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Everything posted by wnissen

  1. jschyun, I'm wondering more what it means on an absolute scale. For instance, the NYTimes rates restaurants four stars if they are in the top .1%, and so two stars is still a pretty darn good restaurant. I have a lot less experience with the SFChronicle's stars, so I was wondering if someone could point me to some more detailed explanation. Thanks, Walt
  2. Hi everyone. I think I've resigned myself to being behind in replies, but I'll do my best to keep this a Foodblog rather than a Foodbroadcast. I know how you feel. Actually, the cruelest time is when it starts to warm up in the spring, and the first strawberries appear at the market, and they taste like crap. I hate that. I have always been a fan of green milk though. In my house around St. Patrick's day its practically a tradition. I do it three days a week, year-round, but rarely does it get below freezing, so it's not like it requires special equipment. My house is about three miles from work, but the 580 freeway interchange lies in the way, waiting to punish cyclists with merging cars, non-existant bike lanes, and roadside junk, so I ride around it. The total distance is about 10 miles / 16 kilometers round-trip. It's a good way to get exercise, because if you don't ride, you don't get to work! I've only tried the mole. Oh, and maybe the asian five spice rub? I've never been disappointed, but I haven't really explored that section much yet. I'm more of a start-to-finish recipe cook, so having a rub isn't quite enough to get me going. I was afraid you would say that. I love the browning, but I'd prefer to get it without having to add a lot of insulating fat. I like Cocoa Puffs, although Count Chocula was my favorite. Alway the marshmallows with me. Cocoa Crispies are almost inedible. Sorry, but I can't help with the newspaper cereal. [edges away warily] Captain crunch is a fine cereal, although I was never patient enough and always ended up with a significantly abraded mouth. God help me if they ever start giving the stuff away; I wouldn't be able to eat anything. Your blog was really inspirational to me; I don't have access to the sources you do, but the style was very appealing to me. Thanks to you and everyone else for the nice compliments. If you're interested enough to read about the minutiae of my food this week, I'm interested enough to write it! And if I may ask a potential random question, is your name related to a quote, "I am so smart! S-m-r-t! Doh!" ? Ah, thank you. Now I now what to grow next year. Thanks. I pointed her to this thread. She says she feels like a different person. Some, but mainly I just try to keep active. That's more important than the scale reading. There's also "apriums," which have some different configuration of apricot vs. plum genes. The best take the flavor of the plum but the more palatable skin of the apricot. Try to find someone who doesn't eat carrots. It's easier to see in contrast. I hear they also feed carrot meal to salmon to get them to color up. HAHA, I like that idea; I didn't see it until you pointed out the resemblance. I used to be suspicious of veggies too, mostly because I had had them overcooked before. Now I even like brussels sprouts, with appropriate amounts of bacon fat. Night, folks!
  3. 3:15PM - Snack This is a shortbread cookie, basically butter and suger held together with a bit of flour. Or, rather it would be if it didn't come from a bag. Not bad tasting, though. 5:40PM - Dinner Dinner had to be fast because we played a concert for the local library starting at 7PM, and being percussionists means we need time to set up. I steamed some broccoli, which had started to turn an odd speckled yellow. This is what I get for going with a farmer who was selling the whole bundle for $1.50. Interestingly, it tasted about the same... The luxurious main course was Morningstar veggie (soy?) burgers on Sara Lee "gourmet" hot dog buns left over from Independence Day (July 4th). On the left is mayo, ground pepper, and relish, and on the right, looking like the leftovers from refining crude oil, is barbecque sauce. The burgers were an experiment; usually we have Boca, another soy burger. Morningstar tastes meatier, although they are more difficult to heat up and don't look as appetizing. Dessert: a Skinny Cow, a low-fat ice cream sandwich that somehow manages to be creamy and have a good-tasting cookie, which follows the god-given progression from crunchy at initial purchase to soft and mooshy by the time the last one is consumed. This is mint, my favorite flavor. 9:25PM - Dessert #2 A "pale ale" from Henry Weinhards, a large brewer who nonetheless distributes only in the West. Never figured that out. This beer is sort of a cross between piss beer and real beer. Sweet, but slightly hoppy, and not prone to fall apart in a few weeks like the megabrews. Not a pale ale in any sense, but great when you're feeling thirsty. I got quite a workout during the songs from ET switching between the crash and suspended cymbals, and this hit the spot.
  4. 4:20 - Snack The last of the container of blueberries. Note the orange tint in my palm. Isn't that weird?
  5. Thanks for popping this thread to the top again. I've only had Frog Hollow peaches once, in June of this year, but they were excellent. Far better than the peaches available to me at the Pleasanton Farmers' Market. I think one big advantage Frog Hollow has is their ability to deliver very good to excellent peaches for the whole season. Especially for a restaurant, that's important. I'm not in that business, but imagine having to send someone around to five different vendors trying the peaches to get good ones. The labor cost would quickly eat up any savings on the cost of the fruit. In fact, while I was at the Frog Hollow stand a chef came up and bought 1.5 lbs. of peaches. He asked for a receipt. I guess there's no such thing as petty cash in the restaurant industry? The cherries were $6/lb., same as the peaches, and not exceptional. Maybe it was just too early. Walt
  6. 11:56AM - Lunch I learned something interesting from a physician's assistant once. She threw me a huge curveball when she was examining my wrist and said, "You eat a lot of carrots." Apparently a slight shade of orange shows up in the palms. I hadn't realized just how literally you are what you eat. Two wings and a thigh from Tuesday's chicken. A pluot from Smit Orchards. They have great apples, but this pluot is just OK. Another tomato of the same variety, as well as some really good orange "cherry" tomatoes. Those perfect little orange globes taste great. Also, they were giving away sample pieces of pizza in the cafeteria, so I had a slice of cheese. Doughy, but I like dough. OK, I finally have a little time to add more autobiographical information. When I was young, my mom was basically a single parent, and did the best she could to get healthy food on the table, but it was lacking in taste and technique. My sister and I would always whine when she would make roast chicken seasoned with salt and pepper and baked till dry. To add to this, she wanted me to focus on academics, so when I got to college I barely knew how to boil water. In fact, I melted pots and kettles one more than one occasion trying to do just that. Regardless, I did take something of a liking to cooking and food, and began to experiment a bit in the dorm kitchen. When I graduated in 2000 I moved to Livermore to join my then-fiancee. Those of you following along may have noticed that there's something of an emphasis on light cooking in our household. We used to have chicken and mashed potatoes, and go out to lunch and dinner quite a bit. Usually it was "What do you want to make?" "I don't know, I don't feel like making anything. What do you want to make?" So we would just go out. Roughly 11 months ago my wife decided that she wanted to live like a healthy person, and so we quickly adopted the habit of planning balanced meals for the week, and then having all the ingredients on hand to make them, so there's no excuse. That's why when I was tagged we already had the ingredients and menu. Between better food and her daily exercise, my wife has lost 110+ pounds/50 kg. No specific diet, we just try to get a lot of veggies and strike a reasonable balance between protein, fat, and carbohydrates. When I cook I try to extract maximum flavor without also using maximum fat and suger, but nothing is verboten. In fact, we go out for dinner once a week, and basically eat whatever we want. So maybe the meals you see this week will make a little more sense in that context.
  7. 7:11AM - Breakfast It's Grain Shop!!! Hey, I said I would eat what I usually eat, and this is it. But don't worry, for those of you who need your sugar and artificial coloring, here is: It's Lucky's magical changing marshmallow. The gimmick here is that you can tell where Lucky is hiding by using milk to wash off the outer layer of marshmallow. In this case, everyone's favorite leprechaun is hiding in a bright orange house. Should be pretty easy to spot with that paint job.
  8. maybe on their own, but not together, check it out at the bottom of the page here. I'm sure you are right about that; I didn't realize how difficult it was to have them both happen at the same time. Interestingly, the long-term average data for Washington National Airport shows for August an average high temperature of 87F, but an average afternoon humidity of just 50%. The morning relative humidity is an average of 80%, but it's not that hot then. I've been spreading a myth for years and didn't know it. 9:45PM - Dessert A scoop of sorbet. Tastes as if an apricot tree had been coaxed to grow in freezing cold temperatures, producing frozen, slushy fruit.
  9. 9:00PM - Homemade iced tea with Splenda. For whatever reason, I have a pathological fear that people will go thirsty when they visit our house. Therefore, I put in the fridge: four bottles of water, two Weinhard's root beers, two bottles of the sparkling water, two hefeweizens, two porters, and a pitcher of the iced tea. I didn't have any plain tea, so I used English breakfast, five bags for eight servings of tea, steeped for four minutes. Next time I'll use more tea and steep for longer; this is a little weak.
  10. 6:53PM - Dinner becomes which then causes this: on the bottom of the pan. I have this happen when cooking onions as well. Why is that? The result. This cabbage recipe comes from "Joy of Cooking," a 70s edition. Sautéed in 1.5 tablespoons butter, then seasoned with "onion or garlic" (I used two bulbs shallot and two cloves garlic) and twice the 1/4 teaspoon of paprika the recipe calls for. Then, instead of 1 cup cultured buttermilk, a like amount of Better Than Bouillion chicken stock. Then into the oven at 375 for 25 minutes. Come to think of it, the only things that stayed the same were the 2 lb. cabbage and the butter. For some reason I always hated cabbage as a kid, but this is good stuff and when it gets hot we're not going to want to use the oven at all. Next time I'm going to double the paprika yet again, and add some ground pepper. The sausage is Hillshire Farm Turkey Polska Kielbasa, which is a reasonable facsimile of the pork version. The wine is 2000 Thomas Coyne Mourvèdre from Contra Costa County, specifically near Oakley. Thomas Coyne is a former chemist who now makes some of the best wines in Livermore. His Detjens Farm bottlings are in essence his estate wines and carry the Livermore Valley appellation, but he gets grapes shipped in from Napa, Sonoma, Lodi, Oakley, and other areas. This wine is a good example of a Mourvèdre poised on the brink of ripeness. It has some of that brooding smokiness that I associate with Mourvèdre, but at the same time has some acid to go with it. A bit bitter, but not off-putting. Coyne ages his wines in barrel for a fairly long time, eighteen months in this case, but a little bottle age also adds a good roundness and smoothness to this now fairly sweet-tasting wine (although it is analytically dry). 200 cases, $16, I believe. A good match with both the cabbage and the sausage, and my wife likes it enough to pour herself another small glass. Our dinner companions last night didn't leave hungry, so I can't complain about their eating habits. She did eat the sauce and sorbet and pasta despite the sugar, and liked them both a lot. He fed the green beans to their daughter. I did like the Ravenswood wine (I have ten bottles left, so I'd better), but really ripe Zin can be a tough match. I poured myself a small glass of it tonight, to try side-by-side with the Coyne, and it is just a little bit too chunky to really sing when fighting against sweet. Really good by itself, though. jgarner, this has actually been an unseasonably cool summer for us. I can remember a year when it was nearly 100F/38C on my birthday at the beginning of May, but this year I don't think it's reached that yet. It's just perfect now, 80s in the afternoon, 60s at night. I grew up very close to Washington, DC, where 95F and 95% relative humidity were not uncommon, so this is paradise to me. Helen, we mainly get strawberries and grapes here; I don't think it's too warm for them, although the strawberries come from Monterey County, which is much more coastal and cooler than my immediate area. One of the interesting things about the San Francisco Bay Area, as jgarner implies, is that the weather in San Francisco has nothing to do with the weather in San Jose or Livermore. San Francisco is right on the water, so except for a few days a year the marine influence swamps everything else. I'm enough inland that if a high pressure front blocks the sea breezes, it gets hot.
  11. 5:06PM - One perfectly ripe yellow nectarine (the remaining one from Monday's lunch pictures). Oh god, summer here is so great. Especially with a really good nectarine, I eat the skin off first. This one was vibrantly yellow inside, deep red outside, and yummy, yummy, yummy. Not a freestone variety, and so juicy that I have to eat them while they are still inside the plastic bag. Now all I have left is 20mL of golden juice at the bottom of the bag. Slurrrrp!
  12. 3:02PM - One stick Cinn-a-burst artificially flavored cinnamon gum.
  13. 11:57AM - Lunch! The original, lovingly crafted pictures of each individual item were lost, so here's a panorama of my lunch, already wrapped for transport on my bike. Clockwise from top left: More halibut with mushroom sauce, leftover saffron orzo risotto, blueberries, another heirloom tomato, the last remaining homegrown apricots, celery (and the rest of dip, not shown), and strawberries. The blueberries are from a farm that only visits the Pleasanton market when blueberries and blackberries are in season. They have an interesting take on organic; all their produce is produced without sprays, but if you want the certified organic with organic fertilizer, it's $1 more. The conventional berries (shown here) are made with conventional nitrogen-based fertilizers, and are identical in taste, as far as I can see. It's still early in the season, so these are small and somewhat unevenly ripe, but they are very flavorful. The celery is from a farmer with a very small farm, and she grows some fine stuff. She has invested in on-site refrigerated storage (the electricity bill is upwards of $1000 a month) and it results in crisp, fresh produce. Her leeks, broccoli, and celery are almost unfailingly excellent, and I love all the crazy varieties of melons. The heirloom tomato is unusual. You can see in the picture that the top is not quite ripe, but it's extremely soft, as if overripe. It's not, and the flavor is good (in comparison to other real tomatoes) but not great. Easy to see how its easily punctured skin and flesh would make it impractical to grow and transport on a large scale. Two corrections: First, my wife reminds me that the onion dip is from Barefoot Contessa, not Martha Stewart. My apologies for confusing these two chefs. Second, the link to the potato leek soup recipe is here.
  14. Hi again, I'm really behind on replying to you nice people, so please forgive me. sashimi: Champagne! That's what my cherry sorbet needed to give it punch! I've been looking for a way to add acid without adding citrus, and I think you've hit on it. Plus the alcohol will aid in flavor extraction. I can't wait to try this, although I'll have to because we've got at least a week's worth of apricot sorbet in the freezer. Boris_A: Ravenswood was my first dry red, actually. This one came ex-cellars on a "stained label" sale, which I would recommend taking advantage of if you're ever in the area. I know, it's a trek. Helen: I admit to having no idea that nectarines were exotic. Do they have peaches in Japan and/or NZ? One of the best white peaches I ever had was from NZ, I think. I was also surprised to learn that Ravenswood has such a wide distribution. I wouldn't consider a dish being served for the first time leftovers, although "re-heated" is certainly accurate and could be off-putting to folks who taste exclusively with their ears. I do love my fresh food, but I wouldn't give up the sherry braised chicken or chili, two dishes that I always make the day before I'm planning to serve them, at least to company. Interestingly, the chicken does start to go downhill after the fourth day or so, not that it typically lasts that long. DoverCanyon: I know how you feel. I lived with my wife's parents for two summers, and they had two trees then. We filled five-gallon buckets with good apricots, and yet more buckets with bruised, spoiled or otherwise inedible fruit. No matter how good something tastes, you just can't eat it every day for three weeks without getting sick of it. Good luck with a sorbet. Basilgirl: I am a huge fan of A New Way to Cook, and will have to try the Tuscan Herb Salt. It is a big help when you are trying to cook healthy but are not scared of fat. I've never had a dud recipe, just stuff that didn't seem worth the effort. Two absolute favorites of mine are beans with fried sage leaves and the Tuscan-style beans with pancetta and sherry. Try the "Fried eggplant," (sage or thyme works well as an herb), also the young greens (I use chard) with garlic-infused oil, currants, and pine nuts. It's a bit of a pain to put together, but the "mole" is just super, and goes great with the foil packet chicken breasts. Steam-roasted fennel with pancetta, garlic, juniper berries, fennel seeds, and lemon zest is also a pain but super. I absolutely adore the potato-leek soup, as well. Since I'm gushing already, if anyone is interested here's an eGulletized link to the hardcover: Amazon Link to A New Way to Cook Ludja: I'll try to work in some stuff about Livermore wines, there are some good ones made in this area but because of the climate they don't tend to be as good with food as French, Oregonian, German, etc. That's why they only make up 10% of my cellar. Embarassing, I know.
  15. OK, my meeting is done, so I can elaborate about breakfast. Of course I save the marshmallows for the end! One time I was in a real hurry so I had to eat everything at the same time, but I always eat out the wheat puffs first, and then enjoy the marshmallowy goodness. Plus the fun of drinking green milk. I have to admit that I've never heard of sorting them by color, but maybe they taste better that way. It certainly appeals to my obsession with order. I wish I still watched Saturday morning cartoons, so I could recite the jingle naming the marshmallows, but I can't remember what they were originally. I'm trying to recall it by speaking aloud, but all I get is gibberish: "Green hearts, blue clovers, yellow moons, and pink stars". The original shapes in my bowl are the pink hearts and blue moons. When I was a kid they added the purple horseshoes in a massively hyped, yearlong television commercial campaign answering the monumental question: "What will the new shape be". OK, maybe it was only a few weeks, but back then it felt like a lifetime. I think they've done similar ad campaigns for the other new shapes, shooting stars, rainbows, red ballons, pots of gold, Lucky's hat, and the white blobs. God alone knows what the shrewd marketers at General Mills will come up with next. Maybe Guinness glasses or something.
  16. Gaah, stupid Minolta Dimage Xt deleted my pictures so I had to retake them. I've got a meeting in ten minutes that I'm leading, so just the pics for now: 400mg ibuprofen. Think "happy pills."
  17. 6:45PM (or so) - Showtime! A nice couple came over for dinner tonight with their two-year-old daughter. Not really knowing them culinarily, I wanted to start with good, simple food that would go over well but not freak anyone out. Unfortunately, the husband doesn't eat much in the way of veggies or fruit, and the wife doesn't eat much in the way of carbs, but there was no way to know that beforehand. I decided to serve: Green beans from the farmers' market. Small, tender, but firm, I just boiled these in salted water and drained. Works for me. A saffron orzo "risotto" from "A New Way to Cook". This is a super-easy dish: heat 1 tablespoon butter with 8 oz. orzo till it begins to sizzle, then add 3.5 cups broth, one pinch saffron threads, and cook at a low-boil for 11 or so minutes until orzo is done and liquid is absorbed. Off heat, stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Not a whack-you-over-the-head flavor, but quite becoming in its way. With the cheese and pasta it certainly reminds of a genuine risotto. This is another recipe from "A New Way to Cook," a sherry and sherry vinegar braised chicken, with a sauce of broth, sauteed shallot, tomato, and a bit of mustard. I love this for dinner parties because it improves if you heat it up the next day. I had to boil down the sauce, and ended up burning a good chunk of it to the bottom of the pan, but it turned out very well. I ran out of dry sherry and had to use some Pedro Ximenez, which is a sweet, raisined style of sherry, so the sauce was sweet. It looks a little odd in this picture, but it's incredibly savory and tends to leave me licking my plate, although because we had company I refrained. Because of the sweetness this is a pretty tough wine match, and I didn't want anything too tannic or acidic in case our guests wanted some wine. So I tried a 2001 Ravenswood "Old Vines" Zinfandel from Lodi, California. It has some good berry fruit, moderate oak, and isn't too tannic, but it just didn't go with the sauce and tasted harsh. Well, live and learn. I do live in a wine-growing region, but Lodi is actually about an hour from here, in a more inland and warmer climate, leading to ripe wines that are pretty high in alcohol (This one is 14.6%) I was also in the mood for some sparkling water, so I had a bottle of Gerolsteiner, which is a pretty good tasting sparkling water from Germany, but its primary virtue is that it's US$.99 at Trader Joe's. After dinner we chatted for a while and then had dessert, homemade, nearly homegrown apricot sorbet. My wife's parents have an apricot tree in their yard, left over from the days when Silicon Valley was pretty much one big orchard. It doesn't yield much, but the apricots are head and shoulders above anything I've ever eaten, farmers' market or supermarket. Faced with eating two pounds of apricots in the two days before they would have spoiled, we made sorbet instead. A little simple syrup, a little corn syrup, and three tablespoons of frozen concentrated orange juice yielded a reasonably smooth, very apricotty sorbet. The orange, thankfully, was just a small base note. I've had real trouble with lime juice being too strongly flavored to play well with the other ingredients, but the orange juice worked fine. There's always a certain amount of stress when you have a couple over for dinner for the first time, but this went well. He was able to eat the chicken, she was able to eat the green beans, and their daughter ate a little bit of everything. I made the right decision not going "all out" with the cloth tablecloth and napkins, crystal, and "fancy" food, because it turned out they really weren't foodies and it would definitely have been too much. I definitely do not like to get compliments like "We couldn't have you over, what would we cook?" because honestly I'll eat anything. Thanks everyone for your interest, I really am gratified to know that there are some people out there who both post on eGullet and eat Lucky Charms. Hopefully those of you who eat real food will find it worthwhile as well.
  18. 4:21PM - The nectarine on the right. A little mushy, but ripe and sweet. Easily a 92 point nectarine. Followed by: 4:29PM - The strawberries. A disappointing batch from Medina farms in Watsonville, CA. Usually, they have the most flavorful, best-smelling strawberries at my farmer's market, in nearby Pleasanton. This week's was somewhat underripe and not even red to the core, like usual. My guess is they're between crops and harvested these a little early.
  19. 11:42 Another 500mL water. Don't worry, this is the last time I'll mention the water, although if it helps you can imagine me posting about it three or four times a day. 12:00PM For lunch today, leftovers! Last night we had local halibut, poached in wine, a 2002 Meridian Chardonnay from Santa Barbara. I reduced the poaching liquid and added it to a sauce of flour, butter, and crimini mushrooms. If you couldn't guess already, I didn't come up with the recipe; it's from Julia Child, intended for sole but she says halibut or any number of other fishes will work. Pretty sure it has a French name. The container in the rear is sliced grilled eggplant with olive oil and seasoned with dried crumbled sage. However, our damn grill (a Weber gas model that's less than a year old) is not putting out much heat, and we were really hungry after a day of cleaning. So, I had to take them off the grill and put them in the microwave to finish cooking. Mmm, steam-grilled eggplant. I had the "baby" carrots with the onion dip, a Martha Stewart number my wife made for a party on Saturday. She cooked the onions for twice as long as the recipe said, and then added the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo. Tastes way better than that flavorless crap they sell in tubs. Speaking of tubs, the picture looks like that's about as much as I took, but actually it's a half-cup of dip, and I only had half that. The farmer's market had the first ripe heirloom tomatoes this week, so I had one of those. The nectarines are for later. Finally, a cup of tomato "juice," which was actually what you get when you drain a 750mL box of Pomi tomatoes. Not bad, but waste not, want not. Strawberries for later. Back to work, I'll try to post more background this evening. Tonight, we're having a friend of mine from work and his wife and child over for dinner, so there will definitely be more to share. Also wine, just for you, Carolyn. Glad there's someone else who likes Lucky Charms out there, as well!
  20. Nope, no coffee. I generally don't drink any caffeine, actually, not that I mind it. But thanks for reminding me that I should post about: 10:35AM Half liter of water.
  21. Whoops, forgot this. Can't have breakfast without a multi-vitamin.
  22. Good morning, Foodblog! Helenjp tagged me yesterday afternoon from across the Pacific, so the Foodblog has now landed in California. First, I would like the thank all the previous bloggers who gave us a window into their kitchens and demonstrated so many amazing kinds of food. I have really enjoyed reading them. This blog is going to be a little more, well, Studs Turkel. For one thing, my wife and I went shopping yesterday, so anything I'm going to eat until Saturday morning is going to come from what's already in the kitchen and pantry. So you have my word that, no matter how tempting it is to "embellish" one's normal meals for the eGullet crowd, this is what I would have eaten even if I weren't blogging. At least until Saturday. Then I shop again and the plan is to load up on the foie gras and caviar and hold an Iron Chef tournament in the backyard. We've been cleaning all day yesterday, so I haven't had a chance to prepare a bio, but here's the barest sketch. I'm a 26-year-old computer programmer in Livermore, CA, about fifty miles east of San Francisco. I mention my job because my employer doesn't allow cameras on site. That means I'll have to photograph my lunch (I brown bag) in the morning and post on "tape delay." Hopefully this will be more tolerable than the Sydney Olympics broadcasts. I've only been cooking since 1998 or so, but I'm learning. I lean toward French and Italian in general, but I'll try anything once. Without further ado, breakfast: 7:10 AM I wish I had time to make a more substantial breakfast, but this is what I typically have on weekdays. The first bowl is "Barbara's Grain Shop," a whole grain (hey, corn is a grain, sorta) cereal with lots of fiber. It's the best tasting high-fiber cereal I've had. The second is a favorite of U.S. kids, Lucky Charms. It's practically the anti-Grain Shop, heavily advertised and full of sugar-coated puffs and what they call "marshmallows," which have almost nothing to do with real marshmallows except being full of sugar and gelatin. Whatever you call them, they taste good, especially when soaked with milk. Finally, a bowl of Cheerios, a toasted puffed oat cereal. Oh, the milk is 1%. OK, that's it for breakfast. See you at lunch. Walt
  23. Jager's a little too herbal for me, and I don't like it in mixed drinks. Now, Barenjager, that's got honey with the herbs, kind of a German Drambuie. That I like! Hey, it has "jager" in the name, it counts. Walt
  24. I peek occasionally as well; mostly it's just interesting to see. However, I am really curious about what people think of me at Safeway. I buy nearly all our produce at the farmer's market, so Safeway is only for processed foods and produce that comes from far away I forgot. Our most recent cart had: pork chops, Oscar Meyer bacon, pre-bagged lunch meat, cilantro, bananas, milk, bread, Lucky Charms, and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Mmmm, sounds like a meal to me! Walt
  25. I agree that it's a nice wrap-up (I can think of no higher honor than calling service "intuitive") but in general I didn't get a sense of enthusiasm. It was more, "good 'ol Clovis, if you want to have dishes that have been done a million times before, you could do worse than come here". Whereas I feel that Clovis sets its sights on being a really excellent bistro, and delivers. Do you have a sense of what a two-star rating means? I don't read the Chronicle restuarant reviews religiously (we live an hour east), so I can't say I've been to a range of one, two, and three star places. Squeat, sorry about the sickness; having your birthday dinner postponed sucks. Actually, I had my birthday dinner there the most recent time I went. Hope you enjoy yourself, and let us know what you think. Walt
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