You want your meat board to be a statement of your ambition. Not as a cook, but as an eater. If you can avoid it, don't just let this be a venue for a dinner plate. You want a board that seems deliberate and larger than life. Wood is good. But so is slate or stone or anything smooth and safe for food. In this moment, when you are putting together a board, you are not a chef, nor even a cook. You are an artist in front of a fresh canvas, but your paints are going to be the foods that you most love.
You can barely imagine what the world was like in the proto-suburbs of the Pacific Northwest for a child who had traveled there––entirely on his own, with his mother at home and his father awaiting him––from a small Tuscan village. This was before "a small Tuscan village" was even a thing on the radar of America at large. And it was before America had its culturally and politically dominating century. It was before anyone knew what the Pacific Northwest would become, foodwise.
And yet, that is where Angelo Pellegrini settled. His childhood of 12 or so years in Tuscany gave him an uncanny experience to bring to pre-depression America, including an adult life that coincided with the Cold War in which his heritage could not have been less relevant. He was born at just the right time to enjoy America in a way that few others had. But he was also born just a bit too early to have been the celebrity he would have been if he had emerged in the age of Alice Waters and the Food Network.
If you, like me, were born between 1975 and 1990, your first exposure to the idea that "champagne" has technical regulations and restrictions likely came from Rob Lowe's odious Benjamin character in the original Wayne's World. ("Actually, all champagne is French. It's named after the region.") And you, like me, probably play into/totally own his snooty accusation that Americans don't recognize the convention, and call all their sparkling whites "champagne," and don't care. Because only a true b-hole shames somebody while handing them a drink.
I'm a life-long fan of Alton Brown. Recently, I've loved his post-cable TV Youtube videos in which he revisits topics and techniques that he was not allowed to demonstrate on network television. These have included things like "dirty steaks" where you cook a hanger steak directly on natural wood coals, the most efficient way to light a grill (spoiler: it's by using what is basically a flame thrower), and, my favorite,
Giving a handmade gift is always better than a mass manufactured one. Whether you make it yourself or support a local artisan, craftsman or favorite Etsy shop, giving something that can't be found in a big box store not only shares an element of care, but of legit surprise.
But do you know what we love even more than giving something handmade? Empowering the recipient to make something themselves. So, this Father's Day, give the gift of DIY with this simple and stylish leather coaster gift kit.
Right now, you can find more tutorials on how to use vinegar to clean your toilet than you can find to use vinegar with a delicious dinner. This is a travesty for such an amazing and delicious liquid! Unlike most condiments, vinegar is one that you can make yourself and will taste better than anything you can buy in a store. I guarantee it! Here is a simple tutorial on turning leftover wine into homemade vinegar.
I'll admit it: when I was 24, and thinking about hosting friends for Thanksgiving for the very first time, I probably wouldn't have used a guide like this. For one thing, I was stubborn and willful, and liked to think I could figure everything out on my own (wrong!). For another, that was 2006, and the internet was a much newer, smaller place then: this type of guide probably wasn't out there.
But you, my friends! You youngsters with your illogical catch phrases and shrug emojis and your ability to understand how to use Snapchat! You can be better! You can do what few young men before you have ever done! You can host an awesome Thanksgiving meal at your house, and it can look amazing, and you can even have fun doing it. C'mon, it's not going to be hard ...
Every man should own a corkscrew, but admitedly there some times in life when everything is going right in terms of wine acquisition and there's just no corkscrew to be had. Never fear. As long as you've got a key on your person, you'll be ok...
Grilling and barbecuing meals is one of modern life's true great privileges. Earlier communities cooked over the open flame out of necessity, but we choose to adds layers of smoke, fire, char, and salt because some foods just deserve it. To light a fire and cook your meal upon it is a ritual of gratitude that honors the ingredients, the technique, and the time it requires to make it work. It is, in every way, an opportunity to make food special again.
Great Cooking is All About Good Technique and Ingredients. Here are Two Solid, Standby Recipes to Win Dinner Every Time
By the time you're thirty, there are a few things you really should know how to do, like fixing a flat tire, fixing a leaky faucet ... and fixing a meal. You don’t have to be an amazing cook, but every man definitely needs some standbys to pull out when guests are coming around. A dish or two he knows well, with ingredients and techniques he understands.
The existence of wine predates the written language and for good reason. At ManMade, we take our wine-loving and appreciation seriously, so we partnered with our brothers at Murphy-Goode Winery to bring you the essential things we believe every man should know about wine. It's Murphy-Goode's 30th anniversary (their Maniversary), so we thought we'd share thirty tips, ideas, and bits of trivia to celebrate. Here we go:
This week, we're sharing the ultimate guy's guide to backyard entertaining. We've covered preparing your backyard and getting ready for guests, as well as some easy DIY tricks to improve the space and create the right vibe. Then, we shared some ideas for the food - moving beyond hamburgers and hot dogs to create some seriously tasty grilled goodies, as well as tips for finding the right wine to bring everything together.
This week, we're sharing the ultimate guy's guide to backyard entertaining. In Part I, we created the game plan: getting your outdoor space ready to go, invites, music and entertainment.
Part II is about the centerpieces of any get-together: food and drinks. To help, we partnered with Murphy-Goode, a Sonoma winery that makes great wines for occasions just like this one: good times, good friends, and good food. Read on for lots of tips and ideas to make it happen.
Table of Contents
Planning the Menu
Cooking for a Crowd: A cookout is not a dinner party. No courses, no place-cards, no roast-carving. And that, friends, is a good thing.
Being a party-goer is easy: you show up, eat food, drink drink, have fun, and go home. Nice. But sometimes you need to return the favor, do your part and be a good guy. Sometimes, it's gotta be your turn to host.
That's why we're creating the ultimate man's guide to backyard entertaining. We're skipping the burgers and hot dogs, but saving the grill-power and the open flame. This is no fancy dinner party with flowers and special place settings and specialized utensils. But it is an event for grown-ups (read: no kegs) who want to get together and enjoy a great evening of good grub, tasty wine and conversation.
They say a fine wine only gets better as it ages. Guess what? So do you. Being a young adult is awesome. It's all about setting yourself up for success, and forming yourself into the kind of man you want to be.
But, at some point, you actually get to live out those commitments and really embrace the kind of grown-up you want to be. Whoever said "never trust anybody over thirty" must have never gotten there, cause being in your thirties, if you do it right, is freaking awesome.
I may be behind the curve on this one, but I had no idea how easy cutting glass was if you have the proper tools (which are also surprisingly cheap). Ben Uyeda at Homemade-Modern.com posted this tutorial on how to make some streamlined desktop planters out of old wine bottles.
With age comes maturity, and usually a little wisdom. By the time a man hits thirty, that wisdom should be apparent in the company he keeps, the deeds he does, and the things he owns. ManMade advocates for those that are built to last; we oppose the culture of disposability. Here's our list of things worth owning.
This post is brought to you by Murphy-Goode Winery, a California winemaker that has supported us in creating great original content, like last summer's outdoor entertaining guide, our holiday gift guide and our guide to simple gift wrapping techniques any guy can use. This year they're celebrating their 30-year anniversary, and they asked us to come up with 30 things guys should try to own by the time they're thirty.
You owe it to your friends and family to be a good gift giver. Rule number one: cool it with the gift cards ... there's always a better solution. Below is our list of ideas to spark your true gifting spirit, sponsored by our friends at the Murphy-Goode Winery (who believe in serious wine, serious fun, and doing good).
Every gift says something to the recipient. Another $25 to spend at Amazon says, "I'm lazy" and doesn't capture season's spirit. No one will be moved because you stopped by that end cap before exiting the grocery store.
Instead, give something that shows you actually care. Here are some gift card-alternatives with enough appeal to give to nearly anyone on your list.