All work and no play makes Jake a dull boy

It’s a proverb taken to heart by many in the Beehive State, especially those of us who’ve chosen Utah first for recreation and then later do we figure out ways to stay here and make a living.

Skier and mountain biker Will Hamill did just that more than 20 years ago. Now, his Uinta Brewing is a multi-million dollar operation and ranked 46th among craft brewing companies, according to the Brewers Association. Read more here.

Jake Boyd, a University of Georgia graduate, knew only three Utahns when he moved west about five years ago for the skiing. Shortly thereafter, he founded AllGood Provisions, an organic line of snacks and trail mixes.

Cashews-4-0z-products-pageWhat caught my eye about AllGood?

To be honest?

The Maine connection.

AllGood roasts cashews with maple syrup from Brownville, Maine. Wicked good.

More seriously, the AllGood line of nuts and berries is a refreshing departure from the who-knows-where-it-comes-from, who-knows-what’s-sprayed-on-it line of snack options usually available.

Why buy nuts and dried fruit from an anonymous source in Israel or Turkey when you can buy them from a family farmer in California?

What started as a nights-and-weekends operation quickly blossomed into a full-time gig for Boyd and his current staff of about a dozen. AllGood has nearly doubled in growth these past few years.

IMG_4489You can find bags of High Antioxidant Trail Mix – jumbo Thompson raisins, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, Goji berries, cranberries, mulberries – in 300 stores across 38 states and online. Also available: pistachios, almonds, blueberries and bananas.

Aside from the maple-roasted cashews, I’m a sucker for the tart cherries, grown right here in Utah as well as Washington.

One percent of sales goes to 1% for the Planet, an environmental organization with local, national and international efforts. Boyd recently stopped by Trees for the Future, a 1% for a Planet connection in Honduras. What was he doing in Honduras? En route to surfing, of course.

Become a UtahOutsider Insider and we’ll send you All Good samples.

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For your trail or Paleo diet, we got yummy

2At the Summer Outdoor Retailer, we met fine folks from The New Primal, a small South Carolina company. They make wicked good jerky. And I say that as someone who needs a strong and well-reasoned temptation to veer from my usual vegetarian ways.

The New Primal jerked my chain. Call me the New Convert.

Aside from its savory taste and superior ingredients (Nothing murky: no chemicals or preservatives. Grass-fed beef.), the growing company gives us a wonderful variety of easily-packable protein options. I totally fell for their Trail Pack containing a delicious blend of beef jerky, cashews, almonds, and dried mango. Yum.

We sent New Primal packs out to a few UtahOutsiders. Here’s what they had to say:

UO kayaker:

Trail Pack from New Primal

Trail Pack from New Primal

I’ve been eating beef jerky for as long as I can remember. As a kid, jerky was one of the most important staples on long road trips out west. I remember really starting to dig it as a young boy spending summers out on a Montana ranch where my mom worked.. It made me feel manly and rugged. No matter what it tasted like, I just wanted to look and feel like a grizzled cowboy.

However, I’ve developed a more graduated palate. And the sustainable mission of The New Primal along with delicious guilt-free taste is a perfect blend of goodness for the soul.

1UO backpacker:

I took the Free Range Turkey Jerky on a weekend camping trip. I had it by itself, with cheese and crackers, and even threw some in a rice and bean dish for dinner. What stands out is its flavor: subtle, sweet, mesquite. It is not overwhelming, nor does it taste like a bunch of chemicals or other imitation flavors. The real deal!

I’m not a jerky connoisseur, but it’s the best I’ve had.

Best Pancakes Ever

Some of the fine folks at Redmond's Lake Powell retreat.

Some of the fine folks at Redmond’s Lake Powell retreat.

One could say I grew quite a lot while on the Redmond leadership week in Lake Powell.

Above the neck, for sure. But in the waistline, too.

The food, prepared by a team from Redmond’s Real Foods stores and full of their premium products, was restaurant quality. Or better. (After all, I tend to think home-cooking is much better than dining-out fare.)

With permission from Redmond and cook Tana Besendorfer, I share this recipe for the best pancakes you will ever taste:

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Ingredients:

2 cups oats

2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

¼ cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ to 2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon Real Salt

1 ½ tablespoon sugar

 

Preparation:

  1. Combine oats and buttermilk in a large bowl, cover, and let sit overnight on the counter. (Don’t worry it won’t spoil. Don’t have buttermilk? Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to each cup of milk as a substitute.)
  2. In the morning, combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Cook on a medium-hot griddle with butter or oil. (Note: they cook much more slowly than most pancakes.)
  4. Bon appetit!

Try Maddy’s Allgood Summer Salad

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A Gem in the Sands of Sameness

slc

A view of SLC from the county boundary.

There is a stunning contrast to many spaces in Utah, one of the fastest growing states in the country. The valleys are filling up with track housing and strip malls like sand flowing free from an hourglass. The wilderness, of which there is more here than in almost any other state, butts up against this sprawl.

It’s night and day. Black and white. And it’s especially striking when you live on the cusp of both worlds; we share a property line with the Bureau of Land Management area that covers part of the Oquirrh Mountains, on the edge of Salt Lake County, population one million.

Driving around these so-called neighborhoods, you’ll find predictabile blandness at every turn. National franchises rule. Walgreens, Lowes, Wendy’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond. Repeat.

So it was with pleasure and relief that we found Fratelli Ristorante in Sandy.

It’s a gem in the Sands of Sameness.

Brothers Pete Cannella and Dave Cannell run Fratelli (which means brothers in Italian). The pair grew up in the business, working and hanging out at their aunt and uncle’s place, Cannella’s in Salt Lake City.

Putting down restaurant roots in Sandy was deliberate, said Dave Cannell, who runs the floor while Pete manages the kitchen.

frat“We wanted to bring Sandy something they haven’t had, something local and independent,” said Cannell, who feels one shouldn’t have to drive into Salt Lake “just to get a meal that isn’t from a franchise.”

I’m not a foodie or a restaurant reviewer, but my meal, (eggplant parmesan) was delicious. Steve’s was even better (trout with spuds, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus all cooked in parchment paper). The Cabernet Sauvignon was perfect, as was the spiced latte, delicately flavored with honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Yum. I’m going back. That’s what most people do, apparently. The place was full of regulars.

How do I know? Cannell greeted every other diner by name and with a hand shake. My kind of place.

[Wondering how and why the brothers have different last names? Pete legally changed it back to the original family name, from generations ago. He suggested his brother do the same, but Dave had just gotten married and his wife would have to change her name for a second time. He declined.]

Speaking of beer

Tile work in brewery foyer

Tile work in brewery foyer

Readers might forgive my subjectivity when it comes to local beer tasting thus far. My favorites come from Uinta Brewing Company, founded by fellow Mainer, Will Hamill.

Hamill grew up in Falmouth and his family still has a place in Harpswell. He first came to Utah for the skiing and mountain biking, he told me.

He moved here permanently 23 years ago and started Uinta in 1993. The brewery is named after Utah’s highest mountain range and the only east-west oriented range in the contiguous U.S.

hopnotchI made a visit to Uinta’s Brewhouse Pub to taste more of their varieties, trying samples of Bristlecone Brown Ale, Hop Nosh IPA, HooDoo Kolsch Style Ale, Yard Sale Winter Lager, and a few more from Uinta’s organic line.

Small samples, I tell you. I like Hop Nosh the best.

Stay tuned for more on Uinta, including a visit to their completely wind-solar powered brewery.

Read more about drinking (or not) in Utah.

Maine girl moves West

_DSC2662I was born and raised on the coast of Maine. The ocean was a given. We swam in it, sailed on it, clammed it, fished it, even hopped its icebergs during the coldest winters.

Then I left home.

When I came back years later, I was stunned by the beauty I’d taken for granted:

The thick evergreen woods practically pushing themselves off seaside cliffs. The craggy shorelines, full of coves and inlets. Those coves and inlets revealing eddies and tide pools. Eddies and tide pools rich with life.

IMG_1079I saw those things back then. I’m sure. But the beauty and details were newly captivating.

Now, I live in Utah and wake up every day, staring at the mountains:

The ridges and draws marked with scrub oak, junipers, and cactus. The canyons’ spectacular dirt and rock rainbows. The quiet spiked with calls of ravens and coyotes. The morass of life squeezed from this high, dry climate.

Do Utahns grow accustomed to these natural wonders, like I did back home? Do natives know how good they have it? While exploring the state with non-native eyes and ears, UtahOutsider may introduce fellow travelers to these discoveries and may remind Utahns of the glory all around.

 

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