Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dinner with the Other Amy T.

I've been so out of it, that I've actually had not one-but TWO-dinners cooked by the other Amy T since I last posted to this thing. The other Amy T and I went to grade school together, and when she got all growed up she turned out to be a chef--and I got to be a lucky guest at dinner-twice in the last week. You can check out her blog here:

So the first time I had dinner with Amy T and her husband Aaron, and her small son Hank, was the day I stopped being homeless. Amy and I had (re)connected (over food, of course) on Facebook and since I was up in the area where we grew up and where she now lives and works teaching cooking clases, I kind of invited myself over for dinner one night. That night Amy made homemade pasta and we drank a lot of wine and chatted late into the night in their beautiful cabin on a river in the deep woods. I was relating my housing woes, and well, as luck would have it, there is a beautiful cabin sitting empty on the property next to theirs (owned by an artist friend of theirs from Brooklyn). Would I like to stay there? How quickly can I say yes?

They are going to have to throw me out. Or I will start paying rent. One or the other. I'm not leaving.

To sweeten this sweet deal even more, Amy invited me over for dinner again. (I really like how this is going.) She made chicken cacciatore from chickens they had just purchased from George and Mary's Best Darn Chicken 'Round in Frazee, Minnesota. I swear I am not making up, elaborating on or in any way hyperbolizing the name of their business. It was also the biggest darn chicken 'round--weighing in around 8 pounds a piece. She cooked up some broccoli from Hmong farmers in Minneapolis--blanched and pan fried in butter and garlic. Same with the potatoes from her garden--Yellow Fins, also blanched and roasted in olive oil til they were crunchy, tasty perfection. And she also slow cooked some chicken breasts in brown butter and herbs until that was mouthwatering. But the piece de resistance--for me--had to be the chicken of the woods mushroom that she roasted up in the oven.

Right now, I am regretting deeply the fact that I left my camera back at my cabin. I should have known better--but a girl respects another girls blog, eh? This was the biggest darn mushroom I've ever seen and it was so beautiful, sitting with warm earthy tones in the soft light of the kitchen. Words cannot really describe the incredible taste--it was like a big beefy morel--unlike anything I've ever eaten. I have seen these guys out in the woods--but never dared to eat them.

How's that for growing, cooking and eating outside the system!? Right outta them woods!

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