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Everything posted by Vervain

  1. I just want to smack anyone who says either of these. I don't like "fridge" either. Frankly, I'd rather hear "ice box" even though I'm not old enough to remember them. And I'm embarrassed to say that my husband and I both started using "plate" as a verb after watching too much Ming on FoodTv.
  2. Hest88, this is so well said. I think that sometimes we (mostly Americans) try to keep ourselves "pure" by cutting off or denying any dark or unhappy associations, even if that means losing the good that comes with them. For those of you who are Christian, aren't you supposed to hate the sin but not the sinner? I never met Mr. Smith, but I learned a great deal from him. I also understand that he was a kind and generous man. I am very sorry that public television has chosen to eliminate reruns of his excellent shows. We are all flawed. But he had a gift. His joy for cooking, for food history, and food culture was contagious. It was honest. It was a blessing. Thank you Mr. Smith.
  3. I love your approach to kitchen science (and if Mr. Wizard was still around, I’m sure he’d be a big fan). How do you go about doing the research for the science for each show? Which (if any) written sources do you consult? And do you have a creative team that helps you come up with the visual ways to illustrate the concepts or are we getting to see how Alton Brown's mind really works? Also some shows go into the history and/or the anthropology of a food. What makes you decide to include that kind of information in some shows and not in others?
  4. Unless my stomach is in a twist, I'm addicted to strong black tea (with a drop or two of milk) too. Years ago a professor turned me on to McGrath's Irish Blend. After a few years, I stopped and went back to coffee. Then on a lark because we always saw the ads in London, my husband bought me a box of Typhoo in bags. I make a mug with two bags steeped for 7-10 minutes. It really gets the brain cells popping in the mid-afternoon (which is why I am having some at this moment )
  5. I've got sugar snap peas that are just flowering now, the seeds were planted in November. I know of someone else in SoCal who sowed in October and has been getting peas for awhile now. I've been harvesting lots of Mesclun and about 10 other lettuces for most of what we here call "winter." A few tomatoes and peppers held on until January and most of the herbs are doing fine. Oh yeah, and I've been harvesting Kale (first time for me) for a month now. I never knew that if you cut leaves when they're young, you can eat them raw and they're a little sweet! My tomato and pepper seedlings are sitting under lights in my laundry room and when this rain stops, I'll be giving them their first transplant.
  6. Sorry I haven't responded in a while! I'm still not regularly being notified by e-mail when people post, so I again had no idea there were more comments. My birthday was Feb 9th and we went to Josie's. It was lovely, they were lovely, and the food was very good. But nothing really blew us away. Maybe we're getting jaded, but we cook at home a lot (and I'm big into growing my own produce as much as possible), so when we go out, we're either looking for simple relaxation (no long drives and strong Margaritas) or something really special. For "special" I think we've gotten seduced by the multi-course tasting menus of places like Alex and Melisse and Valentinos. The element of serial surprises alone is worth it. But the chance to taste several small dishes created by a chef for that particular night is just the best. And celebrating ON my actual birthday rather than FOR my birthday is somehow important to me. Maybe it's some genetic throw-back to Druidic sun postitioning, but the calendar date of birthdays and anniversaries carries a power for me that celebrating in honor of something because it's convenient doesn't. Il Grano sounds interesting. Is that across the street from the library? And we promise to try Campanille again.
  7. I'd want food people! These four seem like they'd be great fun to share 3-5 hour multi-course dinner with. Julia Child Jacques Pepin Ruth Reichl M.F.K. Fisher
  8. Carolyn, You were thinking maybe of Sorrento Italian Market, 5518 Sepulveda, Culver City? It's still there and still terrific. The street it's on is wide, bland and unwelcoming, but inside the store feels like a small, friendly, crowded Italian neighborhood.
  9. hollywood, I was just looking at the menu on Josie's site! We were there once and enjoyed it. And then forgot about it. So now that's definitely in the running. JFL, Thanks for the suggestion. I know it's weird, but Campanile just has never seemed that appealing to us. The one time we went (not the best way to make a judgment, I know) the food was so so and the service was even less than so so. Mongo, I didn't think you were "trying to be prickly." I'm just concerned that being open on Mondays doesn't mean that the chef has gotten deliveries that day. I was hoping the folks here might know whether Mondays are a throw-away/use what's left-over night or not. Carolyn, Yeah, too bad about Joe's. I hear they've expanded and the tables are less jammed together.
  10. True, Mongo, but it doesn't say anything about whether the food is fresh, if the chef cooks on that night, etc. It's my birthday! I get to be picky. And I forgot to respond to the type of food question: Anything that pairs well with good red wines (and maybe some Champagne).
  11. Yikes! I thought no one had replied. Didn't get an e-mail notification. Sorry ! Any price range (up to $200 for two people, although less would be much nicer ). We live in West L.A., but will drive just about anywhere. However, I guess we'd rather not drive more than an hour in any one direction. Thanks!
  12. Alex, Melisse, or Valentino's. These three have fabulous food and are warm friendly places. In other words, you do not need to be recognizable or trendy. Stick to the tasting menus and trust the wait staff's wine recommendations. We go for special occasions or when we just want pampering and wonderful food. Enjoy!
  13. I love birthdays--really !--and always insist on celebrating my own on my birth date. But this year, in the next couple of weeks, it falls on a Monday. Can anyone suggest some terrific restaurants in L.A. that: 1. Are open on Mondays? 2. Have fresh food delivered on Mondays? 3. Have wonderful food?
  14. I'd go along with Menton1's suggestion of the Dordogne/Lot region as well. The area is simply gorgeous with great farmers markets. And the people are very friendly. But you didn't say what you were looking for: city-life or country-life. Cahors is a lovely town with all the usual city amenities, but I think most people go to the SouthWest for the hiking, cave-paintings, villages, wine and people. Also, what time of year were you thinking of? During that summer heatwave, I believe that the Dordogne got the worst of it.
  15. Regarding the Los Angeles Times, I think it's gone down-hill a bit since Parsons stopped being the Food section editor. Home cooks, farmers' markets, and food history have had to make way for restaurant reviews and gossip. It's not that I think that restaurant reviews have no place in food sections, but I also don't think that dropping all mention of what's fresh at the farmers' markets--David Karp was fabulous with this--wasn't warrented. Recipes are fewer as are special essays on food history and cooking techniques. And there even used to be articles about GM foods and what it means to be certified as organic. Now we have multiple articles about "hot" new Westside restaurants and trendy wine buys (though I do enjoy David Shaw's essays).
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