Wined & Dined
The Lasso: Final Fridays, film fest, Farmer’s Ball finals, Haskell fashion, beer name-change, baby chicks
Miscellanea from this week on the web, including links to read before hitting this weekend's three F's: Final Fridays, Free State Film Festival and Farmer's Ball Finals.
There’s big things planned for this month’s Final Fridays, including the grand opening of the new Cider Gallery in the Warehouse Arts District. Here’s our Final Fridays preview, featuring stunning black and white nature photography by Troy Moth (former shooter for GQ and Rolling Stone) at the Invisible Hand and paper bathing suits at where else but Wonderfair. The Final Fridays blog has a nifty gallery map and more gallery event summaries.
Free State Film Festival
The annual Free State Film Festival is this weekend, and its going to be a film geek's dream. According to the event website, expect “films, short films, panel discussions, staged readings, live music performances, an experimental film and music video showcase and a revival of the multimedia stage production, 'On Screen Offspring' featuring new original short plays by area filmmakers.” Our film critic says there will be plenty of the kind of films that are sure to get people talking.
Farmer’s Ball Finals
Loud and Local has teasers from the four bands that made the cut to play in the finals on Saturday. Larryville Chronicles also has a Q&A with their “dark-horse” pick, Brain Food, the headline for which includes the phrase “like electronic angels giving birth to a dark velvet thundercloud."
It seems Boulevard has changed the name of its Boulevard Pilsner to KC Pils. Here are photos of the new bottles. (I haven't heard the theory behind the name change, but the photo description says something about hometown love. Could there be more name changes on the way?)
A fashion show was part of Haskell Indian Nation University’s recent Indigenous Empowerment Summit. Mark & Tree photography took great photos of all the styles, bold jumpsuits and bustiers included. (Hat tip to Ditto Resale Boutique for sharing the link on their Facebook page)
My Bit of Earth blogger Meryl let her new chicks out in the yard for the first time ... and kindly took pictures so the rest of us can see how adorable they are.
The lead story in today's new Going Out section — Rise and shine: Lunch and dinner spots give breakfast a shot — focused on some of the more unexpected places you can now have a morning meal. While I didn't include it in this article, talking about downtown breakfast spots made me wonder, "What's the latest on the Roost?"
The Roost is the new breakfast and lunch restaurant planning to open in the former Milton's location, 920 Massachusetts St. I checked with the owners this week, who said their current target opening date is May.
They're working on renovations, getting all the proper permits, kicking off a Kickstarter project to raise money for a new hood system and testing and tweaking recipes for the menu. Once they do open, the plan is to serve from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. When they have a firm opening date, I'm sure they'll share it on their Facebook page, where, in the meantime you can get a glimpse of those aforementioned recipe tests — morning-appropriate cocktails included!
Lawrence native and Kansas University grad Annie Tedesco landed a lead role in the new BYUtv series “Granite Flats.”
After earning a degree in psychology with an emphasis in cognitive neuroscience, Tedesco made her way to Los Angeles, where she successfully auditioned for the comedy troupe the Groundlings, and has appeared in print ads, TV commercials and shows. In the past few years, Tedesco has had cameo appearances on shows including “Modern Family,” “The Mentalist” and “Bones.”
“Granite Flats” — set in 1962 and described as a family-friendly period drama with a sci-fi twist — premieres April 7 on Dish Network, DirecTV and select cable systems, and will be available online at byutv.org.
Here’s what viewers have in store, according to producers:
Granite Flats tells the story of a recently widowed single mom, Beth Milligan (Tedesco), and her 10 year old son Arthur, who move from California to the rural town of Granite Flats, Colorado to start a new life after the untimely and mysterious death of their Air Force pilot husband and father. From the moment of their arrival at the military base where Beth will be employed as a hospital nurse and Arthur will get a post-tragedy restart on life, the wholesome community is quickly revealed to be much more complex than at first glance. Standing alone outside on his first night in Granite Flats, Arthur is the sole witness to a fiery object hurdling across the sky, landing in the nearby hills. Is it a comet, like the budding young scientist believes, or something far more complicated? The spiraling consequences of what Arthur sees and the subsequent explosion that sets the stage for the plot to unfold propels Granite Flats into motion. Under the town’s wholesome surface, a sinister element is brewing that will challenge the faith and humanity of the show’s quirky characters, threaten to shatter any residual innocence left from the past decade and reveal the ubiquitous fear of nuclear attack which defined that era.
Here's a teaser:
For the second time in two weeks, Lawrence has landed a spot on a Zagat list.
Our very own Java Break, 17 E. Seventh St., is representing Kansas on Zagat’s latest online roundup, “The United States of Caffeine: 50 States, 50 Must-Try Coffee Shops.” It's No. 16 on the slideshow list, revealed Wednesday on the Zagat blog.
Here’s what caught the judges' attention:
“Lawrence has no shortage of cool-kid coffee shops, but Java Break is unique thanks to the 24-hour coffee-flowing-though-your-veins service. The ultra-kitschy decor is loved by hipster college kids sticking Starbucks to the man, and their drinks, like the cult-ish Hazelnut Chai, are made from scratch without preservatives or corn syrup. Bonus: there’s a cereal bar with a slew of toppings.”
I'm an almond milk latte gal myself and haven't tried the chai, but I'll vouch for the rest of this writeup. If you missed our recent Off The Beaten Plate feature on their Cereal Bar, check it out here.
The other Zagat mention? That would be Burger Stand making its "Best Burgers in 25 Cities" list.
Mike Davis, sous-chef at Lawrence’s Oread hotel, will conduct a free food carving demonstration next week.
The demonstration will be from 6-8 p.m. March 7 in the All Seasons Den at the Oread, 1200 Oread Ave. The event is free and open to the public.
Davis previously has conducted similar demonstrations for county libraries in Topeka and Salina, but this will be his first such demonstration in Lawrence, according to the Oread.
Morrissey's Lawrence show has been rescheduled for March 18, Liberty Hall announced today.
Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 9 p.m. All tickets for the original date will be honored. In the event you cannot attend the rescheduled date — sad! — Liberty Hall says a refund may be obtained by taking your tickets back to your point of purchase before March 18. No refunds will be issued after the show has played.
If you don't have tickets and want them, Liberty Hall has ticket information on its website.
Liberty Hall staff said they'd had the date penciled in for a while but were waiting to announce it until confirming the artist would be well enough for the show to go on. Morrissey has been battling a bleeding ulcer, which caused him to cancel his Feb. 2 show in Lawrence as well as eight others.
If you're a big enough Morrissey fan to desire more detail about his ulcer, he divulges a lot in a creatively crafted letter I highlighted in Friday's blog: "My ulcer is now under reins, even if neither asleep nor dead..."
Zagat has taken note of something we Lawrencians have known for a while, if the Best of Lawrence contest is a fair indication. Zagat released its “Best Burgers in 25 Cities” list this week, and the Burger Stand at the Casbah, 803 Massachusetts St., is on it.
In a recent Zagat survey, the Zagat.com Blog feature explains, diners revealed they eat burgers more than four times per month. Thus, Zagat compiled the list in honor of the American favorite.
The Burger Stand joins restaurants and dives from Honolulu to Boston. (While Burger Stand is listed as being in Kansas City, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming they’re implying the Kansas City area.)
As far is the quotes in Zagat’s summary of our local favorite go, they don’t indicate who or what they’re quoting. Maybe reader reviews? Anyway, here’s what they have to say:
“Outstanding” “gourmet” burgers and the “best” sides (“you can’t beat the truffle or duck-fat fries”) make this “cool” Lawrence joint a “new classic” whose “bustling” vibe “feels vital without being obnoxious”; service is “quick”, the bar stays open late most nights, and even if it’s not the cheapest patty-slinger around, you get to “indulge without emptying the bank.”
Get well soon, Morrissey.
Doctors have diagnosed the British singer, who was hospitalized last week in Michigan, with a bleeding ulcer. While he's expected to recover soon, Morrissey in the meantime has cancelled six upcoming tour dates, including the show planned Saturday at Liberty Hall in Lawrence.
"Morrissey is expected to make a full recovery and thanks everyone concerned for their support during this time," according to an announcement on Liberty Hall's website.
Billboard wrote this weekend: "The former Smiths frontman — whose last album, "Years of Refusal," was released in 2009 — kicked off a U.S. trek last October in Boston. When asked by Billboard why he had decided to tour without a new album to support, he replied, 'Because a lot of people like me.'"
That's certainly the case in Lawrence, where we know a lot of people were looking forward to this show.
Hold onto those tickets, though. Liberty Hall says they're still working through details with Morrissey and his management but that they plan to reschedule. All tickets for the original date will be honored at the rescheduled date.
We'll let you know once we get any info on a rain check, hopefully in the next few days. Morrissey plans to resume his tour Feb. 9 in Las Vegas. Nationwide shows are planned through early March.
Mark your calendars for Jan. 29. Not only is it Kansas Day, it's the day tickets go on sale for this year's Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition at Abe & Jake's. And if it's as popular as last year — tickets sold out within 10 days — you'll want to get them fast.
The event is set for 4-8 p.m. March 2 at Abe & Jake's Landing, 8 E. Sixth St. (next to City Hall, in the Riverfront development). Tickets are $30, and you must be 21 or older to attend. For a list of locations to buy tickets, visit the expo's website, kscraftbrewfest.com.
About 720 people attended last year's expo, billed as the first of its kind in Lawrence and drawing about 30 regional and national beer vendors. The event, organized by the Kansas Craft Brewers Guild and Downtown Lawrence Inc., is a fundraiser for Downtown Lawrence.
Expect an afternoon of all things beer: commemorative sampling glasses and program booklets profiling the beers you're tasting, specialty glassware and other brewery memorabilia for sale, food for sale from select local vendors, guides to cheese and beer pairings from Hy-Vee, books on beer and brewing and guidelines on the Certified Beer Judge program.
I could write pages about how crazy my Christmas Eve/Christmas Day working/celebrating/driving/cooking schedule ended up this year, but I’ll stick to the part that involves juniper berries.
Long story short, I had to find a fairly simple slow-cooking recipe for Christmas dinner, or else. Regular pot roast didn’t seem special enough, and making braised lamb shanks was tempting but seemed daunting for six. When I found this recipe for baeckeoffe — a traditional Alsatian stew of lamb, pork and beef marinated a full day in wine — I knew it would be perfect. I also knew I didn’t have time to go on a wild goose chase for juniper berries, a key ingredient, but figured surely Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza (where we were headed for a pre-Christmas family outing anyway) would have some somewhere. Williams-Sonoma, $5, bingo!
I ended up with a fantastic, hearty Christmas dinner (which, sadly, I didn’t have time to take pictures of) — and a jar of juniper berries I hadn’t even put a dent in.
Last weekend I took to the web to find out what else I could make with the strange little spheres, which taste like pine tree if eaten whole but are much more subtle ground up or used for flavoring only, like dried bay leaves. Juniper berries — which provide the predominant flavor in gin — turned up in all kinds of European roasts and wild game dishes (which makes sense because of the woodsy flavor), plus a couple desserts that, honestly, didn’t sound very good.
This Italian pork roast, which I cooked for dinner Sunday, was delicious, super-easy and definitely worth sharing. I threw in potatoes and baby carrots for the last half hour of cooking to make a full meal.
The only problem? Even after using extra in the recipe — and having some roll away while taking photos — I still have an awful lot of juniper berries. I'm not sure about the practicality of nasturtiums in a gin and tonic, but if I decide to try this very tempting-looking one, at least I have the juniper berries.
Pork Roast Braised with Milk and Fresh Herbs (Maiale al Latte)
Simmering a pork roast with milk and a generous handful of herbs results in very tender meat with rich, silky juices. Many Italians will leave the milk curds that form alongside the meat where they are, but Ferrigno strains them out for a more refined sauce.
Start to finish: 3 ¼ hours (25 minutes active)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (4 1/2- to 5-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast (without skin), tied
3 juniper berries, crushed
2 large rosemary sprigs
2 large sage sprigs
1 sprig fresh or 4 dried California bay leaves
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 F with rack in middle.
Heat oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart ovenproof heavy pot over medium heat until it shimmers, then lightly brown roast on all sides with juniper berries and herbs, 8 to 10 minutes total. Add garlic and sprinkle roast with sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then cook until garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Pour wine over roast and briskly simmer until reduced by half. Pour milk over roast and bring to a bare simmer.
Cover pot and braise in oven, turning roast occasionally, until tender (milk will form curds), 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer roast to a carving board and loosely cover. Strain juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl (discard solids), reserving pot, and skim off fat. Return juices to pot and boil until flavorful and reduced to about 2 cups. Season with sea salt and pepper. Slice roast and serve moistened with juices.
Note: The pork can be braised 1 day ahead and chilled in liquid, uncovered until cool, then covered. To serve, bring to room temperature, then reheat and proceed with recipe.
(Recipe by Ursula Ferrigno from April 2008 issue of Gourmet, as listed at epicurious.com)