Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pot roast in stout with herb dumplings

Although it is unseasonably warm in Michigan at the moment it was a blustery weekend around here. Dare I say I thought the gales of November had come early. 

Spurred on by the dropping Mercury I prepared a hearty one pot Irish supper. 

It wasn't the healthiest choice but sometimeseals like this soothe the soul. 

I cannot claim the base recipe but I definitely made this my own. The recipe suggested Guiness as the base for the stew/gravy, but I'm not a fan of the "legendary" Irish stout. I opted for a much richer, full-flavored milkshake stout from Rochester Mills Brewery. The beer complemented the carrots and infused both the meat and dumplings with an umami quality that is near impossible to describe.

Needless to say, that page in the recipe book is now dogeared for a snowy winter Sunday. I can almost see the flakes falling  while the pot gurgles and the house fills with the thick aroma. 


Dryfly Art

I've never ever considered myself to have any artistic talent. Most of my "drawings" feature stick figures. I do enjoy art. One of my favorite art forms is block printing. My favorite block prints come from Greg Jaris at Trick Dog in Elberta, MI, and Bad Axe designs. 

After wrapping up a tie session the other night I looked up at a Jaris print that I picked up last summer. It's a flamboyant trout-like fish flailing in the air. Knowing that Chelsea had some printing materials in her art pile for www.thebiglake.etsy.com I asked her for them. 

With speedball carver in hand I sat down and created the first of hopefully many stamps that represent the things that I do. It's far from being a piece of art, but I think it's very cool in a raw way. That's what I appreciate about block printing; it can be extremely detailed and clean or a little more emotive and raw. Tell me what you think:

It's the silhouette of a wingless Adams fly, or as I call them: gnats. 

More will follow. I just need to get outside and get some inspiration. 

Big news coming down the pipeline soon. Don't want to say anything until we are 100% ready. 

- J

Friday, October 17, 2014


To anyone who should stumble upon this:

I have neglected this blog because I have been very busy. Work has come before fun and honestly when I have time for fun I rarely have time to blog about it. It's time for this to change. I miss interacting with the types of people who choose to follow blogs; they're good people. Those who take time to read blogs are not as fickle as Facebook users; they play an active role in the blogosphere and largely shape that landscape with their comments. 

No more radio silence on my end. As part my personal resolutions following my birthday I am going to post more frequently, daily perhaps. 

Expect more content. Hold me accountable. 


ps the direction of the blog is changing for the better.