A McIntosh A Day

I’m thankful for my extended Kirk family. I first met Annie, Chris & Mark LaMoreaux’s daughter, when she was in high school and I was visiting Moscow on vacation. She called me Aunt Lucy and we formed a bond – one that still exists today. Annie’s all grown up now and quite a lovely woman – a wife and a mother. She’s given me a very special gift…the opportunity to be Aunt Lucy to her children.

I make every effort to tell young parents, if you want your children to love your siblings or Kirk family, you have to show them your love for the person and encourage them to do the same. It’s really a simple thing, and a gift to your children, the family member or friend, and yourself. My brother, Doug, and my sister (in-law), Paula, continue to be incredibly gracious with their children towards me, and consistently demonstrate how love flows. Because Chris showed her love for me, Annie did the same, and now Annie’s children, Emma and Bea, are wrapped all around my heart.

And it just keeps getting better. Sweet Violet Mae was born on March 20th. You can visit the McIntosh blog to see her baby pictures. I visited on Tuesday and got to hold Violet without having to compete with Grandma Nana and Violet’s other adoring fans. She’s a beauty, just like all the other McIntosh women.

While I was visiting, Emma and Bea dressed up in lovely dresses and fancy shoes. I captured the photos on my phone and obviously haven’t learned how to adjust stuff. But cuteness just can’t be stifled.

A Seat at Hawksworth’s Table

The January/February 2008 issue of Eat Magazine features an interview by Chris Mason Stearns (photograph by Tracey Kusiewicz) with Chef David Hawksworth. I was fortunate to eat Chef Hawksworth’s food in Vancouver, B.C., at West Restaurant on two occasions. Under his direction, West was awarded three consecutive wins as “Restaurant of the Year” by the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, a prestigious four star rating by Mobil Travel Guide, and recognition as one of the “ten of the best, worldwide” by UK’s Sunday Independent. In 2005, Chef Hawksworth won “Chef of the Year.”

When my friend Craig invited me to dinner at West in October of 2005, I knew it was because he liked the food and the restaurant, but I wasn’t prepared for the beauty of the food. My first taste of the Organic Squash and Parmesan Ravioli Sage with Toasted Almond Brown Butter was enough for me to know the meal would be fantastic and my mouth was in for a lovely adventure. Five months later, I visited West again, and the food was equally brilliant.

A few nights ago I started thinking about Chef Hawksworth’s food, so I went online to have a look at the menu. Maybe I could convince Craig to take a drive and visit the restaurant with me. Good thing I checked. It seems the good Chef left West early this year and is planning to open a new restaurant at the Hotel Georgia. From all that I read, he hasn’t yet named the restaurant, though rumors are that it will be called Hawksworth. He’s been working on a cookbook which I will gladly get my hands on.

Late Saturday afternoon, I picked up the phone to call Craig and found out he was in Vancouver and had plans to eat at West that evening. How freakish is that? I told him Hawksworth was gone and a new chef is in his place. He promised to let me know if West is still a great place to eat. In the meantime, I’m hoping for a seat at a table at Hawksworth’s new restaurant slated to open in early 2009.

Carol’s April Fool’s Joke(s)

One of my favorite cookbooks is Thomas Keller’s, The French Laundry Cookbook. Oh my! It’s a beautiful thing. I postponed the pleasure of buying it, for as long as possible, simply to appreciate it all the more when I got my hands on my very own copy. And, I was secretly hoping someone would buy it for me and give me the gift that keeps on giving. The recipes are challenging and cause me to expand the boundaries of my imagination. I’ve read it cover to cover *many* times and still haven’t gotten my fill. Not only is it a great cookbook, it’s also a great “coffee table” book filled with pages and pages of glorious looking food.

And while I’m on the topic of Thomas Keller, take a minute or thirty and view his interview with Charlie Rose on the Charlie Rose Show. I found out Mr. Keller had a role in the development of Ratatouille. A great little movie.

So when I stumbled upon Carol’s blog: French Laundry at Home a few months ago, I smiled for days and days and days. She’s working her way through the cookbook and telling her blog readers about her adventures. I enjoy her humor and her courage. Attempting the The French Laundry Cookbook is clearly not for the faint of heart.

Her April Fool’s posts were hilarious. Did I mention how funny she is? She first posted two disgusting recipes, which, by the way, appear in a cookbook on my shelf (embarrassing). Her second post didn’t fool me, simply because I’ve grown accustomed to her humor and I didn’t believe for an instant that Thomas Keller would discourage anyone from cooking. It’s just not in his DNA.

Thanks, Carol. For the adventure and the laughter.

Debbie Maken: Success Stories

Getting Serious About Getting MarriedMake your way over to Debbie Maken’s blog and read two success stories from a man’s perspective. Debbie’s the author of Getting Serious About Getting Married.

In her latest post titled Success Stories she does a Q&A and gets the guys talking.

As it turned out, I was wasting my time there, but, looking back, this was providential, because that church illustrated Debbie’s point about male- female ‘friendship’ actually blocking the formation of proper, adult marriage-bound relationships.

Are you over 30 and unmarried? Do you have a copy of the book? What are you waiting for? Some happily married guy is selling his on Amazon.

It’s difficult reading. Not because the words are too big, but because it makes you take a hard look at some of the decisions you’ve made. If you’re too cheap to buy the book (and no wonder you’re still single) go read it on the Crossway website.

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