Today I officially began a journey with the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship as Associate Director. I’ve got a great bunch of people to work with and am stepping in a wonderful stream of prophets. Today we posted two items on our site. The first is a poem that came through our office called “Another Day, Another War”. The second is an urgent action alert from my former Quixote colleagues now with the Friendship Office of the Americas about the continuing repression in Honduras. Please call Congress about Honduras. Please read the poem and reflect on why we continue to choose war.
April 1st, 2011 · by fritzg ·
March 14th, 2011 · by fritzg ·
No, I haven’t canned any. Yet. But I fully intend to do so. The hash is a very simple recipe from Fergus Henderson’s Nose to Tail. Using our charcutepalooza corned beef and tomatoes canned from last year’s crop (Greenbelt farmer’s market) it was quite a Sunday breakfast. I’ll be making this again.
March 6th, 2011 · by fritzg ·
This week Anthony Bourdain’s new season of No Reservations began with an episode on Haiti. I have thought for a while this would be a good fit and it was. Bourdain ate street food, stayed at the Oloffson, visited Sean Penn and went home with some cool artwork. He didn’t sugar-coat life in Port-au-Prince. He experienced trying to help and failing. He questioned whether being there and filming if he was actually a part of the problem. All valid experiences, all good questions.
His show was a good way to begin a week where I transition away from Haiti professionally. It ended joining my HAWG colleagues in a meeting with the US Special Coordinator for Haiti questioning US and UN involvement in issues of democracy, governance and sovereignty.
I leave this work with many of the experiences and questions Tony had on his short trip. My two years with Haiti were divided by the January 2010 earthquake. Before, most energies were spent getting to know the country that is one-third of the island of Hispaniola and trying to figure out how to best engage and encourage others to do so. After the quake, energies were spent providing relief and advocating for just responses by the US and other donor countries. Then there was cholera. Then the election disaster that was foreseen and avoidable. And MINUSTAH is still there, and will be for the foreseeable future.
During the last year I asked many questions about the role of non-profits and Haiti and what I was doing. I didn’t come up with many answers. Could things have been done better? Probably. Could they have been done worse? Definitely. While I begin a new chapter in my career tomorrow and Haiti will no longer be in my professional portfolio, it will always be in heart. I leave confident I gave her my best and I leave with “Noooo Reservations.”
February 14th, 2011 · by fritzg ·
It’s been a week since we roasted our bacon, and I can’t count the times we’ve used it. It was roasted the night before the Super Bowl, so we had to use it a couple of time that day.
January 31st, 2011 · by fritzg ·
After weighing our breasts on day eight I decided to let them hang another day. We took them down on Saturday and the weekend of duck began. First round (mid-day Saturday) was a quick taste as is with some spritzer and fresh lemon.
January 26th, 2011 · by fritzg ·
The first official #charcutepalooza challenge is well under way. These duck breast spent a day in salt, then they were seasoned with white pepper and now they’ve spent six days in the office/spare bedroom. Temperature has been in the 50s and humidity in the 40s. Temp elsewhere in our GHI home is in the mid-sixties this winter.
The 500+ gram breasts are hanging on a sweater rack. Notice the signed Pete Rose poster in the background.
January 24th, 2011 · by fritzg ·
Just two days before I heard of the Charcutepalooza Challenge from Mrs. Wheelbarrow and The Yummy Mummy I started my first charcuterie project. Inspired by Ruhlman’s book of the same name (see my bests of 2010 post) and fascinated by Kurlansky’s Salt I cured a small piece of salmon from the local co-op. I basically followed Rulman’s technique but substituted aguardiente from Colombia for Pernod and dropped the fresh fennel. The bread is a rye from Jim Lahey’s My Bread.
Needless to say, you’re going to hear a lot about meat and salt from me this year. We have duck breasts hanging in our spare bedroom as we speak for the January challenge of duck prosciutto. (Yes, GHI homes are cold enough to hang meat, literally!)
January 1st, 2011 · by fritzg ·
2010 was in many ways a year I am glad to see in the rear view mirror, but there were some bests. Got to meet my son’s new family over Derby in the ‘Ville, Mary and I actually lived in the same city for the first time in two years and we’re settling in as we’ve made new friends and found new communities to join.
On to the list. Those of you who know me will smile at the theme. I used my love of food and cooking to get through what was a pretty tough year.
Best author: Michael Ruhlman. He didn’t have a new book this year, but I discovered him for myself and thoroughly enjoyed his Elements of Cooking and Ratio. These put me on a path of a bit more simplistic cooking style with an emphasis on technique over recipes. Keep reading →
May 18th, 2009 · by fritzg ·
This morning Carol Howard Merritt and Bruce Reyes-Chow interviewed me during their weekly internet radio show, The God Complex: Where the fully divine runs smack dab into fully human. The topic was Jubilee, debt relief and Haiti. Stream it from the site or download it as a podcast and listen for my Star Trek reference.
April 2nd, 2009 · by fritzg ·
100 years ago today, on April 2, 1909 my father, William F. Gutwein, Jr., was born. Yes, he was an older than usual age when I was born. I’m not *that* old.
He died in 1996 after what can be described as a very full life. He marveled at how he saw both the birth and death of the Soviet Union.
My mother died six years earlier. I miss them both. I miss having an extended relationship with them as an adult. We had that for a time, but it was all too brief. In many ways, since my parents were older when I was born, I grew up at an accelerated pace. I can’t remember where I heard it, but there is a saying that one does not truly become an adult until both your parents have died. I don’t think that is literally true, but I see the wisdom contained within it. I would not be who I am today if I had been raised by younger parents.
I’ll probably tell a few stories about him to some friends tonight at ToT in the ‘Ville. And in his honor I’ll eat some oysters & drink some cheap beer today. This weekend I’ll make a recipe or two of his. I am grateful for his love and more than content with the man I’ve become and the life I live. I hope he would be. I think so.