Winter. It can mean a lot of different things to different people. Here at Big Sky Resort it means old friends you can't help but leave behind on powder days. It means forgetting about everything else but the perfect blue sky, the beautiful landscape, and the amazing powder stash you found. It means pushing the limit on and off the mountain. As a chef in this wonderful place, winter means world class food.
Perhaps you caught an early tram and spent the day skiing tree lines and meadows in deep untouched snow. Before you know it, it's 4 p.m. and you are really hungry. Looking more like an abominable snowman then a ski bum, you ski the 4,000 vertical feet to the base. At Big Sky Resort there are nine restaurants to choose from, and you plan to try them all someday. Today, The Peaks catches your eye.
Welcomed like an old friend, you chat with the manager about your day. You find yourself saying things like "rad" and "gnarly," and you like it. As you glance over the menu, one thing catches your eye. Maybe it's the altitude, the non-recycled air, not hearing a single phone ring all day, or the fact that you just had your first powder day, but you feel like a kid again, and you order the tomato soup.
This hand-crafted masterpiece created by Chef Bockelmann, has a Montana flare and a deep heart-warming-goodness. Topped with sage infused cream and made with the finest ingredients, this soup will warm even the coldest 10-year-old or grown-up.
Once you've had a bowl of this tomato soup you'll be craving it on even slightly chilly afternoons.
Tomato Fennel Soup-Serves 8
Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
Tomatoes - Cored, Cut in 1/2, Roasted 7.5 pounds
Onion - Large Dice 0.5 pound
Celery - Large Dice 0.5 pound
Fennel - Cleaned Bulbs - Large Dice 1 pound
Fresh Garlic - Sliced 3 cloves
Fennel Broth - .5 quart
Parmesan - 3 ounce
Sugar - pinch
Salt - pinch
Pepper - pinch
Roast Tomatoes in 400 degree oven. Sweat Onion, Celery, Fennel, and Garlic in soup pot. Add Roasted Tomatoes, Fennel Broth, and Parmesan also add the salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Simmer for one Hour. Puree soup in Blender. Strain through small-hole China cap (funnel-like sieve).
Fresh Sage Infused Cream (takes more than 12 hours)
Heavy Cream - 1 cup
Fresh Sage - leaves .25 ounce
Shallots - small dice .5 ounce
Canola Oil - 1 teaspoon
Lemon Oil - 1 drop
Sweat Shallots in medium sized sauce pan, Add cream and bring to simmer. Take off heat and add Sage, place in a covered container and let steep overnight. Strain mixture through a chinois (a fine mesh sieve). Add a small Drop of Lemon Oil and whisk until soft peaks.
Pour a big bowl of soup and dollop yourself a healthy helping of the cream right on top. Enjoy. Repeat.
Every morning I wake up not knowing if I'm more excited to snowboard all day, or cook all night. I'll see you out there!
Part of me feels unoriginal and predictable in writing about things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day. However, I actually do have a lot to be thankful for and why not take at least one day a year to write those things down. I am thankful for:
1) Opening Day! Today is opening day at Big Sky Resort. Get out there and ride with us.
2) Snow. Perhaps snow should be first on the list, as one can't have an opening day at a ski resort without it, but I am so thankful we are open for skiing once again. I have a pen pal in Fortaleza, Brazil, who has never seen snow. It is so hard for me to imagine her life-a life without snow. I see and play in snow every winter, and have a job thanks to snow, yet I am always surprised by it and thankful for it.
Photo: Ryan Day Thompson
3) My family. They are always ready with a good joke after I've had a rough day.
4) My Big Sky Resort family. Not only do I have an amazing job, but I have great teammates and managers. The managers at Big Sky Resort truly care about where I am headed in my job position and in my career. This isn't something that happens everywhere and it is easy to take for granted so I am thankful for this great team at Big Sky Resort.
5) Skiing. Enough said.
6) Big Sky Resort purchasing Moonlight Basin. I can't wait to ski Moonlight Basin all the time this winter. I respect and thank all those involved in the merger who have a vision for Lone Peak and the Big Sky Community.
7) A sense of humor. This can really help an office and a small resort community when stress is high. Something as little as a team member pranking every team member in the office with a plastic cockroach. Of course if we had cockroaches in Montana it might be a different story.
8) The lack of cockroaches in Montana.
9) Montana Wildlife. Even in winter you might see a Big Horn Sheep or a Pine Marten.
10) Pumpkin Pie (with a dollop of Cool Whip).
I have much more to be thankful for, but enough writing, it's time to give thanks out on the mountain.
Snow and sunshine simultaneously warm and cool the world around us. We get those much sought-after, fabulous goggle tan lines from the sun and snow. We pray for snow every day of the season, yet welcome the sun when it shines through. With less than a week until Opening Day at Big Sky Resort, enjoy the sun and snow in this video and then join us on Thanksgiving Day for the first of many times we get to turn ‘em down hill this season.
Video: Chris Kamman
We all know the smell. Every year we welcome it with open arms. It hits my face as soon as I step outside of my house, and I look up as if someone just smacked me across the cheek ... Ahh yes-the smell of winter.
It's crisp, it's cold, and it even stings a bit. But it isn't a hostile sting; it's a sting that gets my blood flowing and snowflakes fluttering in my stomach. The excitement builds in an instant and the next thing I know there's a big, goofy smile on my face and a burst of questions racing through my mind: is it cold enough to snow? When will the first snowfall be? Is it going to be a good winter?-Yes! Where in the world did I put all of my ski gear? Why haven't I bought new skis yet?!
Time seems to drag on and then ... snow! It's a few inches of big, beautiful flakes that are a universal symbol for all snow sport addicts: ski season. The madness begins and ski fever spreads to every skier and boarder in the northern hemisphere. I immediately break out all of last year's ski movies and make plans to attend every premiere of the new ones. I pull out all of my ski gear, maybe put on my ski boots for good measure, even though we all know they haven't changed a bit since being put away for the summer, and I make a list of all the new gear I'll "need" for the season. After the list making I head into my local ski shop (Big Sky Sports, perhaps) to get a tune and stock up on all the new goodies.
It's usually right after that first snowfall that the dreams begin; dreams of waist deep powder turns with my friends, dropping off cornices, sailing through the trees, and having the whole mountain to myself. Only to wake up disappointed in my bed, craving for more.
The countdown has reached single digits my friends. Only six more days until we all can unite and celebrate the best season and sport in the world. Here in Big Sky we're getting hit with snowstorms blanketing Lone Mountain, Spirit Mountain, Andesite, and Flat Iron in a fresh coat of white. Opening Day is looking pretty good. Now that Big Sky Resort is combined with Moonlight Basin it is sure to be an amazing year. Whether it's ripping groomers, hiking the Headwaters, or finding fresh powder off the tram - we really have it all.
Whether it's time to plan a family ski trip or just get out there and shred as a local, ski season is only 10 days away for Big Sky Resort. Reflecting on that epic '11-'12 winter, we use the past to look forward to the future. Enjoy...
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