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fernet

let me introduce you to a friend of mine.  fernet branca.  i first became a member of the fernet brotherhood in the late 90’s.  while chefing lunch at boodles the bartenders, cooks, chefs and..well everybody became a fan of this herbal liquor.  this 80 proof italian bitters was great for hangovers of which there were many.  then the effects of over indulgence were discovered .  it seemed like overnight everyone was drinking this stuff.  i must admit that i sat at the bar with the owner many a morning toasting glasses of fernet.  at one point, if my memory serves me correctly,  bozeman was the 3rd largest consumer of fernet on the west coast.  it must have been true because some time later after a busy lunch a server poked their head in the window and said “you just cooked for the president of fernet branca”.  i took off my apron and walked into the dinning room and sure enough there he was.  sitting with the owner and bartenders was a man in a white suit.  we were introduced and shared a shot of fernet. 

many years and jobs since that summer afternoon.  my taste for fernet tapered off over the years but has recently been rekindled.  i mentioned in a previous post about boodles blowing up.  that incident and a return of an old boodles co-worker have reaffirmed my love of this liquor.  i have always wanted to cook with it but due to its price and popularity i was never allowed.  maybe one day.

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brunswick-stew

nothing fancy here.  just good ol southern soulfood.  pork, okra, corn and lima beans., simple and delicious.  there is some debate on the stews origins.  folks from brunswick, virginia claim it as there own. folks from brunswick, georgia do as well.  growing up in georgia, i choose the later.  the aroma takes me back to the rib ranch in buckhead.  a punk kid  chomping on ribs and slurping down brunswick stew with spiky hair and a painted leather jacket.  never thought those meals would influence my cooking style.  but they did.