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  1. Yes, this is news to me too. I know it was going to be open to the public someday, but didn't realize that it had happened. Why hasn't there been more press on this-are they waiting for the bridge to be finished first?
  2. ATTENTION to all of you near a Le Creuset Outlet store: I received a "2005 Savings Calendar" in the mail from LC this week.It is indeed a cute little calendar w/ a diifferent picture of LC every month. It also contains details about all of the sales for each and every month of the year (attached coupon required.) For instance, January is 1) Celebrate the New Year in Style-20% off any one item of your choice AND 2) the Color of the Month Sale-15% off all black & blue cookware, blue stoneware, and blue accessories. July & December have 35% off coupons! They also included a "create your own set" savings coupon. So, if you didn't get this calender, call your nearest outlet store & ask them to send you one.
  3. Again, to put things into a Californian's perspective: I used to drive through the backroads of Sonoma County every week, past lots of sheep pastures. There were baby lambs all year long; the mothers seemed to successfully have just as many frolicking baby lambs in the middle of our not-too-cold California winters as they did during our foggy, not-too-hot California summers. So, somewhere lambs only survived in the spring, hence the concept of "spring lamb"-but that's not true here. We can get local lamb all year long. Edited to add: Yeah, I did used to feel kinda guilty about eating little baby lamb chops after seeing those cute little lambs running around playing with each other. I justified it by telling myself the farmers weren't raising them as pets.
  4. Russ, you captured my feelings perfectly. [Disclaimer: another old fart talking. I turned 50 a few years ago.] There is a rhythm in life that comes from eating seasonally. It is a continuation of the rhythm that comes from eating turkey on Thanksgiving or latkes during Hanukkah. I might make turkey another time of the year, but I don't serve it the same way-with stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and all of the other traditional side dishes. That's Thanksgiving dinner, and the anticipation is half the fun of it! In the same way, eating strawberry shortcake in January feels "wrong" to me. To me, that's a dessert that should be eaten on one of the first warm spring evenings. It should still be light outside, and the windows should be open. Why? For the slightly illogical reason that that's the way we ate it when I was growing up in central California. My Mom and Grandma may be long gone, but when I'm eating that first strawberry shortcake of the season, they're back at the table with me. It would never occur to me to eat cherries in January either. I think that's one of the differences about living in California. We have local produce in season all twelve months, and our Farmer's Markets are open year-round. Fat Guy's post brought that home to me; his CSA doesn't grow food 12 months of the year. We have enormous stores (the Berkeley Bowl is one famous example) that are primarily produce stores where you can also buy other items. Since I've never lived outside of California, it's hard for me to imagine a life where going to a supermarket or a Costco to purchase fruits and vegetables was your only option in the winter. So, those of us in California are happy to share; please go to the store and buy lots of that underripe and over-priced produce we ship to you. Our state's economy needs you!
  5. No kids-just a crazy job-but one thing that helped me is to lower my expectations: You do not have to have three things on the plate every night. You also do not have to serve a salad and dessert on weeknights. You can still have great food, just make less items for those days you are stressed out, and save the multi-course meals for days off.
  6. It's LOVE, M-L, simple pure unadulterated LOVE! Is that sooooo wrong???!!!???? ← Spoken like a true pusher... Okay, I guess there are worse things to be addicted to...
  7. Rancho Gordo's tortillas are simply the best. Krys, since you are new and I am enjoying reading your posts, I feel I must warn you: stay away from his tortilla chips. Do not even try even one, even if he insists at the Farmer's Market and it hurts his feelings when you try and resist. Just say no. His chips contain large amounts of crack cocaine, and soon you will be hopelessly addicted. The tortillas also must contain some drug, because they are moderately addicting, but not as bad as the fried chips.
  8. Here's a link to a discussion we had last summer: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=54697 To paraphrase Russ Parsons, this is not someplace you go for great food. It's a slow time up there, so all of the B&B's will have discounted rooms. The coastline is gorgeous up there; I'd suggest going to one of the parks a few miles from town & taking a walk in the redwoods. (We had a lot of rain this week, so a lot of the trails will be pretty muddy.) Also, surrounding the town itself is a blufftop walk and a pretty beach, both accessible from the Main Street of town. None of those wineries are too crowded, and the road they are all along (128) is a pretty drive along a river with redwood trees. A winery that fits your description is Navarro: http://www.navarrowine.com/main.php (You can only buy their wine at the winery.)
  9. Well, I did have squash & kale last night-but it was at Chez Panisse, so I can't say I suffered. I also had some wonderful LOCAL Satsuma tangerines in my lunchbox today.
  10. My answer is similar. What I would cook for you would depend on both the season and the current weather. With our gorgeous warm winter days, foggy summers, and October heat waves in the Bay Area-that could be just about anything. I might serve you a hot soup or something like chili on a foggy summer night. Then again, I might serve you grilled chicken or fish in January. What I will never serve you are fruits or vegetables that are not in season locally; you should only expect to be served asparagus in the springtime, and you won't be eating melons or peaches at my house unless it is late summer. You'll also only eat crab or salmon when it is season.
  11. Pho 84 in Oakland, between Harrison & Webster, on 17th St. Huynh is a spinoff-either family members or former employees, I can't remember which. Le Cheval is upscale; Pho 84 is the real thing. (I eat there all the time; I work nearby.)
  12. A pocket door sounds like a great idea, IF you are neat enough to have your pantry in full view. Personally, I took the door off mine completely; it gave me that much more wall space to hang things on. Only you can answer where you fall on the Martha Stewart organizational scale. I think your opinion about using a general contractor is sound. Experience is important, and in general, a good contractor attracts the best subcontractors, whereas someone just starting out can have a hard time lining up the best subs. A cabinet maker with 30 years of experience sounds like someone worth waiting for! Anyway, waiting until spring means you won't care as much about eating BBQ'd food out on your patio.
  13. In addition to his excellent book, Will Clower also has a website. http://www.fatfallacy.com/TourWL/FirstSteps.html My husband & I did his "Path" last summer. Amazingly, we didn't lose much weight, but we both found it helpful to understand how eating slower-and in courses-helped us to eat less. (Clearly, we need to learn to eat a little less of our wonderful food...) I'm glad to see him getting some publicity, as his book is not the typical quick-fix, restrictive sort of "diet" that Americans love to embrace. Basically, he says only eat full-fat dairy products, eat a little bit of chocolate every day, don't eat "anything that doesn't spoil in a few days"-no preservatives, but mainly, understand when you are satisfied and stop eating at that point. Also, focus on your food when you are eating-don't eat and drive, etc. He's got great ideas-this is as close to an eGullet diet as anything I've seen.
  14. I do a variation on Rachel's: First step: Let it cool on the stove for an hour with the flame off-but don't let it get below 160. Second step: Using a 1-qt. saucepan as a scoop, I strain it through a colander into big shallow SS bowls (I bought these at a restaurant supply store-it's something you'd toss a big salad in.) That helps cool the stock a little. If I've made a huge pot of stock, I may end up w/ a few bowls. *** Echo Rachel's comments to double bag your garbage can before you start tossing those hot bones into it!!! Third step: (This is where I vary from Rachel): I strain again, pouring the contents of the bowls through a fine mesh strainer into some tall opaque plastic containers I also bought at a restaurant supply store. The stock is now completely strained; all you have to do the next day is scrape the fat off the top. I strain it twice not only to get all of the sediment out, but because I think it's easier to get rid of the big pieces of bones and vegetables before putting the stock into the containers that go into the fridge. Fourth step: After a quick rinse of the stock pot (mine also fits in the DW), I fill my sink w/ ice. (It's a good way of cleaning out all the funky ice cubes from my ice maker.) I put these tall containers of stock in the ice & fill the sink w/ water. Fifth step: Once all the ice is melted and the water isn't very cold, I put the containers into the fridge. I try and put some of those blue ice containers into the fridge as well. Even with all these precautions, I've seen the temp in my fridge get as high as 50 degrees-not good for your milk or whatever other persishables are in there. Last but not least-the next day I scrape off the fat, put the stock in smaller containers, and freeze.
  15. I occasionally find myself at a business meal with someone high up in my company. At these times I'm eternally grateful that my parents taught me enough manners that I don't have to think about what is correct or not. It's enough to focus on making witty conversation! Otherwise, I agree that as long as you aren't grossing anyone out or rudely hogging all the food, the details are not that important.
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