Saturday, July 11, 2015


And so it begins
Now that summer is in bloom Frank's
garden is just starting to yield results.
Given Montanan weather our growing
season is SHORT. Fortunately Frank's
greenhouse facilitates an early start.
And now it resembles a tropical jungle
more than the wild west. Outside neat
rows of peas, carrots, and Swiss chard
are increasing in size. However deer
have discovered the garlic and onions.
Fortunately they prefer to abstain from
nibbling  asparagus. Thus against all
odds, Frank's garden somehow grows.

Tossed and turned
The first benefit of tilling the soil is
garden lettuce. We've been dining
on tender green leaves for weeks.
Nothing could be simpler or better.
Sadly most of us rarely eat a thing
that is truly "fresh." In our age of
processed food - "fresh" vegetables
are washed/packaged many weeks
prior to being served upon a table.
And while I love that the "fresh"
flowers I buy at the grocer seem to
last forever... If I think about why
I'm soon scared at the thought of it.

Farm fed
Mutant posies aside, Montanans
get little of the fresh stuff most
of the year. Except during the
height of summer and early fall
when we finally can we nibble on
our locally grown bounty. It's no
wonder that many have embraced
the "farm to table" trend. Near
Absarokee, a ranch serves up two
such dinners annually. Tonight's
dinner is sold out. Yet there's still
time to book for August 22nd -
log onto

Questionable at best
Some things must remain fresh or
be spurned. Our local grocer sells
some "sushi" in the cheese section.
Said amalgam of oddly crunchy
rice bits with some pink material
shoved into the middle is a waste
of time. The very idea that some
seriously consider eating a long
distance semblance of raw fish
(except for trout) is scary. When
it comes to sushi - the fresher the
better. If must have something
fishy - find a Fish Fry NOW!

Fresh start
Immediately post landing in New York
I rushed over to Hatsuhana on 48th off
Fifth. Ensconced at the sushi bar, I over
indulged in the blue fin toro sashimi,
several uni (sea urchin) shooters, and
Japanese Mackerel flown in that day
from Tokyo. All reminded me of one
of the few things I loved about Dallas.
Yutaka Yamato came out west to open
Nobu Dallas and later opened his own
joint. For two transplanted sushi lovers
said spot became our home away from
home! We couldn't get fresh enough!

Singular sensation
The fact is in most cities one can have
fresh food if you're willing to pay the
cost. In Minneapolis sushi was rather
expensive and mediocre at best. Back
in Dallas, Chef Yutaka only serves the
finest raw fish available. Otherwise
he's not willing to dish it out. While
pricey - every morsel is more than
worth the investment. By nature he's
quiet and humble yet Yutaka Yamato
is a passionate artist. Little is fresher
than commitment. Maybe a night at
Yutaka is still worth a trip to Dallas?

Aw shucks...
Sadly my visit to Manhattan was
in a month sans an "R" meaning
it's best to avoid raw oysters. Any
other time I would have gobbled
down at least two dozen! Recently
our local grocer had fresh oysters
for sale but timing is everything!
As they'd made a long journey and
it was June - we did not indulge.
Montanans prefer to limit their
oyster consumption to the Rocky
Mountain variety as one can be
certain they're freshly plucked!

Best laid plans
There's one fresh variety we can
easily get. Little is better than an
organic, free range, grass fed, and
newly laid egg, The Rising Trout,
our local coffee purveyor sells
them by the dozen for $3.50. Yet
some fellow parishioners offer
fresh eggs every week at church
for a $2.00 donation when able.
Hence while some may bemoan a
lack for freshness locally, it's very
easy to get freshly laid around our
house every morning. Get the yolk?