Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sustainability and OOTB

In this fast-paced world it helps to stay close to what works, to what is real and sustainable. One has to maintain, support and nourish in order to have sustenance. It is like having your feet firmly planted on the ground while keeping your knees bent-you can always shift your position and still have a center of gravity...a heart.

This is a picture of our winter garden. Linda has worked very hard making this garden come to life, but there was no way we could have done this alone, or even with books. It took the help of our dear friend and organic farmer, Cheryl Cahill to provide the insight, knowledge of the land and plants,and the laughter while double-digging the garden, to make it all come to life...even in 20 degree weather! Cheryl can grow food from concrete and provides produce for many in Fannin County from the Noontoola Valley Farm she shares with fellow farmer Richard Starke.

I love this picture of Cheryl. It just shines with her goodness and honor. A real farmer...a real friend.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nothing like a good knife...

(guest Blogger - Hans Rueffert -

 Every kitchen needs a good sharp knife.  I must admit, I'm some what of a cutlery nerd and when Sarah asked me what knife to bring into Out of the Blue, I got a little excited.  Being a good German boy, I initially felt obligated to recommend Wurstoff or Henkel, but the truth is, I haven't used those knives in years.  A friend gave me the much-hyped Ken Onion knife from Shun right after I returned from my extended hospital stay back in 2005, and as soon as I picked the knife up, I was in love.  A good knife becomes an extension of your hand, a delicate balance of weight, curve, and, of course, sharpness.  The Ken Onion knives are beautiful to look at and are a joy to work with, effortlessly slicing through anything you put them up against.  If you're looking for a good knife, look no further.  And if you happen to catch me in the store (which isn't hard to do), I'll give you a quick little class on how best to use your new kitchen tool.  It's an investment, but one that'll last a lifetime.

My new kitten Moxie took a liking to the Tin Woodsman hammered pewter measuring cups I was photographing for the OOTB website.  I'll have some Tin Woodsman items up for sale on the site soon.  
If you've ever seen my cooking show, you know I'm a sucker for herbs.  Sarah just got in a new line of organic herb kits from Eccosource.  These would make great stocking stuffers or house-warming gifts, and once they are growing and healthy, you can plant them outdoors and enjoy them again and again.  There are also some nice bulb kits in beautiful packaging: amaryllis and paperwhites.  The shopping section of the website is up and growing.  It's still a work in progress, but check it out and see what's new.

Lastly, Ken Galli will be in the shop November 14th and 15th with his new cookbook and his collection of olives, appetizers, and balsamics.  Check out the EVENTS section of the website for more details.

Much to do.  I'll see you at Out of the Blue!