Welcome to Four Eyes Forum, a meeting place to exchange news and views on food, food photography, the word on food, food science, style and architecture. Join me, the blogger who wears glasses, in this world as I throw out engaging stuff that I think you'll find interesting, beautiful and delicious. As Charles Dudley Warner, American editor and writer, said,
"Lettuce, like conversation, requires a good deal
of oil, to avoid friction, and keep the company
smooth....You can put anything, and the more
things the better, into salad, as into a conver-
sation, but everything depends upon the skill of

That's my job.

(All photographs, unless otherwise cited, copyright
Kristin Halgedahl Photography 2016)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016

"All The Slow Months The Wind Owns"

This wonderful line from William Stafford's poem "Montana Eclogue" describes perfectly the transition from fall to winter in a place as cold as Montana. A place, this place, this Michigan, where the last gasps of fall

give way to a white landscape. Stafford describes that transition in stanza three of his poem.

"the water
darkens; the whole surface of the lake livens….
nothing can hold against that current."

Not the lone Loon
or the gull knowing the Polar Bear's clue.
The burrowing begins.

However, In her Editor's Letter in the February issue of Food and Wine magazine, (BUY this one…it's great!) Dana Cowin posits a fairly radical theory. "Winter is the time to burrow, not entertain. That's many cooks' mantra in the cold months. But I have to disagree; Winter is the season to invite friends over for a real meal." What a concept! I take her cue. As the soft train whistle blows far away this morning, the sound of bubbling pie filling can be heard in my kitchen. The summer-made frozen apple pie comes to its second half-life and fills the room with aroma that harkens back the red warmth of the orchard in August. 

Still, we've many months of winter to go. I know, I know. Yet those are made easier with a pot roast to accompany that dessert, some green beans and bread and, voila, we have a colorful palette that, like Logue in Stafford's poem,

 "carries us forward a little,
and on his way out for the year will
stand by the shore and see winter in,
the great, repeated lesson every year.
A storm bends by that shore and
one flake at a time teaches
grace, even to stone."

(all photographs copyright Kristin Halgedahl Photography, 2016)

Friday, July 17, 2015

'F' is for Farm

One of the reasons I moved to Traverse City is that, although a city dweller, I need access to farms and farm folks at any time.  This feeling could go back to my Kansas roots, or to a much deeper human urge to 'grow' things. In any case, northern Michigan is deep agricultural country, and farms dot the landscape as frequently as lakes do. One such special place is Holmstead Farm, at 2102 West Long Lake Road. It's organic and CSA. It's stewards are Becky and Marshall Holmes, and their children and grandchildren, and teddy bears, and cats, and chickens, and friends, and customers.

'F' is for Farm.
'C' is for,  "Come and rest awhile."

'L' is for Grandma's Ginger Lemonade.

'G' is for Grandma, who never rests.

'C' is for Chickens. Barred Rock Chickens.
'E' is for crazy good eggs.

'M' is for Farm Mouser.

'B' is for bike; they come from everywhere around.

'T' is for table, a CSA dinner.

From the Odyssey, the code of hospitality is an ancient code
common to just about every known culture and moral code.
It states that anyone who comes to your home, invited of uninvited,
should be treated with the utmost respect, provided food, comfort
and basically be treated like family. Turning away someone's request
for shelter or mistreating a guest was a terrible, shameful act, worthy
of severe punishment by the Gods. By virtue of its existence, Holmstead Farm
honors this code. Of course, you can look at their Facebook Page, but, to really see for yourself, watch for the barn and just turn at the Egg sign about a 1/2 mile from Crescent Shores Road.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Great Culinary Divide -- My Exploration Of Gender Bias In The Professional Kitchen

I just received word that a spec article I'm writing on gender bias in the culinary workplace may be published in Taverse Magazine. The topic is important to me because I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area before coming to Traverse City, MI three years ago, and I'm, therefore, a diner used to eating in female-led restaurants. Julia Child, Cindy Pawlcyn, Alice Waters and others set the standard for the nation, raising the bar for women in a male dominated workplace.  Having followed online coverage of the recent Women Chefs and Restauranteurs annual conference in NYC, I struck out to solicit the help of co-chef/owners Jennifer Blakeslee and Eric Patterson, to find out what makes their partnership tick. They generously opened their kitchen at The Cooks' House, to this fledgling explorer. Here are the pictorial results of an evening shooting there during a wine pairing dinner where equity was everywhere in evidence. 

Jennifer and Eric

Menu - Front of the house.

Menu - Back of the House.

More than one route to the same destination!




Savory Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Tart

Sparkling Gruener, Mari Vineyards, Old Mission Peninsula

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Four Eyes' Fifth Anniversary, And A Return To The Strawberry Theme That Started It All

Uncle Tom would've been proud to sit among the guests at The Strawberry Social at Holmstead Farms in Traverse City, Michigan today! If you remember, Followers, this blog came to be as a result of a memory of Uncle Tom's Fourth of July Strawberry Ice Cream.
Had I not known better, I might've thought this was an anniversary party!

Great summer salads were in abundance, and strawberries galore. After a long, long winter, everything is tearing out of the ground and onto the plate. This party gave the moniker 'Farm to Table' new meaning, given the farm was the table.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be An Easter Diner…At The Boathouse!

I'm so glad I don't have any food phobias, as I recently discovered my cousin has. Any buffet, private or public, she says, gives her the willies, because, "People are breathing on that food!  There could be human hair in it! And it just sits there for too long." Well, to carry that fear around is a terrible burden, not to mention balloon-deflater at holiday celebrations consumed 'out.' Such was not the case for me, thankfully, at Easter Brunch at The Boathouse restaurant in Traverse City, MI. This was my third experience there, and the best yet as all the chefs were out slicing and serving, heating up the omelette station, the pastry chef replenishing the lemon curd, and were as affable and as chatty as they could be. 

Chef Jim Morse, welcoming presence.

Honey Ham, as enticing as a sunset.

There wasn't a moment's hesitation at questions I threw at them, and they changed out their stations regularly -- my cousin would have approved, I think. Everything was so delicious, in fact, that a platter didn't have a chance to 'sit.' People were eating ravenously and many, like me, ate like student athletes on the football team. I may have felt a twinge of self-consciousness, but that disappeared quickly -- everything was just too good. And I had gone over the stations on the web, had plotted my culinary strategy, and proceeded with small plates so that I could taste everything they had to dish out. And dish out they did. A photo gallery of some of the offerings.
Olives, olives, olives, salami, and pickled things, like asparagus, were at the first station

I named the Oyster Bar "Ed," because
my friend ate so many! He finally declared himself done when
he could hear them sloshing around in his stomach!

For bagels.

And more hors d'oeuvre selections

Boathouse Prime Rib

Desserts. Kudos to the pastry chef!  There was Creme Brûlée, also, and pie dough pinwheels, with fresh fruit drops at their centers. They were exemplary.

Long story short, The Boathouse is a holiday I mean by that deeply satisfying, to the body and soul. And a satisfaction that lasts. "Serenely full, the epicure would say, Fate cannot harm me, I have dined today." --Sydney Smith, English clergyman and essayist.