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  1. I thought of another recommendation... Since you seem to be open to dives with plain good food and lots of "local color," another one of those is Jack's Grill in Redding. I can't honestly say that it (or Redding in general) is worth a detour, but if you're going south from Crater Lake on I-5 you'll be passing through right there. Jack's hasn't changed very much since it opened in 1938. Back then, California Street was lined with rowdy joints that served the workers building Shasta Dam or working for the railroad or the mines or the lumber mills. Allegedly, there was a bordello upstairs ov
  2. Arcata, Trinidad and Eureka are all next to each other. Personally, I'd be inclined to stay in Arcata, do a romantic dinner at Larrupin and the next morning have breakfast at the Samoa Cookhouse. I like the lumberjack feel of breakfast there. Even in August that part of the coast can get cool enough at night to sit by the fire at Larrupin. I grew up just across the mountains in Redding, and to borrow from Mark Twain, some of the coldest winters I spent were summers on the Humboldt County coast! When it was 110 in Redding, it could be 55 degrees at Patrick's Point, where we used to go c
  3. All good advice here, except...the nice little town in Humboldt county is Arcata. Arcadia is in southern California, east of Pasadena, and if you try to stay there, you will be getting quite a bit off your planned route! When you're driving up Highway 101, just north of Garberville you will see an exit for the Avenue of the Giants. DO NOT make the mistake of trying to save time and skipping it! This is the old two-lane highway, and it runs parallel to 101 for 31 miles. It's just a short distance away from the freeway...but also worlds away. It runs through stands of old-growth redwoods--
  4. It's been a few years since I've been to Samoa Cookhouse...they didn't take reservations then, and no indications on the website that they do now. I remember a wait at peak times, but it was worth it (and they do give you stuff to look at while you wait, with all the old photos and logging memorabilia).
  5. It's not high-end, for sure, and nothing exotic or gourmet--but the Samoa Cookhouse is a slice of northern California history, and a great place for good old-fashioned American comfort food. It's an old lumber mill cookhouse, located not far off Highway 101 near Eureka. They do plain, good food, and a ton of it, served family-style at communal tables in a room filled with historic loggers' tools and relics. Breakfast is standard eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and the like; lunches and dinners, at least from what I remember, included fried chicken, ham, mashed potatoes,
  6. I can make a couple of suggestions for your trip up to tulip country. Calico Cupboard has three locations--La Conner, Mount Vernon, and Anacortes. I've only been to the Mount Vernon one, but I imagine they're all similar--great baked goodies, sandwiches, and house-made soups. Check their hours--they don't do dinner, only breakfast and lunch. Rhododendron Café in Bow is lovely--casual, homey, and the food is excellent. The menu changes weekly, so check the website just before you go for what's on it then. I just had my birthday brunch there a couple of weekends ago. You can go up one way on
  7. Stock...homemade is sooooo much better than the grocery store varieties in cans and boxes (and don't even get me started on bullion cubes!)
  8. Trader Joe's has the best prices I've found on European-style butter. Their dried fruits and nuts are generally fresh and good-quality and reasonably priced (and the sesame-honey cashews are a little like crack). I keep their shredded Italian cheese blend around for a quick fix on microwave pizzas--it actually smells and tastes cheese-y, which is more than I can say for most pre-shredded cheese.
  9. Back in the late 70's/early 80s, when generic products were new and all the rage, Ralph's markets in southern California had a whole line of PlainWrap products. They were all packaged and labeled very simply, in basic white with a blue stripe and the name of the product in large block letters. The line included a PlainWrap greeting card labeled simply "CARD," a white PlainWrap t-shirt that read "SHIRT," and a white PlainWrap teddy bear with "BEAR" printed across his chest.
  10. I suspect the juice would run between the almonds and get to the crust anyway. I find that brushing the bottom crust with slightly-beaten egg white, then freezing it to set for half an hour before pouring in the filling, helps seal the crust. I've also heard of brushing the crust with jam before filling it. I also use a baking stone in the bottom of the oven. After baking it for 20 minutes or so on the lowest oven rack (that's to heat the glass pie plate so it doesn't shatter), I move the pie down directly on the stone. My bottom crust turns out amazingly crisp that way. Even doing all that
  11. I scored ten pounds of exquisite sour Montmorency pie cherries this week. I pitted and froze enough to make three deep-dish pies. Here's my go-to recipe: Cherry Pie If you need a good recipe for pie crust, here's my work-in-progress--it's gotten pretty damn good: Approaching the Perfect Pie Crust I also made this tart last night with the last of the pie cherries. It's definitely a keeper, too! Sour Cherry Frangipane Tart
  12. MaryMc

    Cherry Pie

    Cherry Pie Serves 6 as Dessert. This recipe is an adapted version of one published in Cooks Illustrated in 1995. Tart pie cherries make it tangy and not too sweet. I much prefer Instant ClearJel to tapioca or other thickeners--it stays clear and doesn't get gluey. This is pretty much my Platonic ideal of pies! 6 c sour pie cherries (pitted), or 6 cups pitted frozen pie cherries 1-1/4 c granulated sugar 1 small lemon, zested to yield 1 teaspoon zest and juiced to yield 2 teaspoons juice 1/8 tsp almond extract 1 T brandy 2 T Instant ClearJel or 4 Tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca 2
  13. I like Instant ClearJel, which I order from King Arthur Flour. It thickens my fruit pies nicely and stays clear. Cooks Illustrated turned me on to it--they tested several thickeners and it's the one they liked best.
  14. I've bought wood from these folks. The prices are pretty reasonable and they have a wide selection of woods. Barbecuewood.com
  15. Here's a reference I've found useful for making conversions like this. They have a chart showing the volume of batter that you can put in various different baking pans. There's also a brief discussion of how to adjust cooking time and temperature for changes in pan and batter depth. http://www.joyofbaking.com/PanSizes.html]Joy of Baking--Pan Sizes
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