Just in time for Thanksgiving, my latest column on The Kitchn is devoted to learning about pairing coffee and pumpkin pie. Coffee pairing essentials include: complimenting, contrasting and layering. So think about what flavors you love in pumpkin pie (the spices!) and what flavors in coffee you can either contrast, compliment or layer with those.
Because chances are, you’re going to make a damn fine pie, and you want a damn fine cup of coffee to go with it, don’t you?
Read the full column here.
“What makes you so happy this morning, George!”
“Because at last you’ve learned how to make a perfect cup of coffee. This is delicious!”
“Oh, it isn’t me, it’s the brand. This is the Sultana!”
I have a thing for vintage coffee ads, and this one via the Boston Public Library is rather hilarious. Certainly indicative of gender roles at the time – we all know that women shouldn’t be the sole ones responsible for the kitchen, cooking and coffee brewing duties – as well as the increasing interest, and obsession, with coffee.
I am excited to be launching a new column over on Paste Magazine, all about one of my favorite subjects: fermentation!
The first column is devoted to the subject of SCOBYs, the gelatinous looking organism that you have to have in order to brew kombucha at home. Amongst those who brew their own kombucha, I have found that many people have stories about their SCOBYs, as well as a sense of emotional attachment to them. One friend of mine even named his.
Today we have a renewed appreciation for this old tradition, and people are taking to fermentation with fervor. Some of us get into baking sourdough with a starter and others launch into the world of pickling. But whatever kind of fermentation you do, there’s a high chance that you’re adamant about it.
Kombucha is the perfect example.
For many, kombucha has become a gateway drug into the world of fermentation. Fueled by an increasing interest in the health benefits of probiotics, the sales of kombucha have grown exponentially. Kombucha sales for 2015 are projected to be upwards of $500 million. But at one point or another we realize that our addiction to the bottles at the grocery store is becoming an expensive habit, and it’s high time that we brewed our own. This is the moment that we turn from kombucha fan to kombucha fanatic.
You can read the column here.
For the last two years I have been covering the specialty coffee scene in Paris. For a long time, Paris was a place that was known for bad quality coffee and not much else. But in the last few years, this has changed, and nowadays there are a handful of local specialty roasters and a long list of cafes where you’re sure to get served a good cup.
Last year photographer Jeff Hargrove reached out to me. He had been bitten by the coffee bug and as a portrait photographer, he wanted to self-publish a book with portraits of the “coffee entrepreneurs” in Paris – the people who helped to change the coffee scene. But he wanted more than portraits, he wanted a story. And so I came along to help write that story: Paris Coffee Revolution.
I am excited to have my latest recipe up over on Adventure Journal!
It’s a recipe for Blueberry Rye Bars, perfect as a packable snack, and a recipe that takes full advantage of summer berries. In fact, you can switch out the berries in this for whatever you have on hand. I’ve even made them with dried figs.
Most fruit bar recipes are heavy on brown sugar and butter, but this one uses honey and olive oil instead. You can catch the full recipe here.
I was happy to chat with Diane Lees of The Outspoken Cyclist recently about The Culinary Cyclist. The show is deemed “radio for cyclists by cyclists.” And here I bet you didn’t even know that cyclist radio was a thing? Well now you do.
Check out The Outspoken Cyclist podcast and catch my episode here. Don’t worry, you won’t just be bored by my ramblings on healthy eating; I’m also on there with frame builder, bike designer and author Lennard Zinn, which is pretty cool.
Surrounded by a lot of talented filmmaker friends, I have always been attracted to the power of visual storytelling. But enjoying visual storytelling is one thing. Making it yourself is another thing entirely.
A little over a year ago I told a couple of filmmaker friends that I wanted to invest in a camera so that I could try my hand at filming. “Do it!” was the resounding response.
Sure, I had played around with iMovie a few years ago, putting together a few clips into something coherent, but nothing more than that. Maybe it was time I challenged myself. So I got the camera, and took a lot of nice photos with it, entirely intimidated, in fact, nearly paralyzed, by the thought of trying to do video. Where would I even begin? What if I failed?
Having talented creative people around you is a really good thing. Imagine if you were surrounded by a bunch of boring, mediocre individuals? No thank you. But there’s a flip side to being surrounded by all this talent; while they’re happy to encourage you, you also have very high standards to live up to. And so, I found myself unable to jump into the world whose waters I wanted to test. I was nervous, stricken by the idea that I might make something that wasn’t up to par.
And then it struck me: this is your first film. If we all listened to the voices in our head that told us we were going to fail before we even started, we wouldn’t get anywhere. Failure is just another form of fear. Because what is failure? The definition is up to us entirely, and in the case of wanting to try something new, the only failure I could really come up with, was not doing it at all.
So I set out to make a short film. Super short. Turns out, it’s hard. But it’s also fun, and I can see why all my filmmaker friends are so addicted. There is power in storytelling, whether it’s a short love letter to something we love, or if it’s a feature-length documentary tackling important subjects that we believe the world should know more about.
This video came out of a love of coffee and the outdoors. At the end of July, I spent two weeks hiking in Northern Sweden, and I knew that with a place so visually stunning, I should at least get something on film. This is what it became. This short video isn’t going to change the world (that will be a film later down the line, thank you very much) but maybe it will change how you think about your coffee routine. And maybe this story will inspire you to try something new, something you have never done before and that you’re scared of. Because quite frankly, there’s nothing better.