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  1. Campari: Life’s Bitter Kiss

    April 9, 2012 by David Bridges

    Has love ever turned a bad eye on you? Your mate took and took until the last thing left to take was your heart. Tossing it aside like one would a peach pit when there is nothing sweet left to taste. The emotional drain guides you through a bevy of feelings until one day there is nothing left but bitterness. But is Bitter something that should be shunned and pushed away?

    We are all brought up with a false notion that La Dolce Vita is an attainable and desirable Utopia. Since it doesn’t rain in Utopia, every day would be considered perfect by waking up to the warmth and glory of the sun. You would eat confections with no consequence. Even love and be loved without ever feeling heartbreak. It is at this point that you are left with no genuine measure of ecstasy. Having expelled all the bitterness from your life, how could you ever measure the brix of pleasure? Heartbreak and bitterness give value to both pleasure and love. Without the downs of life there cannot be the highs.

    Campari to me is beautiful. Every time I sip on the bitterness of what surely are the red tears of some poor tortured Italian souls, I am reminded of just how sweet my life has become. I believe my body craves Campari to correct the injustice of my life being too sweet. Don’t get me wrong; the hardships of my existence are many. One of which has even shown it’s self to be a cruel brain tumor. But on the sweet side, I have a crazy hot wife with a love for me and I for her that will far outweigh any medical problems leaving them with a weight that is trivial at best. It is in fact this requited love that forces Campari into my life and across my palate. I want to taste the sweetness in mywife’s kiss and a heavy measure of bitterness is just the counterbalance that my heart desires.

    Unlike Love, finding bitterness is almost effortless. It peddles into my glass in the form of a Bicyclette. The old men that partake in this drink are known to haphazardly teeter on their bikes as they precede home, hence the name. Harry’s bar in Venice even refuses to serve it. It is just a simple mix of inexpensive white wine, since we would never drink anything that was “cheap”, a few well placed ice cubes and Campari. You may ask how much of each? Let the current amount of passion in your life be the guiding counterbalance to the Campari. My glass will of course be deeply imbued as red as a Ferrari from such a heavy pour of Campari. The graces of my wife’s lips are just that sweet.


  2. I may be Tuscan, but Im no Virgin

    April 3, 2012 by David Bridges

    I am definitely not one to to post anything that doesn’t have a bit of mental sustenance. But a few weeks ago I became a contributer to www.underthetuscangun.com   It is the love child of the Cooking Channel’s show Extra Virgin. Gabriele and Debi do not don gender neutralizing clothing and rehearsed insincere smiles. I relate to their philosophies and agree with the way they choose to live and cook. Gabriele may very well be the most natural cook I have ever run across.

    My first piece may appear to be on bread. But as always, it runs deeper than that. Take a look at the virtues of an underapreciated and often taken for granted ingredient of life.

    The Significance of Bread


  3. Chicago Tribune

    March 31, 2012 by David Bridges

    Go to Sunday’s Chicago Tribune and check out the great article on Up and Coming Food Writers. Yes I am included!

    7 Food Writers You Should Know

    Then get your computer/phone ready for a Q&A with all the writers on Tweetchat.com Thursday the 5th at noon Central Time Zone. Go to tweetchat.com and type in #PRJchat.

     


  4. Me, Myself, I and Marco Pierre White: Roasted Bone Marrow and Escargot Bordelaise

    March 15, 2012 by David Bridges

    Cooking goes far beyond melding relationships with friends, family and Earth. I often use it to reinforce a relationship with myself. The level of mental peace that I attain from the simplest things such as cutting a piece of Tuna with a sharp knife or making biscuits can not be matched by laying on any Psychoanalyst’s coach. Maybe if said analyst had a better collection of vintage Madeira and cave aged unpasteurized cheese, then this ramble would be headed in a complete other direction. But such is life. You can never expect the ones around you to hold forth such high standards of living as you do yourself. In that reason alone you can take comfort and even find another bit of peace in knowing that you are indeed BETTER.
    My idea of thinking you are better than the individual standing next to you may come with some of your own personal resistance. As kind and upstanding individuals, we are brought up with the theory that we are all equal. That is it wrong to assume you are above anyone or anything else. If in fact you do wander from the confines of these sociably acceptable parimeters you will be sentenced with a heavy penalty of guilt and ridiculed by the shaking fingers of society. Well maybe instead of judging us, they should take those nasty unmanicured fingers and use them to trim some of those nose hairs they all have.
    Ask yourself a few questions. Do you not deserve better than the person next to you? Do you not know more about the joys of the table and the pleasures it presents than the person next to you? Would you really wear those shoes with that coat just like the guy standing next to you? Point Proven
    All that being said, I know for a fact that I am no better than a post 40 year old Marco Pierre White. But maybe one day………..
    Strife bangs at my door often and my wife, a midnight stroll with Rooter and Tooter and slathering a savory beignet with bone marrow and snails is how I rise above society to realize I really do have it good.
    Snails, Green Peppercorn Bordelaise, Roasted Bone Marrow, and Rosemary Beignet
    Disclaimer: If you stare at the picture, I’ve imbedded a subliminal message into it that states “You Are Better Than Everyone around You except DAVE”
    Escargot with Green Peppercorn Bordelaise, Bone Marrow and Rosemary Beignet

    Serves 4 people sitting down to enjoy a few bottles of Burgundy on a Tuesday

    For the Beignets:

    ¾ cup water

    1 Tablespoon yeast

    1 egg

    1 5oz can evaporated milk

    3 ½ cups flour

    1 Tablespoon shortening

    1 Tablespoon sugar

    pinch of salt

    1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped

    For the Bordelaise Sauce:

    2 Tablespoons of olive oil

    2 shallots minced

    3 cloves of garlic minced

    1 cup of mushrooms minced

    1 cup burgundy wine

    2 Tablespoons of green peppercorns

    1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped

    1 bay leaf

    1 cup veal demi glace

    Butter

    2 dozen snails

    4 marrow bones

    To make those wonderful pillows of fried dough, mix the luke warm water with the yeast and let the yeast wake up for 5 minutes in the warm throws of the waters hugs. In a separate bowl introduce the egg and evaporated milk to each other with a firm whisking. In yet a third bowl, mix together the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the milk to the yeast by mixing. Then add the whole liquid mixture into a nice well formed in the flour. Stir the liquid around the well collapsing the walls of flour until a dough starts to form. Add a touch more flour if needed to keep the dough cohesive onto itself and not the sides of everything it touches. Knead the dough with the palms of your hands never opening your fist. The dough at this point is a young and impetuous thief and will snatch any ring right off your finger the moment you let it seduce you into opening your hand. Show your steadfast rules of discipline until you poke it and the dough springs immediately back at you. Cover the dough letting it rest, mature and double in size while you turn your attention to the sauce pot.

    For the sauce, place the olive oil into a small pot over a medium flame. Sweat the shallots for a few minutes while seasoning them with a pinch of salt the way any decent cook would. Add the garlic to the pot and cook for another minute. Place the mushrooms in the pot and cook while stirring every few moments for as long as it takes you to open the bottle of burgundy and taste a little. Be confident in your choice and confirm it with another taste. After satisfying your thirst for better things, add the wine to the pot along with the green peppercorns, rosemary and bay leaf. Let the sauce reduce moderately by 2/3rds. Stir the veal demi-glace into the pot and season with salt to taste. I have omitted the Tablespoon of Balsamic syrup from the above ingredient list. But I do indeed add it for many reasons. Just curious to see who is paying attention?

    To validate your friend’s adoration of your skills as a cook, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and turn the fryer on to 350 degrees at the same time. Season the marrow with some salt and pepper. Place the bones into a baking dish and roast for 10-12 minutes. The marrow should be brown and starting to slightly bubble. While the marrow is roasting, roll some of the beignet dough out to a ¼ inch thickness and cut into whatever shape fits your mood. If you have had enough Burgundy, that mood should yield whimsical and slightly abstract shapes. Fry the dough until golden and puffy delicious and set aside to stay warm with a sprinkling of salt. Place a pan over high heat and add a nice pat of butter. Swirl the bubbling butter around and add the snails. Saute for a minute and add the bordelaise sauce. Bring your pan to a simmer while you take the Bones out of the oven. Place the bones onto 4 plates and smother with the sauce. Creatively toss around some beignets with their wonderful aroma of rosemary. Present to your loved ones and toast the survival of yet another Tuesday. I pray that we all have enough couth to one day own marrow spoons.


  5. Here Comes the Sun

    September 3, 2011 by David Bridges

    The sun has finally come back out. You would think after spending so many of my past summers in Alaska that I would be used to being in the depths of a soul less day. But the crest of the sun has pierced the horizon and it’s rays have begun to reinvigorate my life and warm my soul.

    First and most importantly, I traveled to Sonoma and was married to the love of my life at the Madrona Manor among 20 friends and family with a meal that could have surpassed the 1 Michelin star already held by the venerable mansion. A massive Raw Bar was served during the cocktail hour. I know it took every ounce of will that my friend Bill could muster to save me just ONE local oyster. Then we partook in a seated dinner outside under the trellis that overlooks the gardens and vineyards in full bloom. We had carpaccio with truffle, gnocchi with clams and bacon, Pasta with uni, Beef strip loin with tongue and Wedding cake with layers of currant. A 3 litre of Fred Sherrer’s best reared its head at one point too. I really cannot express how happy I am to be married to Mrs. Stephanie Parkman Bridges. She is by far the most incredible woman I have ever met and the only person I have ever loved more than myself and I am one SELFISH MF!

    Second, after traveling far and wide across the country, I have been offered the job of Executive Chef of the Upperline Restaurant in my home town of New Orleans. It is a great fit for me, my new family and The Rooter To The Tooter. There will now be a venue to physically experience the lifestyle and cuisine for which I have been preaching.

    I will see you here and hopefully I will see you there.

     


  6. Feeding the Artists Appetite

    April 8, 2011 by David Bridges

     

    Whether you find yourself on the side of the craftsmen or the side of the artists, a little prose will undoubtably make you a better cook. Everything in life is inspiration that readily translates itself into your cooking.

    Ode To The Pig: The Tail

    My tail is not impressive

    But it’s elegant and neat.

    In length it’s not excessive —

    I can’t curl it round my feet —

    But it’s awfully expressive,

    And its weight is not excessive,

    And I don’t think it’s conceit,

    Or foolishly possessive

    If I state with some agressiveness

    that it’s the final master touch

    That makes a pig complete.

     

    Walter R. Brooks

     


  7. My Mission

    April 3, 2011 by David Bridges

    From The Rooter To The Tooter’s goal is to bring people together through cooking. It preaches respect for your friends, your family, your ingredients and most importantly yourself.