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Everything posted by tanabutler

  1. Uh... No. No. Please, god, no. ← I pretty much have a little freak-out from seeing the nom de flume [sic] "Carrot Top," but not from our eG friend here. I think of the unfunny performer who could be Janet Reno's redheaded stepchild. But eG Carrot Top, you are worth the cover charge.
  2. tanabutler

    Dinner! 2004

    What Jinmyo said. Times two. Or wait, should I just say "ditto"?
  3. tanabutler

    Dinner! 2004

    A bowl of utter sadness, homey. ← A cheeseburger is always a good remedy for anything that ails one! ← I had a cheeseburger (with organic beef, as I've sworn off all beef unless I know the source to be reputable). It didn't help anything. I am shell-shocked. Hearing the baby laugh helped so much, though. Babies are so good at the Be Here Now thing. I didn't take photos of the burgers because, really, they're just pieces of oozing meat.
  4. Melkor, I am so puzzled. You solicited input, and yet seem to be closed to anything that doesn't conform to your pre-conceived notion about the dearth of good steakhouses to be found in California. You received intelligent information from an extremely knowledgeable and well-informed person (that would be Milla, whose culinary (ongoing) education and experience are unsurpassed in this community). Yet you continue to decry the remotest possibility that a good steakhouse exists here. Both Bux and Milla make a case for A) being open-minded and B) being willing to be surprised (and thus, wrong). I don't think that those who have posted that, yes, there might be some great steaks in California are being chauvinistic—but your tone seems to indicate that you take umbrage at those who present you with thoughtful evidence. Very puzzling. It's like you just don't want to hear it, which makes me wonder why you asked to begin with. (I think your pessimism may be crippling you here. I'm sure there are some great steaks out here! Let's go find 'em!) I'd be interested in measuring the quality of the so-called "greatest steaks in America" by the purity of the conditions under which they were produced. If the cattle are fed hormones and chemically-treated, pesticide-poisoned feed, it's NOT a great steak, but a serious health risk and a detriment to an already much-threatened environment. Upthread, Malik posited that there's just not the market for steakhouses in California. Well, I live in the People's Republic of Santa Cruz, home to more vegans per capita (I'd be willing to bet) than just about anywhere in the country. Be that as it may, the Hindquarter, the local steakhouse, has been open for over fifteen years, and still does the booming business. They have managed to adapt to the changing diet of patrons who express interest in grass-fed beef, and have added it (and other sustainable, healthier choices) to the menu. (I am not suggesting that the HQ will meet your criterion, just addressing the idea that even hippies like good meat.) Anyway, I am looking forward to the Jocko report. I'm tempted to hitchhike there myself.
  5. Hmmmm, he's fabulous but I don't know if I should out him, given that out-of-context remark. Put it this way: we call him "Mikey" (usually "Mikey Eh") despite the fact that he's about seven feet tall in his skates.
  6. Absolutely stellar write-up of Manresa in the London Observer right now. The writer, Jay Rayner, had previously dined at Per Se, and thus the last sentence is a very telling one. Congratulations, Chef Kinch. And thanks to Pim for her part: excellent all around.
  7. Here we read your good fortune and grow and learn and shout: "You ROCK!"
  8. Please don't serve Coors. PLEASE. Thousands of people of good conscience (not to mention people of good taste) boycott their "beer" (a simple Google will provide tons of evidence supporting the decades-old boycott). This is not a political-affiliation thing, it's a human rights thing. I doubt anyone here would support KKK rallies or cross-burnings at their business site, right? (Adolph Coors did exactly that. Google, please.) Why not bridge the national divide and serve Canadian beer, eh? (Hey, our nephew is from Medicine Hat, and he plays professional hockey for the Sharks. I asked him, "Do you like America?" His answer? (The laconic one.) "I like the money. Eh." (He loves it here, of course.) And I totally agree with Jason Perlow about the crab thing -- Dungeness crab? Swoon. If you want to be truly politically correct, embrace the fresh/local/seasonal ideal, and celebrate the glory that is the Left Coast. (Again, not "left" politically, but "left" from Roy Blount, Jr.'s, idea that, if you stand in Texas and look north, the Pacific is on your left, and the Atlantic is on your right. Just like the maps!) One more caution: cranberries are one of the fruits that are much better if organic. The pesticide residues in cranberries are especially high. A link with some information about organic cranberries. (Especially relevant to Vancouver, BC.) Your party sounds like something I'd enjoy. Looking forward to a report back.
  9. Yes, indeed. And yes, not politically correct, but did the French hate Julia Child for dialing in to their cuisine? heh My favorites from the trattoria book, for the record, are the lemon cream pasta, the lemon risotto, and (blasphemy) the baked risotto with spinach and asparagus. Yike, though, how could I forget my two newest additions? Two of Evan Kleiman's books (written with Viviana La Place): Cucina Fresca and Cucina Rustica. Again, simple recipes, broad knowledge, and harmonious results.
  10. Albiston, the bulk of my 40-odd cookbooks are Italian. The two I refer to most often are Lynn Rosetto Kasper's The Italian Country Table and, oddly enough, a cookbook by Patricia Wells, who is more famous for her French cookbooks. It's called Patricia Wells' Trattoria: Healthy, Simple, Robust Fare Inspired by the Small Family Restaurants of taly. (Note: links are to Half.com, where you can find great bargains on all media.) I had traveled to Italy in 2001, and came home longing to find a cookbook that showed me how to make the simple dishes that had wowed my daughter and me while there. I happened upon the Patricia Wells book while seeking something else, and was just thrilled. The recipes are so simple, and are ideal for someone like me, living in the Mediterranean climate of the central coast of California. I wrote an ecstatic review at Amazon that, much to my surprise, someone later pointed out to me on the Patricia Wells web site! Many of the recipes have only a handful of ingredients, and are ideal for learning the bone structure of Italian fare. I really love this book.
  11. Anyone who thinks global warming is a "trend" of some kind, or a passing fancy of the media, is seriously uninformed. My daughter did a research paper for her college English class this summer, and you would be agape at some of the information she assembled. If you would like to read it, send me an e-mail at tanaATtanabutler.com. I will send a PDF. (Brag alert: my girl, just out of her sophomore year in high school, received the highest grade in the classful of adults, and her teacher asked her if she might use this particular research paper as a "textbook example" of what a research paper should be.) I have heard this before about the maple trees disappearing, a couple of years ago. It's not a "slow news day" item at all.
  12. Spicy roasted herb nuts, my single most-requested recipe for Thanksgiving. Easy, and don't say I didn't warn you of their addictive properties. Good luck making them three days beforehand and having any left.
  13. I've never rooted for an AL team in my life, but I gotta tell ya, the whole country was FILLED with people like me, hollering every time a Boston pitcher struck out another Cardinal, screaming and WOO-HOOing every time they got a hit or a homer. We watched the game on Tuesday at the sports book in the Venetian in Las Vegas, and it was packed with Boston fans, new and old. We saw the first homer of the game last night before we left for the airport, and had to board our plane when the score was 3-0. We asked the pilot for updates, and received none as we flew back to California. As soon as the plane docked, I whipped out my cell phone and called a friend. "3-0 in the bottom of the ninth." I shouted this out to the packed plane of people waiting to deboard, and the whole group erupted in cheers. We were not able to get to the television set in the terminal quickly enough to see that final out, but hey, Boston, your team is the BEST! (I wish I'd bet on it, because I knew they were going to sweep.) WOO HOO FOR YOU!!!
  14. That is not only a post for the ages, but it's a brilliant piece of writing independent of any competition.
  15. I am so glad I am on the mailing list for Two Small Farms. Julia Wiley's coverage of Salone de Gusto can be found on SauteWednesday.com. Thank you, Bruce, for hosting her coverage from Eden. She's got Ari Zingerman next in line to use the public computer. Great stuff, Julia. Thanks again, Bruce. Ciao and good night from the Venetian in Las Vegas. (Hey, we all do our part.)
  16. tanabutler

    Blind tasting

    So much for your palates, you mean. What was the $30 bottle?! Inquiring minds want to know.
  17. That wouldn't be Rebel Rosé, would it? Congrats, Mary!
  18. Hi, Vanillabean, if you're still around -- I am the broken record about farmers markets, but use LocalHarvest.org as a way to locate farmers markets, organic food stuffs, etcetera. Good luck!
  19. I had a whole paragraph or two and accidentally closed the window. Gack. Anyway, take Marie-Louise's excellent advice about the redwoods. And guess what? Santa Cruz has redwoods, and the ocean, and a boardwalk with rides. Like a wonderful old-fashioned wooden roller coaster called the Giant Dipper. It's a scream. Literally. You can see redwoods at Henry Cowell State Park, which is very close to the Inn at Pasatiempo. And check this out: a video gallery of California state parks and beaches, including Henry Cowell and San Simeon/Hearst Castle. Those are worth checking out.
  20. tanabutler

    Dinner! 2004

    I couldn't help myself. I just had to take pictures. Not only did it look photogenic, it was all really, really good. This idea of pomegranate glazes is a good one, and so is the salt-baked potatoes, and the little truffle vinaigrette I threw together just made the grilled vegetables (besides the most excellent grill person... he had quite a bit to do with it, too). All these are keeper recipes which we will use again. ← I knew you couldn't resist, and thank God. Your photos are so much fun, and everything looks so spirited and inviting. Well, I had quite the challenge in my kitchen last night. For nine years, I've been cooking with an electric stove/oven. Then we found a good deal on a used gas unit, which Bob said he'd convert to propane and run off a smaller tank outside the house. That turned into a huge deal, so that he spent something like $350 on it. So far: he's not done yet. He's chased down almost all the parts, and finally got the stove working. But just the stove. The oven's a work in progress. The first thing I did was boil a pot of water for tea, and make a grilled cheese sandwich, which I promptly burned. Dang! So I have to learn to cook all over again: cooking on the electric stove was something I'd just absorbed. Dinner last night, obviously, was cooked stovetop. I saw elsethread the difficulties in sautéeing boneless/skinless chicken breasts ("there's a thirty-second window between salmonella and chicken dust"). Ah, yes. At any rate, I sautéed chicken breasts in lemon olive oil. I made asparagus à la David Kinch: I have used this technique consistently since I took the cooking class in May (asparagus roasted in butter with pecorino). I served these with some cannellini beans, and it was all good enough but not to photograph.
  21. This is totally a plug for myself, so be warned, but Issue 67 of The Art of Eating (due in stores early Novemberish; don't know your timeline) has an article on wineries in (mostly) western Paso. Notably, it has addresses and contact info for a number of them (um, 11? 12? 10? I forget). And Saveur did one roughly a year ago. And of course eGulleteer DoverCanyon would have some good insight Sounds like an awesome trip, by the way! ← How is it plugging yourself? The connection isn't apparent. Dover Canyon is now known as "Rebel Rose."
  22. While it grosses me out no end, I cannot criticize these people. I'll ignore their self-righteous pontificating about being worried that someone selling tofu products will spend the money at McDooDoo's, thinking that Working Sucks, and just let them have their lifestyle. It takes all kinds. I personally am more disgusted by throwing out food than I am by people who choose to eat what we don't. If it doesn't bother them, why on earth should it bother ANYONE? Reluctantly (but only for the gross-out factor), I say "right on, dudes." Unless there is something inherently noble in being so privileged to live in a nation where we throw out enough food to feed a few small countries. And I bet we do. Repeat: right on, dudes. Now come and clean out my refrigerator: I have a collection of failed (taste-wise, not contaminated) condiments that will pep up your, um, nocturnal noshing.
  23. I echo what Milla said. This, for whatever reason, is the most captivating and compelling post I've yet seen about your Spanish tour, Doc. The atmosphere, the creativity and artfulness of the dishes, and something about the spirit of the restaurant—it must be a reflection of the chef. What a spirit she must have: she shines. I'm smitten. I've got to get to Spain. For those interested in web sites: Official Sant Pau web site Sant Pau (Relais Chateaux site) Also: Sant Pau Japan auxiliary site is worth poking through, I think.
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