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A Colorado dispatch
I started this newsletter in-flight from Denver, Colorado making our way back to Nova Scotia after a quick vacation up, up in the Rockies. We spent last week about an hour northwest of Steamboat Springs at “camp.” Please note, this is a very unusual Colu-like vacation. Dan’s father, Ron, who I affectionately call “Ron-signor,” has a handful of yurts nestled in the mountains with endless, breathtaking views of peaks and valleys. You can see for miles. The weather was hot, dry and breezy during the day and pleasantly dipped in the evenings. We rode ATVs (I was covered in dust much of the week) which winded us through fields of wildflowers, birch trees, ferns and brooks. We saw antelopes, mule deers and tawny colored cows. I slept in a bunk bed. And when Helen sketched, I read - a lot. I also did not do much of the cooking. There were a lot of smash burgers, perfectly cooked rib-eyes with smashed potatoes, an outstanding smoked pork shoulder expertly prepared by Dan’s brother “Ron-jignor” and the best queso dip with ground elk (!) that I’ve ever had. Per a request from Ron-signor for shrimp scampi, I did indeed make him some tossed with linguine and on another day, I managed to use up leftover caramelized onions and cabbage for “A Sunday Frittata.” How lovely and lucky to be on someone else’s family vacation.
We did stop in Steamboat Springs for an afternoon. If you end up in that part of the world, please go see Steve and Daniela at The Homesteader. Daniela is a chocolatier from Switzerland and makes an incredible array of truffles. You’ll also find anything you need to outfit a kitchen.
We also popped into a new spot called Meatbar, where Laura, a butcher, and her husband Dustin run a charcuterie and wine bar. The sandwiches were outstanding. As an unusual aside, Laura is Canadian and she and her husband got married not far from where we are on the north shore in NS and before moving to Steamboat, Hudson was next on their list. I tell ya, the world is small. They start full dinner service with cocktails this Friday and you can read more here.
I cannot remember who recommended it to me (please shout whoever you are!), but I plowed through Carlene Bauer’s novel Girls They Write Songs About. If you haven’t read it, please do so immediately. The book focuses on the fiercely loyal, complicated and ever-evolving, life-long friendship of Charlotte and Rose, who meet in their early twenties as writers working at a music magazine. I worked in The Knitting Factory office as my first job out of college around the same time this book begins, formed deep friendships, had very late NYC nights, made questionable decisions, all the while having the very best time. If any of these themes resonate with you, I think you’ll also enjoy it.
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I’m also finally reading my friend Stephanie Danler’s gorgeous and gutting memoir Stray. I’m halfway through and will be done by the weekend. Stephanie’s first novel Sweetbitter was also wonderful. She too has a Substack called Write What.
There is no new recipe for this installment, as you now know I’ve been out of the kitchen. We all need a break in routine sometimes, it’s where the good stuff happens.
If you can, get outside this week and do something out of the ordinary. It felt good to be a kid at “camp” again.
With love, from a layover at the Toronto airport, finishing this newsletter, because I adore you all that much.