Where have I gone, dear reader? I seem to have disappeared the last few months, but here I am again! Back to fill you in with a few photos, some recipes, and whatever words I can piece together.
As you probably guessed, I've been busy. I've driven over 20,000 miles, ping-ponging along the eastern seaboard chasing my passion for food, nature, and love.
For the last six months, I have been putting in sixty hours a week with the back of house warriors of Bolete Restaurant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Between that and trying to take care of myself, there simply hasn't been time for anything else.
In my hibernation last winter I decided that it was time for me to concentrate on cooking as much as possible and applied for the James Beard Foundation's Women in Culinary Leadership Grant. To my great fortune, I was placed with the endlessly talented Chef Lee Chizmar.
Chef Lee is an inspiring mentor with an amazing palate and a wealth of information when it comes to the kitchen (and feminism, I happily learned). He has a way of effortlessly bestowing his knowledge on those around him and leads his kitchen with grace. I am forever grateful for my time at Bolete and their sister restaurant, Mister Lee's Noodles. The wealth of knowledge I gained in my short time in these kitchens has forever changed me as a cook and my perspective on the culture of brick and mortar restaurants.
In my time in those kitchens, I was often left to ponder my original intention with Eclectik Domestic. I know that I am passionate about food, music, community, farming, and photography. I want to help inspire our culture to reconnect with the importance of long-term sustainable food producing ecosystems and distribution models. It is my hope to facilitate connections within our evolving community by bringing people together at events to celebrate the bounty of this magnificent world.
Over the last few years, I've been attempting to build a life around these passions. I've devoted myself to hospitality in any way I could find, and it has been quite a journey. I have followed my hunger, and it has taken to places I could have never dreamed.
I now have been grappling with a major divide in my passion for hospitality. I want to be two places at once. I want to cook the food and serve it. And if you really want to get complicated, I'd also like to grow it, oh and travel the world at the same time if possible. My dreams have always been eclectic, hence my moniker.
So what does this mean for Eclectik Domestic, dear reader?
I'm too exhausted to know. Long hours in a windowless kitchen have fried my brain, and I need some rest.
In the next few weeks, I will come back to myself and reevaluate. I am returning to events with more intention for what I'd like to share with my community and what my values are. I hope to catch you at one of them this winter and to fill your belly with honest and delicious food.
Thank you for following the journey, it means more to me than you will ever know.
The Eclectik Domestic
The eighth annual Caravan Music Festival came and went this August and it was a true culinary marvel. Chef Pat Boyer and I collaborated on the festival's kitchen this year and it was an extraordinary community event. Last year Chef Pat finally brought down the kitchen from the family cabin on top of the hill and engineered a kitchen in the quarry next to the stage. This allowed the kitchen become a part of the festival in a more outright way and allowed festival goers to contribute to the food program.
3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups, plus more for dusting, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pour 3/4 cup of warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.
In another bowl, Mix flour, sugar and salt together. Then brush a large bowl lightly with olive oil. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in a bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch down dough.
1 Head Roasted Garlic
3-5 Halved Apricots
1 cup fresh Ricotta
1/2 Red Onions
Roll out dough on a greased 9* 13 sheet pan, starting in the center of dough, working outward toward edges but not rolling over them. In layers add garlic, apricots, ricotta and red onion. Pour olive oil atop. Bake at 450 until golden, about 10 minutes.
Caravan Hot Cakes
1190 grams flour
298 grams sugar
42 grams baking powder
5 egg whites
300 grams melted butter
Mix together dry ingredients. Melt butter. Stir together eggs and melted butter. On a hot griddle, pour out about 1/2 cup of batter. Flip when small bubbles appear. Cook till golden.
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic
In a medium bowl, add all ingredients. Stir together and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Once juices are flowing, pour atop hot cakes.
Apple Cider Cake
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325F. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Combine all dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Add cider and vanilla and mix until combined. On a parchment paper lined sheet pan (13*9), pour dough in center and making sure it is even. Bake at 325 for about an hour or until firm. Allow to cool and cut cakes to desired size. Serve with caramel or vanilla ice cream!
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 stick (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
red pepper/chili powder to taste
In a bowl add flour, baking powder, and salt. Knead or in a food processor, add butter until a crumbly mixture forms. Add buttermilk and seasoning. Roll or press dough into 1-2 inch balls and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. Makes about 20 biscuits.
*I used butter for this batch but animal lard can be substituted in equal parts.