Uncategorized29 May 2006 06:35 pm

Just found a sealed package of Mahagastotte Estate Ceylon Pekoe, the good stuff.

Uncategorized09 May 2006 09:39 pm

Why is it that New England’s birds in spring and summer are so much more melodic than San Francisco’s birds? It’s certainly not that SF is short on avian life, nor even noisy birds. And yet, the small birds of San Francisco seem to run to “cheep, cheep” rather than “we-Weoooooo Week! Yirrrrrrk Yirrrrrk we-Weooooo Week!”

Why is this? Is it a forest vs grass/wetland thing? A response to the more differentiated seasons? Prevailing winds luring songbirds from Mexico to prefer passing through New England on their way to resorts in Ontario and Newfoundland?

Recent MA bird sightings – a cardinal and a goldfinch sharing a tree.  Recent SF sightings – a hawk, three pelicans, the usual gulls and small shore birds and a batch of ravens, sharing a beach.

Uncategorized09 May 2006 09:35 pm

We’ve been whipping through the marmalade, so we’re already in our second round. This time, we have another batch of blood orange (this time at 117 degrees and 1/2C sugar to 1C fruit), Key limes and Meyer lemons. The banks of jars are very pretty.

This second batch was much more efficient. Turns out that the ancient Mexican lime squeezer that’s too small for Persian limes works perfectly with Key limes. In no time we’d squeezed out 175ml of juice and had a stack of flying-saucer-like compressed lime pucks to play with. I begin to see the point of the squeezers over the reamers.

Further, not a single curse was uttered in the canning of this marmalade. You already know this, but mise en place makes all the difference.

So for our own edification, the check list is:

Set the half sheet lined with the silpat (to cushion the jars, catch the drips, and act as an insulator) to the left of the stove.

Lay out

  • canning/jar tongs

  • kitchen tongs

  • (chopsticks if L’s the marmaladier)

  • large ladle

  • canning funnel

  • silicon spatula

on (just out of the dishwasher or weak bleach rinsed) half sheet pan.
Have assistant stand to the left and behind the marmaladier.
Agree on names for the implements ahead of time.

117 is a little too soupy, so we’ll be looking for a solid 118 in future.

Meyer lemon and Key lime are next in the queue.  Very pretty.

Uncategorized24 Apr 2006 03:54 pm

Postings by new folks will need to be approved before appearing the first time, because frankly, the comment spam is getting up my nose.

Uncategorized19 Mar 2006 07:35 pm

Hi all—just to let you know that I’m dealing with an influx of comment spam; while dealing with this, I’ve set the system to only accept comments from logged-in users. If I can figure out a better way of dealing with the spam, I’ll change the system back, but for now I hope this will stop the annoying flood of advertisements.

Uncategorized19 Mar 2006 07:32 pm

We recently ordered a bunch of tea, in hope of finding some replacements for sold-out favorites. So we spent an afternoon tasting Ceylon tea. We found some OK stuff, but no real winners.

Eeyore and Pooh

Uncategorized20 Feb 2006 10:41 pm

I know the name of the Michelin man. I didn’t know I knew that.

Uncategorized& Social Commentary30 Sep 2005 12:04 am

Yeah, what’s up with the name, anyway? The simple answer is that I’m living in Boston, Massachusetts; and I’m from California, specifically San Francisco.

There are more complex levels of answer. For starters, Boston is a sort of shorthand for a lot of things. Any local reading these posts will tell you that I’m actually living in Cambridge, which is very much the Berkeley, California of Massachusetts. California is a shorthand for San Francisco and the Bay Area. Going forward: I didn’t think of myself as being from California until I’d lived in Cambridge for several years. I was raised in the Midwest, and went to college in Oregon. And I find that the longer I live here, the more I find myself seeking the Californian aspects of wherever I am; or, perhaps, I identify things I like about Cambridge, or Boston, or New England, as Californian.

Wringing more meaning yet out of a simple name—I spend a certain amount of time trying to explain California to New Englanders. I spend as much time showing those same people how New England looks to somebody from California. Or, of course, griping about what’s wrong with wherever I am.

Finally, I hope that I can bring a little bit of what I love about California to New England, and vice versa. Mostly, that will have to happen via cooking and writing about food and books. We’ll have to see what sneaks in along the way.

Uncategorized23 Sep 2005 02:36 pm

Of course, this is just a placeholder until I can generate some deathless prose to astound everyone with.