Posts Tagged ‘Latvian’

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Here I Come and Off I Go

Monday, August 22nd, 2011 by David

The summer is almost over, and I’ve only got one more trip to go.  So far so good: 4-2 weekend was a great success, the pig roast was amazing and the volleyball world class.  I got to see friends from all over the U.S and Canada.  Along with the pig roast, there was traditional Latvian sauerkraut, sausages and rye bread.  The chicken wing tent turned into an all-weekend competition of very entertaining value.  Different groups of friends and families would vie for the title of who could cook and sell the most chicken wings in a given shift.  I don’t know who ended up winning, but when it was all said and done, over 2000 pounds of wings were sold.  That’s a lot of buffalo sauce and ranch.  But this is just a warm up for our next trip.

We’re going to Disney World for the Food and Wine Expo 2011.  Now this is actually a serious trip, as my wife is running the midnight Disney half-marathon.  Someone has to go and cheer for her, and me being the supportive husband, I’m willing to take time out of my busy schedule to be there.  It doesn’t hurt that my sister lives in the area so I can make up some family time. The fact that I’ll get to hang out with Mickey and the Gang while getting to try food from all over the world doesn’t hurt either.  If I can get a hold of some new recipes, I’ll bring them back and post them.  With all that, a little R&R will be nice before we kick off the holiday season at The Chopping Block.  It’s going to be a busy one, so if you haven’t planned your party yet, I would do so soon.  Enjoy the rest of your summer, there isn’t much left.

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David Indriksons is a Lead Class Assistant at The Chopping Block with a background that goes from small scale bistros to large scale catering and everything in between. In addition to a great love of food, he is a self-admitted travel junkie that enjoys hanging out with locals around the world and trying new cuisine. Outside of TCB, he enjoys skating, snowboarding, and playing with his dog, Caesar.

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My Favorite Holiday

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 by David

It’s quickly approaching! Warm weather, sandy Michigan beaches, old friends, and of course, good food. No, it’s not the Fourth of July or Labor Day, it’s “4-2 Weekend” or more commonly called “Volleys”. Usually the last weekend in July or the first weekend in August, it’s not really a holiday, but it might as well  be considered one. People prepare and plan for months and come from all over the U.S. and Canada.  Formally it is “4-2 Weekend”, a volleyball tournament where the teams have 4 men and 2 women per team, hence the name 4-2.  Unofficially, it is a chance to get to see friends that you haven’t seen since last year, sit by the lake drinking, eating and enjoying live music from various bands around the country.  It also happens to fall right around my birthday. There’s no better present!

Picture a beach full of people, all grilling and hanging out, everyone floating in the lake and wandering between tents and campsites.  Roasted vegetable salads, grilled fish, campfire breakfasts of sausage, eggs and bacon… and that’s just what people brought with them. Later in the day, right next to the main volleyball court is the food stand serving up authentic Latvian food: homemade sauerkraut, smoked sausages and salmon, and dark rye bread with mustard.  Delicious.  Not so authentic, but equally enticing, chicken wings fried and finished with some of the best sauces ever, spicy roasted garlic, asian soy and ginger, and good ol’ BBQ.  There’s no shortage of food and drink here!

The tournament runs two days with the first day being teens and amateurs, commonly referred to as the beer bracket.  The second day is the power bracket; these are players that were ranked in college and some that played semi-pro. It’s some of the best beach volleyball anywhere, and you can watch courtside.  After the final game of the power bracket, comes the victory dinner; whole roasted hogs. You can start to smell the feast about eight to twelve hours before dinner.  They dig two pits in the ground, load them with coals and place the hogs onto metal frames above the pits.  Over the next twelve plus hours, they slowly roast them to perfection, basting them as they finish cooking.  Along with the hogs, food has been prepared all day: more sauerkraut, roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables and cucumber and tomato salads are the standards.  The dinner starts after the final game and usually goes into the early hours of the morning.  It takes that long just eat all the food.  Now, that sounds like a holiday to me.

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David Indriksons is a Lead Class Assistant at The Chopping Block with a background that goes from small scale bistros to large scale catering and everything in between. In addition to a great love of food, he is a self-admitted travel junkie that enjoys hanging out with locals around the world and trying new cuisine. Outside of TCB, he enjoys skating, snowboarding, and playing with his dog, Caesar.