Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Music, Mustaches, and Musings

I have a love-hate relationship with travel season. I love getting out of the office, I love the change of pace and independence of travel season. I hate being away from my hobbit hole and the people who anchor my daily life. I love working at a pace that forces me to do a 60 minute task in 20 minutes. I hate being so busy that work invades what little personal time I do have so that I have to decide if I should do laundry or go out with a friend and laundry wins because it is the only time in the next 8 days when I will have 3 waking hours at home. It is an interesting season that pulls at the rhythm of my life in ways that I don't always see coming. 

One of the effects of all this independence is that, for a time, I see my own city differently. I see all possibilities of places to go and just how close it is to Lakeview, Evanston, Naperville, or Milwaukee. I have recently been in touch with the limits of my needs to sleep and eat and rest and be alone, so it is easier to decide to go out until 12:30 on a Tuesday.  So I am more prone to local adventures. It also means that when I am home, I am enamored of the idea that it is my home. I get to stay. I get to form and mold this place to fit my needs for home and comfort and beauty. Naturally this means buying a zebra print chair, curtains, and metallic accents. It also means that, for a time, I enjoy things like dishes, cleaning, and grocery shopping. Cooking is a great creative outlet. So, this year the return to living at home has taken two forms: a concert at the Metro, and a a smoky, comforting, fall meal. 

My newly found friend, who I knew for a week as Mustache Mark, but who is actually named Johnny, has impeccable taste in music. So, when he told me he was going to a show in Chicago with not one, but two Irish bands with a folk flavor, I decided to drag my roommate along and check them out. You should, too- Foy Vance is amazing! Just unspeakably good amazing in all of his mustache rocking, playing a guitar with a bow, wrangling a crowd, Irish accented glory. This return from travel season brought a good reminder that I live in one of the best cities in the U.S. for feeding my love of live music. 

The second result from this post travel homecoming rush? Cooking. Not only do I get to decide what to eat and when, but I have the time and resources to invent something new.  This is one of the simple joys of being home. A trip to Mariano's, some Pinterest inspiration, and a new recipe emerged. This, of course, gets posted to instagram, and now, by popular demand, the fruit of my post travel season homecoming rush. 

Smoky Gnocchi, Sausage, and Kale

2-3 sausage links. I used something involving feta and spinach, but I recommend something with a little more kick.
1 Bunch of kale - chopped
2-3 cloves garlic- finely chopped
1 Pkg gnocchi
4 Tbs butter
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/8 cup? Half and half
1.5 cup shredded smoked Havarti - I used this. It was really smoky, so you might want to temper it with another cheese.
1/4- 1/3 cup Hefeweizen

Brown sausage with olive oil in large pot.
Remove, scrape browned bits and by all means keep those in the pot.
In same pot, Add chopped garlic. Stir frequently, do not let it burn.
Once browned, add butter. Once melted, Add chicken stock, beer, and half and half, Salt, pepper, and Red chili flakes to taste. Stir frequently.
Once simmering add uncooked gnocchi.
Let simmer 4-5 min
Add cheese, kale, and sausage

Of course I recommend that you enjoy this with the rest of the Hefeweizen while listening to Foy Vance. 

1 comment:

  1. This recipe sounds amazing!!!!! I'm totally going to try it!