Katie Meadow

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About Katie Meadow

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    Bay Area / East Bay

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  1. Hospital Time

    May you get well fast and get outta there. The rice and some of the veggies look okay. Frankly it looks better than most hospital food in the states. Although, If I couldn't tell one protein source from another I would be a wee bit careful. Anything served with a decorative fish bone on top, especially if it isn't fish, wouldn't give me a whole lot of confidence. I am making the assumption, hopefully correct, that if you are that focussed on taking good pictures of your meals you are more bored than anything else. Boredom in the hospital is usually a good sign. Take care, rice wine bottoms up!
  2. I come to NY about once a year (I grew up on the upper west side.) Every time I visit I make a pilgrimage to Prune. I'm simply a Gabrielle Hamilton fan. I believe that her partner (in life and business) is now in charge of the kitchen, but I also trust that Hamilton is such a control freak that the food is still carefully curated as ever. Besides the food being delicious, the staff is gracious, the atmosphere casual and friendly and I always have a good time in every way when I go. This is my major splurge restaurant; I try to coincide it w/my oldest friend's birthday and my husband I take her out. My other extravagance is to buy macarons at a little French bakery/cafe in Chelsea called La Bergamote. Very nice coffee and the pistachio macarons are swoon worthy. I am also fond of Buvette, despite the fact that the tables are a tad small and wobbly. The back room is sweet, and sitting at the bar is nice too. I've only had the gin martini's there, because they are smashing, although after a few sips I wouldn't trust my judgement. Bonus points for the fact that there are plenty of small plates, and the fact that they are open all afternoon, so that's my way of having one meal to take the place of lunch and dinner. They are also open late at night. I try to avoid breaking the bank, so to balance my extravagances I am happy to go low-end. My vote for best hot dog is the cart on the southwest corner of the Museum of Natural History. They are grilled, not dirty water dogs, and for some reason his relishes and toppings are the best. Also good for a meal: if you go to MOMA get the chicken and rice from the Halal truck on the SW corner of 6th and 53rd. The white sauce is addictive, the red sauce is hellishly hot. Ask for both! Prepare to stand on line, but you can sit on the edge of the fountain which is a bit cooling. So you see, my routine is very limited, as I don't even live in NY. Have fun!
  3. Bay Area Mushroom poisoning

    I was into mushroom hunting for many years. I belonged to the SF Mycological Society and went foraging for shrooms in the Bay Area. One big source of confusion that has always existed for people who grew up or hunted for shrooms in different parts of the country and the world; some mushrooms in one locale can look very much like those in an entirely different part of the world but can be very different chemically. The Amanita, aka death cap, destroying angel, etc, is indeed deadly. There are mushrooms in Asia that look very much like it and are routinely picked and eaten to no ill effects. If you want to get into foraging, join a society, go on sponsored outings, get a really well regarded book and be a scientist about it. Learn what time of year and what environments various mushrooms like, what trees they associate with. Pick anything for scientific purposes: wrap all types separately in wax paper so they don't touch each other. Never eat a wild mushroom raw. Don't pick the top of a mushroom: some are most easily identified by their stems/buried parts. Take them home and carefully ID them, Make spore sprints to assure identity. This part is fun, and even if you don't come home with edibles it makes the trip seem worthwhile. The same rules apply equally for any mushroom, whether it grows on the ground or anywhere else, just to be safe. Many of the most delicious mushrooms do grow on the ground, so that should not determine whether you pick them. Once you know how to identify a death cap--including how to pull them up properly so you can see their little skirt--you will not be in danger of being poisoned by it. Don't put your fingers in your mouth while foraging, and if you have a dog inclined to eat everything that litters or grows, don't take him or her mushroom hunting.
  4. Yesterday, due to a confluence of events I actually had the ingredients for Country Ham and Celery Creamed Rice, including a smoky pot liquor and some leftover salty rosemary ham (not country, but very tasty). I did not have whipping cream, but I made a slurry of milk and creme fraiche and added that instead. Really this dish is a short cut risotto with no cheese. Anyway, it's very good. I used less of the cream mixture than called for, no doubt less than Vivian would approve of, and it was still rich and creamy. I found the "salad" addition--mainly lemon juice and celery leaves--a bit underwhelming and a little strange, and I am trying to imagine what might make a good substitute. Maybe her dressing would benefit from an addition of olive oil to soften the straight lemon. One sub might be a fresh tomato and herb salsa or dressing. Chow chow comes to mind, although I don't actually know what that is! Or some kind of pickle? I've taken to putting mango pickle on lots of things these days, and it always works, but I'm an addict.
  5. Happy Birthday, girl!
  6. That's awesome. So you brought out a bottle encased in a square block of ice? I'm trying to picture the possible results of grabbing the ice bare handed and trying to pour. Or did you have aquavit already poured into shot glasses and them encased in teeny little milk cartons? And then the guests hands froze to their iced glass? Am I missing something basic here? Haven't had aquavit in ages! Love the idea of individual servings set out in an ice floe. Party favor straws!
  7. Yikes! An avocado for $1.69?

    Sushi may be partly to blame, but my money's on avocado toast. I've been checking out places to eat in Santa Monica and Venice. There isn't a restaurant in the area that doesn't serve avocado toast for breakfast and lunch. And it ain't cheap.
  8. Yikes! An avocado for $1.69?

    Avocado prices have risen steadily every year at the Berkeley Farmers' Market. I've been buying from the same vendor who grows them in southern CA for years. They are awfully good, but they have never been cheap. I was back at the market yesterday for the first time in months and every single item we bought was substantially higher than I remember from last summer. Lovely red and yellow spring onions were $4 lb. I nearly cried, but I bought a few.
  9. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    @Anna N thank you, my dangerous killer breadknife was delivered today from Amazon. Fabulous for the price. Now nothing stands between me and my toast.
  10. Not a lot of current info in this thread~so let's bump it up. I will be staying 4 nights in Santa Monica next month. Where do you like to eat? Taco trucks, local hideaways always appreciated, fun places, etc. Not ruling out high-end but don't want to break the bank. I've never been to Santa Monica, btw. Also: where is the Sunday farmer's market in Santa Monica? I'm thinking it would be nice to pick up some stuff that we can pack in the cooler to eat on the drive back up to the Bay Area on Monday. Always been curious about what southern CA markets have that we don't. Thanks!
  11. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    New bread knife needed! If this is too off topic tell me where it should go. My husband is baking bread like a fiend, how great is that? Our bread knife is ancient, dull, a bit wimpy. We think it isn't worth getting sharpened, because we really want one with a sturdier less flexible blade. We eat so much bread it's embarrassing to struggle along with such a pathetic knife. Any suggestion for a good quality bread knife? One that can ultimately be sharpened by a professional? Mostly he is baking rustic round loaves that have a very crunchy crust and need a sharp sturdy tool. I looked briefly at prices on Amazon, and of course they are all over the map. We are hoping not to spend more than $75, but all ideas are welcome if they come from bread bakers and devotees. I want one that will last until I have to gum my food. And one that makes easy work for breakfasts and sandwiches.
  12. Aging and Eating Habits

    Before my mother died I spent some time looking at assisted living retirement homes. Two were here in Oakland near me, and one was in Portland. One was very good all around: lots of action in the hallways, lively and actually cheerful. Their dining room was pleasant and the food was pretty good. Not great, but surprisingly good. The other, nearby, was gloomy and the food was boring and bland. The place in Portland was lovely looking, with nice apartments and a modern addition, but there was little action despite things like a coffee bar with a view of Mt. Hood; it was deserted.. The food in the dining room was bad. It seems to me that if you want happy campers the dining room food needs to be pretty good, since it is the most social part of living in a retirement community. My hunch is that the actual quality of the food in most of these places hasn't caught up with the attempt to improve it and the desire to appeal to older boomers who still have taste buds. Works in progress. The widespread belief that we lose our sense of smell and taste as we age can't be proved by me or my friends. In fact, in my case, for the past ten years my sense of smell has sharpened--a lot. I can smell all kinds of things others don't. I'm almost 70, so that may or may not be old. Like most of us, I feel old in some ways and not in others. I'm cooking more than ever, and enjoying my own cooking. I'm not skydiving or training to climb Everest, so, like some others have stated one way or another, my priorities have changed when it comes to being adventurous. Food is an easy way. One of the problems with the apartments in the independent living sections of the places I visited was tiny inadequate kitchens. I don't cook esoteric or super complicated food generally, but the storage and surface space was woefully lacking. There are new retirement communities popping up, perhaps not fast enough to accommodate us older boomers; new designs should include mo' bettuh kitchens, especially if the dining room food is mediocre. When I get to the point my mother did (she was 94) living on scotch and coffee ice cream, then I'll give up my kitchen.
  13. @rarerollingobject those are incredibly beautiful.
  14. The recipe for Nosrat's Buttermilk marinated chicken sounded really good. I'm interested in any chicken recipe that does NOT involve a pre-saute with popping grease. I just don't do that any more. Nigella Lawson has a very similar buttermilk chicken recipe, only she uses chicken parts rather than a whole chicken and she specifies a variety of spices.
  15. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    That's pretty much my preferred way to to eat fresh chokes. If I am really impatient I don't even make a dip for them. Often when I prep them like that I put them on pizza or pasta with red sauce. I top the pasta with them at the last minute so they don't get uncrisp. They are a pain to be sure, but so yummy. My mother was over the moon about artichokes when I was growing up; she steamed them whole and dipped the leaves in a simple olive oil and lemon dressing. When I moved to CA I discovered everyone dipped 'em in mayo, straight from the jar.