Extract Junk, Inject Living
Clockwise from top left: Patty Melt from Main Street Grill in Greenwood, IN, Sunday morning
skillet breakfast, back-yard smoked pork chops and grilled asparagus, and a beautiful rib-eye
grilled over an open wood flame at the Sister's Garden RV Resort in Bend, OR. At the top of the page: Alan's "Oughta Be Famous" Pizza...this one with fresh garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzle,
basil leaves, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
Other than a five-year obsession with long-distance running in my early thirties, I’ve never been particularly athletic, and Margaret has struggled with hip and back problems for years, which has made it difficult for her to stick to an exercise regime. We have, however, dedicated a great deal of time and effort to our development as world class eaters.
You could call us “foodies,” but people who embrace that term frequently attach an element of discretion or discrimination to the activity, and honestly, that is not the case with us. We just love food, and much of our life is focused around food related tasks and activities. I’m certain if you cataloged the most common phrases in our personal lexicon, the top performers would be: “what should we make for dinner tonight,” “where do you want to go for dinner tonight,” “should we invite <<BLANK>> for dinner tomorrow night,” and “do you want to try that new <<BLANK>> place some time.”
And food need not be fancy or healthy for us to rave about it. While we’ve been fortunate to eat at incredible, some even famous, restaurants in our years together, our most memorable dining experiences include meals we’ve cooked for ourselves as well as fare from some less lofty establishments and a few dives that nonetheless produced exceptional dishes. We were able to enjoy the caviar experience at Le Francais in Chicago (once commonly referred to as “America’s finest restaurant” before it closed in 2003), yet we’ve genuflected on more than one occasion over “animal style” fries at the In-N-Out chain in California. Margaret has perfected a mushroom risotto that can bring this grown man to tears (mostly due to the tremendous depth of flavor and textures, but also because a single batch consumes pretty much the entire output of a small Mediterranean country’s saffron production for a significant period), and I have perfected a pizza dough that is so flavorful that we enjoy the crusty bits at the edge of the pie as much as we do the part that is smothered in cheese and sauce.
Over the coming months and years, we will attempt to chronicle some of our restaurant and cooking experiences on these blog pages, but probably less in the spirit of tutorial or review than sharing and motivation. —Alan