the state

-of sunday… by jgrimsrud
Saturday, 20 June 2009, 23:32
Filed under: -of jgrimsrud, -of sound

…morning, which it is now.  and i’m on my second listen through:

perhaps i’ve been spoiled by nick combs, but i’m hoping that now, every time we post a musical shout-out, some kind reader will send us some amazing tip…


– of neutral milk hotel. by vastate
Thursday, 18 June 2009, 15:38
Filed under: -of jhumphrey, -of sound

just listening to it.


and suggesting it.

long live the late 90’s.

– of belts. by vastate
Thursday, 18 June 2009, 9:39
Filed under: -of deals, -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey

anybody need a belt?

a handmade belt ready for a sweet belt buckle?  like this:


made from saddle leather?

well.  go talk to curtis at preston dry cleaners next to rugged warehouse.

not only does he do the best shoe repair around, he makes belts. who knew?

for $16.

well.  go on.  go buy one.  you know you want to.

– of feeding the whole family. by vastate

have we raved about this cookbook on here yet?


well.  now we have.  or we are again.

go buy this cookbook by cynthia lair.  use it to guide the transformation of your farmer’s market wares and garden products.

our copy is crinkled, scribbled, deliciously sloppy.

a few of it’s recipes have changed the way we cook:

the coconut oil/whole wheat pastry crusts (this oil is magic…)


the beans with arame (an introductory sea vegetable…)


the pan fried tofu (the first time this has actually worked like in the restaurants…)


the grilled salmon (self-explanatory…)


the steak over soba.

the best thing about this cookbook is that each recipe offers ways to serve the meal for babies just starting solid foods (around 6-10 mos. old) and for children.  not alternative dishes, but ways of serving & preparing the same meal for everyone in the family.  realizing that babies and kids aren’t idiots.  they have taste buds too.  just give them a little credit and have patience.  they probably do like more than mac n’ cheese and chicken fingers.

feeding the whole family.

for example:

the thai steak salad over soba.


not something many would normally assume to be baby finger food.  but lair suggests that

” some soba noodles with fresh cilantro and a few drops of dressing are perfectly fine to serve.”

it is also excellently non-legalistic.  there is meat.  there is sugar.  there is salt.  there is fat.  but crafted together in a whole-foods, whole-family approach.

seriously.  we have yet to try something from this cookbook that hasn’t been a success.

the book, with it’s lovely cover design by olympia, wa artist nikki mcclure, and full of recipes by seattle local cynthia lair, is also a reminder of our former home in the pacific northwest.

and a reminder of all things fresh and whole – in washington and right here in virginia.

check out lair’s new online cooking show, “cookus interruptus.”  word on the street says it’s funny.  and fresh.

and.  for those recipes.

try twin oaks tofu from integral yoga in charlottesville.

and salmon from tangier island seafood here in harrisonburg.

and scope out t&e’s for the steak.

– even more local. by vastate
Wednesday, 17 June 2009, 20:10
Filed under: -of green, -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey, -of localism

more on sustainability for harrisonburg here.


– of local beginnings. by vastate
Wednesday, 17 June 2009, 20:05
Filed under: - of restaurant review, -of eats, -of green, -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey, -of localism

so, we were just thinking.  (we do this sometimes.)

in the june/july 2009 edition of flavor magazine, there is a column by joel salatin called “transient chefs”.


in it, he writes,

The time that a chef’s move benefited me the most was when Lisa Joy and Doug Porter closed 23 Beverly in Staunton and she became the head chef at Joshua Wilton House in Harrisonburg.  She introduced our pastured meats and poultry there, and it has been our flagship restuarant for nearly two decades.

in the past couple of years, there has been much hype about the writings of local food guru michael pollan.  in his oh so popular, and oh so excellent book, omnivore’s delimna, he devotes whole chapters to who?  joel salatin.  he uses salatin as a case study to highlight local (vs. organic) food trials and successes.  this example is ultimately a huge part of his thesis.


so.  like i said.  we were thinking.

does this mean that the current national obession with local food can be partly traced back to harrisonburg? back to us?

to the joshua wilton house.


to t&e meats (which, according to salatin, now stands for “true and essential”).


to our cows.  and pigs.  and chickens.


there are other establishments with a 20 year history of local food dedication.  sure.  check out alice water’s chez panisse in berkely.

but, do we often think of our very own in the same holy local food light?

maybe we should.

– of a song and a photo. by vastate
Wednesday, 17 June 2009, 15:55
Filed under: -of art, -of jhumphrey, -of sound

listening to this.


it falls securely within my favorite song category: “everything’s going to be alright” songs.

like REM‘s ‘nightswimming’.  or ben harper‘s ‘the three of us’.  or red house painter‘s “have you forgotten”.  or clap your hand’s say yeah‘s “over and over again”.  or tom wait‘s “come on up to the house”.  or patti smith‘s “farewell reel”.  or pearl jam‘s “wishlist”.  or low‘s “two step”.

that is only a glimpse of my short list.  slight guilty pleasures.  they all manipulate me pleasingly.

i don’t think that i would actually put the middle east on my final list (a little uber-trendy to be classic in my opinion).  but i was listening to their song ‘blood’ and it made me think of all of those songs i turn to for late night drives or heavy summer rainy days like today.

they all feel a bit like this:


sally mann (the photographer behind this gelatin silver print) gets the feeling.