Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
- 10 years since the millennium fury,
- 20 years since i was 13 (which is clear as a bell-),
- 28 years since prince sang 1999,
- and 30 years since i was 3...
Sunday, November 22, 2009
how about you?
then i found this really cool video, that reminded me that there is more outside of our
wee vermont bubble--
check it out and tell me what you think-- i, personally am very inspired to know there is more outside of this box...
we are not alone.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
serving this dinner in this time (a bit early, maybe for winter, though it does kind of feel like winter already, and often does this time of year), was a bit of an adventure- we both wanted the menu to be an expression of what we both felt most exciting about winter, while also acknowledging the depth, darkness & simplicity of the season.. I wanted to start by a fire, and we did, with whiskey and apple donut fritters- and we wanted the courses to be full filling- filling- and with the expression of simplicity.
Unfortunately, just a week before the dinner, I was notified that my very close friend was suddenly loosing her battle with brain cancer- in this last week i spent many hours with her, and asked Mathew to be prepared to serve the meal on his own.. In many ways, I feel like these last ten days & this dinner too- have been an opportunity for me to fully and completely experience the truth of the season. The depth of winter is so true and absolute- especially here- and we have only the very simplest of things to get us through- and then we do- and suddenly there is spring.....again.
we have this-
WINTER looming and yet familiar- we have celeriac and beets and carrots- we have the pot Au feu, - the "pot on the fire"... and that we have each other (even though the other may seem a bit distant they are there, believe me)...
don't forget to get together- cook gratin- make winter salads- learn new things- and be silent sometimes.
spring will come-
& in the meantime-
see you soon.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Crisp mornings, frost on my nose, on my prized petals, on the tips of kale. I have tomatoes, ginger gold apples and seckel pears ripening in my storage room (i gathered them two weeks ago, just in case of a sudden winter snap) and they are there, ripening, and attracting a few of the remaining fruit flies- I look at my little pile of fruit, my jars of pickles, and my bulk bins of herbs and mushrooms and wonder-- will it be enough? It's hard tellin' not knowin' i guess.. But we always get through the winter- and why should this one be any different?
Kismet has been promising a move since spring of this year-- and TRUST me, I've been working on it!
does Montpelier want kismet to move downtown? what next? how? when? what if...? & there are definitely moments that i stop and look at everything (my desk overflowing, my children wanting my attention, order forms, bills to pay, menus to write, email full, phone ringing, dog scratching herself raw, leaves changing, car falling apart, line of brunch customers out the door, fruit ripening in the pantry, meat curing) and ME in the middle of it all- and I am suddenly very overwhelmed-- how do i take ALL OF THIS and make MORE?
in this industry there is a strange life that happens behind doors- in walk-in's, in meetings, in the middle of the night- there is this constant scraping the bottom to make enough for everyone- then there is what happens out on the floor- the abundance, the fluidity, the grace and charm- I have always been intrigued by the paradox of the restaurant ecosystem- and yet have always gotten a thrill when it all would come together, and the sounds of laughter and conversation mixed with glasses toasting, silver on porcelain, and music fills a room. I love to see people enjoy food- and most of all, i love LOVE love to cook that food that people enjoy. But how do i keep it simple in the midst of it getting more complex?
in ways, i look forward to the lights dimming for the winter skies; kismet is cozy and bright, the lines are shorter or non-existent, and there is more time for introspection. But there is also the awareness that this slowing down is an opportunity to organize and be prepared for the spotlights of the new spring..
Friday, September 11, 2009
and don't forget to think about this:
Saturday, September 05, 2009
and then there is this:
mathew and i are planning part II of our three part seasonal collaboration menus-- and Fall is really around the corner!
if you cant read the above photo- (it is kind of small) it details our next chef collaboration meal, to be held at kismet (all candle lit and cozy), with just mathew and I and our guests.. we have a few reservations already, b ut there are still several open seats- please do consider joining us, and if you miss it this time-- dont you worry, WINTER is just around the corner (our winter menu debuts october 19>>about the time of the first snow.) .
to RSVP for either meal, please contact us through this blog, or through http://www.kismetkitchen.com/, there is a contact us page there, and you can reach us there very efficiently.
would yo like a squizz at the fall menu?
i thought so..
but it may include smoked duck ham, candied crab apple, willow hill cheese, venison, and (amongst other things..) mulled cider and emily's family-made bourbon whiskey...
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
big yum for roasted eggplant, braised rabbit, and lavender ice cream!
Mathew and i made and served the dishes alone- toiled and deliberated over the courses, but OF COURSE it all worked out...
it's 2 am-
and cant stop thinking about the NEXT dinner!
Monday, August 10, 2009
We will only serve one seating to a total of 10 guests each menu, over the course of 3 hours in the candle-lit evening private dining room at kismet on barre street.
And-- it's being offered at a bargain too, because mathew and I just really want to work together in a new and inspired way- so the meal ticket is $100 per person including wine, beer, deserts, etc..
RSVP by 9pm Saturday August 15
(you can leave a comment here to rsvp) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Thank you to all who voted for us (we didn't even realize there was a vote in order, and none of us even voted --or bribed anyone else to!). I have to say that it felt pretty good to see a few of our other local businesses catch some praises too! congrats to Carlos at positive pie, the folks at bear pond, the gals (and men) at salaam, aliza and randy at red hen, and langdon street cafe-
Montpelier has changed so much since i came here as a child in the 80's- and so much so in the last 5 years. I look forward to watching Montpelier grow, and become more widely appreciated, and at the same time, one of the reasons i love doing business here is because it is so casual, friendly, and supportive. I hope that will never change..
thank you again--
and see you soon!
Monday, August 03, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Today, August 1, 2009, Genevieve will serve the following menu from 11am- 2:30 pm. We look forward to seeing you- and please do enjoy your meal!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
and though it may be at it's peak and just at it's start at the same time, there is a sort of hushed excitement as everyone rushes off for a quick last minute vacation just when they were all about to give up on summer all together..
This last week we also have been celebrating at kismet- in a way of sorts- the veges and fruits are just starting to really come in- and though strawberry season lasted about three days long, and raspberries have yet to come in abundance, Champlain orchards shared today that they will have their first apples of the season in just two weeks, and all of our other farmer friends have been calling in to offer all sorts of veg like peppers, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, cherry tomatoes (finally!), garlic, chantarelles, cucumbers, green beans, corn (!), and still more peas, cilantro. and basil! This is it, the time we all have been waiting for in Vermont- when there is abundance and warmth, extra sunlight, warm water, music in the air, flowers (which are particularly tall this year because they are so sun starved), and outdoor festivities.
There is too, that this time of year also brings the abundance of work and energy spent preparing for the winter- which we do wholeheartedly as we pickle and can, jam and jelly, and dry precious herbs roots and mushrooms- we watch the animals get big and fat, the wood get chopped and stacked, and under the shade of our favorite oak elm or maple, sit with tender tired muscles watching the light change as if we can see time passing... i look out over my green mountains and can imagine them black and white and crystallized- i look at my stack of pickles and wonder how many i will have left when the spring thaws come. I look at my children and watch their legs grow as they learn to swim stronger, and realize how soon it will be that we have to buy new snowsuits and boots..
All of this-- IS--- why i am here- being in Vermont requires a sort of presence that demands so much of me- it is so involved and exhausting, i rarely even have time to read the newspaper or watch tv- and at the same time, being so crudely dependant on the weather also aligns me in a way that i feel completely connected to the harsh and beautiful realities of the whole world through tasting really fresh green beans and watching as the garden overflows....
truth be told- we are all working really really hard and doing our best to make it look easy, graceful, prosperous, and fun-- and right now i am feeling that deeply.. "It's like i have been climbing a mountain and come to it's peak, ecstatic and exhausted and full of awe- and then i look out and see twelve more peaks in the distance that i will need to climb.." (phil gentile)
Before you set out on your next big trek-- come in and let us feed you- have a glass of fresh pressed juice (or a bloody mary!) and sit for a moment amongst friends- we look forward seeing you...
see you soon.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
oh yes LOVE
swirls in the air tonight..
yes it's wedding season in vermont- and again i am humbled by the truth of the wedding commitment..
and as one who attends many weddings each year with those i barely know; i must say- THIS year has been a year to remember.. sure there was the tornado back in 2007- the crazy hot rain and mud that melted sophie and aaron's wedding cake in august that year- and a the other little pitfalls- but this year-- this year has been a year to remember... to remember RAIN-- the emotion of it is so full now and i cant help but wonder-- wow... could these marriages be like these storms- as one mother in law to be said-- "it rains then the sun just shines.. like marriage"..
congratulations to all married this summer (?)
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
i slept in my old room- after being away from it for 7 years- & it felt ancient and historical and mystical--and secret- i was alone there, and it was perfect...
this was the last real time i have ever had alone-- and that was 11 years ago-
my oldest son MOSES is 10 today...and kismet is in the midst of wedding season, and i also have celebrated my own (32nd) birthday-- I wanted to find words for all of this put together, but will inevitably do so in your menus for this week-
in the meantime--
read this: a story of a girl i connect with
tell me what you think--
and ill see you soon!
Friday, June 05, 2009
since last time:
yes! we did get the permit for the outdoor seating, and are working with a generous lot of folks to create an extension to the current kismet dining room--
yes! we did get our liquor licence-- mimosa's & bloody mary's and some rum drinks are all we have so far, but hoping that you will help us pick some wines and a couple of beers to add to the menu-- any ideas?
thanks to Dave, our neighbor/forager, our fridge is FULL of them! and they are amazing in flavor, aroma, and unique appearance-- i feel like a little gnome in her den kitchen toasting, roasting, drying, and sauteing the assortment...
local strawberries-- i know, seems CRAZY because it has been so cold-- but yes, they are around, and as it so happens this time of year, the rhubarb and strawberry meet like two ships crossing in the night, and if we are lucky, we will be processing fresh rhubarb/strawberry jam within the next week or so-- yippee!
and wholly greens!! --local (like 2 miles away) spinach!, salad (with flowers--thanks joe!) from screamin' ridge
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
took a moment today to do some Internet searching-- it's always good to read what other's are saying about you- especially when it is good! in the midst of planning kismet's Summer menu, dodging and engaging city council meetings regarding our summer patio, and trying to put all of the numbers together for our prospective expansion this winter, i came across this blog-- big thanks to he/she who wrote it, and thank you to all who help make what we do possible and FUN. We have a nice time with you.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
mother's day brunch!
sunday may 10. 8:30- 2
house cured organic salmon on seeded baguette, poached eggs, hollendaise. served with roots or salad
grilled soldiers of proscuitto wrapped asparagus that you might want to dip in our egg nest toasties. (served with herbed roots)
frittata filled with peas, feta mint, and fennel tops. served
Sunday, May 03, 2009
the health care rally on the state house lawn, green up day, the first farmer's market, the boys officially opened three penny taproom, and today is all species day!
dave brought in a bunch of wild stuff so we've been up to our elbows in local fresh and wild foods!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
wild red asparagus, ramps, wild mushrooms, day lilies, and-- oh yes child-- leaves on the trees (and flowers too)!
before i went to bed last night, i opened my bedroom windows- with the two windows by my bed open for the first time in 6 months, i fell asleep hoping to hear the sounds of the first spring thunderstorm- the lightening was shooting across the sky kind of how the northern lights do -- silent, fast, and illusive- but they were there, and I realized that i have not seen lightening in over 5 months... i slept deeply- so deeply that when i woke (well past when my alarm was supposed to go off), i kind of jolted out of the bed like lightening, threw my clothes on and opened the door (with out a coat on again)- and then kind of hesitated on my front step-- overnight, spring sprang, and was there in front of me. those who live in vermont are probably like- yeah yeah yeah, big deal, happens every year- but for the years that i was away from vermont in spring- THIS was the part i longed for- the sudden, quick, untamed intensity of spring in vermont. After the sap flow, before the water warms completely in the swimming holes, there is this moment, this brief moment of awesomeness when the flora roars and says -- oh no, we didnt forget, we've been here all the time, and thank you very much for waiting- and TADA! here it is-- and all of a sudden after nearly 6 months of darkness, greyness, and leaflessness- everything wakes up--
and i believe we do too- and there i was on my lawn in the after dawn with my camera and with my morning wonder eyes, taking photos-- lying on the grass (yes, grass!!) taking photos of flowers
as soon as i went into kismet, i was met with the fierce reality of being short staffed, and preparing for sunday brunch.
thankfully, dave had brought us an amazing assortment of local fresh wild crafted foods so i made an abbreviated menu featuring those and just hoped everyone would understand the situation.
After work, and a quick grocery shop at the co-op (can you believe the price of retail food?!), I made my way over to lamb abbey for the benefit for KATE and PAUL from HIGH LEDGE FARM-- sara was playing there, and it was a great opportunity to help out the farm as well as see sara perform with the children. Alanna and her children also came, and I have to tell you that I nearly cried when I saw her son dancing- his red hair bouncing, and that huge smile on his face-- i loved to see him so happy. and I loved too that so many folks were there to support the high ledge family-
now i am near bed-
very close to reaching out to utube to watch entertaining and useless videos, and trying to turn this sunday into a friday (it's friday to kismet)- but i wanted to be sure to say this:
Thursday, April 23, 2009
On the other side of things- spring also is a big healing and purging time, and kismet and the families of kismet of been riddled with our own quakes and shifts- we did close the restaurant yesterday because my children were sick and there was no-one well enough or available to cook-- wow! talk about micro business! we were only open for an hour! today i am running back and forth from my home to the restaurant to take care of things, train our new cook genevieve, and try to maintain things on both fronts- stefi's back is out, alexis has college finals, and saragrace is still recovering from her cold-- alanna hasnt been sleeping well, and the rest of our staff has had to cover and care for us! YIKES! but, thankfully, montpelier is a fun and comforting place to live and do business and i am so thankful for everyone's support-- while other businesses note slow business, i am happy to report that ours has doubled since last year, and we are stronger than ever!
Thanks so much---
and I know, I know-- you want info about our move-- i will know soon--!!
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
it was early when i got up this morning, still dark, and still snow on the ground..
it feels endless- and lately i have felt a bit overwhelmed by it- but when I unlocked the front door, and started putting together my prep list, i started getting really excited-
I remembered that joel had brought down a delivery of local beans from the north east kingdom (yellow eye, king of the early and jacobs cattle). And as I started pulling things out of the fridge to prep for the day, I came across the salad greens that Pete's Greens brought us yesterday (full of sunflower greens, tiny baby kale and little leaves of radish and lettuces-) sitting next to the absolutely fabulous greens from joe at screaming ridge- And though it doesn't feel like spring outside, i can see that it is close- i can taste it, literally- and it tastes good!
During my morning chores- making coffee, mixing crepe batter, melting chocolate- I kept thinking about this whole thing with the skinny pancake. I still feel kind of confused- i know that everything will work out as it needs to- i just feel distracted. I have been getting a bit of response about the post and the situation- unfortunately, quite a few of them have been very intense and from folks who have never been to kismet. I am questioning myself- maybe even doubting a bit- pausing when maybe i wish i were flowing-
and then, the sun is up- and it's warm and cozy and the tomatoes in my hand are ripe and meaty and juicy, and I am inlove.... and just like that, the sap starts flowing.
Friday, February 27, 2009
For immediate release
February 26, 2008
Contact: Crystal Maderia
802 522 3403
Kismet Re-opens After Spring Break
As many know, most restaurants suffer slow sales and profit losses in February, and for those restaurants dependant on local ingredients, February is a cold and bleak month. But many Central Vermonters who have visited Kismet in Montpelier, know that this restaurant has a way of avoiding the odds. Thanks to a dynamic business plan, and a commitment to a sustainable business model, Kismet owners Alanna Dorf and Crystal Maderia have been able to navigate this usually slow season with ease.
Thanks to the diversity of their business, which offers event and wedding catering as well as an in-house menu of locally sourced breakfast, brunch and lunch menu items, February is a time of planning, prosperity, and productivity. As couples around the region plan for their summer weddings, Kismet collects deposits well in advance, and often finds deposit checks rolling in during the winter months. “Unlike other restaurants, our bank account is full in February”, remarks Crystal co-owner and Chef, “this gives us an unusual opportunity to enjoy the slower season and make the most of this time to plan for the upcoming season”.
One of the ways business owners Alanna Dorf and Crystal Maderia make the most of their time is by closing the restaurant doors for all or part of February. This year, the business partners remained open for most of the month due to local customer insistence, closing just the last week of the month. “It’s amazing how much networking I have been able to do”, recounts Crystal, “I am really excited to go into spring having re-connected with local farmers and wild harvesters and having had a chance to really consider all of our options, intentions, and opportunities for this coming year”.
In addition to continuing their search a new larger downtown location, Kismet is planning to build a large patio for outside dining, has applied for a liquor license to serve organic brunch cocktails, has collaborated with several local farms to ensure year-round local produce, and will re-open Wednesday, March 4, with a new Take-Out Dinner menu. To celebrate the re-opening, and in the spirit of spring, Kismet will be offering $2.00 shots of local organic wheatgrass normal restaurant hours Wednesday through Sunday 8am-3pm, and free house-made butter with all take-out dinner orders.
For more information about Kismet, to read the Kismet blog, or to view the online menus, go to www.kismetkitchen.com. Business hours will resume Wednesday March 4. Kismet is open Wednesday through Sunday.