To Keith Re:Chowhounds in isolation
- Neil Anderson
Regarding Keith's exile in southern Oregon, I can say I relate. Living on the Maine coast, which is a fine place to live in many regards, I have had to do much of my chowhounding in a highly secondary manner. While there are restaurants, some of them good, we do lack to a large degree the 'ethnic' eateries which are the grist to the chowhound's mill. And if I can say so, the lack of robust competition serves to lower the standard of achievement of those places which do exist. For example, in my town there is no bread which I like to buy. I can drive an hour to a farm house where a couple is turning out naturally leavened loaves from a wood fired oven, or 2 hours to Portland for a few more options. This privation, though, has driven me to learn to make pain au levain, an experience which has brought its own bounty, physical and metaphysical. And it should be said that secondary sources are essential in fending off the spiritual isolation of the rural 'hound. The writing of Patience Gray or John Thorne, or many others has pulled me from many a precipice of culinary despair. Of course I enjoy the local resources as much as circumstances allow, and travel when I can. One must, after all, seek rejuevenation at chow meccas. (I am currently aquiver with plans to go to NYC soon!) Happy chowing to all.-Neil
Regale thy self, oh grand one, Neil!
And speaking of bread...
There's an old 1872 historically preserved mill, oh, about sixty miles from where I live. They still grind the grains with the original stones, and that's good and all, but they don't MAKE any bread there. It's not like there's any competition because there's not. Oh, if they'd just...how'd you put it, Neil...turn out some naturally leavened wood-fired oven bread with that fresh ground wheat. Heaven would be nearer.
Oh, and that reminds me of a great winery in the Napa Valley...Visetui or something like that. Very well known (except I can't spell the name, that's all). Anyway, they have this neat roaming area with cheeses, sauces, mayos, mustards, and even breads. But apparently no one's thought about just a small little deli area SO SOMEONE CAN MAKE A SANDWICH WITH WHAT THEY'VE JUST BOUGHT! It's disasterous. Here you have all this food and all you can really say to yourself is, "Well, yeah, you shouldn't drink on an empty stomach...". Oh well. Thankfully, the wine's great!
Keith in Klamath Falls