Nom Nom Paleo

Last Day in Massachusetts & Neptune Oyster (8/12/12)

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Our last day at Clark Farm started just like the others, with an egg-ceptional breakfast! (Punny, right? RIGHT?!? Actually, I hate puns.)

I already miss my daily meal of farm-fresh eggs, kraut, and sausages.

We begrudgingly crammed our belongings into our luggage while wistfully peeking out the windows at the peaceful tableau outside.

Meanwhile, the kids conspired to hide the Double-Os. Our boys had no qualms about missing our flight home. “I’m going to stay here forever,” Lil-O insisted. And he meant it. Hence the uncooperative face in this farewell photo:

But it was time to go. With heavy hearts, we piled into the car and headed for Boston to spend our final afternoon in the big city. We arrived in the North End at noon…

…and made a beeline over to Neptune Oyster for lunch.

This tiny, unassuming raw bar and seafood restaurant was a welcome oasis in a cluster of kitschy Italian tourist traps. 

I know we should’ve slurped up a bunch of shooters, but instead, we shared a “Tuna Ribbons” salad with raw ahi, potato aioli, olives, capers, boiled egg, and green beans…

…a lobster, mozzarella, and tomato salad…

…and seared striped bass over ratatouille.

Everything was fresh and meticulously prepared. Definitely one of my favorite meals in Massachusetts.

After lunch, we acted like typical bumbling camera-toting tourists (which we are) as we meandered along the Freedom Trail

…and wandered over to Faneuil Hall

…to witness America’s NEXT! MILLION! DOLLAR! ACT! 

Every time the Double-Os spot a street performer, they mercilessly judge the act like mini Howard Sterns on America’s Got Talent. (My heart bursts with pride.) According to my boys, this fellow was entertaining, but he did not have what it takes to fill a Vegas theater with clambering fans. “It was good, but was it a million dollar act?” asked Big-O. He answered his own question with a firm “No.”

In the late afternoon, we finally arrived at Logan Airport where the boys downed some sushi for dinner before we boarded the plane.

And that, my friends, is the end of my interminable presentation of What I Did On Summer Vacation. You can wake up now.

Tomorrow, it’s back to our regularly scheduled programming of daily eats — which means it’s back to cold food for me. Have I told you how nice it’s been not to have to take photos of everything that goes in my mouth this week? But for you, I’ll dust off the camera again — at least until I get sick of blogging.

AHS ‘12 Day Three & Dinner at Bondir (8/11/12)

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The one awesome thing about being totally behind on my daily posts? I can take a breather from photographing my eats this week. And that means I can eat quick, ugly, hot meals! Huzzah!

Now, let’s climb into the DeLorean and activate the flux capacitor.

Last Saturday in Carlisle, Massachusetts, we all woke up groggy, having stayed up waaay past our bedtimes frolicking at the previous night’s Sustainable Dish Farm Dinner. Nothing that a big mug of java and a plate of sausage and homemade ‘kraut couldn’t fix, though.

We zoomed in from the ‘burbs with our new friend Hilary to catch the tail end of Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson's Paleo Q & A…

…but not before stopping by the reception area to snag a box of truffles and a steaming latte from Bolt Coffee Company.

A few sessions later, we headed over to another building for a catered lunch from B. Good Burger, a local chain offering grass fed burgers. We piled our plates with meat patties, greens, tomatoes, sweet potato fries, pickles, and guacamole.

I pleasantly surprised by the quality of the catered conference eats, but everyone I spoke with at AHS who’s been to a Weston A. Price conference told me that I ain’t seen nothing yet. Is it wrong that I’m attending the 2012 Wise Traditions conference this fall mostly so I can pig out at the promised smorgasbord?

After lunch, we attended the afternoon sessions and tweeted until our thumbs went numb.

Eventually, I took a breather in the vendor area and hung out with some of my favorite Paleo foodies, including Cindy and Dusty, Diane, Bill and Hayley, Sean (the Bacon Pizza guy!) and Suzanne, Laura, Diana, and Charissa.

We wandered back into the lecture hall to soak in Denise Minger's funny and informative presentation about meat. Her slide depicting a baby-eating bunny rabbit will haunt my dreams for years to come.

Once we’d bid our friends adieu…

Diana, Henry, and I hightailed it to Bondir, a cozy Cambridge restaurant that features sustainable modern American cuisine.

After spending the day working on his farm, minding the kids, and herding them all to Kimball Farm for an afternoon of bumper-boat rides, Andrew met us at the restaurant. I’d been eagerly anticipating this meal — it’s a rare treat to be able to indulge in adult eats and conversation.

Each of the items on Bondir’s menu can be ordered either as a small appetizer or a full-sized entrée. Because I’m a piggy, I chose three small dishes and forced Henry to do the same so we could try a bunch of items. 

We shared handmade burrata served with field tomato, melon terrine and sumac granité, purslane, pickled green cucumber, garden cucumber, and confit lemon vinaigrette…

…Scituate lobster bisque filled with butter-poached lobster, potatoes Lyonnais, and chili oil…

…Maine sardine and Manila clam escabechen with kombu, cured olives, fingerling potatoes, and roasted clamato purée…

…and Scituate scallops accompanied by baby squash, fairytale eggplant, and cipollini onions, smoked Mangalitsa pancetta, and burnt eggplant purée.

For our last dish, we all ordered his ‘n hers Vermont Wagyu beef shank accompanied by carrots Salardaises, pea greens, and red wine glaze.

Diana and I split the desserts: lychee sorbet, maple almond ice cream, and juniper sorbet…

…and lemongrass chocolate panna cotta, bitter orange mostarda, Angelica gel, cocoa nibs and pistachio.

Sure, the desserts weren’t exactly Paleo, but it was a sweet end to a busy day.

AHS’12 Day Two (8/10/12)

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Yeesh. We got home from Boston late last night, and I’m already feeling the crush of all sorts of work-related and mommy duties to tackle — not to mention a backlog of several days worth of posts to write. 

Well, I guess I best get crackin’. Let’s pick up where we left off: Last Friday.

As you’ll recall, we were staying as the guests of Diana and Andrew Rodgers on Clark Farm, their place in Carlisle, Massachusetts. Not surprisingly, Friday’s breakfast of eggs, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe that Diana whipped up was incredible.

The eggs were freshly collected from the chickens on the farm, and were bursting with color and flavor. 

I savored it with a steaming cup of coffee and some zesty, crunchy homemade purple cabbage sauerkraut. Diana has mad skillz in the kitchen, and it was a rare luxury to be able to just sit back and enjoy someone else’s cooking for a change.

Meanwhile, the kids were already up and running around the farm. Before we were even done with breakfast, the boys had already caught a couple of catfish in the pond.

And then, we were off to Harvard Law School for Day Two of the Ancestral Health Symposium. If you followed my Twitter feed and/or Fitbomb’s (or followed the #AHS12 tag on Twitter), you know that we tweeted furiously throughout all the presentations, so I’m not going to recap the talks again. (There are, however, a bunch of different summaries of AHS you can find online, like this one and this one.)

After all, I’m all about the food. Speaking of which, at lunchtime, we headed outside for a big catered buffet by Boston’s Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q.

I piled a plate high with chicken, ribs, sweet potato mash, pickles, and collard greens…

…and chatted with friends while we ate.

A few more academic sessions later, we drove back out to the farm for THE social event of the conference: The Sustainable Dish Farm Dinner.

It was jaw-dropping — the barn at Clark Farm had been transformed into a rustic, glowing dining hall filled with locally-sourced food and libations. Diana’s guest list included a who’s-who among the Paleosphere, international travelers and locals alike.

With our kids running around (and in and out of the goat pen) and our friends and Paleo heroes all in the same room, I spent the night laughing and eating — my favorite activities.

I had a blast. I can’t possibly do the dinner justice in just a few sentences — so I’ll recap it in more detail (and with more photos) in my next post. Stay tuned! [UPDATED: Here’s my post on the farm dinner!]