Sunday, April 26, 2009

at last

at last-
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:

thank you to all who celebrated this spring with us- we have been challenged in ways (we were extremely short staffed this week) and appreciate all of you who were patient and kind while we did our best.
oh- and keep your eye out for the burlington free press on Wednesday- dave (our forager) and moses were out foraging with bfp staff for an article to be printed in the food section.

enjoy spring-- it only lasts a minute or two.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ok, it happened- and it's official, spring is here, even though (i know) i though it would never happen. And just like everyother year, it snuck in and surprised me. on sunday i walked to work without a jacket on! i felt naked and exposed, but smaller, less bulky, and free!! Working in the kitchen also feels different- though we have been using local foods all year long- there is something amazing and special about the wild foods of vermont that come in freshly picked- it was especially cool to open the bags of wild day Lillies, sunchoke roots, and wild leeks, as well as open up our reserve of dried powdered wild mushrooms and put together plates that were full of all kinds of shapes, colors, and textures that fully embody spring in vermont. Thanks to Dave K. (our personal wild crafter) the restaurant has been abuzz with awe and intrigue and conversations have been enlightening- dave spends quite a few mornings at kismet in the dining room eating and connecting with folks, and it is exciting to see his business take off as local folks request his services to help teach them foraging skills for their homes and land.
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

april snow = still some winter left to go

even though the sap harvest peaked two weeks ago- and even though we've been serving local salad greens for the last month, and our local tomatoes are just as bright and luscious as they could be, it is indeed snowing... still.

if you've been reading my posts, you would see that i always get a bit anxious for summer around this time of year- and anyone who lives in vermont year round would after nearly 6 months of freezing temperatures- but after already having had some really lovely warm and 60 degree afternoons back in february, it is a bit disappointing (and confusing) to have there be snow falling and for the air outside to feel and taste and smell like november.

But, regardless, Easter is in just a few days and montpelier children will hunt for eggs int he park regardless of snow wind rain or slush, as they do every year, and we at Kismet, will create a bright and lovely Easter brunch menu like we have for the last three years. Ahhhh- brunch. It's such a great meal really, and when eggs are our canvas, creating a special menu for Easter just feels so-- natural.

Though I haven't completely decided what we will be having- i do know that it is absolutely necessary in include some items- lamb, asparagus (looking for wild red "asparagus", if you have any let me know), quail eggs, local ham, and eggs-- of course. In my family, it was a tradition to have eggs and sobrasada, apparently (after doing a google of that so i could link it for you) that must be something very specific to my family, as sobrasada seems to only exist in one photo- I have decided that i while this year i will do my best to replicate it (i'm sure my aunt marilynn is scoffing at me now), i will make it a mission to reconnect with my Portuguese roots- master my family's original recipe, and share it with all of you for real next year.. in the meantime, i will make do with some hose made lamb chorizo and egg frittata's and hope everyone in my family appreciates my efforts...

Speaking of efforts-

Kismet has been steadily gaining on expansion plans-- though there are lots of rumors out there about where and when we are moving into a larger space, I can tell you only this:

we are currently negotiating 2 spaces downtown in montpelier and hoping to have things clarified by the end of june and plan to be in our new space by the end of the year. In the meantime, we are planning to have about ten more seats outside for the summer, and will hopefully have our liquor license by next month (in time for deserving mothers on mother's day). What else? Oh! and the space currently inhabited by kismet???? well, there are lots of ideas, one of which is for us to share it with others-- do you have any ideas??

also, we are working with someone fabulous to recreate our menu and re-do our website-- i am REALLY excited about this and hope that everyone will give me some feedback about what you would like for the new menu to include.. do you have a favorite? was there a special you had once that you think deserves permanent placement on our menu? is there something we should know about items we have now and how they could be different? Kismet is yours just as much as it is ours-- trust me-- i just work here.

so, what do you want for breakfast?

good night, i love you, and I'll see you in the morning!