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Everything posted by marie-louise

  1. I don't think of foodie as a derisive term, any more than I think of techie as a negative descriptor. To me, adding "ie" to a word merely means interested in. Well, maybe, obsessed with, but not used as a put-down.
  2. When dining w/ my husband: take-out, plated on nice dishes and eaten at the table. When alone: popcorn. Air-popped, w/ tons of melted unsalted butter and Kosher salt. Eaten in front of the TV with a beer.
  3. I like a mixture of wine and stock, but I don't start w/ reduced stock. Like Suzanne, I just keep boiling it until it is almost dry. Unlike Suzanne, I often slip in a little creme fraiche or butter at the end. The finished sauce isn't as thick as cafeteria gravy, of course, but I wouldn't describe it as watery. Mine has the consistency of heavy cream. The meat is better if it rests a bit anyway. Just turn that pan up to high and be patient. It WILL boil all the way to dry if you leave it long enough-I know this from experience!
  4. Well, I like them all, but I'd have to say my favorite is winter. It doesn't start getting cold here until late November (September/ October are our warmest months), and by mid-March it's spring again, so that leaves just a few short months to eat hearty soups and stews. The real answer is whatever seasonal food I haven't had for 11 months. At the moment I am craving winter squash. And apples and pears. I am starting to get just a little sick of corn, something I could not have imagined a few months ago. If you asked me this question in May I would say summer, with tomatoes, corn, and green beans!
  5. And that's why I know no Indian places in SF to recommend! Anyway, more Berkeley recommendations: Vik's has great food, although the atmosphere is rather lacking. Udapi Palace on University has great breads. There are few of them around the Bay Area. Here's a review: "Pancakes are king." I think Khana Peena is worth the drive (it is across the street from Adjanti on Solano.) It is an upscale place for a nice dinner, Berkeley-style [linen tablecloth, professional waiters, good wine list, no need to change out of your jeans.] I think Bay Area Indian food is much better now than it used to be ten years ago; I'm not sure why, but I'm glad!
  6. Fig trees produce two crops a year-a small one in June and a bigger one in late summer. At least on my fig tree in California, the current crop of figs seem to be ripening later than usual. I'm guessing it will be another month before they are ripe. JAZ-the Zuni Cookbook has a recipe for Braised Chicken w/ Figs that looks good. I make a pizza w/ caramelized onions, Gorgonzola and figs, or a fig crostini, or eat them w/ proscuitto in a salad, but mostly, I just like to eat them plain. My fig tree in the hottest part of a sunny backyard in Oakland is tempermental. Sometimes the figs are great, sometimes they are inedible. I'm guessing it depends on how many hot and sunny days we had. It is such a pretty tree that I don't mind if it produces nothing edible.
  7. That's not the interview I saw this morning, but I like it better. The one I saw, she was just sitting in a chair being interviewed. This "Eye on America" piece that is one the link you posted shows her cooking-she looks more comfortable. Still no bleeps, though.
  8. Stone, if you like that, take a field trip to Sausalito and check out the Heath Stoneware studio. This stuff was all the rage for California brides in the 70's. It's nice stuff, they'll make you almost anything you want, or you can dig around the studio and buy a whole set of seconds.
  9. Just watched Julie on the CBS Morning show (no, I do not normally watch it; Julie mentioned it on her blog.) Amazing, she was not at ALL like the mental image I had created from her writing. She is this giggly, bubbly girl; they didn't even have to bleep anything. She seemed much younger than 30. She was wearing a flowery skirt and a black shirt, and has rather flyaway hair. I don't know, I was expecting more of a sophisticated, hip New Yorker with a designer haircut and a chic outfit. Clearly I am not getting out of California enough... Two positive points: her enthusiasm for cooking came across as genuine, and the interviewer actually let her finish a sentence or two without interupting her.
  10. I bought a very nice set of oversized Oneida flatware at the East Bay restaurant supply store. It's heavy, like the stuff Williams-Sonoma sells, but much cheaper! A couple of suggestions for white plates, both more expensive than other suggestions. Villeroy and Boch makes beautiful, bullet-proof china. They have some off-white dishes w/ various swirls on the rim. Sur La Table sells some pure white dishes by Revel (French) that are very elegant-nice weight, nicely proportioned.
  11. I had a kitchen where the cabinets were originally painted over by the previous owner. It worked well. When we moved in, we had the kitchen repainted a nice creamy white. I took off all the top cabinet doors and had the painter fill all the holes from the hinges. It just looked like a set of white shelves hanging from the soffit-a big improvement. If you are neat and have colorful dishes, it's a nice look. Sorry I can't help you on HOW to do it, but I would encourage you TO do it. He used a brush and I don't recall any problems w/ chipping, but I have no idea how the owner had first prepped the wood. The original wood was some sort of early 1960's hardwood plywood-maple or birch, I'm guessing.
  12. I am coming to accept the fact that dining well is just not going to be something we do on this vacation. Darn-there is nothing more satisfying than eating a huge meal when you're starving after hiking for hours. The Black Bear Diner is the place with the blackberry milkshakes. This burger doesn't look bad-isn't the knife stabbed into the top a class touch? They have grown to 17 locations in eight years-including Carmel of all places-so they must be cooking something right. Perhaps we should just eat burgers and fries all week, like that guy that ate one in every county in Kansas. Better that than overcooked fish with a bad sauce containing every flavor in the book to cover up the fact that it isn't fresh. Our vacation is starting Sunday, so we'll miss Noelle's for dinner, but I'll stop in for lunch one day. Thanks for the tip on La Grange Cafe. They are one of the few spots with a website, and it looks like a pretty spot. Like you, I was just assuming the food would be good as well.
  13. I made her-actually, her mother's-Peach Tart recipe tonight from Cooking for Mr. Latte. Incredibly good; it is one of the best fruit desserts I've had in a long time. It is a very odd recipe; I made it more out of curiosity than anything. The crust, which contains oil, not butter or shortening, is mixed w/ a fork right in the pan, then patted out. The peaches go on the raw crust, then a sugar/flour/butter mixture is sprinkled on top. I served it with the suggested whipped cream/creme fraiche topping.
  14. Bringing this to the top in the hopes that one of our new California members has actually been to the top part of our state. Our trip's about 3 weeks away. Melkor is right, lots of cows up there, so beef will be a safe bet wherever we go. (I'm not going to make it to the Ferry Plaza to find those farmers, although they sound cool.) I have read about a good drive-in in Mt. Shasta that is supposed to make great blackberry milkshakes. We're going to be there for Rosh Hashana-what's the chance they'll have round challah? Our final destinations are Trinity Center, McCloud, and some as yet undetermined place near Lassen. I got an email from the B&B in Trinity Center telling me that there are no restaurants open one of the nights we're staying there, so it is either a deli sandwich back in the room or a jaunt down to Weaverville that night. Thanks-
  15. marie-louise


    Thanks, Zen, for confirming that by owning the cookbook, I've gotten as close to Rao's as I'm going to in my lifetime. As least The French Laundry holds out a ray of hope to anyone w/ a speed dial and a spare hour or two.
  16. Well, this requires boiling water inside, but otherwise no cooking: pasta w/ uncooked tomato sauce. You marinade the tomatoes for a while-I leave them out all day but it's not too hot here-w/ some fresh basil and oregano, garlic, onions (I like scallions), a jalapeno, olive oil, and salt & pepper. The hot pasta gets cooled w/ the room temperature sauce, making a nice dish for a hot night.
  17. Mr. Toast, if you like lamb and are looking for a use for some of those broad beans, Marcella Hazen's Lamb Stew w/ Vinegar and Green Beans in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is a great recipe. Those thick beans-they call them Romano beans around here-work much better than regular-sized green beans, which can fall apart before the lamb is tender.
  18. Full Belly Farms dropped off: a few pounds of heirloom tomatoes 4 cucumbers 2 heads garlic 5 gypsy peppers 4 ears corn (last week's in still in the fridge, too) 2 melons, a Honeyloupe and and an Ambrosia 2 globe eggplants 4 Asian pears
  19. For dough, you could work your way through Baking with Julia -either the Basics chapter or the whole book, depending on your free time and current BMI- or The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Baking seems like such a natural thing to practice in the winter. I'm a happy camper with soup and bread for dinner in the winter. (Myself, I make the stock and soup, but buy the bread.) If you haven't perfected your stock skills yet, you could do that, too, then improvise to your heart's content on the soups.
  20. Oysters are sold year-round at Hog Island Oyster Company on Tomales Bay in California. This doesn't address red tide, but does discuss federal water purity standards in general. They do occasionally close this place if the area gets a certain aqmount of rain because of the runoff from nearby dairy farms into the Bay; otherwise, they are open year round. PS Anyone who is coming to northern California and wants to take a little drive up the coast should definitely stop in here. They are so cheap, too.
  21. A conversation between Tony and Julie, now there is a MUST READ!!! What I really wish is that she'd starting hanging out and posting here. (Have you told her she can write fuck as often as she wants and not get in trouble?) Didn't Tony first find out about this site through his Q&A?
  22. Did she reach her goal and make every recipe? The last few entries don't say anything like, "only six more recipes to go..." I'm going to miss this blog, too. I didn't faithfully read the whole blog, but I always enjoyed it when I did read it. Perhaps she'll turn this into a book. PS Any chance of luring her to eGullet for a Q&A?
  23. I thought it was just me! I've been there twice since Paul Bertolli's owned it, the last time must have been five years ago. I only live a few minutes away, but never have any desire to eat there. I don't know why, the place just doesn't appeal. If the service was bad, I don't remember it, but if it's true, then I bet that's a big part of the reason it doesn't appeal. I really don't mind if a waiter makes mistakes, or forgets things and has to be asked again, as long as I get even an inkling that they give as shit as to whether or not I am enjoying my dinner. An acknowledgement of the mistake and a simple "I'm sorry about that" is all that I need to make it all okay.
  24. Thanks for sharing that, Suzanne. I love hearing the impressions of visitors-good or bad. Edited to add-Barry Bonds dad died a couple of days later.
  25. marie-louise

    Tomato Salads

    Lots more great ideas for tomato salads in today's Washington Post.
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