Friday, December 5, 2014

Farm to Fork: A Humble Gathering of Friends

November 6, a night of fellowship brought together by local Louisiana artisans, farmers, and culinary artists. Gathered around a 100 ft table built by My Diary of Us and myself from wood salvaged from Hurricane Katrina, we savored a locally sourced meal of spiced pumpkin and shrimp bisque, couchon de lait grillades over southern stone ground grits, and salted caramel creme brûlée.  In collaboration with Country Table Delivery and Red Onion, we worked together to create a communal dinning experience with a multitude of artists and an evening focused on local craft.  
String Remedy, a gypsy jazz band, provided the soundtrack for the evening as the guests sipped beverages from local distilleries- Cathead Vodka, Bayou Rum, and Tin Roof Beer.  Hayes Kahoe worked feverishly in preparation for the main courses, as the local pig donated by Iverstine Farms roasted in the background. A dinner bell was rung and guests found their seats at the table; some beside familiar faces and some who would become new friends. The night brought together the guests in a new way, setting a table with the business man and the artist, the young and the old- all who found a common ground and appreciation for the night's celebration of our community. 

Art in the Age

Art in the Age spirits are easily my favorite libations. For years, they were the forbidden temptress, nowhere to be found in my southern state. I would dash to dark, sultry bars in New York when I would travel and order whatever the bartender would make with the Philadelphia liquor. So, admittedly, when they agreed to sponsor our WILD party in Portland, I was a bit giddy.  I encourage you to try each and every one of these cocktails. And if you want to know which one is my favorite.....It's Snap

ROOT Old Fashioned 
2 parts ROOT
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 part simple syrup

Stir and combine all ingredients in a rocks glass over one large piece of ice. Garnish with a lemon twist. 

2 parts SNAP
3/4 part lemon juice
fresh apple cider to taste
fresh apple slices
cinnamon sticks

Combine all ingredients into a highball glass, garnish with fresh apple slices and a cinnamon stick. 
Also makes a great punch! Float cinnamon sticks and apple wheels in the punch bowl for garnish.

2 parts SAGE
3 parts Tonic Water
Fresh rosemary sprig

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Portland Wild

On November 16, some of the finest makers, folks, and brands from the west coast gathered at Portland's Union/Pine for a Wild party.  Sharime Kay, My Diary of Us, and I were nearing the end of our Makers Route road trip for Welcome Stranger and a gathering of familiar faces and new friends was a welcome break from the days of work spent on the road. In the weeks leading up to the event, I was completely overwhelmed with the outreach from brands all over the country who wanted to show their support and were joining the party in spirit and in gesture by donating their quality goods for giveaways for our party guests. The donations were spearheaded by Chelsey Nichol of Type A Press and each and every time she notified me of a brand donation, my eyes would well up with tears. Moved. Encouraged. And completely blown away. 
As I read the letter that was sent out by my sweet friend
 "I am reaching out to you because you know my friend Lindsey Smith of Makers Workshop....... She is our tireless cheerleader and continuously works to tell our stories through her website, photography and photo styling. Our stories become a part of hers. And now we have a chance to show Lindsey how much we appreciate her," 
I couldn't help but think of each and every one of the makers who have become such an integral part of my every day because of Makers Workshop. I often say, that if I never make a dime from Makers Workshop, it will have been worth it because I have made some of the greatest friends of my life and this trip verified that in so many ways. 
Many of you who follow, know what a year this has been for me personally. I've battled an unnamed medical condition where I have muscle spasms in my face, hands, and feet, constant issues with name it. So when this road trip and party came to fruition, it was the sweetest relief from my doctors visits and a little bit from reality. I couldn't be more grateful to the folks who made this night possible or to the ones who came to celebrate a good night of conversation and friendship with me. Giles Clement simply made the night with his gorgeous tintype photography, offering portraits to individuals or groups alike. Now I have this night, forever captured, in silver and ink as a reminder of all of the goodness. The wet plate was not forgiving and somehow seemed to enhance the worry of the year on my face- maybe it is better that way, that it shows- a true capture.  
It's funny how you don't realize how many people you love in far away places until you have them all in one room. There were friends there like Tiandra Cummins who I met on a Juniper Ridge hike once,  the Wildfang crew who were there in full support, Georgia King the ravishing redheaded editor from Kinfolk who I could have talked to for hours,  Courtney Wilson, professional adventurer, from Danner Boots, Todd Brennan- the first boy I ever loved, Matt Pierce from Wood and Faulk,  Leland Duck from Revive PDX, The Shelter Co crew all the way from San Francisco.... the list goes on and on!  
Can we do it again?
Tune in tomorrow for cocktails from our evening sponsored by Art in the Age

Wild illustration by Christian of
Thank you to our sponsors!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Unfailing Goods

Early morning and the smells of coffee and sunrise over the mountain called us from camp.  Routine becomes a comfort in our small tent on the homestead. There are no modern amenities to really speak of for miles, but I prefer it. I listen as Gregory pulls on his Filson jacket each morn; the warm brush of his course hands moving over the waxed canvas and the crisp snap of the buttons are the only sounds in the tent as he readies for the day. Atop the mountain the air is much cooler than home and our lungs take big gulps of the algid wind. 
We take Oliver to the quartz mine just up the trail.  The ground is a flickering sea of diamonds against the dreary wintered trees and briar surrounding. We stop for a drink of water at a nearby spring soon after carrying our lot of stones and gems back to camp.  
We had everything we needed. There was no frivolity. We had things we could depend on and because of that, we could do what we set out to do each day- be it a full day of work, or a hike up the mountain, or something completely and totally unexpected. There's a lot to explore, and I don't plan on doing it timidly.  To hell with that.   

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Farm to Fork: A Humble Gathering of Friends

It has been a few weeks since our Farm to Fork dinner at Red Onion in Baton Rouge, but we are still reeling from the excitement. What a beatiful night of community! Loupe Theory Studios captured it perfectly in this video! Stay tuned for photos and more from this November 6 evening.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mount Ida

Nestled amongst the hickories and the pines in the Quartz capitol of the world, we set up camp for a week. For the first three days we battled a storm; darting out to explore when the dark clouds would forgive their visitors. We quickly found our favorite spots and found ourselves revisiting them over and over throughout our days there on Mount Ida. Our feet found the coolness of the creek after long walks over the hard crystalline ground, these small treasures I had to resist every one. Can you imagine a ground of crystals?