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Dinner with BEC V.2

Dinner with Blue Earth Compost is an ongoing blog post for Blue Earth Compost in which we highlight the culinary expertise of our Loyal Composters by having dinner with them. It gives us a chance to see how people interact with their compost bin and to eat some delicious food to tell you all about it.

Host: Wildaliz Bermudez and Ken Krayeske

Appetizer: Platanos Fritos

Dinner: Kielbasa over Quinoa with Broccoli and Focaccia

Dessert: Fruit Salad

Drinks: Back East Brewing Co.’s “Back East Ale”

“Cooking with the Hubster”

I was so excited to be able to have dinner with Ken and “Wiz”, as they are both what I will affectionately refer to as “Hartford Famous”. Ken is a well-regarded lawyer and jack-of-all trades (more on that later) and Wildaliz is an activist and Councilwoman in Hartford. They are both inspiring leaders who effort to improve the quality of life in Hartford and its region. They were so kind to have us at their wonderful home in Hartford, especially since they are expecting their first child any minute now!

Ken was our chef and entertainer. In between frying kielbasa he would lift his wooden spoon like a baton and tell us of his harrowing tales of being a shipmate on luxury sailboats. Ken is one of those people who will do more in his life than most would be able to do in a dozen. In addition to sailing and lawyering, Ken has been an award-winning journalist, politician, and McDonald’s employee.

Wiz, for her part, had heard the stories so many times that she could tell them just as well as Ken.

When we sat down to our delicious meal we talked about two of my favorite topics: composting and music. Suffice to say of the music, we all (including our photographer, Erik) great admirers of Bob Marley. As for the composting, I was able to get a little insight into where they had learned about composting and why it was important to them.

When Wildaliz was a youth, she went to a Summer camp where composting was the norm. To her it made just too much sense and so when she got back she wondered why they didn’t do it all the time. As a born and raised citizen of Hartford where it’s not always easy to have space to do it yourself, it took her a little while for her to find a way to be able to compost again, but she did!

Ken also learned at a young age. When he was in elementary school they had a two-week piece of their curriculum where they separated the uneaten food at lunch to learn about waste. Later on the sailboats, they performed a different type of “composting”, where they would dump their leftovers overboard every night and watch the fish eat them.

But what about the food? Ok! Ok! So here is the deal. The focaccia was so warm and fluffy and the grape tomato embedded in there was such a nice touch as it added a blast of flavor. The quinoa was a fantastic partner to kielbasa. As someone who is used to having kielbasa with potatoes, this was a welcome change. Finally, pro tip from Ken: bake your broccoli at 500 degrees. If you do it this way, it’s nice and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. I’d have to agree.

As the night wound down, Wiz allowed us to page our way through the city budget and more importantly peppered Erik (father of two) with questions about parenthood. Dinner with Blue Earth Compost is so grown up.

Photos by Black Frame Vision

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