Why hello there! I am still here. I’ve been giving myself a bit of a break and focusing on having fun, healing, and doing what feels right in the moment. That has meant a lot of running, reading, and travelling. Clearly, it hasn’t been writing at this point.
As part of my travels, I’ve gone down to California twice to spend some time with my Mom and see some friends. The trips have been good for me in a lot of ways. Our family, as you know, has had a rough few years. The trips have allowed me to spend some time with Mom and sort of check up on her, complete lists of tasks she wants done, cook for her, and generally just re-establish a new relationship with her after my Dad’s passing last August.
The trips have also allowed me to connect with a few people that make going to Roseville pretty fun. You see, Roseville and I haven’t gotten along in the past. I moved there in the middle of high school from the greatest high school situation imaginable to, what seemed to me at the time, one of the circles of hell. Roseville and I were definitely not BFFs and to say that my history there is complicated would be a rather large understatement. Consequently, I always felt unnerved and a little nuts whenever I went back. Or like I was having an unpleasant out of body experience. Anyway, over the last year I’ve met up with some people from that time of my life that I didn’t really know, but I am totally enjoying and are meaning a lot to me. I’ve also gotten reconnected with some people from my past, which has felt important in some way. It is funny how life rolls, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, while I’ve been in a state of healing/midlife-crisis/playing/recovering/traveling/running about, some friends of mine are doing truly amazing things. Seriously. I have some incredibly talented friends. Check them out!
The Monk’s Cellar Brewery and Public House. First of all, in my returns to Roseville I’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with multi-award winning brewmaster, Andy Klein. He is part of the team opening up The Monk’s Cellar this summer in the old historic part of downtown Roseville. If you are local to the area, you probably have tried (and loved) his beer. He has a long history of brewing and most recently brewed for Sacramento Brewing Company and Beermann’s, both available broadly in the area. I really can’t even explain how desperately Roseville has needed something this amazing. I’m so thrilled!
On my first visit, the flooring was installed. More recently, fermentation tanks and kitchen equipment have been delivered and more structural elements in place. It has been fun to be in the beautiful space (gorgeous brick walls and tall ceilings) and have Andy discuss his vision and watch it come to life. His passion is Belgian-style beer and he plans to have 10 of their own beers on draft, as well as several rotating taps. They food menu creation is in process, but they are sourcing much of the food locally. Monk’s Cellar will also have an open fermentation tank which is undeniably cool. Right?
Obviously, I am beyond excited for it to open, try each and every beer, and see his dream come together. If you are local to the Sacramento-area or for some reason find yourself there, then plan on getting yourself to Roseville once it opens sometime this summer. Trust me, it is going to the the place to be. (Mom, I might even come down more often!) In the meantime, keep up to date with them on Facebook or Twitter.
One of the fabulous things about blogging is meeting people you would otherwise not get to know. Next up are 2 friends from blogging that I’ve gotten to know via email and facebook. I love, adore, and respect them both and love spending time with when we they find themselves in Seattle on book tours.
Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen. One such person is the ever-charming, lovely, and all-around domestic goddess, Kate Payne, of Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking. I met Kate through the Can Jam back in ’10 and discovered she is a wealth of knowledge and brimming with great ideas from fermenting to decorating to home repair. I so enjoyed her first book so I’m very excited that she has a new book coming out in just a few short weeks! Hip Girl’s Guide to the Kitchen covers a full array of affordable and creative tips for the kitchen, broken down into 3 sections: Stocking Up, Feeding Yourself, and Feeding Others. If you aren’t as confident in the kitchen as you’d like to be, I guarantee you will be after reading her latest book. Keep up with her on Facebook too.
In the Portland or Seattle area? I just got an update on where you can meet her (from her e-newsletter): “June 21 – Portland, OR: Visit me for a small-batch fermentation demo at the Beaverton Farmers Market, 9a-1p June 22 – Seattle, WA: Canning with Kids. Join us for a hands-on strawberry jam workshop where you and your child will learn small-batch home food preserving you can do as a family. The class also covers tips for preparing seasonal fruits and vegetables safely and easily with the water bath canning method. Book Larder 10a-noon, details and registration here June 23 – Seattle, WA: Book signing and discussion at the Book Larder, 6:30pm June 24 – Portland, OR: PDX Food Swappers’ Evening with Kate Payne, Opal 28, 510 NE 28th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232, 6-9pm June 25 – Portland, OR: Annie Bloom’s Books, 7:00pm”
Next up is Marisa of Food in Jars. Another friend from the Can Jam days. (Sigh, we all miss the Tigress & are happy she brought us all together.) Marisa pretty much knows everything there is to know about canning and is just delightful in person. Her first book, Food in Jars, was full of fantastic canning recipes for small-batch preserving. The tomato jam is the bomb. I loved the book and it belongs in any cook or preservers collection. On her last visit to Seattle I remember her discussing her hopes for her latest book and I am so pleased that it is here! Preserving by the Pint is full of fantastic recipes for preserving that will capture the perfect ripeness of a single container of fresh picked strawberries or a few pints of pickles. I truly love this idea because I have found I don’t actually like mass canning projects. I tend to just eat more in season rather than doing a lot of preserving. Her latest book fits that need perfectly for just holding on to a bit of what is in season to have the rest of the year. Last year I tasted her Marinated Sugar Snap Peas with Ginger and Mint, and Rosemary Rhubarb Jelly and they’ve been haunting me since. I can’t wait to make a few batches as my rhubarb gets a bit bigger!
In the Pacific Northwest and want to catch up with Marisa? From her website: “June 20 – Portland, OR: Canning class at The Cakery. June 21 – Portland, OR: Demo and signing at the Beaverton Farmers Market, 9 am – 2 pm. June 25 – Seattle: Demo and book signing at The Book Larder, 6:30 – 8: 30 pm. June 26 – Seattle: Canning class at The Pantry at Delancey, 6-9 pm.”
Do pop over and check out the brewery and like them on FB and be sure to check out both Kate and Marisa’s new books!