It's been five years since my last blog post. Five years full of life changes, work changes, kids growing up, kids moving out...and five years full of really amazing outdoor food experiences.
Look at the date -- we've been under a COVID-19 shelter in place order for five weeks now. It's taken five weeks to realize I have five years' worth of photos, trips, menus, and food about which to write. It's not like I suddenly have a lot of extra time on my hands -- quite the opposite. I'm sewing my ass off, I'm giving skating lessons via Zoom, we just finished a huge kitchen remodel, and we're navigating the waters of an empty nest much too soon on the horizon. I think what has pushed me toward restarting this old blog is just a change in perspective and a solidification in my head of what we value in this household.
Oh, and a sailboat.
These days, whenever we can find the time to get away briefly, we head to the boat. The San Francisco Bay is now our preferred natural environment, at least while our daughter is still living at home to dog sit our giant and not-very-seaworthy Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. When she leaves, our focus may shift back to camping so the dog can travel with us instead of fret at home with an unknown sitter.
We've also added benefit dinners to our food lives. Every so often we host a benefit dinner for our daughter, a skater on Team USA, who has to pay 100% of her World Championships expenses, as well as her coach's expenses. But since I'm her coach, no one is paying my way, either. So for $75/head, people can reserve a seat at a 12-14 course, plated theme dinner, complete with wine pairings and take-home goodies. About half of that goes straight into Emma's travel fund, the other half into groceries and wine for the dinner, and you can read more about these adventures here.
So I'm not going to have to stretch for material for this blog, obviously. I think I'll skip a lot of recipe posting, since I hate doing it, it's tedious, and there are so many recipes on the internet these days that it seems sort of silly to spend my time doing something repetitive that annoys me anyway. I'll post recipes when I need to, but mostly I'll just stick to menus, tips, tricks, and stories to inspire your own elevated outdoor dining experiences.
First though, I need to get rid of that hideous pinecone over-photoshopped profile picture...