kitchen Counter Cooking School

We have enjoyed Kathleen Flinn's first memoir The Sharper you Knife the Less You Cry ( which was an account of her experiences studying at the venerable Le Cordon Bleu) and, as a result, we were thrilled to get hold of a review copy of her follow up work The Kitchen Counter Cooking School (Viking) is a sequel of sorts to "Sharper" Ms. Flinn takes her newly developed Cordon Bleu expertise and attempts to influence and school a group of nine students in some basic, but elegant methods of shopping, preparing and cooking food.  Ms. Flinn's book has somethings in common with such popular television programming as "What Not To Wear" in that there is a sense of transformation that she takes her students through with kitchen makeovers and a recalibration of taste and food choices.  One of the key differences here is that Ms. Flinn is a much warmer and re-assuring prescence in this book than some of the brittle hosts of reality programming

One of the central themes in the book is the disconnect between eating and cooking.  The celebrity chef culture  that has helped make formerly niche networks like Food TV mainstream fare and has made household names out of the likes of Bobby Flay, Anthony Bordain, Giada DeLaurentis, Nigella Lawson and so on.  The suspicion raised in Ms. Flinn's book is that Food oriented television is watched as pure entertainment rather than as aspirational televison. Indeed, a key moment in the book is when one of Ms. Flinn's students admits she eats Tuna Helper while watching Gordon Ramsey!  Simply put, a major notion in Ms. Flinn's book is if people can't cook or aren't motivated to cook then they are at the mercy of convenience and fast food options.  Indeed, considering the broad appeal of Ms. Flinn's notions and taking into consideration her warm YouTube prescence it seems she would be a natural to host a televsions series; (Kathleen Flinn's Kitchen Counter Cooking School?).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mark and Lynn stop by the Grey Goose tent at the US Open and discover the "Honey Deuce"

The food and drink at the US Open has a reputation for being notoriously overpriced; having said that, we were pleasantly surprised at the Grey Goose set up at the tournament where drinks were priced at about $10.00 which is even a bit under what we have paid on Long Island for a cocktail.  In any event, we both got drinks there to start our afternoon off as it was blistering hot and the sleek bottles of Grey Goose looked frigid.  At that point we would have been happy just to have poured a bottle of freezing vodka over our head as to ingest it in a civilized manner.

Lucky for us we went the civilized route and opted for a classic martini (me) and a concoction inspired by the event called "the Grey Goose Honey Deuce" the recipe of which is:



  1. Fill chilled highball glass with crushed ice and add GREY GOOSE Vodka.
  2. Top with lemonade to just below the rim and then add Chambord.
  3. Garnish with honeydew melon balls.
For a more about the drink and it's preparation see the YouTube video below...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Kevin Moot era ends at Painter's in Brookhaven, NY

Painter's is our beloved neighborhood restaurant and for years we have been lucky enough to have the great Kevin Moot as a bartender.  Painter's has a great, competent and friendly staff who are uniformly great to us, however, we had formed a particularly strong bond with Kevin whose unflappable nature and good humor made the bar a particularly comforting place for us to eat and drink to end  a good day or to try to shake off a  bad one.  He is going to the bright lights and big city of Manhattan whose gain is definitely our loss...

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I (Mark) have written for The Christian Science Monitor, Clear Magazine, Picture Magazine, Film Score Monthly, Dan's Papers, Rue Morgue, In Flight USA and a lot more publications that I can't remember.... My wife Lynn was a model with the Ford Agency and her photography has been featured in most of the publications I have written for...


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