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TDG: Diet-ribe


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I believe it is the sugar in the cabbage that creates that mess on the bottom of the pan.

Mmm, the caramelization from cabbage and/or onions is what makes it so tasty!

I'm new to reading the blogs and am enjoying this one very much. The nice variety of fruits you're eating is inspiring.

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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walt - those wonderful orange "cherries" are called sungolds. i love them too.

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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I confess to having eaten two to three carrots every day, yes that's every day, for the last fifty years, since I was in grade school - never noticed an orange tint to my hands, but now I'll have to check them in all manner of light - better orange from carrots than yellow from jaundice!

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I've never heard of or seen a pluot. :huh:

They're a cross between a plum and apricot. They became the "hot new fruit" a couple of years ago. You can probably find them in your local market.

Read about them here.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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It's Lucky's magical changing marshmallow. The gimmick here is that you can tell where Lucky is hiding by using milk to wash off the outer layer of marshmallow. In this case, everyone's favorite leprechaun is hiding in a bright orange house. Should be pretty easy to spot with that paint job.

Or perhaps an orange stealth bomber?

BTW, your eating habits are very reassuring. I am deeply suspicious of adults who don't like vegetables.

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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3:15PM - Snack

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This is a shortbread cookie, basically butter and suger held together with a bit of flour. Or, rather it would be if it didn't come from a bag. Not bad tasting, though.

5:40PM - Dinner

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Dinner had to be fast because we played a concert for the local library starting at 7PM, and being percussionists means we need time to set up. I steamed some broccoli, which had started to turn an odd speckled yellow. This is what I get for going with a farmer who was selling the whole bundle for $1.50. Interestingly, it tasted about the same... The luxurious main course was Morningstar veggie (soy?) burgers on Sara Lee "gourmet" hot dog buns left over from Independence Day (July 4th). On the left is mayo, ground pepper, and relish, and on the right, looking like the leftovers from refining crude oil, is barbecque sauce. The burgers were an experiment; usually we have Boca, another soy burger. Morningstar tastes meatier, although they are more difficult to heat up and don't look as appetizing.

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Dessert: a Skinny Cow, a low-fat ice cream sandwich that somehow manages to be creamy and have a good-tasting cookie, which follows the god-given progression from crunchy at initial purchase to soft and mooshy by the time the last one is consumed. This is mint, my favorite flavor.

9:25PM - Dessert #2

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A "pale ale" from Henry Weinhards, a large brewer who nonetheless distributes only in the West. Never figured that out. This beer is sort of a cross between piss beer and real beer. Sweet, but slightly hoppy, and not prone to fall apart in a few weeks like the megabrews. Not a pale ale in any sense, but great when you're feeling thirsty. I got quite a workout during the songs from ET switching between the crash and suspended cymbals, and this hit the spot.

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Hi everyone. I think I've resigned myself to being behind in replies, but I'll do my best to keep this a Foodblog rather than a Foodbroadcast.

Looking forward to hearing about (and being jealous of) all your summery fruits and vegetables as we are having winter here in Australia and missing them all.

Not sure about those Lucky Charms though - green milk???

I know how you feel. Actually, the cruelest time is when it starts to warm up in the spring, and the first strawberries appear at the market, and they taste like crap. I hate that. I have always been a fan of green milk though. In my house around St. Patrick's day its practically a tradition.

You commute to work on your bike. Excellent. All year long? How far?

I do it three days a week, year-round, but rarely does it get below freezing, so it's not like it requires special equipment. My house is about three miles from work, but the 580 freeway interchange lies in the way, waiting to punish cyclists with merging cars, non-existant bike lanes, and roadside junk, so I ride around it. The total distance is about 10 miles / 16 kilometers round-trip. It's a good way to get exercise, because if you don't ride, you don't get to work!

I have A New Way to Cook too--was wondering if you had tried the spice powders, broths or sauces? They sound like great flavor boosters for few calories--but I'm afraid of being disappointed....

I've only tried the mole. Oh, and maybe the asian five spice rub? I've never been disappointed, but I haven't really explored that section much yet. I'm more of a start-to-finish recipe cook, so having a rub isn't quite enough to get me going.

I believe it is the sugar in the cabbage that creates that mess on the bottom of the pan. The only way out of that is to add water and steam it some. Or cook it in lots and lots of oil....bad idea I guess.

I was afraid you would say that. I love the browning, but I'd prefer to get it without having to add a lot of insulating fat.

I remember Cocoa Puffs from my childhood, wayyyyyyyy back in the 50's. I remember three things about them: the milk turned brownish grey; when they got soggy, only the outside sogged up and the inside stayed crunchy; and they had a vaguely medicinal flavor to them.

Which cereal had that neat newspaper on the back? With just happy news? We sure could use that again.In fact, it was three pages because you could cut up the side of the back and it became a fold out paper. ( Am I making sense here?? Help!)

I like Cocoa Puffs, although Count Chocula was my favorite. Alway the marshmallows with me. Cocoa Crispies are almost inedible. Sorry, but I can't help with the newspaper cereal. [edges away warily] :smile:

For me the love was peanut butter Captain Crunch - the trick was to let them soften up just enough not to scrape the roof of your mouth but not too soggy, lest they lose their sweetness. We were not allowed anything but plain cheerios in our house but all my friends had Captain Crunch.

Captain crunch is a fine cereal, although I was never patient enough and always ended up with a significantly abraded mouth. God help me if they ever start giving the stuff away; I wouldn't be able to eat anything. Your blog was really inspirational to me; I don't have access to the sources you do, but the style was very appealing to me.

I'm new to reading the blogs and am enjoying this one very much. The nice variety of fruits you're eating is inspiring.

Thanks to you and everyone else for the nice compliments. If you're interested enough to read about the minutiae of my food this week, I'm interested enough to write it! And if I may ask a potential random question, is your name related to a quote, "I am so smart! S-m-r-t! Doh!" ?

walt - those wonderful orange "cherries" are called sungolds. i love them too.

Ah, thank you. Now I now what to grow next year.

Congratulations to your wife. I bet she feels great.

Thanks. I pointed her to this thread. She says she feels like a different person.

Wowee! Did you also lose weight?

I've never heard of or seen a pluot.

Some, but mainly I just try to keep active. That's more important than the scale reading.

There's also "apriums," which have some different configuration of apricot vs. plum genes. The best take the flavor of the plum but the more palatable skin of the apricot.

I confess to having eaten two to three carrots every day, yes that's every day, for the last fifty years, since I was in grade school - never noticed an orange tint to my hands, but now I'll have to check them in all manner of light - better orange from carrots than yellow from jaundice!

Try to find someone who doesn't eat carrots. It's easier to see in contrast. I hear they also feed carrot meal to salmon to get them to color up.

Or perhaps an orange stealth bomber?

BTW, your eating habits are very reassuring. I am deeply suspicious of adults who don't like vegetables.

HAHA, I like that idea; I didn't see it until you pointed out the resemblance.

I used to be suspicious of veggies too, mostly because I had had them overcooked before. Now I even like brussels sprouts, with appropriate amounts of bacon fat.

Night, folks!

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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7:10AM - Breakfast.

What will Walt eat this morning? There's a big change from all the previous days...

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Hm, that's not it.

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No, this is all the same. According to reliable information from the

Magical Automated Leprechaun Locator On Watch (MALLOW), lucky is hiding inside a blue dolphin. Actually, I think it's supposed to be a palm tree. :unsure:

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Ah, here we go. I've always liked the Flintstones vitamins, and this is what they had at Wal-Mart, so here you go. Unfortunately, the little alien characters aren't nearly as satisfying, because they have no heads to bite off. I have one every Friday morning to celebrate the incipient weekend, and also the arrival of the Wall Street Journal wine column. Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, a charming married couple who love wine but aren't geeks about it, write a weekly column where they choose a type of wine and pretty much pick up as many as they can find. This week they explore Prosecco, a delightfully light Italian sparkling wine. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Hi eTry to find someone who doesn't eat carrots. It's easier to see in contrast. I hear they also feed carrot meal to salmon to get them to color up.

I love carrots, but i don't think salmon are eating carrot meal. Instead I think they get a vitamin supplement called astaxanthin that wild salmon gets naturally from their diet of lobster, shrimp and such. astaxanthin is a carotene related to the beta-carotene found in carrots, but not the same thing.

astaxanthin can also be found in those pills you take to tan "naturally". i heard it turns your sweat orange, but I couldn't find a link that said that.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Hi eTry to find someone who doesn't eat carrots. It's easier to see in contrast. I hear they also feed carrot meal to salmon to get them to color up.

I love carrots, but i don't think salmon are eating carrot meal. Instead I think they get a vitamin supplement called astaxanthin that wild salmon gets naturally from their diet of lobster, shrimp and such. astaxanthin is a carotene related to the beta-carotene found in carrots, but not the same thing.

astaxanthin can also be found in those pills you take to tan "naturally". i heard it turns your sweat orange, but I couldn't find a link that said that.

Wow, eGullet is an amazing resource for keeping me honest! I see that beta, beta-carotene is the pigment in carrots, and is synthesized rather than extracted. Beta, beta-carotene is then reacted to produce astaxanthin, which is the predominant pigment in salmon flesh. The farmed fish are fed this rather than shrimp to generate the color. All this info comes from http://www.food-info.net/english/topics/to.php?c=caro-occ which has information about how carotenes provide the color in paprika, peppers, and more. Thanks for spurring me to find that site.

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Great blog.

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who has shown up at work in the summer with a whole tomato in his lunch bag. When they hit their peak, there is nothing better than cutting and eating a fresh, unadorned tomato.

Not food related, exactly, but I'm curious about your Frank Lloyd Wright avatar. Looks like a closeup of a piece of pottery...maybe? Perhaps you have explained it elsewhere.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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Great blog.

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who has shown up at work in the summer with a whole tomato in his lunch bag.  When they hit their peak, there is nothing better than cutting and eating a fresh, unadorned tomato.

Not food related, exactly, but I'm curious about your Frank Lloyd Wright avatar.  Looks like a closeup of a piece of pottery...maybe?  Perhaps you have explained it elsewhere.

When I started eating with some guys from work, they made fun of me for bringing a tomato by itself. To be honest, unless it's in a salad, I never cut a tomato. I just eat it like an apple. Few things better.

The avatar is the signature on Cedar Rock, a Wright house outside of Quasqueton, Iowa, which we visited this May. My first time to a Wright house in person, and I was blown away. I talk about it at the end of my far too long Iowa travelogue. I snapped a picture of the signature, and since it was a square and a bright color, I thought it would be easily spotted. And I do love Frank Lloyd Wright.

12:04 - Lunch

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Space considerations got the better of me, and I only took the chicken. Ate a wing and a drumstick, but with the remainder of the braised cabbage from yesterday that basically filled me up, so look forward to a future appearance by the final drumstick.

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Had the tomato and the strawberries. God, I hope the berries are good this Saturday. It's just not summer without good fruit.

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A white peach. Pretty good. Looked better than it tasted.

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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A white peach. Pretty good. Looked better than it tasted.

I find this to be consistently true. Just haven't ever had them at their peak, i suspect. Last night i made a peach/jalapeno chutney (divine!), and i bought both regular yellow and white Georgia peaches for the color variation. The yellow ones were much better.

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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3:30 PM - Snack

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One half of a Skor toffee bar from the honor-system snack bar on the third floor. I'm not really into milk chocolate, so I eat it off and then just savor the toffee and little nutty bits. Just like a peach! Well, sorta.

4:20 PM - Snack #2

A regular yellow peach that someone had left in the kitchen. Whenever people have extra fruit harvested from their trees they bring it in. Sometimes it's really good apricots, other times it's surprisingly average peaches. Good sugar and acid, but not much flavor. This is homegrown? Sorry, no pic.

7:35 PM - Dinner

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First, sear/brown the pork, seasoned with sage and S&P. God, I love my Sitram stainless skillet. Thank you, slkinsey!!!

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Sauce with a reduction of pan juices, vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup. The real stuff, Grade A medium amber! I don't even like dark amber, and all you folks are always going on about what great shakes Grade B is. Maybe we at least agree that light amber is for sissies. I really like this sauce, because A) It tastes like breakfast. Maple and pork are just made for each other, and B) it has a great balance between the sweet of the syrup and the tang of the vingar and mustard. Similar in some ways to the wine of the evening:

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2001 Weingut Gerhard Hattenheimer Hassel Riesling Kabinett. This medium-bodied Riesling also shows great balance between sweet and tart, with minerality and a tiny hint of plastic that adds complexity. A very good wine, and a great match with the pork and its sauce. Develops floral notes with time, too. Got this on sale for $9 at Dee Vine Wines, a great wine shop specializing in German wines, located in Pier 19. Not that this is a wine class, but here are the meanings of the words on the label:

Weingut is winery and Gerhard is the family name of the winemaker, Stephen Gerhard. Hattenheim is the name of the village near which the wines are grown, a tiny place about 40 minutes west of Frankfurt, in the area of the Rhine river called the Rhiengau. You can't see it in the picture very well, but the bottle is blue and fluted on top, another way to note a Rheingau wine. Hassel is the specific vineyard, my wife's family name. No known relation, but her father visited there while he was serving in the army. Riesling is the grape, and Kabinett refers to a high-quality wine that meets the minimum standard of ripeness. Just for all of you who might be a little worried about the quantity of wine I've consumed, a good chunk of it is still in the fridge. In a small concession to the blog, I've been opening bottles for illustrative purposes, not because we're out of wine. On a normal night, I probably would have had the rest of the Mourvedre instead of pulling out something new.

Oh, and the vegetable tonight is zucchini, light green squash, and yellow squash, dressed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and 7 or so cloves of garlic, and then grilled pretty vigorously. I'm sure all that char where the grill marked it is bad for me, but it tastes soooo good. In case you're wondering, no, we don't have a garlic fetish. Most of it falls off during the cooking, so you're left with a reasonable amount.

I realized that I've been somewhat violating eGullet policy by not including my real name in my signature, so I added one. Sorry about that.

I find this to be consistently true. Just haven't ever had them at their peak, i suspect. Last night i made a peach/jalapeno chutney (divine!), and i bought both regular yellow and white Georgia peaches for the color variation. The yellow ones were much better.

Well, even at their best, I don't think white peaches will ever develop the outrageous, hit-you-over-the-head florality and flavor of a yellow peach. Still, they can be, well, beautiful and subtle. It's hard to imagine they're related, except for the fudge. I like the idea of contrasting the colors in a chutney, though. Did you get the contrast you were looking for?

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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9:38PM - Dessert

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Whiskey. Specifically, Booker's Bourbon. It's 7 year old Bourbon, and this barrel was 126.5 proof or 63.25% by volume. Wow, I love this stuff. So intense, loaded with caramel and vanilla but also all sorts of spices, nutmeg particularly. Some woodiness, but not much. Truly glass coating, and actually the alcohol makes it hard to put your nose in the glass deeply. I add a little water, but I can't stand to dilute it any more than absolutely necessary for drinking comfort.

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Walt, I find it odd for a "hint of plastic" to be a recommendation of anything one ingests. I don't like eating plastic...

That said, it's obvious from this blog that you're a real wine connoisseur. Please discuss how you cultivated your taste for wine or describe your history of wine-drinking if you like.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Walt, I find it odd for a "hint of plastic" to be a recommendation of anything one ingests. I don't like eating plastic...

Well, German Riesling is odd that way. Sometimes I get a wine where the plastic smell is overwhelming, and I don't like it. In this case, there are really some very nice aromas going on, rainwater, lemon, flowers, etc. and underneath all that is a tiny amount of what does smell like a new vinyl shower curtain or an inflatable beach ball, but much less intense. A frequent, unmistakeable component of older Riesling is what is called "petrol," which is clearly not a food and sounds almost hazardous. It doesn't really smell like gasoline, but the resemblance is obvious. In quantity, it can be extremely off-putting, although some real German-heads actually seem to like it. The chemistry of wine is ludicrously complex, and so many of these compounds are interrelated with others that smell more desireable that trying to eliminate the possibility of smelling plastic would likely do more harm than good. Anyone worried that they will accidentally pick up a German wine and smell, say, burning gasoline should rest assured that most German wines taste fresh, lemony, and just great, especially when young. Terry Theise, a guru of German wine, claims that "petrol" is a sign of adolescence, not age, and advocates aging even "low-end" wines like Kabinetten for ten years or more, a length of time that seems ridiculously long for a wine with just 9.5% alcohol.

That said, it's obvious from this blog that you're a real wine connoisseur. Please discuss how you cultivated your taste for wine or describe your history of wine-drinking if you like.

Aw, you just know how much of a sucker I am for flattery. :wub: That said, I certainly have never thought of myself as a connoisseur. In fact, I kind of dislike that word (no offense intended to you for using it), because it implies an elevation of taste and sophistication that is frankly completely unnecessary to really love wine. And God, do I ever love wine. Few beverages offer the combination of a profusion of styles, deliciousness, flavor complexity, and meal compatibility that wine does. Even if one doesn't choose to dive into the entire world of wine, it still just tastes good. Even the least-sophisticated person in the world, if they are willing to experiment a bit, will probably find a wine or two that they like enough to come back to again and again. I do read quite a bit about wine, and go to tastings when I can to expand my horizons, so I do think I'm a wine geek now.

Growing up there was very little wine in the house, and it was certainly not an everyday beverage. In college, I can't even remember what caused me to first become interested. However, one experience stands out as the moment I was hooked. There was a liquor store down the road called Liquorama, which we charmingly dubbed "Lick-your-mama." This place has a website now, but back then it had a lot of dusty bottles in the wine section, including a pretty big selection of ports. I had probably read an L.A. Times article about port, and wanted to try some. Port gets aged for so long that paper labels tend to mold and fall off, so the name of the wine is traditionally stenciled on in white paint. The label of this particular bottle looked like this:

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How could I turn down a bottle that was a Warrior Port?! It appealed too strongly to my sense of whimsy, although I remember blanching at paying $10 for a tiny bottle. It turns out that this particular port is made in huge quanities by the Warre company, although it now has a much fancier stenciled label and a different name, and is not at all intended for aging. However, it had been on the shelf there at good 'ol Lick-your-mama for a while, and had developed some real complexity and interesting "secondary" flavors regardless. We sipped the contents out of shot glasses, having neither port glasses or even wine glasses available to us. I was absolute floored by the fact that one tiny, tiny, tiny sip could spread such deliciousness across the entire inside of my mouth and linger there even after being swallowed. It was a revelation. A friend walked into the room, and asked what we were drinking. "You've got to try this!" we said, handing him a half-full shot glass, the first half of which I'd been nursing for the better part of an hour. (You can see what's coming, can't you?) He tilted his head back and downed it, before we could shout "No!!!" "Pretty good," he concluded. Anyway, I was in love and, as finances allow have been seeking out interesting wines since then. Well, my wife is back from her morning workout and needs her breakfast.

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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That Booker's Bourbon sounds wonderful. I am still experimenting around in the world of high end Bourbons, but right now I am enjoying a bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve that is pretty darn tasty, if a bit more harsh than some of the others I have sampled.

I find it interesting that often those who are seriously into wine are either not seriously into spirits, or if they are, tend to gravitate towards Scotch. Do you find many other Bourbon-lovers amongst your wine enthusiast ranks?

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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8:45AM - Breakfast

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3.5 eggs, Alton Brown style. Melt a little butter in a med-low nonstick pan, add eggs scrambled with 1T milk per egg and salt and pepper. Stir constantly until the mixture begins to steam and "curds" form. Then, increase the heat to high, and scrape the layer of cooking egg off the bottom and fold over. Keep folding until there is no more free-flowing liquid egg, then remove from heat and fold a few more times to finish cooking. The result is fluffy, slightly buttery eggs that taste eggy rather than rubbery. I have mine with a bit of Heinz ketchup and Tabasco pepper sauce.

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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That Booker's Bourbon sounds wonderful.  I am still experimenting around in the world of high end Bourbons, but right now I am enjoying a bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve that is pretty darn tasty, if a bit more harsh than some of the others I have sampled. 

I find it interesting that often those who are seriously into wine are either not seriously into spirits, or if they are, tend to gravitate towards Scotch.  Do you find many other Bourbon-lovers amongst your wine enthusiast ranks?

I have heard about the Van Winkels, and would like to try them. I go through whiskey really slowly, though. Definitely, a lot of wine lovers don't seem to enjoy spirits, but the spirits forum on wineloverspage.com is populated by a group of mostly wine lovers. Julian Van Winkle III even posted on this thread on Black Maple Hill. But most of the wine geeks I know in person prefer Scotch...

Well, it's time for a bit of the old semi-off-topic, as Walt and April visit the Pleasanton Farmers' Market:

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Around 10:30AM, it's quite busy, and this stretches a whole block. I typically make a sampling walk starting at one end, and then I come back and make my purchases once I've found which fruits and veggies I'd like to buy. Not quite as picturesque as French markets, but what is? In no particular order:

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The previously mentioned organic blueberry stand. They also have blackberries now. At this point we were so weighed down with stuff that we only got a small container for $3.

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J. E. Perry, one of two stands selling an assortment of organic fruits and vegetables. We got two white cauliflowers for $1.50 each.

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Petaluma Farms, selling all sorts of eggs. No hormones, antibiotics, etc. Got one dozen extra large white for $2.50. Some weeks they even have the specialty stuff like quail eggs or duck embryos.

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The place to go for great quality and variety of eggplant, as well as herbs and Asian veggies. We were hoping for chard ($1 a bunch), but they were out. We got a couple crowns of broccoli and some of the small globe eggplants in the back for $1.25/lb. Don't the little tiny ones in the foreground look cute?

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Chris, the mushroom lady. She grows quite a few types, but also acts as a broker for various wild pickers, so she has morels and chanterelles. Even her white mushrooms are miles fresher and more flavorful than you'll find at Safeway, and cheaper. We splurge and get a 1/4 lb. basket of chanterelles for $5.50.

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Ah, Twee-Twee, the balloon animal-making clown. He (she?) often has a passel of kids lined up on little stools waiting to get a balloon animal made for them. I'm sure when I have kids I will welcome Twee-Twee as a way to help them enjoy the market.

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Bariani olive oil, $16 a liter. If this stuff were any closer to olives, they would have to ship you a jar of ground olive paste and you'd have to press it yourself. One of the only oils I've ever seen to put both a vintage year and a bottling date in plain English right on the front of the bottle. They only bottle what they're going to sell in the near future, so this bottle is from the 21st of June. I used to go to Whole Foods and try to pick out a good oil by looking at color, or by trying to figure out which was the most popular and thereby the freshest. This unfiltered oil beats anything I bought at $20 per half liter, with great olive flavor. They also have an early-picked version that is more peppery, but I prefer the slightly milder regular bottling.

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These two guys on the end always have great squash of all varieties, including blossoms. We got two and a half pounds of assorted at $1.25 a pound.

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Another stand has a big variety of heirlooms, although not all of them seem especially tomato-flavored to me. $2.25 a pound, I got three pounds.

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G & S Farms, selling Brentwood sweet corn for $.50 an ear. This corn can be ambrosial. Here's hopin' that our four ears turn out that way!

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A pic of the chanterelles, tomatoes, strawberries, and eggs. Medina Farms berries were not as good for the second week in a row; they were clearly not red all the way through and the taste reflected it. This is the equivalent of Barry Bonds failing to hit a home run for a month. Luckily, another stand with no name (the certificate listed Vasquez as the farmer name) had ripe, berries red to the core. We got three pint baskets for $5. We also got assorted cherry tomatoes at the Bautista farms stand, and some white peaches (organic, $2.50 a pound) from Hollister at a different stand. I found out that one of the sellers was fired from his job and is now working at that organic fruit stand. Glad he only had to move down the market a few stalls to find a new job. And at one final stand, we got a couple pounds of yellow nectarines for $1.50 a pound.

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From the Sea to You, an outfit based out of Santa Cruz that manages to have a remarkably stable selection of seafood from week to week. They even have Prince Edward Island mussels, tiger prawns, dungeness crab, etc, some of which is obviously brought in from far away. However, the real "catch" is the locally caught fish, including salmon, petrale sole, and halibut. Their wild king salmon is absolutely to die for. If it's out of season, we usually just go without salmon, this is so good. Extremely friendly folks, too. Always our last stop, we pick up a 1 pound king filet for $10.40.

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After leaving the market, we stop at The Wine Steward to see if the July wine club selections came in (we just signed up this month). They had some 2003 rosés, and so I asked them for the ones that were the most crisp. The recommended the 2003 Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières gris de gris (southwestern France) and the 2003 Márques de Cacerés Rioja Rosé (north central Spain). Maybe we'll have one of these with the salmon. Pretty, no?

Alright, back on topic, with an actual description of food consumption:

12:10 PM - Lunch

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The final appearance of the sherry vinegar chicken. Still just as good as on the first day. I had the leftover broccoli, one of the dark fleshed heirlooms (wonderful), and a couple of the strawberries that were scraped up and prone to rot. On the way home we swung by Arby's, a fast food chain specializing in roast beef that's not from a beef roast, and I got a Regular Roast Beef sandwich topped with "Horsey Sauce," their mayonnaise and horseradish spread. I do love my Horsey Sauce.

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Dammit, forgot the honey stand. It's hard to see in the picture, but he has honey from Pleasanton, Fremont, and Tassajara Rd, which is north of Pleasanton. Delicious, extremely thick honey, that shows pretty dramatic differences between the various, well, I guess you'd call them "jarrings" rather than bottlings.

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Beautiful photos Walt. Thanks so much for giving us a virtual tour of the market.

I didn't see any pictures of the garlic guys, though it might be a little too early in the year for them.

When I was last in Plesanton for the Northern California Basenji club specialty I had a chance to visit the market and was very impressed with the quality of the produce. The two guys who had the garlic/onion stand had seven or eight varieties of garlic including a rose colored hardneck that has to be the best garlic I have ever tried. It was so sweet it was almost like candy. The garlic flavor was there but not overpowering. (I was there in late August)

Thanks again for the spectacular walk-through.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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