I’ve Seen Fire And I’ve Seen Sauce

I do enjoy a vacation from blogging sometimes. There has been no shortage of cooking, both here and in Vermont, but not so much documentation. Among other memorable events, I taught a bread class, cooked for 75 or so people at a charity benefit, and fed my family daily as is my wont, but just wasn’t feeling the writing about it part. With an average of a post every other day for six and a half years, I don’t feel bad about taking a break. So now, as regular content resumes—subject to an impending deadline and how well I stave off the cold that Milo caught right before his birthday, torpedoing a weekend’s worth of fun—I’ll begin lazily simply with a few shots of How I Spent My Summer Vacation. Caveat: many of these are phone pictures. I brought the good camera, but like I said, I was on vacation.

Up top are some grilled oysters pulled from the fire once they opened and topped with a mignonette to which I added some homemade peach-tomato barbecue sauce that I made to adorn a slow-cooked pork shoulder from a few days before. I probably should have taken a picture of that one: 2 hours on the grill, then 6 in the oven while we hiked and swam, then I shredded it apart with lavish lashings of spicy-sweet sauce. I even made cornbread to go with it, which was the happy result of a big mistake and merits its own post later on. Barbecued oysters with a nice white Bordeaux are about as pleasant a beginning to a meal as it is possible to have.

Part two of that meal was a trough of chicken wings, tossed in spices, grilled for a bit, and then finished on the stove in more of that luscious sauce. This was a common culinary theme for our time there, as you can see. It’s a tough formula to beat. There’s Milo helping himself, though the glass of McNeill’s Porter was not his. Their beers are excellent and worth seeking out if you find yourself in Brattleboro or its environs.

Some bluefish—that superb signifier of summer in the Northeast—also hit the grill, dusted with chili powder and salt and such…

…and ended up on some couscous with scallions and lime. See how I put the two pieces back together? I should have been a surgeon.

We murdered the most recent batch of camembert (those of you who like this joint on Facebook have already seen the drooling cheese porn; just saying) by spreading it thickly on crusty slices of sourdough boules I baked every other day, using an old iron griddle in place of a baking stone in the oven.

There’s plenty more to talk about, but this should at least keep some of you from calling hospitals to find out what happened to me.

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Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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