How We Used to do Selfies

I went to high school in Europe, drank cheap Italian wine, and suffered monumental headaches the next mornings.

In comparison, beer was easier to manage.

However, six or seven or us took a photography trip to the island of Burano (or was it Murano?) off Venice. We spent the morning shooting Tri-X and Plus-X rolls of black and white film.

For lunch we sat at a simple, deserted, outdoor restaurant in sunshine with our German teacher, Horst Durrschmidt, who ordered our standard meal – eight simple fish courses with multiple jugs of white wine.

Life was wonderful. And because there was no autofocus on cameras back then, our afternoon shots turned out fuzzy.

1980, probably Ponte Vecchio waterway, Italy
Inland from Venice, but You Get the Idea: Rural, Tranquil

So soon after shooting a few inebriated rolls of film, we snoozed, and, hey –  no headache the next day.

Perhaps wine could be decent.

A friend who went to the same school wrote me last week.

Dan Burgess informed me of an article in Bloomberg Magazine about a new book that recalls a visit to wineries in all fifty US states.

The timing? Beautiful.

I’m collecting recipes from wineries in all 50 states (and throughout the world), and recently have been graced with colorful and unexpected contributions: Balsamic Asparagus from the meat-loving Heartland of Kansas, as well as European recipes from the Midwest – including Italian Chicken Cacciatore from Iowa, and German Noodle Salad from Indiana.

I’ll soon travel to France and Italy to sample food and wine with lust. Meanwhile, check out recipes from the two last states inaugurated into the USA union – in 1959.

Climatically divergent and socially disparate, Hawaii and Alaska share amazing natural scenery, excellent access to diverse and abundant seafood, and a creative hardy few who produce tasty wine without grapes.

Stephanie Krieger of Nani Moon Meadery in Hawaii wrote:

“Aloha Tom,

Below is a recipe created from Nani Moon Pineapple Lime Mead from one of our favorite chefs on Kauai, Ron Miller of Hukilau Lanai.


Here is the recipe.



Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.06.24 pmPineapple Lime Poisson Cru, from Nani Moon Meadery, Hawaii, USA

Preparation Time and Quantity –

25 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to cook.

Ingredients and Amounts

Fish and Marinade

Thinly sliced sashimi quality raw fish – 8 ounces (230 grams)

Fresh coconut water – 2 tablespoons (30 grams)

Fresh squeezed lime juice – 2 tablespoons (30 grams)

Nani Moon Mead (pineapple lime) – 2 tablespoons (30 grams)

Sea salt – ½ teaspoon (3 grams)

Ginger – ½ teaspoon (3 grams)

Whole cilantro leaves or micro greens – handful or as needed

Fried Cassava

Cassava – ½ pound (230 grams)

Sugar – ½ teaspoon (2 grams)

Coriander – ½ teaspoon (1.3 gram)

Paprika – 1 teaspoon (1.3 grams)

Salt – ½ teaspoon (2.8 grams)

Preparation –

  1. Finely grate ginger.
  2. Heat fryer to 340 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celsius).

Recipe –

  1. Mix coconut water, lime juice, grated ginger, and mead in a bowl with the salt.
  2. Arrange thinly sliced fish on a platter.
  3. Pour the marinade over the fish and top with fresh cilantro leaves / micro greens.
  4. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Mix sugar, coriander, paprika, and salt, and set aside.
  6. Peel the skin off the cassava root. Use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips of cassava.
  7. Place the strips directly into a 340 degree fryer and fry until golden brown.
  8. Remove from fryer and season immediately with the spices.

Serving –

Ron and Stephanie wrote, “The crunchy chips are a great accompaniment to the tender raw fish, and can be prepared a few hours ahead.”

Comments –

Ron and Stephanie wrote – “Micro greens are showing up for sale at farmers markets and fine stores. They are really easy to grow. All that it takes is a little bit of sanitary soil and a plant propagation tray. The moist seeds emerge in a few days and are ready to harvest in a week. They can be grown indoors or out.”

Yes, it’s French sushi rather than Hawaiian sashimi, but again, you get the idea.

And from Alaska –

Halibut Quiche, from Bill and Dorothy Fry and Colleen Peschel of Bear Creek Winery, Homer, Alaska, USA

Preparation Time and Quantity –

15 minutes to prepare, 45 minutes to cook. Serves 10 people.

Ingredients and Amounts –

Prepared pie crust – 1

Eggs – 4

Milk – 2 cups (475 milliliters)

Swiss cheese – 1 ½ cups (170 grams)

Fried bacon slices – 10

Onion (green or white; small) – 1

Smoked halibut (crushed) – 1 cup (170 grams)

Salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne – few dashes each, to taste

 Preparation –

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
  2. Place the piecrust in a pie pan.
  3. Dice the onion.
  4. Mix spices together.

 Recipe –

  1. Put cheese, bacon, onion, and crushed halibut into piecrust.
  2. Sprinkle spices on top.
  3. Beat eggs and add to milk in a bowl.
  4. Pour egg/milk mixture over ingredients in pie pan.
  5. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

Serving –

You can serve with Colleen’s ‘Alaska Currant Royale,’ which is a flute filled ¾ full with a medium dry champagne, to which you add 1 ½ ounces (45 milliliters) of blackcurrant wine. (“The more black currant you add, the sweeter it gets.”)

A reasonable alternative if you can’t rustle up black currant wine. In fact, you don’t even need champagne.








Leave a Reply

Close Menu