So I first saw Aly aka Lady Lamb the Beekeeper a little under a year ago at The Wild Honey Pie event at Living Room. Similar to her set in the backyard, she opened with “Up in the Rafters” and left everyone in chills by her smoky (note: she just quit cigarettes last week!!!) and raw voice, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
For those who don’t know me personally, I recently relocated about 5 blocks down the street in Williamsburg. To despite all the upgrades, there is no backyard. In comes my co-worker Michael. He would bring these delicious Green Zebra tomatoes to the office that I would eat like apples. When I finally came to his apartment to see his backyard a month or so ago, my jaw dropped. How could people in the East Village live like this? I thought that that rustic outdoorsy environment could only be found in Brooklyn. I told him about the show and we finally work out a date for me to host at his apartment.
I picked up Aly from her Greenpoint apartment around 11:30am. We had the car ride to shave off any awkward initial conversation that usually absorb the early parts of filming, so when it came time to press record we had a decent rapport to work off of. This is essential and has often been missed in many episodes (I won’t name names).
I offered up four different kind of grilled cheese french toast:
- Brie and apple with drizzled honey and sprinkled cinnamon
- Marissa (cave aged sheep) and four fruit jam
- Rupert (semi soft cow) with green zebra tomatoes
- Goat cheese with caramelized onions
My process was as follows:
- leave bread out over night to make it stale, which makes it easier to absorb egg batter
- for me, egg batter consists of eggs and whole milk beaten thoroughly (and don’t get egg shells in the batter!!!)
- dip bread into batter and let sit for a minute to absorb
- while bread is in batter, heat pan with a healthy dollop of butter
- add soaked bread to pan, brown one side, and then sear the other side just long enough so that it’s not gooey from batter
- take bread out of pan and place on a cutting board brown side up
- add cheese and additional ingredients and put other bread on top having the brown sides on the inside (this will melt cheese quicker and make sure egg is cooked)
- place sandwich back in pan with more butter and brown both sides of the sandwich
7 sticks of butter and 5 cartons of eggs later, I had made 16 grilled cheese french toast sandwiches.
While people were munching down on the sandwiches, Boy Without God opened the night with an amazing set of what I like to call Bon Iver if Justin Vernon had the voice of Randy Newman.
After another round of Grilled Cheese French Toast, Aly hit the stage and blew us all away. Jonas, lawyer/audiotaper extraodinaire, said it the best on his post (and you can download her set for free), “her playing is the equal of that lovely gravel in her voice, taking abrupt and unexpected twists in time and tempo.”
This was everything I had hoped for in a closing session. Good food. Good people. Great music. And amazing weather.
All photos by Dominick Mastrangelo.