Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Paired: June Edition

Attending this Paired was different than the others. I only knew minimal attendees, had a less than stress free weekend, and was definitely not ready to go an hour beforehand (Chris stopped by to pick up his cutting board he had left at our house earlier in the month and looked at me with concern asking "... are you guys coming tonight?" while I greeted him bra-less, un-showered and at best, disheveled. Classy).

The setting for the first weather cooperative Paired was intimidating as we approached the industrial part of Midway via 94 (What? Not in Northeast?). Kyle, myself and another couple consisting of two well dressed individuals greeted each other as assumed Paired attendees in the wrong part of the parking lot, made a few confused phone calls to the powers that be, and were eventually escorted to the correct entryway by Lauren.

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition

There is something alluring and mysterious about entering a dining space with signs that remind you that if you're not authorized personnel, you aren't welcome beyond a certain point. Tonight, we were authorized.

We climbed numerous flights of stairs and finally emerged into a wood workers studio. I like to play games with myself and do zero investigative research into the artists that are announced in the Paired emails. This most likely stems for my disregard for reading the back of movies I find intriguing, or the synopses of books I am about to read (We can investigate my neuroses later). I was excited to find ourselves in a wood workers studio. Though not much saw dust was laying around, plenty of beautiful evidence surrounded us.

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition


Paired June Edition
After snooping around a bit in the studio Brooke suggested I look into the dining area. It almost took my breath away. Aside from the gorgeous table laid out in front of me, the decor, surroundings, everything was just calm, beautiful, and inviting. I was SO excited.

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition



The studio is part of a co-operative, but the artist featured was Scott McGlasson of Woodsport. On top of having gorgeous pieces on display for us, Scott was the least intimidating of all the artists I've encountered during Paired, and was definitely the most social. He talked about his work in non-complicated terms, gave us advise about the moulding situation in our 110 year old Farm house, and easily joined the crowd for dinner. Oh yeah...dinner. That's what I'm normally blog about, right? Well Scott is great, and you should buy some of his work.

Paired June Edition

These vases were also crafted by Scott
Paired June Edition

Now onto the food.

Paired June Edition

Chris brought the woodsy theme to the table (made out of re-use wood, given to the studio and originally from a Church, as far as my memory serves me) in all 3 courses. He also invited us to eat radishes to whet our palettes.

Paired June Edition



1st up was a White Gazpacho with poached egg and gelée with grape (Gelée!! Way to bring it Chris!!) This dish was definitely the most thought provoking, with a mystery ingredient, contrast of textures and plain old creativity.

Paired June Edition



2nd up was a garbanzo bean salad served family style with mint, plum and yogurt. I love all forms of beans (though I should omit Lima from that statement) and loved that it was served on some of Scott's work.

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition


Our Main course was Walleye (caught just the day before up in North Dakota), which was grilled on a cedar plank which gave it an incredibly smokey flavor. The field greens added a nice bitterness to the plate which was balanced by the tartness of the rhubarb compote and the creaminess of the potatoes.

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Dessert was composed of gingerbread cookies and fresh from the farmer's market strawberry ice cream. I loved that the cookies were cut into shapes for us to play with. I always had an affinity for Lincoln Logs, and who doesn't love to play with their food?

Paired June Edition

Paired June Edition


Paired June Edition

Drinks were a mixture of wine, beer made by Kevin Horkheimer (with whom you can chat at the Northern Brewer in St Paul)

Paired June Edition

and Scotch served with dessert. I actually really enjoyed the scotch, but won't comment as to whether that was influenced by numerous servings of wine and beer prior to that point in the meal.



Final thoughts: the setting was gorgeous and the food was perfect for the 1st cool evening in what seemed like weeks. I'm so fortunate to have such amazing people in my life that express their creativity this way. I am both saddened by, and excited about the last Paired meal coming up in August. Regardless, it has certainly inspired my desire to host more dinner parties.

Paired June Edition

5 comments:

De Nueva said...

I need to find cool things like this in NY. Also, can I put in a dinner party request for the last week in June? :-)

De Nueva said...

or, actually July??

Rich G. said...

It's all too rare that anyone calls me well-dressed. My wife, on the other hand, is a different story.

Kris said...

Any chance of getting that chickpea recipe? It looks amazing and sounds perfect for summer.

chipped said...

thanks for posting the pictures from paired. . it makes me feel like I was almost cool enough to be there. . the table was beautiful. .