Hard Cider has quite the colorful history here in America; in fact, during Colonial times in the Eastern States, Cider was more popular than beer, wine or whiskey. It was far more difficult to grow grains for beer than it was to grow apples so seeds were brought over from England, orchards were established and cider-making was as popular here as it was in England. By the mid-1800s, the New England states were producing nearly 300,000 gallons of cider every year.
Last summer we spent several weeks in the Seattle area with Shauna, Danny and Lucy; we were there shooting several video pieces as well as sharing stories, birthdays and some of the glorious foods of summer. It’s just a normal day when the Aherns gather friends around their table and open their home to an impromptu get-together; August 6th is Shauna’s birthday (that’s today – happy birthday Shauna!), the weather was spectacular with azure-blue skies and temperatures in the mid-80s. The entire island had been waiting for the blackberries to ripen for picking; jams, pies, buckles or eaten straight out of hand – it didn’t matter what the berries would be used for, what mattered was the gathering of friends.
Last month, The Professor and I were invited to attend a special food ‘Pop-Up’ – a collaboration between Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs Jonathon Sawyer of Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant in Portland and Columbus’ own Kenny Kim & Misako Ohba of fRESHTSTREET Yakitori. The event was tagged as ‘a Pop-up in a Pop-up’ and was a sellout with standing room only; in fact, I resorted to using my iPhone to grab photos as maneuvering a large, DSLR while shimmying myself between the crowds just wasn’t possible.
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Musical pairing – Daddy Sang Bass by Johnny Cash
I’m not sure if the cold and flu season begins but I do know that it arrived here at Smith Bites 2 weeks ago – first The Professor and then four days later, moi. Somehow I’d managed to stay cold-free for more than two years; alas, wasn’t able to dodge this one.
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Musical pairing – Stand By Me by Ben King
Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry – and if you added the proverbial Neapolitan then that rounded the number up to four flavors of ice cream in my world back in the little house on Ankeny Street. We didn’t own an extra freezer and the freezer compartment above our refrigerator always held the usual three or four stacking ice cube trays and matching storage container with just enough room for a few extra loaves of bread as well as one or two other frozen sundries for a family of six. But there were always at least one or two cartons of ice cream in Grandma and Grandpa’s lower, pull-out freezer . . . and they lived just a short distance away.
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Musical pairing – Luck Be a Lady by Frank Sinatra
This is going to be one of those cut-to-the-chase posts primarily because I just discovered the recipe last night and because this little number is quite decadent!
Happy New Year! This is the Professor. You might have noticed that it’s been a little quiet here at Smith Bites over the Holidays; Debra had a kidney stone and subsequent infection, but with mega doses of antibiotic and a little TLC, everything seems to be under control. Her energy is returning and we’ll be back to regular posting again soon.