Wild River Review
Wild River Review
Connecting People, Places, and Ideas: Story by Story
May 2010
Open Borders
 

March 31, 2010

The Lede: A Passover wish, a newspaper assignment and thanks to Steven Shaw for keeping it real.

L1020014

Ciel Rouge Restaurant/NYC Photo: Warren Bobrow

Last week was the last class at the French Culinary Institute in NYC.  I had taken a course in Food Blogging given by the media wunderkind Steven Shaw.   I wasn’t too happy with the way the class turned out.  This is no fault of anyone but myself.  I should have known that the end-game was different from my initial expectations.  Steven is a great teacher for the right student.  Who is that student?  A blogger of course.  I found out the hard way.  Not that he didn’t get across to me his expectations, I just failed to grasp the basic concepts of blogging.  No fault of his own.  I suppose the reason is that I have never written a word in a blog style.

I’m more influenced by the restaurant reviews in the New Yorker and writers like Alan Richman.

Thanks Steven for being good to me in that regard, understanding that I write in a different style and meter.

still sleeping garden Photo: Warren Bobrow

Still sleeping garden. Photo: Warren Bobrow

Passover.. comes and goes..  This year it seemed to come much faster than last year. My wish is continued good health, good humor and much good food.

The Passover Matzo ball Soup!  Photo: Warren Bobrow

The Passover Matzo ball Soup! Photo: Warren Bobrow

Detail closeup of Matzo ball soup.  Photo: Warren Bobrow

Detail closeup of Matzo ball soup. Photo: Warren Bobrow

The plate! The wine! Photo:  Warren Bobrow

The plate! The wine! Photo: Warren Bobrow

The Black Bean soup served at eight year old El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant in Dover, NJ; is so authentic in flavor that you would think you are sitting at a table located in another country.  Their Black Bean soup, redolent of long cooked garlic, melted pork bones, carrots, celery and onions…Dashed with tad of cumin, sweet black beans and served steaming hot in a bowl, this potage is topped with a shaving of Queso cheese, melting slowly into the dark, creamy stock. Everything here is served with freshly fried tortilla chips, plus two kinds of salsa-one chunky, rife with hot chili, tomato, onion and red pepper- the other smooth with a slow burn.  The smooth one has tangy notes of freshly squeezed lime- juice.

Another bowl is presented.  It is brimming with more than enough freshly cut limes hunks for your favorite cerveza from the liquor store just up the way.

This is a BYOB, after all.

Photo: Warren Bobrow

Photo: Warren Bobrow

Queso gently melting away  Photo: Warren Bobrow

Queso gently melting away. Photo: Warren Bobrow

Soon to be remains of the day  Photo: Warren Bobrow

Soon to be remains of the day. Photo: Warren Bobrow

Spring has finally begun to spring afresh.  With that I am gifted to have my grandmother at our Passover table tonight.  Our gefilte fish made with only the freshest fish from Metro Seafood in Clinton, NJ was carefully crafted by mom in law.  She also crafted her famous Matzo ball soup that I’ve written about prior. Can’t wait for tonight!

Used to contain Matzo ball soup.   Photo: Warren Bobrow

Last year's model- Matzo ball soup. Photo: Warren Bobrow

Grass fed veal is just different than “supermarket” veal and here’s why.

Grass fed has a darker, more identifiable color than the veal that never sees daylight, nor tasted a sweet blade of grass.

Strauss Veal from Hales Corners, Wisconsin.

Srauss Veal was kind enough to send me a sample box of their free-range, grass-fed, never confined veal the other day for sampling.  The box arrived almost immediately, brimming with carefully portioned cuts of veal, cryo-sealed and iced in a sturdy box.  It read: RUSH!

Upon opening, I found a plethora of toothsome cuts.  A veal chop deeply colored, not that bland looking mass I’m used to seeing  A huge hunk of dark red “osso-bucco”, some leg meat for scaloppini… a veritable mixed grille for Julie and me to enjoy! Light the charcoal grill!

But what makes Strauss Veal so delicious?  It is more akin in flavor to the European standard of beef… What is that?  For one, European veal has flavor, texture and color.  Most American cuts of veal have hardly any flavor and what little flavor it does have is often covered up in butter and lemon based sauces.  No wonder why many cooks often substitute pork tenderloin to veal tenderloin in many preparations. Why? Perhaps because pork tenderloin is 1/10 the price and actually has flavor.  Why do they not tell their customers?  That’s a good question.  Who are these cooks? They’re out there, let me tell you-I’ve worked with them in Maine and in New Jersey.  The explanation usually has to do with cost.

Since most veal is raised to be flavorless in conditions best left to the book named The Jungle, I do not enjoy or eat this less than ethically desirable product.

I must say, I’ve never tasted anything like it in the United States. 

I also must say that I did not pay for the box of samples, so my lawyers stay happy with me.

This veal tasted dense and rich.  Each cut was unique.  They tasted like the individual blades of sweet grass that the calf enjoyed without stress or antibiotics.  This calf enjoyed sunlight and running around, building muscle and flavor.  That flavor of grasses reminded me of growing up on a farm and tasting blades of the field grasses that sustained dairy cattle for generations.  I grew up on what is now a certified organic and biodynamic CSA/Farm.   In trips abroad, the flavor of beef was different (in a good way) from the beef that we would have at home.  (I grew up eating USDA Prime from Hoeffner’s in Morristown, NJ)

European beef and veal had the flavor that I tasted in the Strauss product.  It made me smile.  Instantly I was in Normandy in France, carving into a cut of meat an “Entrecote” as I remember.  It had the same inner glow.  The same deep red color on the inside and outside I still remember the charcoal marks from the grill and the taste of Bordeaux in my glass.  That and a perfect side salad, flecked with fleur de sel and dashed with tarragon and red wine vinegar.  Mmm.  I’m there.

What is Free Raised veal?  Free Raised veal was first introduced in the USA in January, 2008, calves are born and raised in the pasture, have unlimited access to mothers milk, and pasture grasses, are free to roam, alongside mother and herd on natural open pastures, never tethered or raised in confinement, never raised in feedlots, never administered growth hormones or antibiotics. When raising calves outdoors on pasture the way nature intended – the result is healthier more flavorful and tender veal. Free Raised veal is lower in fat than chicken. The Free Raised method also has a low carbon footprint and is environmentally friendly and sustainable. Properly grazed pastures help improve the environment by eliminating greenhouses gasses. Free raised is good for the calves, good for the environment and good for you.  Description was kindly reprinted from Strauss Veal’s web page.

Thank you Blake for your patience with me!

Your constructive comments after reading are greatly appreciated.

Please follow me on Twitter @WarrenBobrow1

Wild River Review/ Wild Table editor, Warren Bobrow grew up on a farm in Morristown, NJ. A graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Film, he spent his senior year as a research assistant in visual thinking at CAVS / MIT.

He worked for many years in the corporate world and doesn’t think he’ll ever go back, unless they throw a bundle of money at me and allow me to continue to write.

Wild Table has bits of visual poetry, terroir and food commentaries. In addition to Wild River Review, Warren writes for NJMYWay.com, NJ Monthly, Edible Jersey, NJ Savvy Living, Chutzpah Magazine and  NJ Life Magazine.  Warren continues to traverse the print-scape and is now writing for the Morris Cty., NJ Daily Record for their restaurant and their features column. He appeared at the Roger Smith Food Writing Conference in NYC and gave a 14.5 minute talk on Twitter, Food Writing and Zen.  Warren spoke at the #140 Conference in Philadelphia on the same topic.  Zen and the Art of Twitter, Foodwriting and knowing nothing.

Warren is a contributing author for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Ed., 2 on the topic of biodynamics.

Warren’s interview for a local website to Morristown, NJ  Thank you! Eco-Motown.

My friend Brandon at Drinkin’ and Dronin’. http://drinkinanddronin.wordpress.com/

They came across me on Twitter! http://servedraw.com/ WOW!! What a site!

Saveur Magazine’s 100 list for 2010 as #30, the Tuna Melt.  Warren is featured in the Saveur Magazine 100 list.

Metro Seafood.. just the best FRESH seafood available in New Jersey…

     Ever wonder about the other part of New Jersey?

http://johnandlisaareeatinginsj.blogspot.com/

OTHER ARTICLES BY WARREN BOBROW:

****************************************************

Thank you for clicking this page. Your donations are crucial in supporting the writers, editors, artists, web team, interns and research assistants who make WRR a dynamic web presence.

To support our mission and passion for good storytelling, please help support my work and make a tax-deductible donation by clicking here:  Wild River Donation.

An international website and 501C3 non profit organization, the Wild River Review serves as a vehicle to spread the flame of understanding through powerful writing and graphics covering a wide range of subjects and geographical locations. As communication through the tremendous capacity of the web paves the way for news coverage from every angle, Wild River Review tells stories that shed light on dark corners of the globe, helping readers understand complicated issues often through the power of first hand stories and interviews. In a climate of repeated media flashes and quick news byte stories that focus on trauma and terror, Wild River Review also believes that there are many under reported issues and positive initiatives that deserve increased coverage in order to effect positive change throughout the world.

Photo 2

March 24, 2010

Alaskan Salmon, a Ham Tale and some musings about food, “blogging” and being a columnist.

Swoon Kitchen Bar in Hudson, NY

Swoon Kitchen Bar in Hudson, NY

I’ve been out of sorts for the past few weeks.  Maybe my palate has been in a funk?  I’m so looking towards the spring.  The snap of vegetables, still covered in dirt, the flavor of wines meant to be enjoyed with foods of the season.

I’m yearning for real food, simply cooked.  Pare it way, way back.  Give it to me in the purest state, crusted only with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  I want great olive oil to finish the dish.  That’s it! Don’t throw out the butter and cream, but don’t show it to me unless I ask for it.

The other day I was discussing my strange culinary habits to someone from my Twitter world.  They went on to talk about taking a perfect piece of Alaskan Salmon and putting not only a butter and cream sauce on it, but also smothering it in roasted squash, onions, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, Meyer Lemon puree, garlic, hot chili paste and a meat based tomato sauce.   I wanted to be nice and said nothing at the time about that perfect slice of Alaskan Salmon, brilliant with spark and the flavor of the ocean, that would turn out tasting of all the different ingredients (mostly rosemary, butter, meat and cream) not the Salmon!

Cooking with passion and simplicity is my mantra.

Taste your food when cooking and cook with a smile.

If you have perfect Alaskan Salmon, please try something new.  Try to cook it simply in a really hot cast iron pan, the sparkling fresh fish just touched with salt and pepper.  Finish the dish with a freshly made cucumber salad and some more of that really great olive oil.

I use olive oil from Pasolivo in California.  They are a small company and I love their Olio Nuovo. This oil only comes out once per season.  It may well be the best olive oil I’ve tasted this year and last.

I have a closet full of really expensive Italian, Spanish and French olive oils.  This is the one I use with abandon.  If you are going to use really fresh fish from Alaska, cook it simply.  Please don’t muck it up with twenty different ingredients, although all the ingredients have nice flavors alone, they will smother the salinity and freshness of the Salmon.  You might as well use a frozen piece of fish from supermarket, it’s not going to taste any better by using the good stuff.  Save your money.

Roasted Salmon with Cucumber Salad

1   pound of the best Salmon you can buy.

The Best!

The Best!

1   pound pickling cukes, peeled and sliced into coins

Sprinkling of really great sea salt over the fish, like Maldon if you don’t have a box at home, now is a good time to get one!

Freshly cracked pepper.  I use Tellecherry Peppercorns.

Rice Wine Vinegar.  What is this?  Japanese grocery store shelves will have rows of this product.  It is the basis of pickling fish and vegetables, if you don’t have some, now would be a good time!

Slice the cucumbers as per the above instructions.  Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Sprinkle with some rice wine vinegar, just enough to wet uniformly.  Splash some of that really good olive oil, your choice of course, but I recommend extra virgin, first press.  A new harvest oil is a huge plus. However, it is not inexpensive.  A 500ml bottle will run about fifty dollars.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the cast iron pan to just about smoking- make sure your hood is on, the salmon will smoke when it hits the hot pan. Please season it well with the sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Sear on all sides, then with a really heavy mitt, place the pan in the pre-heated oven.  Roast until done, about 5-7 minutes.  Carefully remove the salmon from the oven with a heavy mitt on your hand, let rest for a few minutes to set up.. Then remove the fish from cast iron pan and plate.  Serve with the side cucumber salad and freshly sliced lemons.   This dish also make a lovely salmon salad.  Flake the salmon when cooled with some freshly made garlic mayonnaise.  Spread on freshly baked rye bread or flake into a salad of mache and frissee lettuces.

Toss with a classic French dressing. A simple vinaigrette of tarragon, dijon mustard, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil with the other ingredients.

It’s better than the stuff in a bottle, right? Sure it is!

Food make with love always tastes better.  Cook seasonally and with passion!

I suggest a nice Portuguese wine with this dish.  Made from local grape varieties.

Filipa Pato.. Wow.

Filipa Pato.. Wow.

Gazing over the gardens, I’m looking at a mass of crocuses, snow-bells and daffodils.  It’s going to be Spring soon in the garden.  I waited all Winter for this!

Later in the Spring. Can't wait!  Picture taken 2009

Later in the Spring. Can't wait! Picture taken 2009

photo provided by: Annelle Williams

photo provided by: Annelle Williams

Annelle Williams sent me a lovely piece on Spring Ham.  I am sharing it with you today.

HAM:  A Taste of Spring

I’m drawn to books like some women are drawn to shoes.  Even with the internet, and all the  information I have at my fingertips, I still love my hard copy books.  Just think how much money women could save if they were satisfied looking at shoes online rather than stockpiling them in their closets.

You won’t be surprised to know that food related books take up most of the room on my shelves.  I play a game with myself when book shopping:  Which Book Grabs My Attention First, and Why?  Sometimes it’s the color or shape, or the font on the spine.   Next I peruse  titles.  Finally, I get a book in hand and thumb through.  I love food pictures and since I’ve started trying to take a few myself, I realize just how hard it is to make some foods look as good as they taste.  I save the best  ’til last:  the recipes.  If one recipe catches my eye, makes me want to taste, prepare, serve it—the book  is probably going home with me.  Often, just one good recipe will seal the deal—and it’s worth it if the  recipe turns out to be all that I expected.

I have a book in hand right now that has far exceeded all my expectations!   It’s spring, and I’m thinking about the Easter dinner we share in our family.  When we have large gatherings, I begin thinking ‘large’ food, which leads me to HAM, especially fresh ham for spring.  And here we have the perfect book:  HAM:  An Obsession with the Hindquarter by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.

photo provided by Annelle Williams

photo provided by: Annelle Williams

The very first recipe, Roasted Fresh Ham with a Maple-Spice Glaze sounds perfect, but wait, there’s Moroccan-Style Roasted Fresh Ham, Tuscan Roasted Fresh Ham, Oven-Barbecued Fresh Ham.  And that’s just naming a few of the recipes in the first section.  This luscious volume covers four types of ham: Fresh Ham, including recipes for a Ham Tagine and Steamed Ham Buns; Dry-Cured Ham in the Old World, with recipes for Chilled Honeydew Soup with Frizzled Ham and Prosciutto-Wrapped Meatloaf in a Vinegary Tomato Sauce, as well as a menu for a European ham party; Dry-Cured Ham in the New World, offering Jerk-Style Country Ham and Pineapple Tamales and a Glazed and Roasted Country Ham; and Wet-Cured Ham, featuring an Iberian-Inspired Frittata and an over-the top Mac and Ham and Cheese.  The recipes cover the globe and range from cooking an entire ham, to appetizers using bits, pieces, or slices.  They’re all quite doable and very enticing.

Bruce, a “New Yorker from Torah scribes and Kosher butchers”, and Mark, a “Southerner from sharecroppers and Civil War soldiers”, are a most unlikely pair to be writing about ham, but they cover the subject thoroughly with tempting recipes for all cooks.  Trust me, if there’s anything you want to know about preparing the hindquarter of a pig, you can find it in this very humorous, well written and informative book.

Here are two of my favorite recipes from Ham:  An Obsession with the Hindquarter, the aft- fore mentioned Roasted Fresh Ham with a Maple-Spice Glaze, and a show-stopping Jambon Persillé (terrine).  Hope you enjoy!

photo provided by: Annelle Williams

photo provided by: Annelle Williams

Roasted Fresh Ham with a Maple-Spice Glaze

Feeds 6 teenage boys, 16 adults, or 26 twenty something models

1. Put the Dickensian joint in a large roasting pan, preferably one that’s shiny enough to reflect lots of ambient heat and not so flimsy that it tips willy-nilly when you pick it up. Set the oven rack as high as it can go and still afford the ham at least 2 inches of head space. Leave the roast in its pan out on the counter and fire the oven up to 325 F.

2. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Wash and dry your hands, then smooth the spice mixture all over the ham’s external surface. Work it down into some of the crevices, but be careful to avoid any deep-tissue massage. A ham is a complex structure of muscle groups—too much massage and they can come apart like Goldie Hawn in Death Becomes Her.

3. Cover the whole kit and caboodle with aluminum foil, shove it in the oven, and leave it alone for 31/2 hours, while you go do whatever it is you do when a big, sweating hunk of meat is roasting in your oven.

4. Peel off the aluminum foil. Baste the ham with about half the maple syrup, preferably using a basting brush. Take it easy so you don’t knock off the spice coating. Use small strokes—think Impressionism, not Abstract Expressionism. (Or just dribble the syrup off a spoon.)

5. Continue roasting the ham, uncovered this time, basting every 15 minutes or so with more maple syrup as well as any pan drippings, until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat without touching bone registers 170 F, about 11/4 hours. If it starts to singe or turn too dark, tent it loosely with foil, uncovering it just at the last to get it back to crunchy-crisp.

One 8- to 10-pound bone-in fresh ham, preferably from the shank end, any rind removed

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup maple syrup (editors note: please use grade b, dark amber.)

After our existential ordeal with Wilbur, Bruce wanted to develop a recipe that honored the first taste of the meat by using the simplest preparation: roasted, not fussed up.

So here’s his basic recipe for a fresh ham. Yes, it requires several hours of slow cooking. Open another bottle of Pinot Noir and relax.

The Ingredient Scoop

In North America, maple syrup is sold in various state-sanctioned grades: A and B are the usual divisions, with A parsed into several finer demarcations.

Basically, the lower the grade, the more intense the taste. Grade A Light Amber or Grade A Fancy would be fine for pancakes but bad for a long spell in the incinerator that is

your oven. Better then to go with the lower, cheaper grades, like Grade B Dark Amber (our preference for pancakes, too, by the way) No matter what, don’t swap a corn syrup–laced imitator for real maple syrup.

Eight pounds ain’t a whole ham by a long shot. These things can weigh up to 24 pounds, maybe a tad more from those linebacker hogs. Because of their sheer size, most hams in the

United States are halved for sale—or even cut into smaller sections. We’ve tried this roast with several cuts and prefer the shank end.

photo provided by: Annelle Williams

photo provided by: Annelle Williams

Jambon Persillé

from Ham:  An Obsession with the Hindquarter by Weinstein and Scarbrough

Traditional preparations often include garlic with the parsley.  However, we feel its spike can be excessive, so we’ve used only a little bit as well as some shallots here, a softer hint with the ham and parsley.  Be sure to mince that garlic into very fine bits so no one takes an unexpected hit.

4 cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth, plus a little more if necessary

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 medium celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered

2 teaspoons stemmed thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

8 whole cloves

2 bay leaves

3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (about one and a half l/4 oz. Packets)

2 T water

1 ½ cups packed parsley leaves, minced

3 medium shallots, minced

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1 ½ pounds not-smoked, wet-cured ham, such as jambon de Paris, diced

1)    Bring the broth, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, cloves, and bay leaves to a boil in a medium saucepan set over high heat.  Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook very slowly for 35 minutes.

2)    Uncover and continue cooking over a very low temperature for 10 minutes.

3)    While the broth cooks, sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl and set aside to soften for 5 minutes.

4)    Remove the saucepan from the heat, cool for a few minutes, and then strain the broth into a medium bowl, discarding all those solids.  You should end up with 3 cups of liquid.  If not, add a little more broth, just until you have the right amount.

5)    Stir the softened gelatin and any residual water into the broth until the gelatin dissolves, then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix the parsley, shallots, and garlic in a small bowl.

6)    Make alternating layers of the ham pieces and the parsley mixture in a 6-cup loaf or paté pan.

7)    Gently pour the broth mixture over the ham pieces.  Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, until the gelatin has set up the broth—but cover after a couple hours, once the mixture is chilled.  If there’s extra gelatinized broth left over, save it back in the freezer, adding it in dribs and drabs for extra richness to your next pots of soup.

8)    To unmold, fill a large bowl with warm (not hot) water.  Run a thin knife around the inner perimeter of the terrine or pan, then very briefly dip the mold into the hot water, just so it comes about three-quarters of the way up the side.  Don’t dip longer than a few seconds or the gelatin will  start to melt!  Turn upside down onto a serving platter, unmold (shake free if necessary), and serve slices with grainy, spicy mustard on the side.

Annelle Williams writes: I’m a retired pharmacist, turned cook.  I’m a daughter, sister, wife, mom, and friend who loves to feed her friends and family.  I grew up cooking with my grandmothers–good, traditional southern food–but I’ve always been interested in eating and then learning to cook new and different things.  My idea of fun is a day in the kitchen preparing an old favorite, or working on a brand new recipe.  I was finally able to go to Italy, precisely, the Chianti region of Tuscany, and cook with ‘Mamas’ there (Tutti-a-Tavola).  It was a wonderful experience, and I’ve returned several times to learn more and share recipes with these wonderful women!  I also write two monthly food columns for local papers.
I started a blog, Annelle’s Table, one year ago when I turned 60.  It’s about tried and true recipes that will make your table a happy place to gather and share life…after all, we MUST eat to live, so let’s enjoy every single bite!
I did have one near-brush with fame.  In 2002 I won the Build A Better Burger Contest sponsored by Sutter Home.  It was a great experience, and the burger, Vitello Foccacia, actually evolved from the filling I use in my meat cannelloni.  There is a blog post with the recipe on Annelle’s Table.  I used the money I won ($20,000) to go to Italy and take the cooking classes!

That was written by my friend Annelle.  She’s really cool. Thanks Annelle for being so good to me!

I was in my class at the French Culinary Institute the other day.  I take food blogging class with the founder of eGullet, Steven Shaw.  After listening to all the things told to me by his “expert” panel  that are wrong with my Wild River Review/Wild Table site, I decided to call my part of the World Wide Web not a blog, but a column.

I don’t make a very good blogger.  But as a writer, I hope to show great promise and talent.

Just so we are all very clear on my background, I’ve only been writing professionally since June of 2009.

I’m a really new to this!

Wild Table has only been in existence since July!

I have made incredible progress in the media scape for someone who is clearly not an old hand in the journalism world. In my past, I became a chef. I continue to work in the wine business doing wine education and tastings in private homes.  I like to take care of people’s wine cellars by recommending foods that go with wine- and then I recommend the wines, mostly organic, biodynamic and certainly, all small producer juice.

Thank you for listening to me pipe up about this, but I am not a blogger, never was one..still not really sure what they are. I don’t want to be one and that is that.

I would enjoy being compared to someone like Jimmy Breslin, instead of Adam Roberts.  Please take no offense Adam.  I’m just not your caliber of “blogger” and never want to be compared with you.

If I was ever asked to be on the Food Network as a blogger, I’d have to take Steven Shaw’s course again, so I actually would know what a food blogger does.

I’m still not sure, the panel we had, although interesting at the time, only confused me further.  Maybe it was supposed to be a lesson in humility?  It only made me more sure of who I am.

’nuff said on that one.

Your constructive comments after reading are greatly appreciated. My editors, Joy Stocke and Kim Nagy love to read them as well!

I am as always, your friend.  wb

Please follow me on Twitter @WarrenBobrow1

Wild River Review/ Wild Table editor, Warren Bobrow grew up on a farm in Morristown, NJ. A graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Film, he spent his senior year as a research assistant in visual thinking at CAVS / MIT.

He worked for many years in the corporate world and doesn’t think he’ll ever go back, unless they throw a bundle of money at me and allow me to continue to write.

Wild Table has bits of visual poetry, terroir and food commentaries. In addition to Wild River Review, Warren writes for NJMYWay.com, NJ Monthly, Edible Jersey, NJ Savvy Living, Chutzpah Magazine and  NJ Life Magazine.  Warren continues to traverse the print-scape and is now writing for the Morris Cty., NJ Daily Record for their restaurant and their features column. He just appeared at the Roger Smith Food Writing Conference in NYC and gave a 14.5 minute talk on Twitter, Food Writing and Zen.  Warren spoke at the #140 Conference in Philadelphia on the same topic.  Zen and the Art of Twitter, Foodwriting and knowing nothing.

Warren is a contributing author for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Ed., 2 on the topic of biodynamics.

Warren’s interview for a local website to Morristown, NJ  Thank you! Eco-Motown.

My friend Brandon at Drinkin’ and Dronin’. http://drinkinanddronin.wordpress.com/

Saveur Magazine’s 100 list for 2010 as #30, the Tuna Melt.  Warren has been named to the Saveur Magazine 100 list.

Metro Seafood.. just the best FRESH seafood available in New Jersey…

  http://www.johnzieman.com

Upcoming interview: http://www.stopstressingnow.com/ May 23rd  2010!

Ever wonder about the other part of New Jersey?

http://johnandlisaareeatinginsj.blogspot.com/

Martine Marcus has my seal of approval and she’s a thinker and a great chef.  Thinking of going gluten free? This is her site.

http://www.burdenfreefoods.com/

OTHER ARTICLES BY WARREN BOBROW:

****************************************************

Thank you for clicking this page. Your donations are crucial in supporting the writers, editors, artists, web team, interns and research assistants who make WRR a dynamic web presence.

To support our mission and passion for good storytelling, please make a tax-deductible donation by clicking here:  Wild River Donation.

An international website and 501C3 non profit organization, the Wild River Review serves as a vehicle to spread the flame of understanding through powerful writing and graphics covering a wide range of subjects and geographical locations. As communication through the tremendous capacity of the web paves the way for news coverage from every angle, Wild River Review tells stories that shed light on dark corners of the globe, helping readers understand complicated issues often through the power of first hand stories and interviews. In a climate of repeated media flashes and quick news byte stories that focus on trauma and terror, Wild River Review also believes that there are many under reported issues and positive initiatives that deserve increased coverage in order to effect positive change throughout the world.

L1010238



all photography copyright: Wild River Review/Wild Table

March 18, 2010

Elevation Burger in Montclair, NJ

Montclair Burger Wars

March 17, 2010

Two newbies are grilling up a burger war in Montclair, NJ.

A few months back, I visited Smashburger, (www.smashburger.com) the new uber-burger brand on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair. Smashburger’s hamburger is physically smashed onto the grill  with a cast iron sandwich press, creating a caramelized crust of clarified butter and meat juices.

It’s 7:30 in the morning and my stomach is growling thinking about this.

Here’s what I wrote: http://www.njmyway.com/index.php?option=com_wordpress&p=1498&Itemid=53

The other day I went over to the new Elevation Burger in the same town.

My friend Joe Bembry at 56 Degree Wines had said, “if you like Smashburger, you’ll really like Elevation Burger.” He went on to tell about the meat. Grass fed, free range, organic.  Ground freshly several times a day!

Elevation Burger grinds fresh for better flavor

Elevation Burger grinds fresh for better flavor

Cheeseburger on left, hamburger, then olive oil cooked fries

Cheeseburger on left, hamburger, then olive oil cooked fries

Elevation Burger is all about sustainability. Do LEED ratings and high carbon offsets excite you? Their core belief of doing well by the earth is vaguely Rudolph Steiner in philosophy (he was the father of the agricultural theory called biodynamics and the Waldorf School) – the corporate ethos of “processing beyond the age of industrial agriculture to pursue a more sustainable and healthy future.”

Does 100% USDA-certified organic, grass fed, free range beef, ground on the premise and hand formed into a burger make your stomach growl?

Mine is doing that right now. Again.

Both Smashburger and Elevation Burger make great food. It’s tough to choose between them. Smashburger has that nutty flavor, a brown butter nose and bite. Elevation Burger retains the juices and crunchy crust from the searing hot grill.

burger line at Elevation Burger

burger line at Elevation Burger

Elevation Burger hand cuts fries that have soaked in water to release the starch.

They are then fried in olive oil.

Who cooks in olive oil, isn’t that expensive? Well, the short answer is yes, why would a company want to do something that costs more? Maybe they care about the health of their customer? I think they taste just like being in Belgium. May I have some mayonnaise?

healthier fries at Elevation Burger

healthier fries at Elevation Burger

Burgers are cooked on a flat-top grill, then a screen is lowered over the top to seal in the juices.

Sizzle!

Sizzle!

The cheeseburger at Elevation is ground on the premises, a marvel of flavor. Wrapped “In and Out” burger style in two (recycled paper) wrappers which display and not steam the hand-held delight. When you bite into an Elevation Burger, ample meat juices are soaking into the crispy toasted potato bun… that is what I call delicious, see? I’m drooling.

Cheese is not an afterthought, it has the real flavor of cheddar. Condiments include paper-thin sliced pickles and crunchy iceberg lettuce. Tomatoes actually have good flavor and color.

Cheeseburgers are my favorite. But they also do Vegan and Veggie Burgers, cooked in their own separate broilers- Elevation Burger, in this way has adapted to the many dietary needs of their customers.  The entire shop has a LEED rating as well.  Does that make sense? I think so. The owners of this chain-lette are not only interested in the environment, but they are interested in the local community and the effect of their product on the universe.

Wild Bill’s Soda is available.  What a treat!  A micro-micro soda manufacturer that uses all ingredients like Cane Sugar.  Who uses cane sugar anymore to make soda?  They also produce their product in wooden kegs; the old fashioned way.  Nice touch!  I like seeing small local (Bernardsville, NJ) businesses like Wild Bill’s Soda represented.

Matt Jerkovich, one of the affable owners of Elevation Burger in Montclair- engages his customers in genuine conversation. He and his partner (working the order line) treat everyone with kindness and patience.

My only disappointment was the milk shake at Elevation. The size was fine. My complaint is the ice cream product they use. Blue Bunny ice cream, in my opinion, doesn’t have the richness and the creamy texture of Smashburger’s Haagen-Daz ice cream based shake… Please let me say that I’ve never tasted the two blind, side by side- so my criticism may not be well placed. And I don’t normally drink shakes, way too fattening.

To my palate, the Smashburger shake is better. You may disagree with me.  Is it a war?  I certainly hope not.

As far as the cheeseburger (drumroll please!) … they are both fabulously juicy and flavorful. We leave it to you to chew over. And, if you are lucky enough to live nearby, go place your order.  If you live a bit further away as I do, choose your favorite and just go.

This NJ My Way article was written by Wild River Review Contributing Editor Warren Bobrow, who grew up on a farm in Morristown.

His website is: www.wildriverreview.com/wildtable.

Wild River Review/ Wild Table editor, Warren Bobrow grew up on a farm in Morristown, NJ. A graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Film, he spent his senior year as a research assistant in visual thinking at CAVS / MIT.

He worked for many years in the corporate world.

Wild Table has bits of visual poetry, terroir and food commentaries. In addition to Wild River Review, Warren writes for NJMYWay.com, NJ Monthly, Edible Jersey, NJ Savvy Living, Chutzpah Magazine and  NJ Life Magazine.  Warren continues to traverse the print-scape and is now writing for the Morris Cty., NJ Daily Record for their restaurant and their features column. He just appeared at the Roger Smith Food Writing Conference in NYC and gave a 14.5 minute talk on Twitter, Food Writing and Zen.  Warren spoke at the #140 Conference in Philadelphia on the same topic.  Zen and the Art of Twitter, Foodwriting and knowing nothing.

Warren is a contributing author for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Ed., 2 on the topic of biodynamics.

Warren’s interview for a local website to Morristown, NJ  Thank you! Eco-Motown.

My friend Brandon at Drinkin’ and Dronin’. http://drinkinanddronin.wordpress.com/

Saveur Magazine’s 100 list for 2010 as #30, the Tuna Melt.  Named to the Saveur Magazine 100 list.

Metro Seafood.. just the best FRESH seafood available in New Jersey… ’nuff said.

A fantastic new site… join for free! http://foodielink.com/  (yes I write for them)

http://www.johnzieman.com

Upcoming interview: http://www.stopstressingnow.com/ May 2010!

Ever wonder about the other part of New Jersey?

http://johnandlisaareeatinginsj.blogspot.com/

Martine has my seal of approval.  Thinking of going gluten free?   http://www.burdenfreefoods.com/

OTHER ARTICLES BY WARREN BOBROW:

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March 17, 2010

Capogiro Gelato… a Zombie Root Carousel and Tuthilltown Rye Whiskey

Monks Cafe in Philadelphia photo: Warren Bobrow

Assorted musings for St. Patrick’s Day 2010

I love Gelato. No, not the commercial products that sometimes clogs store shelves either… Yes, there are some brands that I do enjoy, Ciao Bella has always stimulated my taste buds-only made in small batches.  They do it right on a national scale.

In comparison, they are a huge company with a major distribution network. Ciao Bella are in no way to be compared to Capogiro gelato company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Capogiro produces what I consider to be the best Gelato in America.  True, I have not tried ever single Gelato in America, but no matter, their product is unique in the fact that it is truly a locavore product made with mostly local ingredients, made from scratch, nearly every day by people who truly love food.

I brought five pints back from Philadelphia the other day.  Burnt Sugar, Fior de Latte, Turkish Coffee, Scuro (Black Chocolate), and the Sailor Jerry Rum.  They should last a few days at least.  (laughs)

Here is their list for today, March 17, 2010:

Avocado
Delicious and very green!
Carambola con Limone Verde
Carambola (Star Fruit) with tart limes.
Cashew
Creamy and smooth.
Cioccolato
Cioccolato Banana
Chocolate and bananas. Classic.
Cioccolato Scuro
Rich, black and serious…very serious!
Dark and Stormy
Lemon and Ginger with Sailor Jerry Rum. Don’t get lost in the Bermuda Triangle and if you do, make sure you have this!
Dulce De Leche
Our own decadent Argentine caramel swirled into Fior di Latte gelato.
Fior Di Latte
Milk gelato. Milk from an Amish family’s single herd of hormone free, grass fed in Lancaster County. Crazy good.
Gianduia
Irish Coffee
Kiwi
Lancaster Heirloom Cider with Clove
Seven different varieties of local heirloom apples make this cider incredible. Spiced with a bit of clove for the season.
Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
We have tried every type of vanilla bean and this was my favorite. Gelato is low fat and needs a special type of vanilla.
Mandorla Tostata
Almond gelato with toasted almond slivers throughout.
Moro
California Blood Orange
Nocciola Piemontese
Hazelnut gelato made with nuts from the Piedmont region of Italy. When this is your first choice, you have your Italian Citizenship.
Pera con Wild Turkey
Lancaster County Bosc Pears with Wild Turkey Bourbon… a lot of Bourbon!
Pistacchio Siciliano
The very best pistacchios from Sicily. Not that horrific neon green kind, the amazing olive green kind.
Pompelmo Rosso con Campari
Ruby Red Grapefruit with Campari
Rum-dark and brooding
Saigon Cinnamon
After searching and searching, finally, the perfect cinnamon for gelato (in my opinion.) This cinnamon is hot and sweet.
Thai Coconut Milk
Sweet smooth coconut gelato made with coconut milk from Thailand and a hint of coconut rum.
White Chocolate
Valhrona white chocolate.

Recently, I had a nice surprise.  Laura Price from the Quaker City Mercantile sent me an email letting me know that my cocktail submission had won the February cocktail contest for Root with an entirely new recipe called the Zombie Root Carousel.

Concocted of Root Tea, Tuthilltown Rye Whiskey, Fee Brothers Rhubarb bitters, Luxardo Maraschino cherries (Italian sweet cherries) and Ginger ale.

It’s a potent little hand held cherry-bomb. Be careful lighting that fuse.

Zombie Root Carousel

Zombie Root Carousel

A quick update: Root is USDA Certified Organic Root Tea.

What is Root Tea?  Back in the days before Root Beer (non-alcoholic) there were recipes for elixers that contained roots, herbs and other magical potions.  Root tea was used for healing and for relaxation purposes.  What followed was prohibition.  Charles Hires (back in the day) took the original recipe for Root Tea, removed the alcohol, added carbonation and created a new recipe called Root Beer.   Root Tea is not Root Beer.  Root- from Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is not alcohol free.  It weighs in at 80 proof.  This product is not a sickly sweet liqueur, nor a vodka laden root beer flavored quaff.  It is unique in every way.  The original recipe dates back to the colonial period of American history and prior.   As a plus, all the ingredients are USDA Certified Organic.  That in itself caught my eye immediately.  Manufactured by Modern Spirits Company in California, Root Tea is alone in the marketplace.  No, you can’t go into a liquor store to buy it… Not yet anyway.  If you don’t live near Pennsylvania, you can find it on the internet.  Taste it, Root works great in a number of concoctions!

What about Tuthilltown?  Well, for starters they are the first producer since prohibition of American Whiskey in New York State.  That alone is reason enough to include them in the recipe, plus they produce in micro-batches just like Root.

What is a micro-batch?  How about three gallons or fewer per batch.  That is small production.  Add to that hand numbered bottles of 375 ml.  They are unique as Root Tea in the marketplace.  I submitted the Zombie Root Carousel to Tuthilltown and they were kind enough to publish my recipe on their website!

Many thanks to Luz Reid at Tuthilltown in Gardiner, New York.

***********************************************************************************************************************

Photo 4

Wild River Review/ Wild Table editor, Warren Bobrow grew up on a farm in Morristown, NJ. A graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Film, he spent his senior year as a research assistant in visual thinking at CAVS / MIT.

He worked for many years in the corporate world.

Wild Table has bits of visual poetry, terroir and food commentaries. In addition to Wild River Review, Warren writes for NJMYWay.com, NJ Monthly, Edible Jersey, NJ Savvy Living, Chutzpah Magazine and  NJ Life Magazine.  Warren continues to traverse the print-scape and is now writing for the Morris Cty., NJ Daily Record for their restaurant and their features column. He just appeared at the Roger Smith Food Writing Conference in NYC and gave a 14.5 minute talk on Twitter, Food Writing and Zen.  Warren spoke at the #140 Conference in Philadelphia on the same topic.  Zen and the Art of Twitter, Foodwriting and knowing nothing.

Warren is a contributing author for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Ed., 2 on the topic of biodynamics.

Warren’s interview for a local website to Morristown, NJ  Thank you! Eco-Motown.

Saveur Magazine’s 100 list for 2010 as #30, the Tuna Melt.  Named to the Saveur Magazine 100 list.

Metro Seafood.. just the best FRESH seafood available in New Jersey… ’nuff said.

Please follow his moving about and drinkin’ ’round on Twitter @WarrenBobrow1

A fantastic new site… join for free! http://foodielink.com/  (yes I write for them)

http://www.johnzieman.com

Upcoming interview: http://www.stopstressingnow.com/ May 2010!

Ever wonder about the other part of New Jersey?  John and Lisa know much.. They were recently featured in the New York Times for their wisdom!

http://johnandlisaareeatinginsj.blogspot.com/

Thinking of going Gluten Free? Please steer your browser this way. Martine has my seal of approval.  http://www.burdenfreefoods.com/

all photographs copyright held: Wild River Review 501c3 non-profit.

March 10, 2010

Drink a Firefly (tea-infused) Vodka w/lemon when you’re done. ie: SICK

Truer words could not have been spoken. But instead of a Firefly, I’ve made myself a hot toddy with boiling water, Root Tea (USDA Certified Organic)  and a cinnamon stick. Under most circumstances, this would be a Winter drink… meant to stave off a cold. Unfortunately for me, I have that cold (or is it the flu?) right now. General malaise, sweat, fever, cold, ew. Julie made chicken soup- what else can I do? Matzo Balls? Ricola? Reeses’ Peanut Butter cups?  I can’t taste a thing.

A Firefly is a cocktail.  It is something that hails from the South.  Sweet Tea, lemon and vodka.. lots of vodka.  It’s supposed to “light up the night” just like a firefly!

Drink and be merry?  Well yes!  Last night, I gave a 10 minute discussion at the #140Conf held in Philadelphia.  The purpose of the #140 is to encourage the use of social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs) to further interaction between groups of like-wise-socially minded people.  Twitter, in my case has allowed me the luxury of a truly international readership.  One that spreads from Switzerland to Japan and back again, all in an instant.

Some would say that I should have stayed in bed yesterday and not made the two hour trip *and two hour return trip*  to Philadelphia.  Others would agree with me.  It’s time to follow my dreams, not call in sick.

Isn’t that a marvelous thought?

I have an article coming out in a few weeks in Edible Jersey.  Another in NJ Monthly, still more for  NJMYWAY.com and always for Wild River ReviewChutzpah magazine has gone to press!  My email box is full,  I can’t make the time to be sick.

My twitter friend Jean Sexton caught my attention the other day.  She works at the Biltmore Estate in some capacity.  She is from the Ashville, NC area.  A lovely part of the country, year-round.  I’m proud to be her friend.  She told me that she won the the O.Henry Short Fiction Competition in 2000.  I asked her to submit some of her writing here for Wild Table.  What she sent me follows.  The Firefly Vodka is her suggestion.  I just might try one!

_________________________________________________________________________________________

photo: Warren Bobrow

photo: Warren Bobrow

photo: Jean Sexton

photo: Jean Sexton

Como Un Fantasma

(Like A Ghost)

With her coat pulled around her in a hug, Miela walks through the market, her path criss-crossed by streaks of pale sunshine that slip in between the open stalls. Picking up plantains, smelling lemons, caressing mangoes, Miela dreams shrimp-colored houses and sighing blue water. Thinks of her grandfather, her abuelito, and how they walked together to market, long ago, her hand swallowed up in his.

She wills herself not to remember the taste of avocados, like crushed green velvet across her tongue. Alligator pears, her grandfather called them, as he slit their gnarled hides with a perfect motion of hand and knife. That time is just a dream to her now, here in the cold and dark of this far-away place.

“Venga, venga, nina,” her grandfather calls to her, his voice echoing through the vast kitchen.  He listens, hearing muffled thuds as she pounds down the stairs, arrows through the swinging door that leads from the hallway into the kitchen.  Quick-fast, the slap of her tiny bare feet across the bright blue tiles, then into her grandfather’s embrace.

“Abuelito, Abuelito!” she cries, hugging as much of him as her five-year-old arms can reach around.  “Good morning, Grampa,” she says into the collar of his shirt as he lifts her up against his chest.  His moustache tickles her forehead, catching in her dark curls.

“Si, si, nina,” he sing-songs in his gravelly voice, bouncing her up to sit more firmly in the crook of his arm.  He looks closely at her face, squinting.  “Someone went to bed with a dirty face last night, eh, little girl?  I wonder who that could be…”  Shakes his head, sighing.

Alone now, wandering the aisles of a different city market in a different country, Miela still smells the same ripe, the same wet, the same salty tingle in the air around her.  Commercial Street market—so crowded, so noisy, so full of reds and greens and golds.  People move around her, ebbing and flowing in private tides, as unaware of her as she chooses to be of them. The sun, pale and stingy so far north, can’t warm her so she cuddles deeper into her coat.

Miela shifts the net bag she carries over her left arm; the weight of oranges and limes bites into her skin. She knows her grandfather would have insisted on carrying the bag, even when his hands ached from the change in weather that blows in ahead of the hurricanes. How her grandfather would have hated this city, she thinks, with its cold and its winds that blow the memory of warm out of your heart.

“My face wasn’t dirty last night, Abuelito,” Miela assures her grandfather, on eye level with him. “I think La Llorona did it. I heard her crying last night.  I was scared until Mami came in to sit with me.”

The crying woman, they call her—La Llorona, crying for those who will never return. Here on the island, parents once used such stories to frighten their children, keeping them home and in bed at night. Now, the crying woman weeps instead for all the watched and wanted men, imprisoned for the passion of their beliefs. “You can push a man so far,” they are fond of saying in Havana, “but a dictator not at all…”

Her grandfather watches Miela, but her eyes tell him she does not guess that it is her mother who weeps in the night.  Miela is still untouched by the weight of her father’s absence; she has never even seen the man whose name she carries.

“You have his eyes,” Mami likes to tell her, “like the golden raisins Abuelito buys for you in the market.”

Miela can’t understand why her mami is always so strict, so guarded, so sad.  Why she sits, looking out her window toward the sea every night, not seeming to notice Miela hovering in the doorway.”Night, Mami,” she whispers, always hoping her mother will turn and notice her.  Miela wishes the crying woman and the soldiers with all their questions would just leave her mami in peace.

Miela pauses in front of one of the many produce stands that dot the market, rubbing at the red marks the bag made on her wrist.  All around her, people are choosing and shouting and bargaining in different languages. Miela focuses on the selection of greens in front of her, trying to guess what she will use for the next few days.

“A pound of the mesclun mix,” she requests, raising her voice so the stall-keeper can hear her over the sea of sounds on every side. Miela watches the woman thrust great bunches of the mixed greens into a crumpled paper bag, then toss the whole thing into the swaying scales that hang from a hook overhead.

The woman eyes the needle, not giving it a chance to settle before she shouts, “Close enough—next?” and turns to the heavy-set man jockeying for a position behind Miela. A teenager working in the stall plucks the bag out of the scales and grins at Miela.  He points to a hand-lettered sign stapled to the mesclun bin, then raises four fingers, shaking them back and forth.

“Four dollars,” he says, “special for you, no?”

Miela rests her bag down between her feet and begins to fish in her pocket for some money. She drags out some rumpled bills and a handful of coins. It takes three singles and most of her change. Just enough left to make a phone call. You never could tell what might happen, her grandfather and her mami used to warn her. Miela drops the money in the boy’s outstretched hand and he gives her the salad she’s chosen. She stoops, tucking the sack of greens into her net bag, on top of the oranges.

“Gracias,” the boy calls after her as Miela straightens up and walks away. She can feel the weight of his eyes on her, making her uneasy until she is swallowed up by the waves of the crowd.  Miela can’t readily place his accent; there are too many to keep up with any more.  Down here, in the Havanita section of the city, you can hear everything from Cubano slang to Tex-Mex Spanglish in any given block.

She dreams of the real Havana with its old stone streets and frowning colonial facades, all rising from the midst of an island as green as the sea that laps its shores.  How grown-up she felt there, tasting tiny, steaming sips of her grandfather’s cafe con leche.  Miela can’t help smiling; after all these years, she still prefers her coffee to be little more than steamed cream and sugar.

The room behind the bar is tiny, dark, pungent with generations of old cigars. It is filled with men, mostly gray-haired, like her grandfather. Miela is blinded by the darkness for a moment, after the brilliant afternoon sun. Somewhere in the smoke, someone is murmuring through the tangles of a plaintive guitar. Her grandfather squeezes her shoulder, urging her forward.  She’s relieved to be out of sight of all the soldiers that lounge around the buildings and sit in their jeeps, watching.

“Don Huberto!” someone cries as Miela’s grandfather appears in the doorway.  Other voices join in the greeting; he is an intimate of this private place. Miela nearly loses sight of him for a moment as the sea of light shirts, open at the throat, and worn brown hands open to swallow him.  He resurfaces to catch Miela’s arm and guide her to a seat.

“Aye, Cabrito—una bebida dulce para la nieta,” Miela’s grandfather shouts to a man half-hidden behind the long bar.  “Something sweet for my granddaughter.”

He disappears again for a time into the murmur of voices, becoming one of many.  Miela sips slowly at the cup someone has handed her, pleased that the man served her something grown up for a change. After all, she is nearly twelve now. The coffee is sweet, and she savors the thick sugar feel of it in her mouth.  The cup itself is tiny, doll-sized almost, and she sees that some of the men have more than a dozen stacked in front of them on their tables. Miela closes her eyes against the smoke, pretending she is a film star in some dim cabaret. She hears the men around her talking, arguing with her grandfather.

“Crazy!” one of them shouts.  “Worse than a madman—you are as good as dead!  First it was your idiot son-in-law that couldn’t keep his mouth closed—soon it will be you!”

Miela opens one eye, sees nothing. She supposes they are talking about her father again.  Men are never at peace unless they are at war, her mami has told her, her gaze never wavering from her window that looks out in the direction of the prison where she hopes Miela’s father is still alive.

Drifting with her memories, Miela doesn’t notice that an elderly gentleman has halted at a seafood stall right in front of her. His back is turned to the crowd as he stops to examine a pile of glassy-eyed yellowtails. Miela stumbles against him, and he lurches forward, plunging his hands down in the crushed ice and melting water that surrounds the fish.

“Perdoneme, senor,” she begins, flustered, reaching out to the man, hoping she can make it better, somehow. Her bag of oranges and limes and mesclun swing forward with the motion, bumping the man in the stomach as he turns.

“Boof!” he says, or something like it, as the bag catches him squarely in his little pot belly. Miela drops her hands, unsure of what to do with them, and the bag swings back and forth like a pendulum. The man looks at her for a moment, then begins shaking his hands. The cuffs of his coat are soaked with dirty, fishy water, and a few loose scales cling to the gray hair on the backs of his wrists.

“Are you all right?” Miela asks him, in English. She doesn’t know if the man will understand either of her languages; the Spanish that comes first without thought, or the English that follows when she is more in control. People are still streaming around them on both sides, but only the selection of dead fish seems to pay any attention, staring with fixed eyes as Miela struggles for words and the man flaps his sleeves.

He begins to laugh, catching Miela by surprise. She had expected him to be angry, to lash out at her for her clumsiness. Her face warms a little; she wants to respond to this man’s light-hearted acceptance of the situation. His hands, his whole body—shake, shake, shake—he laughs and the sound seems to run right out of his sleeves down to his fishy coat cuffs.

“I did not expect to fish here, in the market,” the man says, his face turning red from his laughter. He gives his hands a final, finishing shake, then reaches into his coat for a handkerchief. He scrubs at his hands with the cloth, keeping one corner clean to wipe his eyes after he removes all the scales from his wrists and fingers. He tucks the soiled handkerchief out of sight in his coat pocket, then looks at Miela, looking at him.

It is something in his face that makes Miela hesitate.  He is very like her grandfather, somehow, in the droop of his grizzled moustache and the faint gold wink of a tooth behind his parted lips. Like the old suit jacket he wears, this man is all frayed seams and shiny places and best-worn-for-better until it’s worn out. Miela devours the sight of him, like a ghost she has not seen in years.  From long habit, her hand goes to the button she wears like a charm on the chain around her neck.

With faint weeping and lips of cold marble—La Llorona has come for her at last, to take her from her mami. “There will be no peace for those who weep,” she warns Miela, wailing, trailing the ragged shrouds of spent storms behind her.

Miela strains away from her until La Llorona is nothing more than salt tears crying against the window and shrieking wind through the shutters.

A hand shakes Miela, pulling her back from the dark edge of dreaming.  There is no light, but Miela knows it is her grandfather leaning over her bed.

“Levantete, nina,” he commands, shaking Miela harder. “Wake up Miela. Wake up.”  His voice is low, urgent.  She resists for a moment more, then opens her eyes.  Before she can speak, her grandfather brushes two fingers across her mouth to silence her, leaving the taste of cold, oily kerosene on her lips.

Fumbling in the darkness, her grandfather catches at her hands and pulls her, stumbling in his wake, down the dark staircase and out through the kitchen. He is careful not to let the door swing back against the wall. On bare feet they skiff softly over the tile, over the concrete patio, and out into the packed sand surrounding the house.

Miela looks back, not sure yet if she is awake or asleep. Her grandfather tightens his grip, urging her along.  The air hums with the threat of a coming storm and Miela’s heart jerks and flutters in her throat like a fish caught in a net.

“Where is Mami?” Miela demands in a whisper, trying not to be afraid of the answer.  “Why isn’t she coming with us, Abuelito?”

The man with the fishy coat cuffs looks puzzled, sensing that Miela is far away from him for a moment. “Miss? Is there trouble for you? There is no trouble here for me,” he assures her.  “See?” he holds his hands up toward his nose, sniffing them.  “Fishing is good for the soul.”

He does not answer her questions, but walks faster, keeping a loose course among the palms that border the beach. Miela twists out of her grandfather’s grip to look back at the house. There is a light in Mami’s window and it flickers, licking up toward the roofline.

Just ahead, a thick rind of lemon-colored moon lights dark shapes gathered in the water. White foam breaks around them, pulls back, breaks again. Her grandfather is practically running now, and she hears his breathing like the steam launch that brings foreign tourists to the shops along the marina.

Closer, Miela sees that the shapes are people, struggling to push a long, low boat out against the tide. There is no sound of voices, only the splashing and sighing of the water.  Miela is uneasy, knowing how the sand shelves away without warning on this stretch of beach, making it impossible to swim here because of the hidden current that doubles under on itself.

Her grandfather stops, catching Miela by her shoulders, steadying them both.  “Your mami is gone,” he gasps, the rising wind tearing his voice away, spinning it out to sea.  “Word came that your father was no more, Miela, and she went to be with him.”  He seems to hesitate over the next words, and the weight of them drives his knees to the sand.  “Do you understand me? Your Mami chose to free herself from this life, nina, with her own hands.”

He looks up at Miela, searching her face, his lips forming Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros, pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte.”

Miela touches the smudge of soot that darkens his cheek, bowing her head to his; madonna and child standing motionless between the storm and the sea.

“Holy Mary,” she intones in the swirling strands of her grandfather’s hair, “pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”

Miela understands that Mami is peaceful now, safe at last with the man she would not live without. A tragic accident, with all its questions answered in the ashes of the house—at least in the eyes of the church and the neighbors. There will be nothing left to keep Miela and her grandfather anchored to this place now but the consecrated ground of their memories.

Miela has forgotten the boat, but it inches forward, bit by bit, until one swell seems to lift it–suddenly, the strain is gone and the boat floats free. Miela’s grandfather rises from his knees, calling out to those on board.  He plunges in to the tide, pulling Miela after him.

Dark, blood-warm, the water rushes to her knees, soaks the hem of her nightgown, rocks her with its force. Her grandfather catches her around the waist, supporting her through the next wave. Miela feels the enormous strength of its greedy lips, trying to suck her away from him. She cries out, but her mouth fills with warm sea.  Her grandfather stumbles, steps out into nothing, still pushing Miela ahead of him. The world is all burning salt and the rush of water that rips them apart, leaving Miela with nothing more than a button from her grandfather’s shirt.

Hands reach into the sea, tangling in fistfuls of Miela’s hair, pulling her up from the darkness and into the boat.

Miela can almost see the thoughts crossing the old man’s mind as he starts to edge away from her. Is it drugs? he probably wonders. Perhaps she is one of these dreadful young people that distracts an old man in order to thieve his wallet? Miela is aware that he is furtively feeling his pocket; she hopes, for his sake, that the familiar shape is there to comfort him. She senses his reluctance to have any trouble with her—an odd-seeming girl with the pasa dorada eyes, like the golden raisins her grandfather used to buy in the market. She turns the shirt button over and over on its chain.

The days at sea, the wailing and vomiting, the final dull acceptance of a world turned to deep water—these things are as a dream to Miela, then and now. One of the lucky ones, the Miami authorities called her, because a distant relative of her father’s lived in New York and the woman and her husband were willing to take Miela. One of the lucky ones.

Her new life has been a long stretch of unknown, years of forgetting, of being gently reminded that she is safe, that the past is behind her, that she is a very lucky girl.  She looks at the man whose hands she inadvertently forced into the pile of fish—

“I’m so sorry,” Miela says, her hand coming to rest lightly on the older man’s arm, detaining him even as he shrinks away from her. She smiles without seeing him. “I had forgotten how much I needed avocados. Thank you for reminding me.”

Her hand drops from his sleeve and she slips into the fast-flowing human current that winds through the market.  

Bio for Jean Sexton…

A self-described “romantic realist,” Asheville, North Carolina native Jean Sexton finds real life a fascinating excuse to write fiction. She seeks odd little moments that open unexpected windows into the experiences of others, which is (arguably) a form of voyeurism, but often leads to a good read. In terms of non-fiction, Jean works in marketing communications by day and occasionally finds time to pursue her own writing and blogging. More often, she pursues her endlessly energetic terrier who prefers treats to any sort of treatise.

intro:

http://locavore4lore.wordpress.com/

What about me? I like to write. I don’t like to be edited (who does?), so a blog is the perfect vehicle for creative expression. Of course, anyone can comment on a blog post, so you’re never writing in a vacuum, either (rats!).

In any case, I’m an Ashevillain–a real Ashevillain, from the fabled town of Asheville, NC. (There aren’t too many of us “from here” any more, so don’t ask about the secret handshake.) Yes, I do prefer it spelled “villain” rather than the more correct “villian” (for one who resides in a town ending in -ville). It’s not that I’m particularly villainous, but I like the edge. Reminds me of my Sam Cobra doll from childhood. He was good-guy doll Johnny West’s evil nemesis in the early 70s. His body was a molded black cowboy ensemble and he had a bad-guy mustache and goatee. Good times!

Forgive the sidebar–but that’s the beauty of writing. The sidebar is often the meat of the story, and you won’t get down close to the bone unless you take the time to follow said sidebar or rabbit trail, which usually loops back on itself at some point and steers you back on track.  Sort of.

I like the word “locavore” and the idea behind it. I suppose I’m locavoracious, truth be known. I like other things, too: finding out interesting stuff, traveling, tasting, reading, writing fiction (actually, I write non-fiction–I just don’t let my family read it and get mad at me for spilling the beans. There are some pretty funky beans to spill, sometimes, but that’s just a fact of life in the South…), and lots of other things. If I think of them, maybe I’ll blog about them.

Few people know I blog; they think I work for corporate America. I do. Both. There’s probably a secret handshake for that, too. I’m sure I’ll continue to work on this page as I figure out what I want to blog about. Life, like writing, takes time, takes rabbit trails. Follow my tracks, if you like, or better yet, make your own.

************************************

Publications: Fiction & Poetry

Appalachian Heritage

Potpourri

Potato Eyes

WNC Woman

Awards

1st place: O. Henry Short Fiction Competition (2000)

1st place: Robert Ruark Foundation Competition

1st place/Young Adult Literature: Sandhills Writers’ Competition

2nd place: WNC Woman Short Story Contest (2006)

Honorable Mention: WNC Woman Short Story Contest (2008)

Best Of (Annual Compilation): Potpourri

Non-fiction

NC Journal of Medicine

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Photo 2

Wild River Review/ Wild Table editor, Warren Bobrow grew up on a farm in Morristown, NJ. A graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Film, he spent his senior year as a research assistant in visual thinking at CAVS / MIT.

He worked for many years in the corporate world.

Wild Table has bits of visual poetry, terroir and food commentaries. In addition to Wild River Review, Warren writes for NJMYWay.com, NJ Monthly, Edible Jersey, NJ Savvy Living, Chutzpah Magazine and  NJ Life Magazine.  Warren continues to traverse the print-scape and is now writing for the Morris Cty., NJ Daily Record for their restaurant and their features column. He just appeared at the Roger Smith Food Writing Conference in NYC and gave a 14.5 minute talk on Twitter, Food Writing and Zen.  Warren will be speaking at the #140 Conference in Philadelphia on the same topic.  Zen and the Art of Twitter, Foodwriting and knowing nothing.

Warren is a contributing author for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Ed., 2.

Warren’s interview for a wonderful click… Eco-Motown.

Saveur Magazine’s 100 list for 2010 as #30, the Tuna Melt.  Named to the Saveur Magazine 100 list.

Metro Seafood.. just the best FRESH seafood available in New Jersey… ’nuff said.

Please follow his moving about and drinkin’ ’round on Twitter @WarrenBobrow1

A fantastic new site… join for free! http://foodielink.com/ they are in beta now.  Help support their work!

http://www.johnzieman.com

being interviewed here: http://www.stopstressingnow.com/ May 2010!

Ever wonder about the other part of New Jersey?  John and Lisa know much.. They were featured in the New York Times for their wisdom!

http://johnandlisaareeatinginsj.blogspot.com/

all photographs copyright held: Wild River Review

March 3, 2010

Traditional Country vs. Traditional Tuscan and Other Tales of the Kitchen. Elevation Burger and a Caipirinha

Starting this week I go from last to first.  Perhaps it has something to do with a four hour lunch that should have been a two and a half hour lunch, but no matter it was delicious.

I can tell you that they did everything right.  From the moment we walked in the door, we were taken care of like family.  The Caipirnha cocktail so figured in the overall groove of the day.  My companions were as follows: Rabbi Joe Forman who loves great food in all incarnations and Mike Drabich of Metro Seafood fame.  If Mike doesn’t know the smell of good seafood, ie.no smell… no one other than his brother does and more than he does. It is their duty to sell the best seafood that money can buy.  So, I felt great that he accompanied us.

We  entered the restaurant and there was no fishy smell… a great sign! Smiling, happy faces surrounded the bar.  There were at least twenty people speaking Portuguese at the horseshoe shaped bar.  The chef seemed to look up when Mike entered, kindred fish spirits no doubt.  A broad smile came over his face.  We were in for a delight that evolved over the course of the afternoon, almost to the evening.  I could see eating here more often if my waistline agreed!

photo: Warren Bobrow

photo: Warren Bobrow

photo: Warren Bobrow

photo: Warren Bobrow

Ah, the Caipirinha cocktail…. That is what got us into trouble.  First it was several rounds of these lovely sweet-tart tasting confection.  Then some more.   They tend to go down very easily.

photo: Warren Bobrow

photo: Warren Bobrow

Twitter is the wunderkind of the instant media.

I was contacted recently by Elevation Burger in Montclair, NJ after writing an article for NJMYWAY.com about Smashburger.  Would I like to try their 100% organic, free range, grass fed burgers?  Wow, sure.  I LOVE burgers, especially cheeseburgers!

photo: Warren Bobrow

photo: Warren Bobrow

Is it hard to pick between them?  Smashburger and Elevation Burger?  You decide.  I wrote about this quandary for NJMYWAY.com.  Should be out in a week or so on the NJ Myway.com website.  Glad I don’t live closer to Montclair, NJ!

One of the many Twitter personalities who has befriended me is Annelle Williams.  She is a friendly person who opened my mind to Tuscan and Southern cooking.

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

This is an excerpt from her blog about tried and true recipes  Each will make your table a happy place to gather and share life…afterall, we MUST eat to live, so let’s enjoy every single bite!  (Annelle’s words)

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

Around the table…The Tuscan/Southern Culinary Conspiracy Theory

Bringing rustic Italian cuisine from the Chianti region of Tuscany to Southwest Virginia wasn’t as hard  as you might think—it just took me awhile.  My early love affair with Italian food was limited.

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

I was raised in a little town in the Blue Ridge Mountains that didn’t even have a pizza parlor.  Spaghetti with homemade meat and tomato sauce and the occasional Chef Boyardee Pizza from a box (a culinary necessity at teenage slumber parties in the ’60’s) constituted my entire exposure to Italian food until I went to college.

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

Mama and Daddy loaded just about everything I owned into our old Ford station wagon, and with the whole family en convoy, moved me to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  It was, as they say, the first day of the rest of my life.  The learning did begin:  the life learning, the exposure to the world outside my little home town, and yes, even some book learning.

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

When my family turned and walked down the sidewalk and back to the car, I thought I might combust —my heart swelled and blocked my throat—I couldn’t breathe in or out for about a full thirty seconds.  During those scary moments it came to me that I had a brand new world to explore, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

Food was immediately part of the learning curve. My secret love affair with pasta and red sauce grew to include things I couldn’t pronounce or define.  Finally, the Food Network came to my rescue and with the help of Mario Batali my original queries were satisfied, but new questions took their place.

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

As I began to experiment with making pasta and basic sauces, I realized there was an uncanny similarity between fresh pasta and the slick dumplings my grandmother made.  The cornbread and beans that were part of our regular menu tasted oh so similar to the bread soup and beans I learned to make in Chianti.  The waste not, want not attitude that defines southern cooking was certainly part of the snout to tail Tuscan mentality.  Old time country cooking had all to do with using locally available ingredients, which is still the rule in Chianti.  Market day in the nearest village determines what will be on the table for the rest of the week, along with whatever is homegrown and bartered.

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

So maybe there is a relationship between my pasta and dumpling affinity.  Whatever the reason, the love affair continues.  Now I share what I’ve learned through cooking classes at our local community college.  The students are easy converts to the Tuscan/Southern Culinary Conspiracy.  Our most recent classes were all about soups—big, comfort, waste not-want not soups, sometimes with pasta.  The classes are completely hands on, beginning with antipasta and ending with our creations shared around the table.

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

Here are our most recent recipes.  For more, visit me at http://aroundannellestable.blogspot.com.  I look forward to seeing you!

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

photo: Annelle Williams

Photo: Annelle Williams

Photo: Annelle Williams

RIBOLLITA

(twice boiled soup)

1 pound bag of dried white beans (like: cannelloni or northern)*

*or two 16oz. cans of white beans already prepared

32 oz. chicken broth

2 lbs. Italian sausage

1 large onion diced

1 or 2 celery stalks and greens roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

2 carrots roughly chopped

4 cups kale roughly chopped and packed, center stem removed

2 leeks cleaned and chopped, white only

2 T fresh Rosemary, minced

2 T fresh Thyme, minced

Chicken broth

2 T tomato paste

2 turnips peeled and cubed

2 (16oz.) cans diced tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil to taste

Ground pepper

One loaf of ciabatta bread, sliced and toasted with a brush of olive oil on each slice

Let beans rest overnight covered in cold water.  Drain beans, cover with chicken broth and simmer until tender, about 2 hours.

Cover the bottom of your large soup pot with a good amount of olive oil.  Sauté sausage until it loses its pink color.  Add onion, celery and carrots roughly chopped.  Sauté until onions become translucent and vegetables soften.  Add the kale, leeks, and the rosemary, thyme and garlic chopped finely together.  Stir and cook for a few minutes.  Add enough chicken broth to cover your vegetables.  Add the tomato paste, turnips, diced tomatoes, pepper and salt, stirring to mix and cook slowly for 40 minutes.

Add half the beans with their cooking liquid.  Mash the rest of the beans and add to thicken the soup.

When ready to serve place slice of bread in bowl and cover with soup.  Add olive oil and ground pepper individually to taste.

Chicken Stew with Pasta or Slick Dumplings

Step 1:

4 lb. whole chicken cut into pieces, including neck and giblets

2 celery stalks cut into large pieces

1 onion, quartered

2 carrots cut, peeled and cut into large pieces

2 sprigs of fresh sage

4 sprigs of fresh parsley

2 tsp. Sea salt

1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper

Place chicken pieces in soup pot and cover by two inches with water.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot leaving a little opening, and cook until meat is tender, about 30-40 minutes.  Remove chicken to bowl and set aside to cool.  Discard vegetables, giblets and neck.  When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard bones and skin.  Roughly shred chicken.

Step 2:

Slick Dumplings* OR 16 oz. dried wide egg noodle pasta

Place chicken broth over medium-high heat.  When it boils, reduce heat to simmer and add noodles or dumplings to pot.  Cook as directed.  (Add extra chicken broth**if needed.)

Step 3:

1 T butter

2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

3 T all purpose flour

One-half cup whipping cream

Add butter and olive oil to medium sized pot over medium heat.  Add carrots, celery and onions, and saute until vegetables are tender.  Add flour, stirring to combine, and cook for 2 minutes while continuing to stir.  Add whipping cream, stir, and set aside until ready to add to soup pot.

Step 4:

When noodles are cooked, add shredded chicken and cooked vegetables with whipping cream back to pot.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about five-ten minutes until broth thickens a little.

*Slick Dumplings

2 eggs, beaten

3 oz. Broth, cooled

4 T cooking oil—a little less if using fatty broth

1 tsp. Salt

2 cups all purpose flour

Beat eggs, broth, oil, and salt together.  Slowly add flour continuing to stir and mix until dough forms. Knead in bowl a couple of minutes and form smooth ball.  Cover and refrigerate for one or two hours.

When ready to cook, remove dough from refrigerator and halve.  Roll half the dough on lightly floured surface until thin.  Cut into one inch strips, and then cut the strips into 4-5 inch pieces.

Now they are ready to drop into simmering broth.  Allow to cook in simmering broth without stirring for about five minutes.

**Chicken Broth

When you roast chicken, save the bones or carcass, along with any pan drippings.

Place in soup pot, cover with water, add roughly chopped vegetables (carrots, onion, celery—or other vegetables you might have, but beware—think ahead about the flavors you might be adding to your broth).  Also add any fresh herbs, sage is my favorite for chicken broth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer bones, pan drippings, vegetables and herbs for about 40 minutes.  Cool and  strain.  Freeze broth and have it ready whenever you need extra chicken broth.

Bread Soup with Cranberry Beans and Kale

This is a vegetarian recipe—hence the following process for cooking the beans.  You could always simmer a ham hock and use the ham hock and broth for added flavor if you don’t need a vegetarian offering.

1 (12oz.) package dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight and drained

1 T extra virgin olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15oz.) can of diced tomatoes (or 2 fresh tomatoes in season)

Fresh herbs

Salt and pepper

Add olive oil to soup pot over medium heat, along with carrots, onion and celery. Saute until softened.  Add garlic and cook another minute or two, then add diced tomatoes with juice and simmer until reduced.  Add soaked beans and enough water to cover, along with several sprigs of fresh herbs (your choice: sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley) bring to an even simmer, and cook until beans are tender.  Add more water if needed.  Season with salt and pepper after beans become tender.  Remove herb stems and discard.

1 (15oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice (or 2 tomatoes, diced and mashed, if in season)

2 cups rustic bread crumbs

4 cups kale (black Tuscan kale if you can find it) center stem removed and roughly chopped

One-half cup small dried pasta (we used orzo)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes and bread crumbs using a fork or even your hands to thoroughly mix.

Fill a medium sized pot with water, salt well, and bring to a boil.  Add kale, and reduce to simmer, then add pasta, and cook for the recommended amount of time.

Add the tomatoes and bread to your cooked beans and broth.  With a slotted spoon, add kale and pasta, and enough of the cooking water to make your soup the right consistency.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan cheese.

I’m a retired pharmacist, turned cook.  I’m a daughter, sister, wife, mom, and friend who loves to feed her friends and family.  I grew up cooking with my grandmothers–good, traditional southern food–but I’ve always been interested in eating and then learning to cook new and different things.  My idea of fun is a day in the kitchen preparing an old favorite, or working on a brand new recipe.  I was finally able to go to Italy, precisely, the Chianti region of Tuscany, and cook with ‘Mamas’ there (Tutti-a-Tavola).  It was a wonderful experience, and I’ve returned several times to learn more and share recipes with these wonderful women!  I also write two monthly food columns for local papers.
I started a blog, Annelle’s Table, one year ago when I turned 60.  It’s about tried and true recipes that will make your table a happy place to gather and share life…after all, we MUST eat to live, so let’s enjoy every single bite!
I did have one near-brush with fame.  In 2002 I won the Build A Better Burger Contest sponsored by Sutter Home.  It was a great experience, and the burger, Vitello Foccacia, actually evolved from the filling I use in my meat cannelloni.  There is a blog post with the recipe on Annelle’s Table.  I used the money I won ($20,000) to go to Italy and take the cooking classes!

DSC04605

Wild River Review/ Wild Table editor, Warren Bobrow grew up on a farm in Morristown, NJ. A graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Film, he spent his senior year as a research assistant in visual thinking at CAVS / MIT.

Photo 2

He worked for many years in the corporate world.

Wild Table has bits of visual poetry, terroir and food commentaries. In addition to Wild River Review, Warren writes for NJMYWay.com, NJ Monthly, Edible Jersey, NJ Savvy Living, Chutzpah Magazine and  NJ Life Magazine.  Warren continues to traverse the print-scape and is now writing for the Morris Cty., NJ Daily Record for their restaurant and their features column. He just appeared at the Roger Smith Food Writing Conference in NYC and gave a 14.5 minute talk on Twitter, Food Writing and Zen.  Warren will be speaking at the #140 Conference in Philadelphia on the same topic.  Zen and the Art of Twitter, Foodwriting and knowing nothing.

Warren is a contributing author for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. Ed., 2.

Warren’s interview for a wonderful click… Eco-Motown.

Saveur Magazine’s 100 list for 2010 as #30, the Tuna Melt.  Named to the Saveur Magazine 100 list.

Metro Seafood.. just the best FRESH seafood available in New Jersey… ’nuff said.

Please follow his moving about and drinkin’ ’round on Twitter @WarrenBobrow1

A fantastic new site… join for free! http://foodielink.com/ they are in beta now.  Help support their work!

A great click!  Shout outs to John Zieman.  http://www.johnzieman.com

all photographs copyright held: Wild River Review

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