Knead Madness—and Other Springtime Flings in The Year That Winter Forgot
Now that spring has officially begun, I feel like we dodged a frosty bullet. See, I quit romanticizing about winter a long time ago. Oh, sure the snow is pretty—for about a week—but then the relentless brutality sets in. Here’s a few walking-outdoor-friendly activities I’ve been enjoying during the end of this winter of our much content.
On the eve of the Bucks’ scary matchup with UC, I thought I’d mention that a few days ago, I spent untold hours glued to hoops while intentionally stranded in a windowless arena on a couple glorious “late winter” afternoons. This actually had a mesmerizing effect on me I quite enjoyed; it was like the rest of life just faded away, and there was only this game, this crew of people, this inordinately solid chunk of moments in the hurtling spill of liquid time.
We came up for air—and back to real life—with a dee-licious happy hour visit to Knead, where our pig-out began with the appropriately named Porky Pie (Berkshire pork, house-cured bacon, ham, poblanos, Chipotle bbq sauce and a literal ton more) sold at a laughable HH $5. Also costing 5 beans was a slew of fortifying drinks to tide us over for the upcoming night session at the booze-free arena (though I did notice some unscrupulous types—possibly some among us—blithely wielding flasks in there).
I’m a pasta- maniac, and fat handmade noodles like this Asparagus Pappardelle also bring out the curly-tailed pig in me…
…ditto for this terrific Rutabaga Ravioli—homemade sausage, rich tomato sauce, cooked-down kale…
…and this ShamaLamBa (Colorado lamb shoulder, chimichurri, oven-dried tomato jam, pickled onion) made me wanna dance…
…but instead, I leaned over and ripped into this Knead “Brueben” (stout-braised Pat La Freida beef shortrib with kraut, Guggisberg swiss, “1002 Island” sauce, homemade wheat caraway bread), and it was a brewtiful chew indeed.
Speaking of brewti…, uh, beautiful, a visit to our Franklin Park Conservatory is always a transporting experience
And Thursdays present intensely beautiful deals there, as the $11 entrance fee is effectively offset with $10 worth of drink and snack tokens (try the guacamole).
Staring long into the above orchids while standing still in a quiet room—intensely funneling deeply into the furiously colored flowers—made us think of that remarkable Rilke poem “Core of the rose” (it goes something like: Where is to this inner an outer/On what ache do they lay such linen/ And what heavens are mirrored within it/ The sheltered lake of these open roses)
A different flavor of strangeness came with these other bursts of color—which were accompanied by intermittent blasts of vertigo-inducing screeching that emanated from these caged macaws—hanging out with them for a while is really a wild little experience
But back to my mouth…I love Korean food, but until a recent visit to Diaspora a couple weeks ago, I always felt befuddled by the cruel dearth of refreshing and thematically correct Korean beer to enjoy with the famously salty, sweet and spicy stuff. Thank you Diaspora for finally, finally, finally bringing in OB (i.e. the dry suds David Chang ostensibly drinks all day)
It went great with this spicy Heart Attack Roll we dug into, whose charms—while real—were fortunately not as arresting as advertised. And of course there was…
…the requisite banchan…
Plus this steaming pot of gurgling hot love (Kimchi Jjigae)—for which the OB was much appreciated.
As I look at this picture, it occurs to me that this is exactly the kind of dish people love to dig into during nippy weather—well I’m here to testify that to me, it tastes even better when eaten in shorts.