K-Bar

I need to talk about this bar/restaurant I went to in Gardiner, Montana that is the sort of place that you just know the food is going to either be the most disgusting thing you have ever eaten, or the most amazingly delicious food you would have never thought to try.

Let me start with what K-Bar looks like. On the outside, there is a huge red sign with those light bulbs framing the word K-BAR in that clown-ish font. The sign on the outside of the bar read, “must leave alcohol inside” and on the inside, “No Hunting or Trespassing. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Survivors will be prosecuted again” and “patrons are requested to refrain from disposing of cigarette butts in the urinals as they become soggy and difficult to light”. Just the look of it says, late night, smoke filled, shady pool hall in small town USA.

Next, I’ll tell you about the people. The cook in the bar is the owner’s son, who must be 14 years old. The bartender/waiter resembles a stereotypical mountain man, complete with the requisite mountain man beard – and on the day I went, he had just finished for the day at his other job as a white water rafting guide.

So the food should be on par with an awful, cliche dive bar, right?

Nope.

The K-Bar pizza is one of the greatest pies I have ever tasted – and I have tasted plenty! The sauce is what got me; I absolutely loved it. When I asked the owner what the secret was, he said it was his wife’s secret, but might have to do with a lot of fennel and garlic. My boyfriend feels it’s the cheese that makes this pizza. Apparently, the wife of the owner grew up on a dairy farm, where this unique cheese was discovered and made en mass by the family. Deeeelicious!

Can I tell you, also, that the from the owners to the staff to the patrons, you will not find a nicer group of people than at the K-Bar? Bar none, they were the nicest people I met on my trip. They all came out to make sure we had the best food experience of our lives. Which brought us back two nights in a row…during our 2 night stay near Gardiner, Montana.

Tasty Tuesday

I am waiting for my food to arrive for lunch right now, and I am quite starving today. After daydreaming about my trip to Morocco yesterday evening, I am feeling a bit peckish for some olives, oranges, and meat tagine!

Here is my ideal meal at this very moment, brought to you by about.com:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) lamb, beef or goat meat
  • 1 1/2 lbs. (700 g) potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
  • small handful of parsley and cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
  • large handful of red or green olives
  • 1/2 or 1 whole preserved lemon, quartered

Preparation:

Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method

Pour the olive oil into the base of a tagine; arrange the onion slices across the bottom and distribute the garlic on top. Add the potato slices (you can arrange them neatly if you like) and place the meat on top of the potatoes in the center.

Sprinkle the spices as evenly as possible over the meat and potatoes. Add the parsley bouquet, the olives, the preserved lemon, and about 1 1/2 cups of water.

Cover the tagine and place on a diffuser over medium-low to medium heat and allow the tagine to reach a simmer. This can take some time so be patient. Once a simmer is achieved, reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer, and cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is very tender and can be broken with the fingers.

Conventional Pot or Pressure Cooker Method

Chop the onion rather than slicing it. Cut the potatoes into wedges rather than slices. Chop the parsley and cilantro.

Mix the meat with onion, garlic, cilantro or parsley, spices and olive oil in a large pot or pressure cooker. Brown the meat, uncovered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups of water and cover. If using a conventional pot, simmer the meat for about 1 1/2 hours; if using a pressure cooker, cook the meat with pressure for about 35 minutes, or a little longer if using lamb or goat meat.

Add the potatoes, olives and preserved lemon, adding water if necessary so that the broth almost reaches the top of the potatoes. Partially cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is reduced until thick. Towards the end of the cooking, taste for salt and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Think I can blink twice and it will appear before me?

WWWebsite

I recently heard about this website, airbnb, that allows people to search for or promote their home as vacation rentals all around the world.

This website seems quite dangerous to me….not in the way that I would feel uneasy about letting complete strangers into my personal space, but that I just spent the last 30 minutes browsing through places in Moscow. These places look absolutely gorgeous and cheap!! Can I go right now?!?!

The site might be perfect for me as well, to promote my condo in downtown Toronto. I am usually gone for 2 weeks in March and then again for a few months in the summer traveling my little heart away. Why not make some of the $$$ back that I spend on gas, flights, and lodging/camp sites by lending my nice place out to people wishing to visit Toronto on a budget?

Sounds like this website is becoming very popular, as Ashton Kutcher recently invested some cash into this website!

I dare say I might try it, and I feel better that this site now boasts property protection insurance. Time to travel!!

Quotes for a Sunday

I think you know that when an American stays away from New York too long something happens to him. Perhaps he becomes a little provincial, a little dead and afraid.

– Sherwood Anderson

I think New York is not the cultural center of America, but the business and administrative center of American culture.

– Saul Bellow

Everybody ought to have a lower East Side in their life.

– Irving Berlin

A great many people go after success simply for the shiny prizes it bringsā€¦And nowhere is it pursued more ardently than in the city of New York.

– Stephen Birmingham

As for New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.

– Pearl S. Buck

Sometimes, from beyond the skycrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.

Albert Camus

New York is the only real city-city.

– Truman Capote

New York is the biggest collection of villages in the world.

– Alistair Cooke

There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.

– Simone De Beauvoir

Over the great bridge, with sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times : It is a beautiful catastrophe.

– Le Corbusier

 

Irene is Coming

Source

She’s a comin to one of my favorite places, New York City. My mouth dropped when I heard that the city was issued a mandatory evacuation and that the subway system was closing down today due to potential flooding. Unprecedented!! I wonder how big the storm surge will be…it’s been shown in too many movies throughout the years, the flooding of Manhattan…lets hope we don’t see it in reality.

North Carolina has been hit, and is still being drenched as I type. I hope this hurricane keeps losing its strength and moves to a very weak category 1.

Here in Canada, people in Quebec City, Gaspe, and Sherbrooke are preparing for up to 100mm of rain Sunday night. I remember a few years ago Sherbrooke was hit with a major flood, and I hope they are ready for one again!

Good luck everyone!!!! I am holding my breath, waiting to hear about the damage Sunday night and on.

A trip down the I-90

Although I could hardly wait to get back home to see my puppy after my 1.5 month adventure, I thought it was worthwhile to stop in and around South Dakota to check out some of the sites there. They did not disappoint!

One stop I really enjoyed was the town of Deadwood, which was actually a tv series a few years back. It is an old Western town where Wild Bill was killed, and Calamity Jane is buried. Walking down the main street was like transporting myself back to the 1880’s. I felt like I should be wearing my cowboy boots and my gun-sling making sure my hands were close to my weapons (that’s right, I would have 2 guns!) at all times.

Missing Yellowstone