Monthly Archives: June 2010

Bill The Butcher

A few months ago we were out for a nice Sunday drive, and wound up in Redmond. After finding a place for lunch we noticed a cool place all done up in black. Above the main door and windows, read a sign in cursive…”Bill The Butcher”.

After lunch we wondered inside. The selection, the smells, the total awesomeness! First we looked over shelf after glorious shelf of unique items. Salts, pickles, sauces, cookbooks, and oh so much more. A gourmet’s dream.

I navigated my way around the displays of deliciousness, and slid up to the cold cases. Oh My God. Organic. Aged. Smoked. Skewered. Hand Cut. Hand Made. Beautiful!

All the cuts were there, plus homemade sausages and salumi. Then there were the cheeses. I can’t go on. I’ll drool all over the keyboard. I picked up my first Wagyu skewer (which was amazing) and some Chimichurri sauce. Great experience, and we’ll be back.

Last weekend, again on a Sunday, we found ourselves near U Village. As we were looking for a place to park just past the UW fields on Sand Point Way, there it was! That beautiful cursive in white on black, Bill The Butcher.

On this occasion there were samples of everything. Sausages, jerky, cheeses. Mmmmm. This time, I looked over the case carefully and decided to select something I have never cooked. So I picked up about 8 ounces of Organic Hanger Steak.

That night, dressed simply with salt, pepper and rosemary, it was carefully placed it into a white hot cast iron skillet for about 1.5 minutes per side and then finished it in a 500 degree oven.

I’m writing this because the flavor was spectacular. The organic and aged factor gave it an almost liver like consistency along with a slight wild flavor you can’t find at just any meat counter.

What’s different about Bill The Butcher is a focus on beautifully sourced quality products. Good quality ingredients equal amazing experiences. It’s one I have been thinking about for days after my Sunday bliss.

Do yourself a favor, and don’t walk but RUN to Bill The Butcher. you won’t be sorry.

BTW, shout out to all my Facebook buds, I’ve just published this blog so give it a look now and again.

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Car Wash

It’s been way too long since I’ve washed my car. Given the spring that never sprung, and the summer that’s barely arrived, it hasn’t been high priority.

Therefore, today is the day! With a fairly clear afternoon, according to the weather and time schedule, let the water wash the dirt away.

I approach this as I’m sure most do. Begin by wetting the car down, then applying soap in decisive broad strokes. Once the car has been fully covered in soap, time to rinse. Now, I’ve owned cars since I was 17, and one thing I know about myself, is if I only wash it once I’ll miss a few spots. So, I soap it up and wash it again to make sure none of those embarrassing “dirty” spots show up after it’s dried.

Once the body is done, next come the wheels. I hit those with both an aggressive wheel cleaner, as well as a touch of elbow grease. Then the windows, making sure I can see free and clear.

Time for a little wax, to add a layer of protection from the elements it’s bound to encounter on the next leg of it’s life.

Then, it’s a little polish to make sure some of the dirt that is in the hard to reach places is taken care of.

Washing your car is really good therapy, because it’s much like washing away your own personal grime that’s collected over time. It really doesn’t take much effort, once you’ve spent the time. We all pick some road wear up along the way, and it fells good to wash that all away, and look at ourselves with a fresh perspective.

It’s the same car, same engine, same safety systems, same wheels that take us to and from as well as from here to there. But now that it’s clean, it looks brighter, happier. The body has some scratches and a few dings, which you really don’t see when it’s clean. The chrome glistens, the rubber shines, the glass is clear. The car seems to be smiling.

I really know how it feels.

Deconstructed

A few days ago, we went to a celebration for our friends daughters graduation party, as well as kind of a pre-function for her upcoming celebratory trip to Maui.

The event was nice. Lots of family and friends we normally see at their gatherings. The weather sucked, but then again thats the kind of chance you take living in the northwest.

Everyone was to bring some kind of “gourmet item” to share, the kind of request I always look forward to.

A few weeks ago I was in the mood for a really good egg salad sandwich. So I went toward making the standard, but half way through the process the decision was made to tweak the recipe to include ingredients that make my deviled eggs extraordinary. And, it kicked ass.

The following day, the love of my life was working in the yard, and was hungry. I matched the egg salad left overs with some fresh Guacamole on a cracker, and she absolutely loved it. Something new was born.

During the creative process while deciding what to bring for the graduation celebration, I thought of this wonderful mixture I had concocted. Some kind of California Deviled Egg thingy, deconstructed. It had the goods, so what the hell.

I made it, layered the Guac first, then the deviled egg mixture in the platter and matched it with some new fangled baked Ritz crackers.

The deconstructed comfort mixture sat among all of the other items. A watermelon salad paired with feta cheese, grilled items, burgers, dogs and more. There was a delicious quinoa curry chicken dish as well, which for some reason was barely touched.

I love to watch the “what is this” look that turns into the delight of something familiar and crave-able. A beautiful transformation. Lots of different people, those who knew each other, and those who did not, began to comment and gush about this weird yet tasty culinary slam dance.

Then, one of the more flamboyantly vocal regular family members was pairing the deconstruction delight along with some lime kissed Tostito chips and could not get enough. Much like life, when you pair something familiar, with something zesty, amazing things happen.

I am a huge fan of deconstruction. In the last few years I have been in awe of filmmakers who deconstruct stories well told, and then bring them to a new audience such as Batman Begins and the latest Star Trek film. Those are golden nuggets of joy I savor again and again.

I think I’ll take what I’ve learned from deconstructing egg salad, into other creative efforts…..and then watch what happens.

Changing Attitudes

Reflection is kind of an amazing thing. Looking at yourself and seeing change is not easy for most people. It’s like realizing your someone else, and then coming to terms with it.

When I have my consultant hat on, it’s very easy for me to recommend change as a way to bring on new efficiencies. I’m a huge believer in the philosophy that it’s not what you do, it’s HOW you do it that sets any organization apart from the pack. Thank you Dov Seidman. I completely believe this on a personal level as well, but implementing personal change is a challenge.

Probably the most tangible example is simply getting in shape. Easy enough to envision, easy enough to talk about, but putting it into daily practice is hard! It’s my goal to work out 6 days a week and I’ve been doing it for a little over a week. I expected to see higher results in weight loss due to the new dedicated routine, and have been disappointed. I had it in my mind I would start dropping weight like crazy just like when I was younger.

Through my disappointment I have been able to find a new attitude on HOW to lose weight and get in shape. The exercise is only one of the keys to success as I push 50 years of age. The other part of the equation is changing my diet as well as habits that surround food and my obsession with all things gourmet. Today it’s no longer the journey to find the perfect bite, but the journey to find the bite that perfectly fits my new lifestyle.

The focus has changed. I no longer am disappointed with the fact I’m not dropping weight like crazy, but excited about how good I feel and welcome the abundance of new energy that is a direct result from the daily workout routine. The fun byproduct of this change is that after the workouts I think more clearly about what healthy nutrition choices need to be part of the next meal. It’s empowering and eventually the weight will come off. I know that for a fact.

Therefore I am welcoming the next attitude to change, patience.

Taking Stock

First step, take stock of what we have (or don’t) in the fridge and the cupboards.
Next step, try to get some inspiration on what would kick butt on the taste buds.
Then the last step, execution.

If you think about it, that’s also a lot like life. We are all dealt a certain deck of cards. Sometimes we beat the house, and sometimes the house takes it all away. But we cope with what we are dealt.

Recently I have been taking stock of what I have in my personal fridge and cupboards, and I am pleasantly surprised that it’s different than what I had expected. You see a few years ago I went through a rough personal patch. I had a hard time believing in myself and what I could accomplish. It was tough, but it also was good to re-discover myself. So today the situation is different, and the cupboards are pretty full.

Even though I’m dealing with a new deck of cards, and they are not what I want, I know that I have enough to get through based on my personal stock. I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about personal image, faith and talent. The new items have everything to do with change. I personally like change, it makes us stronger.

So I’ve taken stock, now what’s next? Inspiration. For the last couple years I have been writing for work every day. It’s actually been great. Copy, scripts, concepts and all kinds of consulting work. But it feels weird to write for myself because, well it’s just different. I recently decided to re-read “On Writing” by Stephen King. It’s been so awesome because I know it’s inside me, and Mr. King is helping to bring it out in a different way. There is the inspiration, you have the tools in your toolbox.

Now, execution. Writing every day. Here it is. This is it, just do it! I started this blog over 6 months ago with the idea that I could share what it was like for a carnivore to be in love with a vegetarian. Now fast forward to today and I realize that it’s more than our culinary points of view. It’s our total point of view. My fridge and cupboard would not be as full if it wasn’t for her. Her love, support, kindness and trust has really brought me to this point of being completely solid in my ability to do everything and anything, no matter what kind of hand I have been dealt. Therefore our points of view on life, love, honor, friends and more are The New Meat and Potatoes.

So welcome to the next – first day of this blog. Oh yeah, what’s for dinner? Something amazing!

It’s been a while

Yeah, over six months is a long time, but now I have a lot of time on my hands, so the mission is to write every day.

The new blogs will start this Monday.

Doug