A couple weeks ago, we went to Federal, in Durham. It’s a classic, old-timey neighborhood bar with bathrooms smaller than any I’ve ever encountered in NYC, that happens to have some killer food and one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted. Gruyere, dijon, bacon. Need I say more? Their fries – fresh cut, homemade, tossed with garlic and parsley are also pretty stellar. Paired with a nice stout, it was the perfect antidote for a long day of moving.
We then went to Whiskey (a seriously classy speakeasy type bar) in downtown Durham, with lights so dim you’re bound to walk into the men’s room by mistake. It’s the kind of place so many other bars try to be – attempting to resurrect an era that was prominent with this kind of a joint. They’ve since faded out, being replaced by modern, trendy bars, hipster dives or the average sports bar. And other bars have tried to recreate such a place and atmosphere, but you can see they are trying too hard, where with Whisky, you don’t really see that. You almost feel ill-dressed and uncool enough to be there, it’s that smooth. They have antique thick glass, ornate glassware, an authentic dark tin paneled ceiling, and a gorgeous wooden bar, housing (of course) a plethora of whisky and bourbon. They have a unique cocktail menu with prohibition era drinks and I can’t remember what mine was called but it did have gin.
A couple Sundays ago, I awoke early and couldn’t fall back asleep. So what did I do? I peeled and cored a bunch of apples and made some Apple Butter, naturally. It was my first time making apple butter and when I saw the Kitchen Sink’s post on it, I just had to make some. I’m not even an apple butter person, really. The idea just sounded so appeeling… ; ) Pun aside, it turned out great, although it was essentially apple sauce. I’m not sure how to get that smooth, butter like consistency. We made some Bill Neal biscuits and heaped that apple butter on them and it made for a delicious Sunday morning breakfast. We still have plenty left over, so now I just need to bring some oat molasses bread home from the bakery, so we can devour the rest of it.
The apple butter called for Apple Cider and I had seen another recipe for Cider-Braised Chicken from the Kitchen Sink that caught my eye. It too conveniently called for Apple Cider, so it made even more since to make it. And let me tell you…man it was good. It had so much flavor – the fresh sage, the sweet cider caramelized onions and the juicy braised chicken. We made some buttermilk mashed potatoes and some rosemary orange braised carrots to go with. It was an idyllic fall meal.