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Entries in Gowanus (2)


February – A Month in Review

Well, folks another month has come and gone! And I am not sorry to see February go, I must say. My soul has spent the month recoiling from the cold weather. And if you think that's hyperbole, you clearly don't know me. I contemplated purchasing this to help warm the cockles of my heart:

I didn't do it, however, and instead somehow convinced Marmo to take me to Puerto Rico for a girls' weekend. I'm really not sure how I managed this, especially considering I couldn't even coordinate my socks for practice this month.

Despite the cold and mismatched socks, John and I managed to be relatively productive in February. We continued our Slice of the Month series with a Beet Chip and Spinach extravaganza that may indeed warm the cockles of YOUR heart with its iron-packed ingredients.

We also created a ridiculous but loving ode to Di Fara's pizza. John choreographed the whole peel-dancing affair. Please tell him how much you like it. And his hair.

And speaking of pie, I ate some. I travelled to Gowanus to sample Four and Twenty Blackbird's Pie As Big As My Face. Actually, it's official name is Chocolate Bottom Oatmeal Pie. But it was as big as my face. Go get some. You don't want to miss that oaty-topping.

We also featured a Farmer Friday post about creating your own flower arrangements for Valentine's Day. However, we highly recommend repeating this post for Easter table arrangements. Get clippin'!

And speaking of farmers, as you might have noticed from the title image, I visited Terrain this month with the Megs. It was a glorious day of visual overload, impulsive purchases and cheese. Consider these highlights:

The flower arrangements were off the charts and had me eagerly anticipating spring... also noteworthy were the too-cute-for-words packaging of just about anything, including seeds.

With all this sensory stimulation, we became quite hungry, so we plopped down in the Terrain cafe to feast on, what else, CHEESE. This is when I discovered SMOKE BLUE CHEESE.

I happened to love blue cheese. The stinkier, the better. This beauty combined the sharpness of a traditional blue with a smoked flavor. Imagine leaving your blue cheese on a mesquite grill. That kind of amazing. Plus, it was just the proper amount of softness (not too) to spread on sourdough bread that arrived in TINY FLOWER POTS. I was beside myself.

So while I try recreating flower pot bread this weekend, please take the time to recap February for yourselves. March is here, and we'll have more food-focused fun for you!

Oh, and I'll be in Puerto Rico on March 11. So don't bother me. Bother John, he likes it.



Training Diary - Defiantly Eating Pie

Breakfast Martini at Fort DefianceUsually for the Training diary I bring you some kind of healthy recipe. But today....well, today I'm going in a different direction. I'm going to Red Hook. Or WENT to Red Hook, as it were.

I love vegetables. Yes, I do - I wouldn't lie to you (not about food, anyway). Other lies I tell involve the following:

1. To Marmo: Yes, I called Aunt Emily.

2. To John: Your hair looks great!

3. To The Box: Yeah, Diet Orange Crush is a nutritious beverage. Drink more!

4. To myself: What you need today is a breakfast martini, an egg sandwich and a piece of pie as large as your face.

These lies are often convincing. So convincing, in fact, that I transported myself to Brooklyn after my spin bike session on Sunday and landed at Fort Defiance in Red Hook for the aforementioned breakfast martini and egg sammy.

There was some standing around involved before our party could be seated, but the bartenders were more than willing to start the libations flowing as we huddled 'round the bar. I was advised to try the Breakfast Martini, which is a combination of gin (you know what I like), Cointreau, lemon juice and a dollop of orange marmalade. You might think that this would be a very sweet drink, but you'd be wrong. It was surprisingly well-balanced, and while definitely leaning to the sweet side, it was not lip-puckeringly so, and made it's way down rather easily.

"These breakky martys drink themselves!" I heard one patron exclaim. Ok, that was me. And I said it in my head. But I meant it.

I'm in the habit of ordering what the wait staff recommends (they should know), so I took our waitress' advice on the Cheddar Biscuit Egg Sandwich (with ham, jalapeño jam and a fried egg) and was very happy for it. The cheddar biscuit was of the solid variety (as opposed to the flaky-layer kind), and oh-so-gently accented with toasted, yellow cheddar. The salty ham was contrasted with the jalapeño jam - which was just a touch sweet, and the egg (fried egg - my favorite!) created a gooey mess for everything to swim around in. 

I tacked on farm greens as a side, which were VERY buttery (hey, I wasn't complaining) and I had meal. Of sorts. Well, I had a delicious one, anyway.

I threw in an Americano for balance (I like to mix my uppers (caffeine) with my downers (gin)), and was pleasantly surprised, by which I mean almost shocked, by how fabulously strong it was.

And yet...there needed to be something...else. Something like, well, like PIE. I had not yet been to Four and Twenty Blackbirds, the Gowanus homemade pie oasis. The establishment is one notch Brooklyn and one notch Whistle Stop Cafe. Again, I demanded of the pie-wielding people what to order and was pushed toward the Chocolate Bottom Oatmeal Pie. A hearty and intimidating slice greeted me. This piece of pie was as big as my face (see point #3 from above).

And it was LAYERED. Oh yes, it was. The bottom was a thin layer chocolate ganache and the top was a chocolately and solid oat roof. I say solid, as it was neither crunchy nor chewy, but some level in between and acted like a helmet protecting the glorious middle layer: THE GOO.

I really have not idea what THE GOO was. It was like a pudding. But not. and was like a creme brûlée. But not. Tapioca-ish? Perhaps. It was a light caramel color and somewhat lumpy. But oh, it was devilishly good. It was not cloyingly sweet, but smooth and silky. And just easy enough to eat so you thought you could have juuuust one more bite.

I will say, I wasn't the biggest fan of the crust. While it was flaky, it was still a bit dry. I'm not sure how that happens, but it did. I usually find myself eating pie from the crust, outward instead of from the tip, inward because I am such a big crust fan. But I was more interested in the guts than the encasement in this case.

Next time, I will try some of their savory selections - because there will definitely be a next time.