Early this week the world lost a kind, generous man who found the good in everyone + every situation. By way of the Alaskan frontier to South Dakota to Wisconsin, a photographer, woodworker, storyteller, I-can-do-anything extraordinaire. Truly one in a million, we know he’s making Heaven a brighter, happier place.
We love you + miss you, Grandpa M. 14 January 28 – 15 January 2018
Cooking + mashing red-skinned apples makes the prettiest sauce. Gently blushing pink, there’s something very heartening about it. Je vois la vie en rose.
Perhaps unsurprising then to learn that apples are actually part of the rose family, Rosaceae. And while they may be common by today’s standards, the ancient Greeks considered apples symbols of beauty, intertwining the shapely fruits with matters of love. To wit: An apple caught by one lover from another signified the acceptance of a marriage proposal.
Only a couple of days ago our world was a glisteningsnow globe. Then the air warmed pleasantly, bringing a torrent of rain + wind as a strange January thunderstorm electrified the night sky.
Under today’s thick cover of low grey clouds we braced ourselves against the damp chill with steamy miso soup — redolent of smoky bonito + rich yellow miso, soft tofu cubes are vibrantly set off by deep green wakame, spinach ribbons + shaved scallion. These bowls are keepers.
Food prepared and shared with others is among the most powerful bonding methods we humans have. And for me, risotto has a special place permanently tattooed onto my heart, connecting to memorable moments throughout my adult life.
+ Somewhere between poring over mountains of thesis research + the cooking/baking/espresso drinking/solitary rambles through southwest Minneapolis that otherwise kept my grad school self occupied/sane, an online ping from a friend of friends in high school. The note, in response to a photo of the previous night’s triumphant first risotto, challenged me to a long-distance culinary throwdown. My drawn-out reply was returned in kind, and so it all began.
+ Strolling along the Gulf Coast at daybreak, me snapping photos of shorebirds as an angry ocean roared and the salmon-hued sun rose up from behind billowy clouds. Down on one sandy knee he caught me by surprise, a dainty ring in hand, making me his fiancée. The best surprise, to which we popped a bottle of bubbles for drinking + adding to a crispy prosciutto-topped asparagus risotto.
+ Calm, pleasantly warm and sunny, a few feathery wisps of clouds leading the way down a grassy aisle in the rolling countryside on a fifteen-year Wisconsin day — our wedding. The reception held in a century barn a mix of rustic + elegant, with pumpkins, wheat, cornstalks and gourds as decorations; wine bottled and labeled by his aunt and uncle; the meal, threedifferentrisottos, prepared in front by our groomsmen, dads, uncles + new brothers-in-law as speeches were made, more bubbly was toasted, a new married life beginning.
From the first conversation I knew he was something special, and had a feeling we’d be together, making risotto — this, the fateful recipe — for many years to come.