Tuesday, March 3, 2015

O Shirrell! My Shirrell!

My mother was an ever present beacon in my life.  My dream to move her to Colorado with my husband almost happened ~ she will be moving with us in spirit, and she experienced our new life, and was excited for us all. 

Shirrell de Leeuw was born in Buffalo, NY in 1929. She died at home in Hopewell, NJ in 2015.  In her 85 years she married to and  a business partner with her life partner of 65 years, Roald Buhler. They raised four children -- I am (age-wise) monkey in the middle, and the only daughter, with three brothers who came of age in the late 60's and 70's. We challenged and questioned our parents authority, and they loved us unconditionally.  We are better people for that.   O Shirrell!  My Shirrell!   I am proud to be your daughter! R.I.P.

Shirrell de Leeuw Buhler

Born: September 15, 1929, Buffalo, New York
Died:  February 26, 2015,   Hopewell, New Jersey

Shirrell Buhler, founding partner of the P-STAT statistical software program died on February 26 at her home in Hopewell, New Jersey. She was a graduate of Oberlin College where she met her husband and business partner, Roald Buhler. After raising four children, her academic career began in 1966 as a research assistant at the Princeton University Office of Population Research under the direction of Prof. Charles Westoff.  In 1969 she joined the staff of the Princeton University Computer Center where she managed technical support and training. In 1979 the Buhlers transitioned from academia to commercial software development, incorporated as P-STAT, Inc. Shirrell was the primary author of the P-STAT manuals and training documentation.

She loved her work, programming P-STAT for over 50 years with her husband Roald. They were a dynamic duo, working together and challenging each other to write better Fortran code.  They traveled the world presenting papers, participating in government/academic/commercial projects, and training the next few generations of analytic researchers. She was a member of the American Statistical Association for decades.  One colleague wrote,  "She had a keen sense of how numerical analysis develops meaning, vs. the mechanics of computing."

Shirrell loved life and enjoyed it to the fullest – reading, programming, jazzercise, sudoku,  Friday night dinners with friends, and most especially keeping in touch with her family.

She is survived by her sister, Carolina de Leeuw, her four children and their partners; Eric and Nancy, Sebbie and Charles, David and Karen, Marc and Jenny; and grandchildren Wade and Owen.

In memory of Shirrell please consider supporting the WWFM - The Classical Network, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, NJ 08550 (on-line wwfm.org) or your local Planned Parenthood office. There will be no formal memorial service.  

Shirrell, circa 2004.

Shirrell, maybe Buffalo Seminary graduation photo... approx 1947.

December 22, 1951. Wedding in Buffalo.

Computer programmers - 1970 CBS election night behind the scenes
programming for predictions.

Consulting project in Africa - 1970's.
Helping Seb pour Rogue Mogul
1994 Michael Jackson UPA/BookCook.

R-L Shirrell, mom Georgiana, sister Care, Baby Hendrik.

Shirrell and Roald - 1970's mod in a shimmering dress fr FL
Q; did you wear custom made Vans or gold painted
sneakers with this gown?
Me and Mom. 1957 Hightstown
1st Birthday party. Oh yeah!
Oberlin 60th  Reunion.
circa 2004, Seb's beer dinner
at Rats Restaurant, NJ.

 Nov 1990, Seb & Chas' Culebra Wedding.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 16, 1996 Craft Beer Dinner at the James Beard House

I am taking a trip down memory and culinary lane ~ this April 16, 1996 menu is from a craft beer dinner held at the James Beard House in NYC.  

In the spring of 1996, Rogue Ales was invited to participate in a beer dinner organized by Chef David Martin of the Friends Lake Inn (Adirondacks), that would be hosted at the James Beard House in NYC.  At the time I was the Mid-Atlantic / New England sales rep for Rogue Ales, and NYC was one of my favorite culinary hubs. For me, this was a big deal--a really big deal to bring beer from Oregon to James Beard's house--he was an Oregonian, and I was thrilled to be involved.  I knew about the James Beard Foundation, the annual James Beard Awards, and how prestigious being part of a dinner at his house was.   

I bought several tickets (and subsequently joined as a member of the JB Foundation for many years), and invited my parents, Roald and Shirrell Buhler, and cousin, Gawain deLeeuw, to join me. I also extended an invitation for Carol Stoudt of Stoudts Brewing Company to join us, and stay over at my parents house in Hopewell, NJ.  My husband was traveling, but my cousin was in divinity school only a few blocks away, he loves cooking, craft beer, and has an incredible palette. I also remember having a terrible sinus cold, and how mad I was that I could not really taste flavors and savor the dinner like I wanted to.  C'est la Vie.  I did keep the menu!  Anyone else remember Nor'Wester Raspberry Weizen?!  Rogue Smoke is an all time classic craft beer,  as are the many beers brewed today by  Stoudts,  Middle Ages, Gritty McDuff'sSierra Nevada, and Great Lakes Brewing!

 Fast foward to 2014.
Chef Martin is now running Turtle Island Cafe, in Willsboro, NY.  His menu includes many great beers, listed under headings that include The Regulars, Local, IPAs, Crafters, Belgians, and Euros!  I love Chefs that include wine on their beer list!

Sharon and Greg Taylor were Innkeepers at Friends Lake Inn in 1996.  Today they are the Innkeepers at The Fern Lodge in Chestertown, NY -- an amazing looking retreat and 70 acre oasis in the Adirondacks.

The 2014 James Beard Awards will be held on May 5th,  and two great craft brewers are amongst the finalists -- so craft beer has a 2 in 5 chance of winning in the  Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional category! 
  1. Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
  2. Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, NM
  3. Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY
  4. Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY
  5. David Wondrich, spirits educator, Brooklyn, NY 
It is exciting to see how Chefs are embracing beer, almost two decades later, both as an ingredient to cook with  but also to pair with.  You've come a long way, baby!

The James Beard House has 3 webcams in the kitchen (stove, prep and kitchen) streaming live during the many dinners they host at 167 West 12th Street. While it is fun to watch, this reminds me of 4-16-1996, when I could see and hear, but not smell a thing!  

Prost, Salute, Bon Appetit and Allez Cuisine!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chocolate Stout Beef Stew for St Patrick's Day, or any day!

If a photo is worth a thousand words, I would start with Delicious and end with Yum!


Here is the recipe Michele posted on her blog (and many thanks for sharing the photo, story and recipe... note, this is her photo, not mine

So I’m in line at Whole Foods with a parsnip in one hand and a Rogue’s Chocolate Stout in the other.  The Irish woman in line ahead of me looks at my hands and says, “looks like you are having an Irish dinner tonight!”  It was funny to me that stout and parsnips screamed “Irish” to her.  My lovely sister shares her birthday with St. Patrick’s Day.  She’s lucky, as there is always a party on her birthday.  This year is a milestone b-day for her, and I’m bummed we can’t be together.  However, if there’s anything that can make your bummed belly happy, it’s a good Irish beef stew.  The Rogue’s Chocolate Stout imparts a velvety, barely there, chocolatey taste.  I highly recommend using it.  Alternatives for Rogue in your grocery store are Guinness, Murphy’s Irish stout, or your favorite locally brewed stout!  I can’t help but think a Bell’s Porter from Kalamazoo would also be phenomenal.

  • 1 cup of Rogue Chocolate Stout
  • 1 1/4 lbs stew meat (I used bison, but beef is fine too)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced parsnip
  • 1 cup thickly sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2-3 cups of beef stock
  • 2 of sprigs of thyme and 2 sprigs of rosemary, tied in a bundle
  • mashed potatoes for topping
  • parsley for garnish
Thanks again Michele, and  Happy Birthday to your sister! 


@micheleparvizi  @chocolatestout  @rogueales

Erin Go Rogue

Erin Go Rogue!

March Madness is in the kitchen... check out the delicious and fun green marshmallows from the folks at TruffleTruffle in Chicago 

 "our signature beer & pretzel marshmallows have gone green for St. Patrick’s Day so you can celebrate in style! inspired by the Chicago River, we’ve dyed our Rogue Chocolate Stout-infused marshmallows green, dipped them in a milk chocolate shell and topped each with a crust of salted pretzels and a splash of four leaf clovers. available in a 4pc or 12pc box."


@truffletruffle  @RogueAles  @ChocolateStout

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Julia!

August 15, 2012  ~  Julia Carolyn (nee McWilliams) Child's 100th birthday.

In celebration of Julia Child's 100th Birthday the Les Dames  d'Escoffier NYC chapter requested pinning stories, recipes and photos on their Pinterest board.  This photo takes me back to the moment in my career that was directly influenced by Julia Child.  I did not meet Julia in person, but her persona was a hugh influence and I found my (speaking) voice in her kitchen, literally.

I was invited to speak at the Culinary Institute of America by the ALES Club in 1996 and again in 2003.

The photo below was during my second visit in August 2003 -- I was pacing back and forth in front of the Julia Child Kitchen, in the Danny Kaye Theater, inside the Conrad Hilton Library at the CIA Hyde Park Campus.  It was sink or swim, and I swam!

CIA student Daniel Maser invited me to speak at the ALES Club meeting.  I paired 9 beers from Rogue Ales and 5 cheeses from Rogue Creamery (three cheddars and  two blues) and spoke for over 2 hours to a crowded room with future Chefs and hospitality industry students.

A crew from the ALES Club helped me prep and serve that evening. I have kept in touch and followed the careers of several students from 1996 and 2003. A big shout out to Chef John Harkness, Daniel Maser and Jasmine Smith (in the center - green shirt, who oversees Quality Control for Fra' Mani in Oakland. CA).

I did not grow up watching Julia on PBS (albeit I love watching the episodes now, and wish I'd seen them then...), nor do I own any cookbooks written by her (thanks to the internet and web searches, it is easy to find her recipes online). 

However, while thinking about Julia and how she influenced me, I realized there are 6 degrees of separation between me and Julia.

Born Julia Carolyn McWilliams in Pasadena, CA on August 15, 1912, she died on August 13, 2004 at age 91 (just shy of 92!).  Julia married Paul Cushing Child on September 1, 1946 in Stockton, NJ.  He had family in Lumberville, Pennsylvania where Julia and Paul often visited.  Amazing to think I have driven Route 32 through Lumberville every day for 20+ years and have gazed at the same landscape and traveled the same roads as Julia. 

Her father (John McWilliams, Jr., Class of 1901)  attended Princeton University, not long after my maternal grandfather, and mother's namesake, Shirrell Norton McWilliams, class of 1894.  While these two McWilliams were a few years apart during college, many Princeton alumni, especially my GreatGreatGrandfather were active in alumni activities (PRade and Reunions, Princeton Avenue eating clubs, Princeton Club in NYC, Buffalo, etc.).  Chances are Shirrell and John were aware of each other.  Shirrell was involved in theater including Princeton's Triangle Club, playing Julius Caesar in the Horable Julius Caesar with Booth Tarkington.

My 6 degrees of separation from Julia:  
my mother Shirrell + Grandmother Georgiana +  GreatGrandfather Shirrell Norton McWilliams / Princeton University / John McWillams Jr + Julia McWilliams Childs

I found my voice and inner culinary confidence in your kitchen.  Happy 100th Birthday Julia! 
Thanks for inspiring me, and the tip, when you smile for the camera say Champagne!

Bon Appetit!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mothers Day Made Sweeter with Beer + Chocolate

Beer + Chocolate for Mothers Day,  May 13, 2012  ~  a great way to kickoff  Craft Beer Week (May 14-20).

Give Mom (or any woman in your life)  the gift of beer made with chocolate, or chocolate made with beer for Mothers Day-- in a bottle or can, in a chocolate bar, truffle, marshmallow, brittle, cupcake, or a pint of ice cream or gelato. There are so many ways to enjoy beer + chocolate, and Mom will thank you for having such great taste, and for thinking of her on Mothers Day.

I've blogged about chocolates made with and paired with beer from Vosges Haut Chocolate in Chicago,  Capogiro Gelato in Philadelphia,  truffle truffle in Chicago, Socola Chocolates in Oakland.  Best of all, these all happen to be women-owned business who have embraced craft beer, and use it as an ingredient!

The new Vosges Smoke + Stout chocolate bar is amazing.  You bet I am biased since Katrina choose to use "my" beer,  but this really is good and a delicious gift to give and receive.

In celebration of Mothers Day and Craft Beer Week, I want to share this quote for the day, posted on Oct 5 1995 in the Bacchus Wine/Beer forum on Compuserve.  I came across an old file of notes and emails on Women in Brewing.  The message below is from  a 1994 article in the Beer & Tavern Chronicle that Alan Eames wrote.  "Beer is a woman's occupation. Beer is a woman's power base. It is the basis for all political organizational power women have had and enjoyed. Women maintain power and status in a male-dominated society by their skills as brewsters. They continue to do so in non-technologoical societies today." 

Today on WHYY Radio Times author Liza Mundy was interviewed about her new book TheRicher Sex.     Here are 3 soundbytes:   71% of women are in the workforce.  40% earn more than their husbands (compared to 23% when the government started tracking incomes for married working couples).  Women under 30 with no children earn more than Men under 30.

Open a bottle of craft beer brewed by a women or with a woman on the label, indulge in gelato, chocolate or other confections made by a women, visit a restaurant with a women chef in the kitchen (and let your server know you are there to patronize them because there is a women in the kitchen!) and toast the successes and future of the women in your life, on Mothers Day and Every Day!   



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Knives! Camera! Action! 2012 CityMeals-on-Wheels Chefs Tribute June 4th

On June 4, 2012  CityMeals-on-Wheels'  27th annual Chefs'  Tribute will descend upon  Rockefeller Center. This gala is one of my favorite fundraisers of the year and for a very worthy cause. I will be pouring a selection of Rogue Ales and Elysian Brewing's beers.    

Here is the inside scoop from CityMeals website:

In 1985, Chefs Larry Forgione and Jonathan Waxman went to Citymeals Co-founder Gael Greene with the idea of celebrating the life of James Beard and his love of cooking, all for the benefit of Citymeals-on-Wheels. As Gael remembers, "The first 'American Chefs and Winemakers' al fresco feast was planned to celebrate Jim's 82nd birthday. When he passed away a few months prior to the event, the gala salute to America's harvest and American talent became our tribute to him."

For the last twenty-six years, the Chefs' Tribute to Citymeals-on-Wheels has kicked off the summer season in New York City with a celebration that feeds both the body and the soul. Last year, over 1,000 guests gathered in Rockefeller Center and raised over $782,000, enough to provide 121,800 meals for our city’s frail aged neighbors.

This year, renowned chefs will gather in Rockefeller Center to celebrate food and film by creating dishes inspired by their favorite movies.  Chefs' Tribute 2012: Knives! Camera! Action!  brings the favorite movies of gourmet chefs to life with unique tasting menus from some of the most exclusive restaurants in the world. Below is a list of all the chefs who are taking part in this glamour

--Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill, Chicago

-- Jonathan Benno & Richard Capizzi, Lincoln Restorante, New York

-- Richard Blais, The Spence, Atlanta
Press coverage of "The Spence"

-- April Bloomfield, Spotted Pig/The Breslin, New York

-- Daniel Boulud & Gavin Kaysen, Café Boulud, New York

-- Juan Branez, Cucina & Co., New York

-- David Burke, David Burke Townhouse, New York

-- Andrew Carmellini, The Dutch/Locanda Verde, New York

-- Cesare Casella, Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto, New York

-- Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles

–- Scott Conant, Scarpetta, New York/Los Angeles/Las Vegas

-- John DeLucie, Crown/The Lion, New York

-- Chris DeLuna, La Fonda del Sol, New York

-- Luc Dimnet, Brasserie, New York

-- Ben Ford, Ford's Filling Station, Culver City, CA

-- Larry Forgione, Conservatory for American Food Studies, St. Helena, CA

-- Marc Forgione, Marc Forgione, New York

-- Yuhi Fujinaga & Michael Gabriel, The Sea Grill, New York

-- Duff Goldman, Charm City Cakes/Charm City Cakes West, Baltimore

-- Rick Moonen, RM Seafood, Las Vegas

-- Marco Moreira, Tocqueville, New York 

-- David Myers, Comme Ça, Los Angeles

-- François Payard, François Payard Bakery, New York

-- Alex Pilas, Eataly, New York

-- Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar and Grill, New York

-- Pierre Poulin, Aureole, New York

-- Antonio Prontelli, Rock Center Café, New York

-- Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC

-- Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin, New York

-- Missy Robbins, A VOCE, New York

-- Marcus Samuelsson, Red Rooster, New York

-- Mindy Segal, Hot Chocolate, Chicago

- Nancy Silverton, Mozza, Los Angeles

-- Joachim Splichal, Patina, Los Angeles

 -- Bill Telepan, Telepan, New York

-- Toshio Tomita, Nobu New York, New York

-- Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolate, New York

-- Rich Torrisi, Torrisi Italian Specialties/Parm, New York

-- Laurent Tourondel, BLT American Brasserie, New York 

-- Silvana Vivoli, Gelateria Vivoli, Florence

-- Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges, New York

-- Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto, New York

-- Bill Yosses, Washington, D.C.