Patio Season – Grilling, Boats, & Books

May 1st was the six month mark of me living in Utah. I truly can’t believe how quickly time has passed, how awesome my experiences have been, and how wide my eyes and mind have opened living here.

A few days after my birthday I attended two concerts back to back that I had anticipated for several months: Lord Huron and Milky Chance. Both shows were at The Depot in Salt Lake. I’ve been to three shows at this venue since I moved to SLC. I love the intimacy that is created with general admission only tickets, the downtown location, and the affordable pricing of tickets. The Depot really reminds me of a smaller Wilma Theatre in Missoula.

Lord Huron at the Depot in SLC

Lord Huron at the Depot in SLC

I’m not going to lie, my roommates and I have been grilling since February thanks to our warm winter. I hasn’t been until recently that I decided to veer off the beaten path of kebabs and bratwursts and focus my attention on getting creative on the grill. In my week of back-to-back concerts I decided to simplify my dinners to focus on what was important – concerts and drinking wine.

Here’s what got me through the week:

Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

Ingredients: (use whatever combination of veggies you’d like but here’s what I suggest)
4 zucchini (thinly sliced)
3 red peppers (sliced)
2 red onions (thinly sliced)
1 small log goat cheese
several cloves of minced garlic
Prepared pesto or crushed basil
Burrito size tortillas
Olive oil

1) Saute garlic with olive oil on low until semi roasted. About 10 minutes.
2) Prepare vegetables and heat grill on medium. A grill pan on a stove will also work.
Prepared Vegetables3) Oil the grill or grill pan and grill vegetables for 7-9 minutes on each side. If your grill is on the hot side, take the vegetables off earlier. You don’t want them to be too done.

Grilled vegetables

4) Remove vegetables from grill and prepare to assemble. With a tortilla laying flat, spread sauteed garlic and pesto/basil on one half of the tortilla. Layer grilled vegetables on top. Place sliced goat cheese on top of the vegetables and fold tortilla in half.
Assemble Quesadillas
5) Grill on each side for about 3 minutes or until grill marks form.
Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas with Goat Cheese
6) Remove from grill, cut into segments, and enjoy. For added heat I doused my quesadilla in Sriracha, of course.

On April 21st I received my preorder copy of the much anticipated book: Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer.

Having spent many years in Missoula since 2008, spending my college years during the time the book was referencing, and being a Missoulian during the Donaldson and Johnson trials after graduating, I had a lot of feelings invested in this book.

I have to admit I was never upset that it was written like many locals seemed to be. I told myself I wouldn’t form an opinion or make any comments toward the book or Krakauer until I finished the book cover to cover. Nothing irritated me more than reading the lengthy responses to the Missoulian article and Facebook prompts the day of and day after the book was released knowing that only a minute percentage of those responders had even picked up the book.

The book came to me at a busy time, but ten days later I had finished it. I can’t describe the feeling fully of what it felt like to know every place, person, and situation described in the book. I know the corner on South that Allison Huguet ran to near Dornblaser, I’ve sang “Sweet Caroline” and “Wagon Wheel” countless times at the Mo Club with UM athletes, and have fully immersed myself in what is widely known as “Griz Nation”. What Missoulian hasn’t? I finished the book feeling like I just reread the Missoulian and Montana Kaimin articles along with reliving the conversations and debates I have had with friends and coworkers the last few years.

My final thoughts that I’ll choose to share are that the book is clearly pro victim. I didn’t expect anything less, however in the allegations that did run their course in the court of law and I stand by those outcomes. I don’t know where Krakauer heard that Missoula’s nickname is “Grizzlyville” as in my almost seven years there I have never heard that pseudonym. Sexual assault is a serious issue and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Ladies and gents, take care of yourselves the best you can.

The most thought provoking question I can think of after reading Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town is: What do all of the readers who have never been to Missoula or didn’t know about this situation think? How do they view this town I call home and can they relate or are we one of a kind?

My recommendation: If you have lived in Missoula during these times, read it. At least you can then give an honest opinion on the book and separate yourself from the ignorance I see flooding the internet. If you aren’t from Missoula – read it if you’re interested in this rising issue.

I’d love to hear any thoughts and responses from those of you who have read the book.

On a final note, I made my way down south to new territory this past weekend with some friends for a quick trip to Lake Powell. The lake was a new kind of beautiful I had never experienced and I can’t wait to go back. Here are a few shots from the weekend:

Saturday on Lake Powell

Saturday on Lake Powell

Our camp spot for the night.

Our camp spot for the night.

Hammocks and Sunshine

Hammocks and Sunshine

Beautiful views and the

Beautiful views and the “bathtub ring”

Get your grills out, grab a good book, and plan a road trip. I promise you will not fail.

Until next time folks. Adventure on.


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