“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

fireI’ve written about this before but lately it seems to be the predominant thought in my mind. Words like simple, basic, and grounded echo like a drum that wont stop its beat.

Life for me has changed in the past years. I remember sitting down in March and planning vacation time, summer camps and how we were going to occupy the kids for a two-month period without school to monopolize their world. The Christmas planning of gifts and family time divided equally so no ones time or present was greater than the others. Negotiating suppliers, salespersons and senior managers so I proportionately distributed my time to the task that was at hand. It was tiring.

Now I find myself reveling in basic things. The world no longer commands me. My time is my time and I find myself fascinated with what for years I have neglected. Myself.

Yes there are still demands and time needs to be made terms with, but the hurried pace has left me. Some might deem this growing older but I see it as finally maturing. Life gave me the chance to see and appreciate what’s important and appreciate it. The deals can wait. The travel itinerary is a thing of the past. I finally see what’s important.

Leaving the corporate world and filling my life with what I like and what I enjoy has created a framework of joy and independence. I miss the salaries from days gone by, I’m not going to lie, but creating a sense of fulfillment in life far outweighs it.

It may seem that I am about to contradict myself now, but having many small jobs gives me satisfaction that I have never had and gives me the time to do what gives me joy. Simply put, writing and cooking.

The deadlines are mine and not imposed by others. The ideas and concepts come from my mind and the words are the results. Simple, basic and grounded.

Elaborate items have no part in my world, especially when it comes to food. We have taken to hiding basic concepts and tastes with sauces, bacon wraps and wild presentations on plates. The phrase we first eat with our eyes is true, but no matter how beautiful something looks on a plate it’s your pallet that has the last say.

I take stock in Marco Pierre White’s stance, giving up his Michelin stars and going back to simple recipes and styles. The Food Network has made the simple complex and given us the impression that we need to do things their way. I’m here to say that’s a fallacy and marketing ploy.

Simple, basic and grounded. Let the food talk to you and tell you what to do. Walk around the market or grocery store and see what excites you. Be creative, not bound by what others do. Recipes are guidelines not laws. They are to be used to start your journey not be the journey.

That’s what food and words give me: a journey and lessons that I now live by. Look to what’s in your heart, what you like. Make your life and your meals yours not someone else’s.

Be well and eat well

Scott Tait

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The Artisanal Grill / Now on FoodSided.com

A little smoke goes a long way!

A little smoke goes a long way!

So a new start to a new year!

Creating a new direction in life is a journey of expectation, wonderment, possibilities, and fear.  I’ve travelled this road for over a year now and lo and behold the future I see is bright. I haven’t travelled this path alone; I have the support and love of everyone I know. In addition I’m travelling it with a few friends that are on their own paths.

My concept of taking the indoors outdoors and looking at food as an offering of love and comfort seems to have spread and connected me with like thinkers and food centric renaissance people alike.  BBQ, smokers, grills or whatever you chose to call them are just extensions of your kitchen and can be utilized all year.  Conventional recipes can be updated to add flair and switched up.  How your mother made it is wonderful, but thinks about what you can turn it into if you add your own personality and skill.

So now starts the next dimension to my journey.  I am now a staff writer for FoodSided.com. FoodSided is an extension of FanSided which is dedicated to sports and sports bloggers.  Taking the same passion from their base site, FoodSided is building to become one of the most popular and searched food sites on the web. I look forward to the experience and the continuation of the journey.

I will be posting here and on FoodSided.com along with updates on Twitter and my Facebook page.

Please follow and enjoy the journey with me.

Be well and eat well!

Scott Tait

The Artisanal Grill

 

“You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” #Mary Manin Morrissey

Where does faith lie? In others? In yourself?  In a 1000 year old doctrine? Everybody has their own view. Mine lies in knowledge. The knowledge that you are doing your best. The knowledge that all the decisions that you have made to this point, right or wrong, have brought you to where you are now. Your path has been decided by them. You have become who you are because of them.

Hope and faith are different. I see hope as waiting for others and the universe to say, “Hey, this guy needs some help.”  Faith is being secure that the path taken will get you to the destination you seek.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”#RobertFrost @famousquotes

Food.  The ritual of the choices, the prep, the completion, and the taste have been steadfast in my life over the past year. Satisfaction and pride help wash always the troubles of the world.

So let me tell you about my #TeaSmokedChicken Thighs.

Tea is a wonderful addition to smoke. A little oak wood as a base with oolong in a smoke pouch  to add sweetness ups the flavor game to a new level. I use the sniff test before I place any food on the smoker. Hardwood and wood can give off an acrid smell when first lit. I wait till I’m happy with how it smells before I introduce any food to it. After all, if it smells sweet, the smoke will be sweet. If it smells like crap, well?

The thighs were marinated for 3 hours in a mixture of cold oolong tea, soya, honey, and lime zest. Patted dry and placed on the #BGE for some loving slow heat.  When they were halfway through, sliced fennel and red onion were placed beside them on the grill to caramelize.  I saved some of the unused marinade, heated and soaked udon noodles in the broth to loosen them. The fennel and onions were then sliced and added to the noodles. Just before I took off the chicken I glazed with honey and and ginger.

Sweet, smoky, and tasty!

Be well and eat well

Scott

Oolong tea smoked chicken on udon noodles

Oolong tea smoked chicken on udon noodles

“Odd that we celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday with beer, food, and fun when the old girl was such a stickler for moral conduct?” Happy Two Four weekend everyone!

Good news today. The 2 month journey of my daughter on antibiotics via an IV will end next week. The x-rays look good, her energy and health are back, and the pick-line she has endured since March is coming out.  The universe is getting itself back into order.

Last night we went light. Grilled salmon on field greens with beets and shallots.  No BGE this time just the Napoleon rubbed down with oil. Something I like to do is oil the grill using a half an onion or lemon that is destined for the trash. I dip it in oil and grease the grill with it instead of a cloth or spray bottle.  It adds a little flavor to the grill and food.

The salmon was rubbed down with maple syrup and brown sugar for some sweetness and the field greens drizzled with lemon, olive oil and raspberry vinegar. Simple but tasty!

Its Victoria Day weekend in Canada! Let the BBQ’s smoke and the beer and wine flow.

Be well!

Scott

Slow swimmer on the grill!

Slow swimmer on the grill!