Monday, May 25, 2015

Miya's Sushi

Back at Miya's Sushi, this time at chef Bun Lai's invitation. He put out a spread for us and a few other friends, who quickly became our friends, too.

Started with invasive Japanese knotweed three ways - sake, quick-pickled on rice, and tempura.

Then traditional 'ball' sushi with mugwort, and quick pickled dandelion leaf wrapped on another. And of course the rice is super-healthy brown rice mixed with other grains, tastier than regular sushi rice by far.

In the foreground is venison, yes venison sushi, with wild ramp sauce, and the wild ramps themselves in the background.

Jonah crab claws and invasive snails that we cracked with real Native American tools and dipped in a honey vinegar ginger sauce.

Tilapia dipped in beets, salted, and served nearly frozen, "Inuit style."

Bun is serving us fermented kelp, which is not ready yet...but still tasted surprisingly good. Salty and seaweedy, like a powerful super-dashi.

This is Bun's "Persian roll" with spices and ingredients from the Middle East.

And this is a sweet potato roll (you can eat all vegetarian at Miya's if you like) with a homemade wasabi.

This is the famous invasive Asian shore crab on a potato roll with a creamy dill dressing that is absolutely one of the best things I've ever tasted.

And this is pressure-cooked and then baked salmon bones (use the whole animal!) and broccoli. None of these really needed to be dipped in soy sauce, by the way. All were perfect as is.

And this is a twist on fried chicken...amaranth peas and soy, with curry dip. We also had his chocolate and ice cream sushi at the end, but I missed getting a photo because we all ate them too quickly. All this was spaced over about four hours, with plenty of firecracker sake, beer, and conversation. A fantastic meal, a fantastic gift. We are proud to call Bun Lai a friend - he is one of the geniuses making food better for the rest of us, and one of Connecticut's true revolutionaries.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lamentation Mountain

Amy and I hiked Lamentation Mountain in Meriden today - a great little ridge hike.

The views stretched from Massachusetts to Sleeping Giant. We could actually see the hill we live on, too.

Ran into this little guy - American Carrion Beetle - along the way.

And this fallen beech tree on the way back. All in all a great little hike. I recommend it for beginners and if you are more advanced, you can do a double loop with Chauncey Peak.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Preserve Connecticut's History

Awesome architect, sometime radio star, and all-around nice guy Duo Dickinson has an important reminder in today's Hartford Courant.

"When budgets are stretched thin, as Connecticut's surely is, lawmakers will point their pencils at expenses they view as marginal. This year that includes historic preservation. Most funds from the Community Investment Act, which are supposed to be dedicated to historic preservation as well as open space and farmland preservation and affordable housing, are being swept into the general fund under proposals to help balance the current and coming budgets.

This shortsighted cut would have permanent costs. In Connecticut and New England, our history is anything but marginal..."

Read the rest here.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Review in the New London Day

John Ruddy of the New London Day has given me a very positive review. He could have mentioned that "Homegrown Terror" is similar or nearly identical to the term the people of the time used, "parricide," in order to show that I wasn't just pulling that concept from a hat. But otherwise this is a perfect reading of my book, with a complete understanding of what I was trying to do. The article was later picked up by Stars and Stripes and a couple other sites.