Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How does your garden grow?

Gardener Zach
Veggies and Vicky toes
Beets & beans


Some of the garden goodies

Here are some yummy veggies from my brother Zachs garden.  I must mention my dad and him had a friendly competition of whose garden would be better.  My Dad used seeds from the local feed store and Zach ordered a organic box of seeds online, I'm not sure how they're organic but they claimed the box of seeds were not genetically engineered like most seeds you buy.  My Dad, a avid food gardener, claimed Zach was a buffoon for spending money on "organic" seeds and a rivalry was born.  I have to say both gardens are pretty nice looking and I enjoy reaping the benefits of both; however, Zach is the winner in my eyes (sorry Dad).  Zach's seed box provided so many exquisite treats like heirloom tomatoes, while my dads garden is all beets.  I would say they are both skilled gardeners but Zach's variety and overall hippy flare (ie his garden has kale and leeks) win him best in show.  I guess it's sort of generational, Zach took a risk and grew things that we don't usually plant and my Dad stuck to what he knows, beans and beets.  Our generation is a less afraid to be different!

Cheers and I hope everyone can enjoy a fresh tomato on sandwich, because it is seriously unmatched by market products!  You go green thumb people!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spell Wedding

Here are some beautiful images from the Spell and the Gypsy Collective a blog I have been following for a while and I also follow their instagram.  Here is the very bohemian wedding of one of the two women who started the blog and store.  Also, follow the jump above to watch some video footage from this very cool wedding ceremony!

Friday, August 10, 2012

bits and pieces

Ex chicken coop/ancient duck decoy barn circa 1940 at my Dads house

the prettiest bad boy

Whos cuter? Booshkin bear or meggie

CONGRATS! My friend since middle school is engaged! Feeling old!
My camping gear...for a WEEKEND (over packing problems)

Oh Adirondacks how I love you, oh Vermont beer how I love you.
Boating babe

Jet ski

Endless summer

Endless summer part duex
Saranac lake
Me water-skiing!  Got up on the second try!

Keene valley, home of most of the 49 high peaks

Best goat cheese ever and a fat pig cutting board made form Adirondack maple!

My favorites

River rocks

Cat's in the bag hahah, off to the groomers
WINE eyezzzzz

Celebrating maidzilla (on left) and the beautiful bride (in middle)....rock be blinding the camera
My favorite lil pig at home with other wooden utensils

Bits and pieces: Confessions of a shopoholic.

Seriously comfy new ski on sale i could scream.

Did I mention i bought this pig cutting board...(im obsessed)

Creative Writing:1

Below is a creative writing piece I submitted for a marketing job at an Italian restaurant.  Keep your fingers crossed people!

Authentic Italian
Three years ago I embarked on one of the most challenging, eye opening and rewarding experiences of my life; I went abroad.  I was given the opportunity to live and breathe my dreams. I got to live in Europe but not Munich and not London and not Paris, but Florence.  I was raised in a large Italian family and Italian food easily made up most of my favorite dishes. However, I failed to realize my version of Italian food wasn’t exactly Italian food.  What I mean is, American Italian cuisine, such as chicken parmesan, did not exist in Italy.  Despite my initial surprise and over-all culture shock, I discovered what authentic Italian food tasted like and I fell even deeper in love with Italian food, wine and culture.
       Although I went to many cities in many countries over my six month stay, nothing compared to the food I found in Florence, Rome, the Almalfi coast and even Naples. I simply could not get enough.  However, one experience of a thousand happy memories still leaves me with chills.  It was late April, I was about halfway through my semester abroad and everyone’s parents were in town for spring break.  Since my parents were not able to make it, my friend Melanie’s parents invited my roommate’s and I to one of the best restaurants in Florence, Bucca del’Orafo.  It was a small quaint restaurant, nestled right under the back end of the frequently photographed Ponte Vecchio.  We arrived and were seated at one of the five tightly knit tables.  There was only one waiter working and for the first time everyone else in the restaurant was Italian.  I immediately realized that I felt, after two months of living in Florence, that I belonged and that I was truly an authentic Italian.  The strangest thing about the restaurant was that there was no menu; everyone would be eating the same three courses.  We started out with beef carpaccio, followed by sweet pea pasta and finished with an authentic Florentine steak.
        I cannot tell you exactly how the dishes were prepared, that part of my memory serves me, but I do remember the taste; I remember the flavor.  The carpaccio melted in my mouth and blended with the arugula and balsamic in a way that was so perfect, I never wanted it to end.  The second course, pea pasta, was the strangest I’ve seen.  It was Kelly green and served with merely peas and spaghetti.   Needless to say I was skeptical until I tried that first bite; looking back I wish I licked the bowl.  The final course was steak, a filet Mignon native to Florence.  However, this steak wasn’t just steak, it is indescribable even to a writer and to this day I have dreams about it. The food was paired with the most heavenly pinot noir or chianti, I cannot remember exactly, but what I do remember is how for the first time, I understood what my pairing food and wine professor was talking about; some things just complemented each other.   Some things just worked.  Everyone swooned over the amazing meal we were enjoying together and to our surprise; the pasta chef was actually an American woman, a student once herself.  She fell in love with Italy and its food and decided to never leave the magical city of Florence.  As the evening wore on and our cheeks grew rosy, our comic waiter put on his iPod and all the Italians in the restaurant started singing what must be their version of a Bruce Springsteen song. They went at the lyrics with such abandon as our table joined in.  We were dancing and singing with the five or so other tables like we were all one family.  We all sang, danced and drank Sambuca with real Florentines and to this day it is one of the most memorable and fond experiences of my life and the reason why I applied to DZ a few weeks ago before a job was even posted.
             I believe that nothing brings people together like good food and good wine and even though I am no longer in Italy, I enjoyed a similar experience at Pasta Pane last November.   My mom had been raving about the ‘new chianti’ in Clifton Park, specifically of a gambari appetizer and how it was so fresh and authentic that I had to go try it for myself.  I believed her, I knew it would be good; however, could it be truly Tuscan?  I went to Pasta Pane with a few good friends and ordered an eggplant scallop appetizer to start followed by a prosciutto and arugula pizza and was floored by not only how delicious it was, but how truly authentic and Tuscan the food and entire menu was.  I fully believe in your brand and want to be a part of creating lasting culinary impressions on patrons, allowing them to feel and try the authenticity of real Italian food and culture that I felt nearly two years ago.  I believe in what you’re doing as a company and I would love the opportunity to learn and grow in your marketing of a product that I am truly passionate about.  I hope I was able to convey my passion for food, the written word, and Italian culture, because even though there’s no place like Italy, it doesn’t mean we can’t all be authentic Italians.

Here's what I wore, with an excellent brown wedge OF COURSE!

By: Lauren Clemente ( all right reserved copyrighted 2012)