Sunday, October 19, 2014

Peachapalooza 2014

Well, where to begin after such a long hiatus? Maybe with the funniest story of the fall. To celebrate Tom’s 50th birthday, a few of the fellas hit downtown for a guys’ night (and wow, where did all those people come from ... who knew Salt Lake was such a real city Saturday mornings at 2 a.m.?). Our second stop was the Bourbon House, a faux speakeasy with a New York–style** hidden entrance in an office building. We all got carded, of course. Normally a 50-year-old would be flattered to be carded, but this is Utah … so to offer a not-so-subtle-but-still-socially-appropriate middle finger at the Utah ABC, Tom offered his just-arrived-in-the-mail AARP card to the bouncer as identification. How great is that? The bearded hipster bouncer’s response, and a completely unnonironic one at that?: “What’s the AARP?”

(** Blogger now recognizes and key strokes the En Dash. Editing nerds rejoice!)

Here’s Tom outside of Beer Bar lecturing Matt on Robert Fogel’s thesis about the relative unimportance of canals to antebellum economic development.

And here’s the gang a little later that night, minus Zadra, who was confused and literally lost from the start. 

There’s been some email traffic about who looks the worse for the wear at this point: Brian on the far left, or Trafton in the middle? (But just for the record, we were all quite reasonably sober.) 

Sure I’ve been busy with new preps, especially because I'd never lectured on anything before the Civil War before. And sure I’ve been keeping busy working on my close friend Jim Sherow’s congressional campaign (for the love of God people, please, just cough up some bucks. It’s 15 days until the election and he can’t pay for TV time with good will! We actually have a chance of winning a seat in KS). And I watched a lot of baseball. (The less said about the Orioles' missed opportunity, the better.) 

And we spent a delightfully perfect fall day in Heber at Kristina and Mason's wedding (notice the mason jars, as well as Bill's second appearance in the blog. Also see Christmas cardworthy** shot of Jonas and Isaac). (** God, this is great.)

Been too busy for a haircut. 

And we spent a lot of time perfecting our new Dream Machine 3000 (not to be confused with the Dream Machine 2000 at the Max Plank in Tübingen, though it is a German cup pictured ...). I’m not a religious guy, but I'm still pretty sure that the first thing one consumes in heaven looks about like this:

We J paused to make remarkably delicious Simits (Turkish bagels) and to hang out with Ben and Denise and Matt.  

And to top it off, our friends the Turners from Exeter, UK, visited us after their tour of the desert West. Every good American should have go-to British friends. We had an absolute blast explaining the rules of American football, shopping for American footballs, reliving our past glories in Slovenia, and spreading the virtues of Utah beer. 
Photo credit: Mark Turner

Photo credit: Tiffany Turner. Beer credit: Epic Smoked and Oaked.
But the main reason I was too busy to blog in September (the warmest September ever recorded on the planet, by the way) was Peachapalooza 2014. We’ve never had such a good crop (maybe it was the awesomely rainy August – all 1.77 inches), and so all month J and I were kept busy making peach shortcake, peach jam, peach and prosciutto salads, peach on pork, peach muffins, peach crisp, peach pancakes, etc. (Look, anyone reading this knows that J took the lead with any baking, but hey, work with me). We were, in fact, pretty much Brainless on Peaches.

Kitchen credit: Dru and Jen
More recently, post-Peachapalooza, I spent the weekend in MHK helping out Jim and catching up with everyone. Port Fonda in Westport with Sam and Janine and Brent was excellent (and I rarely choose Mexican food). 

Josie and Jeff’s Rex is adorable (the Kansas GOP's 6th-grade-level attack ads are not).

Evan and Leah make an incredible meal (this was just the nibbles). 

As do Sam and Carla. Instead of a photo of David Chang's noodles, here's how to make them (give or take the various recipes within recipes). 

And I really do miss the Linear Trail and drinks at Harry’s.

But in closing, above all, don’t you want this Everyman to go to Congress?


  1. I'm not sure you can say you chose the Mexican place. Thanks, Sam! Perhaps you can try your hand at peach schnapps if it rains in 2015. Or we could try a peach framboise!

  2. Yeah I blew it not making some peach bourbon. And hey I did at least have veto power ...