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Everything posted by marie-louise

  1. Only if you had plenty of water as well!
  2. She certainly could have said it a little better (the last line of the story pissed me off), but I do understand her point. While many folks in the Bay Area are unemployed, others of us are blessed to have stable jobs. I think those of us who are still well-employed should think about our responsibility for doing what we can to keep our favorite stores and restaurants afloat during leaner times. With one caveat: now more than ever, they need to earn my repeat business. It's a buyer's market. While I never had much of a tolerance for snooty hostesses, indifferent waiters, and bad meals, I simply won't tolerate them anymore. I'd rather give my money to the places I want to see around once the economy picks up. And it's funny, my two favorite neighborhood spots-Jojo and Bay Wolf for two-are still packed. Why? Well, the food is great and the host and waitstaff go out of their way to be friendly and provide terrific service. They have always greeted us and made us feel like valued customers during the dot-com boom, and they still do now. I, in turn, continue to be a loyal customer.
  3. I divide my time between two places-the northern California coast, which loses power on a regular basis during winter storms, and Oakland, where I live essentially on the Hayward fault. You've all mentioned most of the things I do. One thing no one's mentioned is a portable butane cannister powered stove. Mine is called "Mr. Stove." They put out an amazing amount of heat; I've cooked a wide assortment of meals on it over the years. Also, I keep a tiny little Magnalite flashlight in my purse (the one that comes free w/ the big flashlight.) The best way to do this planning is to think about your most likely disaster scenario, then plan for it. If I was a New York City office worker, what would I have wished I had last week? (These all the same things I keep on hand at my office, so if the earthquake happens when I'm at work, I can walk the 4 miles home to my house to see if it is still there.) Comfy shoes to walk home in-stashed in your desk A few bottles of water to have during that long walk home-not too hard to keep on hand $ to pay for a cab when I got tired of walking-tuck some in a corner of your wallet next time you're feeling flush a little flashlight-if you don't have a purse, at least keep it in your desk a cell phone-keep it on you, not in your car lots of gas in the car, so you don't have to abandon your car halfway home I keep much less food in my fridge and freezer at the house that regularly loses power. It is too annoying to have to throw food away; much better to spend my money buying lots of flashlights (Coleman makes a lantern that lights up a whole room) and candles for the inevitable outage. I should be better about keeping more water around. In the case of a big earthquake, we are going to be without ANY water for quite some time; I'll be grateful if the straps securing the water heater hold, so I can drain that. Somewhere, the city's pipes will break, so filling up the tub is not going to be an option. Somehow I'm not as worried about the food. I figure I'll find something to eat for the first few days. For those of you who have lived through earthquakes, the constant aftershocks make you pretty queasy, it is like being on a boat in a storm. I doubt I'll have much of an appetite for anything substantial. I also keep a well-stocked emergency kit in my car. (I do a lot of driving.) Water, no food, comfy shoes, an old sweater, a big Magnalite flashlight, a first aid kit, and heavy gloves and rope in case I have to move something out of my way so I can keep driving. I also keep some cash stashed in there; it's hard to say just how much I'd be willing to pay for a tank of gas (or some food) if the conditions were right, but I know if that day comes they won't be taking credit cards!
  4. Koi Palace's dim sum menu. At the bottom is a link w/ pictures.
  5. marie-louise


    I can't say I have the kind of animosity towards Starbuck's the article discusses, but I don't like their coffee very much. There's one a few blocks from my office; I go there occasionally and get a latte. It's just mediocre; I go there for the walk as much as the coffee. Now Peet's-IMO, that's some great coffee, and well worth going out of your way to get.
  6. I don't camp, but I love to take day hikes in the hills around the Bay Area. Lately, I've been taking three or four hour hikes, and find I feel better if I stop and snack somewhere in the middle. (Of course I am drinking water all the way.) My favorites: a Scharffenburger bittersweet chocolate bar; a homemade cookie (although they can get kind of funky if it's hot); and roasted nuts. Anyone else have any ideas? Those have lost their appeal. I'm not really hungry , it's just that I just feel more energetic after I eat something. So it would help if the snack was something very appetizing...
  7. Clearly, eating at Koi Palace must go to the top of the to-do list. Thanks!
  8. marie-louise

    Tomato Salads

    I, too, am getting a little sick of tomato salads such as yours. Not surprising, since I've been taking them every day for lunch for almost a month now! A few slight variations on the theme: I add a handful of cold boiled green beans to the salad; Point Reyes Blue cheese instead of the usual mozzarella; tabbouleh, tomatoes, cucumber, and Feta. Today I am having a bacon, avocado and tomato sandwich.
  9. The dried fruit does sound goofy, doesn't it? However, most peanut butter does say refrigerate after opening on it. When someone gave this to me, I just cut and pasted it into a Word document and printed a copy for my earthquake kit. Since of COURSE I am never going to need this list, I did not look at it too closely. I do not have refrigerator dough to worry about, either. All in all I'd agree with Fat Guy and whoever else says err on the side of caution. We had a power outage last New Year's Eve at our beach house. I think the power was out for about a day before we left in disgust. I took a lot of the jars of food back home-things like mustards, jams, tapenade-so that I could use them quickly. While they didn't make me sick, they weren't as flavorful and started getting funky around the edges of the jars after a few weeks. It would make me very, very nervous to think about what might be multiplying in your food when your house was in the nineties instead of the fifities. And I really hate to waste food, I feel for you. It is hard to throw stuff in the trash.
  10. From the USDA: In the event of a power failure, frozen or refrigerated foods warmed to above refrigeration temperatures of 40 degrees for over two hours may not be safe to eat. In emergency conditions, foods that should keep for a few days at room temperature (about 68 to 72 degrees) include: Butter, margarine Fresh fruits and vegetables Dried fruits and coconut Open jars of peanut butter, jelly, relish, taco sauce, barbecue sauce, mustard, ketchup and olives. Hard and processed cheeses Fruit juices Fresh herbs and spices Fruit pies Discard anything that turns moldy or has an unusual odor or look. Discard the following foods if they have been kept at above 40 degrees for over two hours: Raw or cooked meat, poultry and seafood Milk or cream, yogurt, soft cheese Cooked pasta, pasta salads Custard, chiffon or cheese pies Fresh eggs, egg substitutes Meat-topped pizza, lunchmeats Casseroles, stews or soups Refrigerator dough Cream-filled pastries Partially thawed frozen foods that still have ice crystals can be safely refrozen. Most once-frozen foods that have thawed completely could be cooked and eaten immediately if they have not been above 40 degrees for more than two hours. Items can be refrozen after cooking. If the time above 40 degrees is more than two hours or unknown, the thawed foods should be discarded. Foods in a freezer without power may stay frozen from one to three days, depending on conditions: The door must remain closed. The freezer must be mostly full. The less full the freezer, the shorter time foods will stay frozen. The temperature outside the freezer must be moderate. The freezer must be large and well insulated. Small freezers will keeps foods frozen for shorter periods of time. Edited to add link: USDA:
  11. marie-louise


    I ate at Downtown once. Some of the worse service ever. Your post reminded me that I forgot to mention one of the things I like best about Jojo. While I am still stuffed at the end of a meal, their servings are normal, served on 10-inch dinner plates, not the typical huge restaurant portions served on a platter. Much like Chez Panisse. They always have a trio of salads as an appetizer. Always different, always wonderful. A recent offering included a three-bean salad, a custard of Point Reyes blue cheese, and another that escapes me. The other night I had a bread pudding that tasted like a creamy souffle, served on lots of wonderful veggies.
  12. Well, you have no shortage of suggestions for drinks, so I'll skip that. Shellfish course: Grilled Shrimp; Steamed Mussels or a Mussel Salad, perhaps? Can you get fresh oysters there? My local sushi restaurant serves nice ones w/ Ponzu sauce; that seems like it would be good after the tartare. A little cucumber salad. If you don't grill shrimp, maybe a nice grilled pork tenderloin w/ a tomato-corn salsa? You could roast some new potatoes, or make a rice pilaf. Or, since you've started on a Japanese theme, a nice Teriyaki sauce on that grilled pork?
  13. Anyone eaten there? I love this restaurant. I just discovered it about a year ago, and what a find it is. Everything I have ever eaten here in a dozen or so visits has been perfect. The restaurant is small, beautifully decorated, and has an open kitchen where you can watch what appear to be the happiest three people in the universe cooking their heart out. The service is also excellent. Sorry, I'm terrible at describing meals, so I'll simply post a link to their website. Click on News to read the reviews. Edited to say that should be French COUNTRY Cooking...
  14. I want the end of the story to be that she gets to meet Julia Child.
  15. Wow. I'm ashamed to admit I've been driving right past that restaurant twice a week for years (we have a weekend home a little further up the road) but have never stopped. I just assumed it was another typical tourist restaurant. I will have to try it soon. If I need to eat on that stretch of the road, I get fish and chips at Lucas (never the Tides) in Bodega and eat outside. Or an ice cream cone (never the food) at The Hot Dog Palace.
  16. marie-louise

    Lamb Shank

    Michael Chiarello's Lamb Shanks w/ Mushroom Bolognese is another good one.
  17. Great job, Chad! I like those guides that hold the knife at an angle; good for those of us with fear-of-sharpening! I have one or two knives that have slightly bent tips. I suspect they met an avocado pit or other hard object that was more than their match (and despite what he says, I am certain my husband did it.) Is there a way to get them straight again? I don't want to just start whacking at it with a hammer; I have a sneaking suspicion that might break the knife tip.
  18. Yes, my point exactly. Try not to let yourself get distracted. Your flesh is much softer than most of the other things you chop!
  19. While you are probably correct that dull knives cause worse lacerations, a recent personal experience has shattered my complacency that sharp knives=safe knives. Sharp knives CAN hurt you if your finger gets between the knife and cutting board. I was chopping up some romaine for a salad a few months back. I'm not sure what happened, it happened in a second, but I think I turned my head to look at something and turned my body as well. Next thing I knew, I'd cut a nice big slice into the inner aspect of my index finger (the side by your thumb.) The fact that the angle of the cut was such that I could tell my fingers had remained in perfect curled alignment was of little consulation. Only my fingernail stopped me from slicing the whole side of my finger off. It hurt like hell for days, I needed three stitches, and I obviously permanently cut a nerve, as I have no feeling in that part of my finger. So, once you get your knives sharpened to perfection following Chad's impressive lesson, pay attention when you are using them. I am much more mindful when I chop these days, because I have a much healthier respect for just how easily my knives can slice through my skin. PS Great job, Zilla. Thanks.
  20. Nothing like a long weekend in a small house-worse if it's raining-to find out more than you ever wanted to know about your friends, right? We've owned a beach house for 15 years. We are careful who we invite, as a weekend can be a very long time. (It can also be a wonderful opportunity to catch up on all the news with friends you love and don't spend nearly enough time with, but then that's a different thread, isn't it.)
  21. Yup. I would in essence be fasting. So... it works. Another WW success story!!! Another repressed bad meal is triggered by viewing those cards. My aunt once made us Sweet-and-Sour Hot Dogs from a WW menu card. Don't ask me what was low-cal about it; I just remember one lonely hot dog, covered in red sauce, pineapple chunks, and other items that I would need hypnosis to remember. No bread, no sides whatsoever. BTW, the same people that have that website have a great book. Makes a nice present for the foodie friends in your life. Especially if they are not familiar w/ the website; the moments before they realize it's a joke are priceless.
  22. marie-louise

    Rosh Hashana

    Marlena, I just wanted to say I am a huge fan of yours. Your Jewish Heritage Cookbook is a beautiful and informative book. I read all cookbooks like novels, but the way yours weaves history and information in between the recipes makes it an especially good read! Also,your long out-of-print From Pantry to Table opened my eyes to all sorts of new flavorings at the time it came out.
  23. Tell me more (you too, Hest88) What's not authentic/ what are we missing by eating at these two places instead of others? I prefer Ton Kiang over Yank Sing mainly because I prefer the steamed items over the deep-fried ones. Ton Kiang seems to have a wider variety of steamed dumplings. I've also eaten at Peony and Jade Villa, both in Oakland, but I like Ton Kiang best of all. PS Since I live in Oakland and work near enough to Oakland's Chinatown to walk there for lunch, please speak up with any Oakland recommendations. Thanks!
  24. Paper bags get reused to hold the paper recycling. One of my favorite haunts gives out really nice, large shopping bags. They put a brown bag inside. Perfect for cramming full of recycling. The grocery stores around here all recycle plastic bags. I have a little trash can that has indentations to hold a plastic shopping bag. (I got it at The Container Store.) I keep it in my pantry, and cram all my other plastic bags and wrapping in it until it's full. Then I tie the top of the bag, and take the whole bag full bag to the store. They are making a lot of things out of recycled platic these days.
  25. A serious question: why is that a problem? I've seen this mentioned lots of times, but I don't understand what the issue is. One of my Wusthof chef's knives is 24 years old. I haven't exactly ground it down to a filet knife shape yet! The non-sharp edge is thicker than the sharp edge, but after years of using a Chef's Choice, the sharp edge is still thin, so I'm assuming that's not the concern.
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