Going over my 2014 moments to pull images to share I realize there were several stories I really wanted to pen. They were about people, places and things. The subjects deserved ink, but for some reason they just could not find the right outlet. So I offer you some teasers of moments gone unsung.
There's a town upstate New York where I earned my foraging chops years back. A trashy place plagued by poverty and circumstance currently showing signs of renewal. Cheryl Lims an early pioneer in absinthe is thriving with her brand, Delaware Phoenix. This summer I visited to see what was up since I wrote about her back in 2009 in the Times.
Low and behold, she has an adorable Iron Man-like still. We had a long talk about the scourge of scorched barrels for making bourbon. So it's not surprising as she is of like-palate, she is making bourbon that even I, a bourbon rejector, could love.
Then during the same visit to my friend Linda (D.l.Cerney to her customers who miss her on 7th Street, mail order still available)--to her little hilltop gardening paradise that deserves a story--
I bought a triangle of gooey cheese at The Lucky Dog. Once tasted, I had to meet its maker. Jos is sculptor from Holland who devoted his life to cheese after his wife Miranda died. Turns out he works his dairy magic from local cows a few blocks away from Cheryl in the same little town.
I believed I forced Jos to open his doors for me. Plagued by too many people wanting to check him out, he tried to bar access. Once he did, I could not reward him with an article. But between you and me? If you love cheese, you need his better- than -Époisses, Ouleout at Saxelby.
I still dream of that fanciful, resin toilet seat I discovered at Cullen in Margaret River. I uncovered it at a local General Store and decided against it; too pricey and risky (would it fit?) to shlep back to New York. I am absurdly crazy about it.
And did someone mention Stalin's last living winemaker? 86 years old, still working and reminiscing. This one I didn't even try to sell, I suppose I'll keep it for myself.