A decade of coffee, food, and good times.

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Happy birthday, coffee corner. It’s been ten years since I started blogging.

Ten Years - in coffee beans

To celebrate, I thought I’d bring you all back to the original, Blogger-powered, wow-I-really-shouldn’t-be-a-designer layout. Compare to the web.archive.org copy – not bad for my first WordPress template, eh? Apparently, not using capital letters was all the rage. Or something.

Wow. A decade. Let’s see…

  • In that time, we went from exchanging email addresses, to identifying ourselves by blog URL, to passing around Twitter names.
  • In that time, I’m still with the company I hired into fresh from college.
  • In that time, I went on a business trip to London that lasted almost two years. And met some really great friends, who I can blame thank for pushing me to meet Christine.
  • Um, yeah. I’m now married, with a stepson who graduated high school, a mortgage, four cats, and I switched – partway – from PC to Mac.
  • Ernie was the first person I can say I met through the internet. We’re still good friends today. There are innumerable others who all deserve a mention, but I won’t be able to do justice to it, only to say that I’m amazingly lucky to have so many people all over the world I can claim as friend.
  • Gaming has given way to cooking.
  • I started this blog as a group blog, before group blogging was in vogue. Chris is now a doctor in New England, while Stephen does amazing research foundation work in the Pacific Northwest. Both are married to amazing women, and have started insanely cute families. Amy is off doing, I believe, theater work in New York; I need to find out…

I can’t get away from this post without talking about food. I’ve been in early morning and long day workshops all week, and Christine hosted workshops at the studio, so I’m a bit off my game lately in the kitchen. For Father’s day, I got a new end-grain butcher block from Ikea (Exklusivt, for anybody who can speak Swedish) that you see in the picture above. Haven’t even had a chance to break it in properly yet. Putting the pictures together for this post, though, reminded me about everything that I’ve got lined up to post about, so it’s time to get cracking.

meat

What I can tell you about is the salt-crusted eye of round roast I cooked last weekend. Our brains are very proficient pattern matching engines, so while salt-crusted roasts have been in my mental bookmarks to try for some time, I saw mention of it a couple of weeks ago and suddenly it showed up everywhere. The idea is simple – get a lot of salt a little wet, so it’s almost like a snowball to pack, and use it to encase a (herb-seasoned) beef roast. Really, a lot. I used three pounds of kosher salt for a two-and-a-bit pound roast, and that wasn’t quite enough. Since you’re not leaving it to sit for hours before going in the oven, the salt doesn’t make the meat overly salty; instead, as it cooks and dries it forms a hard crust that seals in the roast, its juices, and any steam that would otherwise escape. The result is easily the juciest and most tender roast I’ve ever cooked. Add some roast or sautéed potatoes on the side and a vegetable and you’ve got a great meal.

roast beef and veggies on a plate

Traditionally, this method would be used on fish or other more delicate meats to prevent them from drying out and getting tough in the oven. Pork loin would be good for this as well. I don’t know about fatty roasts, like a pork shoulder, as I would expect to want to render out some of the fat.

I’ll close this post with the words that started it all:

Welcome to the coffee corner. my hope is that my friends and i can share coffee experiences, tips, tricks, et cetera with the rest of the world and hear your coffee stories in return.
a bit about me: i’m a software/web developer currently in houston, tx. originally from lexington, ky, i spent most of my high school years in coffee shops, particularly coffee times and common grounds. i came down to houston for college, and didn’t have much time to spend in coffee shops, but was rather dismayed by a lack of good ones that i could find. i’ve settled on diedrich’s as my home down here, but there’s a starbuck’s near where i work that’s good for an afternoon fix.
well, enough about me. on with the show.

Thanks for being a part of this adventure. Let’s see what another ten years brings!