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I've worked at The GreenMount School for two and a half years now. And like everyone else in education, this past 16 months or so have been incredibly challenging. I can say for certain that I have never been this emotionally exhausted. When the kids came back in March of this year, it was a huge lift. But that lift came with strings attached like fear, anxiety, fatigue and sometimes, meltdowns. Yet, as I attended to my new duties like covering lunch, recess and more, I felt like I was so much more connected to the students than I ever had been before. The last day of school was this past Friday and I hugged parents, listened to them thank ME, kids said they'd miss having lunch with me and "maybe could you text my mom so I can talk to you?" OMG. 

So, yes, we are a tight-knit kind of place — from our very small classes to the parent CO-OP to the faculty and staff who know every single student’s name. We lean on each other. This past year, we were craving some togetherness, but COVID kept us physically apart. When we brainstormed about ways to bring the community together in a fun and creative way, a community cookbook was suggested by a couple of parents. We had created a cookbook before, but it was many years ago, so we thought, “Let’s do it!”

Tons of GMS community members contributed to this effort and there is even student and parent artwork throughout. Recipes came from near and far. It is filled with family traditions, faculty contributions, fun twists on classics, kids’ favorites and tons more. 

I hope you might consider buying one or even buying some as gifts. All proceeds benefit the wonderful students and teachers at GreenMount. If you are interested, just reply to this email and I can give you all the deets and figure out how I can get the books to you. 
The cookbooks are $20 each and you can pay via Venmo.

I was the lead staff member on this project and worked with an amazing group of parents for several months on it. I am infinitely proud of this book.

I've been working to get caught up on a lot of blog posts I've been meaning to write. If you know me in real life or have followed me on IG for a while, you know I love a little getaway. I love room service, big beds...getting out of town and changing your surroundings is such a good thing. Even one night away helps. Two is even better. 

I visited Savage River Lodge a few years ago and it was like no other place I've visited. It is NOT camping, maybe it's glamping. It's definitely remote. And so quiet. 

HERE is my post about my weekend there. And here are more photos.
Super, super bummed. I read a while back that Rye Street Tavern was pausing operations for a little while. Then I heard a rumor they were opening this summer but sadly, no. They will likely be closed for 18 months. 

In the meantime, Sagamore Spirit has opened a
cocktail bar. 

What makes a restaurant special is not just the food, drinks and ambiance. People create those things and make your experience fuller. I'm not sure how many times I went to Rye Street, but I'm guessing it's a couple dozen. Every time I went, whether it was for dinner or an event or just stopping in for a drink, they made it feel special. So, yes, it will eventually reopen "reimagined" by Sagamore and the folks down at Port Covington, but not with the people that out the work in to make it successful. Yes, they will eventually hire great people when they reopen and 'business is business' and all that. And while I don't know the whole story (and it's really none of my business), I am disappointed to say the very least. I loved it there so much. Best staff, back and front of house, alike. 
Whitehall Market is now open 7 days a week. For me (who lives upstairs) this is very exciting news. Not all vendors are open the same hours but I do know that Firefly, Gundalow and Wight Tea will be open 7 days at first...hopefully others will follow. More HERE.
I had my first tomato sandwich of the summer. But, truth be told, the tomato was from Whole Foods. I happen to LOVE the new store in Harbor East. While there are more Amazon Fresh shoppers than actual customers shopping, it's easy to get to, parking is free in the garage and they are almost never out of anything.

I wrote about my love for the summer BLT last year. Check it out HERE. It's a total nerdfest. 

I got some fantastic housemade mozzarella from Le Comptoir du Vin and I wanted to make something with tomatoes and basil. There's a good reason that is a classic flavor combination. To tide myself over until Maryland tomatoes are in season, I bought two heirloom tomatoes at Whole Foods and they were very, very good. This little open face sammie was GOOOOOD.

If you are in Bmore and love to cook, highly recommend signing up for two things:

Le Comptoir du Vin's emails
One Straw Farm's CSA

Also, read my friend Richie's blog post about his first tomato from his garden last year. Don't let this happen to you! (I love you, Shana.)
I make this every summer. Saveur's Summer Bolognese. Now, I do change it up a bit and you might, too. But follow the directions the first time, then if you want modify it next time, go for it. This is highly adaptable and comes together very quickly. And now that I am dabbling with plant-based "meats" I plan to use that the first time I make it later this summer. You should definitely send this one to all of your friends...or don't and make it when they come over (OMG PEOPLE OVER) and impress the hell out of them.
A friend of mine works for Four Seasons and got me a "Friends & Family" rate and I had a mini-staycation last night. All I needed really was a good tub soak, some room service food and blackout curtains. OH and the bed. Thank you, Melissa!
Not only is my new website more attractive, but it's also super organized. I always struggled with the back end and how to make it easier to find blog posts about different things like restaurants, cooking, my chef interviews (which I am beginning to do again), travel and more. I am so happy with it. Please go and check it out — and share the link with your friends and family who love to cook and dine out. My restaurant guide is particularly helpful and I actually refer to it myself when friends ask me to suggest places to go for different kinds of food and experiences. 
Thank you for reading -- please forward this email onto your friends who love food! 

And please be sure to check out my newly designed website. I am (still) pretty in love with it. 

xo -

Amy Langrehr
Charm City Cook
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United States of America

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