Tuesday, July 31, 2007

little dieter

I went to see Rescue Dawn last night, which is Werner Herzog's remake of his own 1997 doc, "little dieter needs to fly". I had seen the documentary so I was unsure of what new this film could offer me, but it's a wonderful film. There are a few weak points, including the ending, but as usual, the jungle scenes are breathtaking, and the acting is spot-on. Steve Zahn's eyes are haunting me and making me sad right now thinking about them. Christian Bale captures the spirit of the real man that he's portraying. Herzog is the best! If you are interested, here's a supremely entertaining New Yorker article about the making of the film.

I've gone farmer's market crazy! Who's with me? Last night, I had Bledsoe's porkchops...again! I made a "relish" for them that I got from gourmet. It was crazy but great. Stay with me:

Juice a lime
Chop a peach
quarter some cherry tomatoes
Chop some basil
Chop some mint
Chop a scallion
Dice a jalapeno
Throw it all together and put it on top of your porkchop!
In retrospect, the strongest flavors to emerge from that combo were mint, peach, and lime, so I think you'd do OK with those three things.
I have also gone golden tomato crazy and I'm putting them in everything. And making pesto.

Monday, July 30, 2007

fools on fire

The Fool's Foundation is on fire in the next week! Fuck there are three good shows in a row! A Frames and Sexy Prison Reunion on saturday, Times New Viking on sunday (OK, I probably won't make it to Record Club because of this) and best of all Mika Miko on monday!
Oh yeah, and for those fans out there, Joanna Newsom is going to be playing with a full orchestra in Grass Valley in November. I can't go because I'll be kicking it on a beach drining out of a coconut shell

foing on a guilt trip

I have some cooking advice for you-when making a pizza, try not to watch it helplessly while it slides to the bottom face down in a 500 degree oven.

The Baby Grand/Bushes/Finches show was really really good. Here's where the guilt comes in (I'm Jewish so I can turn this on at any moment): dudes, Record Club is not going to exist if more people can't go to these awesome shows. I am not talking to any one of you specifically, because I know things come up, people have plans. This is the first show I've been to in a few weeks and I have missed plenty of good shows lately, including two pizza shows that I wanted to see. My point is, Roger is sticking his neck out doing this, he's djing good music, and it's on a sunday from 5-8 when there isn't shit to do except sit around watching your weekend tick away. Go to Record Club! Yeah, the Finches play in the area frequently, but if you had been there last night you would have been reminded that they are fucking amazing AND they played a brand new song that ruled AND Carolyn's stage banter is different and entertaining every time. We want stuff to keep happening in Sac, right? I know, it's the same old "support the scene" and sometimes the scene is effortlessly supported like a Cross Your Heart Bra. But sometimes it's sadly underattended. I don't know anything about the bands for the next record club, but I am going to try my best to make it.

R.I.P. Ingmar Bergman

And this guy of course.
Just looking at these pictures is making me really happy. Look at Ingmar and Liv Ullman, are they the fucking best or what?

And let's not forget Erland Josephson and one of the best movies ever made (I'm thisclose to ordering this poster on ebay right now)

*I just bought the poster. 16 bucks total. a deal

Friday, July 27, 2007

AP strikes again

Look, Pierlioni could almost start out all of his columns this way- What do I know about ______ food? Not much. I know that that's unfair but why does he has to write his column as if he's frightened of any food that's not American cheese on white bread?

not in my sac!

Sacramento just made the international news on NPR, but in a really terrible way. At least they point out that Sacramento has had no real problem with homophobia in the past, but it sounds like we need to wake up now to this new viper in our midst. If you can't listen to the report, at one point they have audio tape of protestors chanting "shame on you" to people at the Pride parade this year. That's fucked. The News and Review also wrote about this same issue this week. It's important to not paint all Ukrainians with this same brush, of course. Now I am wondering if the anti-sodomy protestors I saw at the Crest last sunday were Ukrainian Baptists. They had the same pro anti-sodomy signs that the report on NPR mentioned. I told them that all my favorite movies contain sodomy.


Aahhh....Amtrak. (they should make that their new slogan). You are late almost all the time, and then today you are late, the train arrives, the people disembark, and there is mass confusion, including among the conductors about whether all the people waiting to go west should board that train. Finally, another train arrives and we are all shuffled over there, while other anxious passengers query us as to whether it's the train to Reno. The conductors also seem confused about when and where the Reno train will arrive. To be fair, it's rarely late in the morning when it really counts, but it's always late in the afternoon. I have a question, if anyone out there takes the medcenter shuttle, I'm afraid to take it because I doubt there will be room for my bike. Anyone?

Ricksha outdid itself last night. I had miso, all the nigiri I wanted, beer and sake, for twenty dollars total and the sea urchin was without a doubt the best I have ever had. Also, the hamacha and sake were insanely good, and I took a chance on the mackerel, which I expected to be fibrous, and instead discovered to my delight that they serve their nigiri with lightly pickled mackerel. So good.

Speaking of pickled mackerel, will someone please kill this fucking "arnold watch" column? It's nonsensical in a way that the News and Review seems to sometimes confuse with cutting edge. However, Bites sticks it to the Bee this week in a well-deserved way.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I had Whiteys for my birthday lunch. It was fucking good and they weren't even that slow. That's a peach shake that you see before you.

There are some good shows coming up this weekend. There is a dance contest and show at Fool's tomorrow night featuring Rock The Light.
Sunday is the Record Club with the Finches, The Bushes (also not to be missed) and Baby Grand. Starts at four! The Pizzas and the Lamps are also playing in Davis at DOV that night.

Also the French Film Festival continues this weekend and I'm going to make sure to go to the midnight dirty movie. Did anyone see Emanuelle last weekend? It's a classic. I saw Army of Shadows last weekend and I didn't see what the big deal was. It was all right.

biggest littlest city on earth

Reno was very fun, although the clothes in the thrift stores were dreadful. We got some really good 8 tracks, I would say that was the thrifting high light. That and the art car below.

This place, Pegs Glorified Ham and Eggs was soooooo good.

Smiller and I decided that we are now going to exlusively eat all of our meals out of skillets.
The Pneumatic Diner was also excellent. Why can't Sacramento have a hippy/punk diner like this? The dining scene is calling out for a cheap and funky (I hate that word but it conjures up the right image) place where you can get good coffee, hippy baked goods, beer, falafel, homestyle salads, stuff like tofu tacos, fresh veggie and fruit juice, etc.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

recipes? hope this isn't too boring

I seriously never have time to post. It's lame. OK, maybe a minute.

I once again made an amazing dinner (if I do say so myself) from the bounties of the farmer's market. Components:

porkchops from Bledsoe-2 inch thick chops for seven bucks that were so juicy that we just threw them on a hot grill for around 15 minutes and they were the best

fried green tomatoes-I got the tomatoes from the watanabe farms (an organic farm in west sac) booth at the market. they have the best tomatoes, including the golden ones that I love and green ones. and they give you a free recipe. if you have never eaten fried green tomatoes you need to try them. the acidity of the unripe tomato is what makes them so good. and the frying of course.

and a quinoa salad that I made from a modified recipe in gourmet. are you cooking with quinoa yet? because you should be. the head introduced me to it and it is a miracle grain. if it is a grain that is. here's the recipe for that:

simmer one cup quinoa (get it at the co-op bulk bins) in two cups water (covered) until soft, about ten minutes, turn off the heat and let it sit for a while to steam more-you want the quinoa to be cool for the salad so do this ahead of time
-buy three ears of yellow corn from the farmer's market, boil them for five minutes and set aside to cool
-zest two lemons and juice one, mix this with a tablespoon of honey (this is the key), salt and peper, and a couple tablespoons of olive oil
-mix the dressing, two cups of the cooked quinoa (you'll have some left over), the corn cut off the cob, and chopped scallions and mint.
so good!

I have tomorrow off because it's my birthday and tonight I will be bedding down within the luxurious confines of the Reno Circus Circus. Only the best for me!

Monday, July 23, 2007

harsh mistress

I don't have time to post. Blame midtown monthly. She's a harsh mistress. The report from the Bananas is that they rocked it and that's lots more people had bananas tattoos, including a guy whose friend tattooed him with one while he was passed out!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

french film festival

The news and review just reminded me that the French Film Festival is this weekend and next weekend. I can't believe I forgot. This news brings stress instead of happiness, because I think I will be out of town both weekends. However, I think I can make the sunday showing of Army of Shadows. I'm going to miss both dirty movies, which is truly a travesty of justice along the lines of the Dreyfus affair (no, not Krippendorf's Tribe). Check the program here, and make sure to check out at least one movie!

Vaya con dios to the Bananas who head out to the Mauled By Tigers fest in Chicago tonight. The picture above is from last year's fest, so you can tell there's some fans out there in the city of the big shoulders.
The Waterboy thursday night dinner is tonight and the menu looks mouthwatering. Oh man, they STILL haven't posted it up on their website, but I got a printed copy. Scallop salad, chicken ravioli, and leg of lamb! And dessert, but I didn't notice what.

bike ride of fun

aaahhhhh! i never have time to post! partially because of the stupid old accident on the stupid old causeway. i will post some bike ride pictures instead. lame. i hope to post the pizza recipe later. it's seriously a must-cook

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

greens pizza

Ok, I know you guys have all been freaking out, thinking "when is she going to post the goddamned pizza recipe already" and hitting refresh every few seconds, but relax, dudes. Here it comes. Now pretty much any pizza is a good pizza, and I've made a lot of them, but this one really stands out in quite a few ways. One really wonderful way is that the crust only rises for 30-40 minutes. It's a great crust, and although I still prefer Marcella Hazan's crust recipe, hers has to rise for three hours so it's rare that I have time to make it. Also, I believe hers makes two pies and is a bit difficult to split. This is taken from the Greens cookbook, which is a very exciting cookbook indeed.

3tbl hot water
3tbl milk
1/2 package (1 and a quarter tsp) active dry yeast
pinch sugar
1 tbl olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbl rye flour (you can get this from the bulk bins at the co-op to just buy a small amt)
2 tbl whole wheat flour
5/8 cup white flour

Combine hot water and cold milk-ideally the liquid should be around body temp. Add yeast and sugar and stir. Then mix in all ingredients except white flour, and after gradually mix in white flour. Flour the crap out of a surface (the dough is really sticky at this point) and keep flouring as you knead it. This is some beautiful dough here. Knead for five minutes but you know you won't really do it for a full five. Oil it up, put in bowl, cover, wait 35-40 minutes.

OK, so even if you don't use this to make their nicoise pizza, you have some great dough. If you'd like to press on, start thinking about what time you are going to turn on your oven to get your pizza stone heated to 500 degrees. Don't even think about making this without a stone! Get a stone, they're cheap and they work great. Hmm...I'm tired of writing right now so I will follow up with the rest of the recipe later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

the windy city is about to get windier

OK, I guess I still have a blog. The Bananas are playing in Chicago this weekend! Goooooo Bananas! Also, they are a sure thing to win that Sammie for best punk band, so make sure to place your bets now!

There are two shows coming up on sunday the 29th. I hate when there are two good shows at the same time! Especially because I haven't been to a show in weeks. Weak. The pizzas are playing at a salsa competition (the condiment, not the style of dance) in Davis on that day and the Finches are playing record club. I'll post all the relavent information at a later date. Later I might post a pizza recipe if you're really lucky.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

more pizza news

Old Soul is offering pizza this week on thursday and friday. Here's their email about it.

As promised to all of our "Old Soul Friends," we will have "Slice of Soul" gourmet pizza available this week on Thursday AND Friday, July 12 and 13. Our pizza, with fresh local toppings, will be sold between 11 AM and 2 PM (or until we sell out!)--please come and enjoy. Price is $3 per slice. And, it is Second Saturday Artwalk time again. We will feature local artists and musicians, midtown culinary delights, beer, and wine (provided by Revolution Wine--the new urban winery in Sactown)! Please stop in to visit and partake (Saturday, July 14, 6:30 to 10 PM) in our warehouse, 1716 L St Rear Alley.

I am addicted to the Old Soul iced coffee and fresh bread so I went there again this morning.
Does an yone know the deal with the Revolution winery? Does everything have to be called urban now? Is that the deal?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

a-1 chicken

BR is on the west coast right now, so he can't take any pleasure in the knowledge that his advice to add more salt to my marinade resulted in some of the best damn chicken I've ever tasted! Or can he?

Bob Sylva wrote a really in-depth profile of the sushi chef at Otos. I showed up early enough there on this last saturday to score some bento and squid salad for lunch. I hope they eventually up their bento and sushi outputs, because they're always out in the afternoon. I was wondering about that Akebono place opening up in the adjacent strip mall, and this article clears up the question of who. I will definitely give it a try. I guess the new/old 524 restaurant is opening very soon. The ads in the News and Reviews give the impression that it will be sorta Zocalo-ey which seems really funny. We'll see.

Hey, did you know that the Finches are coming back to Sac pretty soon to play at the Record Club? July 29th, mark your calendars.

All right, that tears it, it is so fucking tacky and horrible of the Bee to allow comments on stories like this. How would you feel if a family member died in some accident and then you found a forum where a bunch of people could go off on them posthumously without the full facts being in? They usual crew of blowhards did this when the woman was shot by the Library club, and when a teen fell out of a car. Sometimes people die in freak accidents, and yeah, in some cases they might have been drinking or something but let's let he who is without sin cast the first fucking stone I think I read somewhere. They need to block comments on this out of respect for the family involved.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

more j. rich!

The sound is fuzzy but this is some pretty awesome super 8 footage from summer 1981 in sproul plaza berkeley. Here's a good story from this website

JoJo - True Kid on the Block
Jonathan had called to say he was flying in for the Boston Music Awards to make a presentation to Bill Nowland of Rounder Records- my former Fort Apache landlord. I knew they weren't jetting him all the way from his home in Nevada City, California just to hand over a plaque, and I told him I thought he must have won an award, too. He would get to play a song as part of the ceremony, and asked "what song do you think I should play". I suggested my favorite cut from the new record, Fender Stratocaster, whose lyrics are full of wonderful similes and humorous- but perfectly precise -observations (it's got the ancient Egyptian script; it's got the wang bar from the crypt!). Agreeing, he asked "what kind of guitar do you think I should play?"- we both had a laugh when I suggested a Fender Telecaster, offering to loan him one so he didn't have to risk flying with a guitar (he was already familiar with my '66 Teli: during a romantic emergency in 1980 he'd loaned me the money to buy a ticket to Pakistan, receiving the guitar as collateral; times were tough, and I repaid the loan painfully slowly until he generously waived the last hundred dollars or so and returned my guitar). This was the second year in a row that the New Kids on the Block were prominently featured at the awards. Just as in the previous year the audience was split into two groups: the usual Boston rock crowd and a flock of 13 year-old teenie boppers who screamed their heads off whenever the NKOTB were mentioned or appeared onstage. The "usual suspects" were disgruntled at their ceremony being usurped by a prefab music biz creation like NKOTB. Before long whenever the teenies screamed the other half of the room would hiss. It was getting ugly. The rock acts that played left the New Kids crowd silent, and the mood was not pleasant. Then Jonathan came out and did his thing. True to plan he was playing "Fender Stratocaster" on my red Telecaster. Also true to form he placed the guitar down on the stage after a verse or two and did most of the rest of the tune using only his voice accompanied by "drums" made from pounding his fists on his chest. He was doing his little Jonathan dance, a joyous Jewish Jackie Wilson sort of affair, replete with hip thrusting and pelvic rotations. And...to my utter amazement...the teenie boppers went wild!!! They started screaming like it was Shaun Cassidy circa 1976. This was the only time at that awards show that both halves of the room grooved to the same act. So nothing really surprises me anymore where Jonathan is concerned.

Monday, July 09, 2007

j. rich

I think in these troubled, fractious times, we can all agree on one thing, and that's that Jonathan Richman is the best, right? If you say no then please go listen to rooming house on venice beach and get back to me. If that doesn't fill you with nostalgia for something that you've never actually experienced (which is a hard mood to create) then you must be missing a little piece of your brain where that mood resides.

There's a railyards meeting this week.

Have you ever checked out the free rag Edible Sacramento? I was reading it yesterday and these are the emotions I felt: envy, because they have so many ads from just about every good restaurant and gourmet food purveyor, sheepishness, because it's so pro compared to Midtown Monthly, confusion because the restaurant reviewer (Garrett McCord-the guy who writes vanilla garlic) used the word "shibby" in a review and I felt ignorant that I had never heard this word. It turns out it is a loathesome fake word from "dude where's my car". More confusion, when I saw he gave favorable reviews to Raja in Davis and Pronto in Sac. And then finally, relief, when I saw that Edible Sacramento is part of a national chain of publications that obviously has some deep pockets backing it. Nevertheless, it's an intriguing publication and a welcome addition to the free rag scene. They printed a recipe for peach dulce de leche gelato, and I made the base for it last night (which I would liked to have just done shots of it's so delicious) and am freezing it tonight, so I'll report back.

Friday, July 06, 2007

ye olde fridaye

Ye Olde Antique Faire is this sunday. It's only supposed to be a hundred degrees that day, no big whoop. Remember to wear a sunhat or put on sunscreen cuz a lot of the booths are not in the shade of the freeway. Also wear a hardhat to avoid falling raccoons.

Don't forget the Pizzas show tonight at the Distillery.

Speaking of pizza, old soul is selling pizza by the slice starting today, 11 to 2. Here's the email they sent around

Hi Old Soul Friends!
Yes, it is HOT at the Soul. But, we're actually making it hotter by using our ovens to create more yummy treats for you! Are you ready for some "pizza by the slice?" Beginning Friday, July 6, we will be selling "gourmet pizza of the day" for $3 per slice. We'll offer this menu item from 11 am to 2 pm featuring our "Old Soul" pizza dough paired with fresh, locally grown ingredients. Come and join us for a slice or two of heaven. >he alley continues to offer "new Old Soul" experiences. Come and enjoy!

I went to Old Soul on wednesday morning and got some excellent iced coffee and a loaf of fennel ciabatta that was fucking great! Overall, I've been very impressed with Old Soul's bread. I bet their pizza will be good, too.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

lunch surprise

Completely unexpectedly a friend was swinging by Davis just as I was preparing to go to my normal, depressing Crepeville lunch, and we decided to go to Tucos. This is probably my fifth time there since 2004 (when it opened) and from a tentative start, this place has been progressing by leaps and bounds. In fact, it is quietly making some of the most exciting and daring food in the greater Sacramento area. We started with a restorative and wonderful glass of prosecco (I rode there in the 106 degree heat, which felt like a blast furnace). Then we moved on to an assortment of oysters on the half shell, Olympia, Kumamoto, and Marin varieties, eschewing the giant and not-local Wellfleets that were also being offered. How did they get such wonderful, and tiny oysters out of season? I couldn't tell you but I can tell you that they were all delicious, especially the Olympia, which were medium-sized and very creamy. They were presented on ice with mignonette, cocktail sauce, and lemon. We bought six and got one free. Next, we both sampled the cold corn soup (the soup of the day), which was so interesting! It was pureed raw sweet corn, lemon (probably Meyer), a little bit of cream, and vinho verde. Check out the online menu, which is not totally up-to-date but is pretty accurate and you'll see that there is a real Portuguese flavor running through it, from the Azorean cheese, to the Brazilian stew. The owner's wife is from Lisbon, which is why he is incorporating this influence in his food, but he said he's "trying not to scare anyone". I assume he was probably referring to bacalau. For our main courses we both got cold salads, EC got the fig, goat cheese aged balsamic and arugula salad, which was wonderful, and I got the carrot and boquerone salad, because I can't resist boquerones. My salad was an experiment that was not 100% successful, but I appreciated the attempt. It had a beautiful presentation, with fanned, halved baby carrots, each with a boquerone (a vinegary pickled anchovy) on top, and a little pile of greens and olives off to one side. The dressing was very similar to the mignonette, and the vinegar was quite sharp, and that, coupled with the sharp tang of the boquerones was too strong. However, it was a lovely lunch and I can't wait to go back. They also have a wide assortment of cheeses that you can buy by the ounce. And great wine! And Ici ice cream from the Bay Area! And Fra'mani sausage! And sherry from Jerez! You must check this place out.

meat penetration

Is there a secret to getting a marinade to penetrate the meat (I can't wait to see how many google hits I get for the phrase "penetrate the meat" btw the google hits for "cameltoe contest" are still going strong)? I marinated some chicken thighs for 24 hours with pureed olive oil, lots of garlic, lime juice, mint, cilantro, and thai basil and although they were good when grilled, they didn't have the intense herbiness and spiciness that I wanted them to have. My peach and apricot pies were pretty good, but I still have crust problems. This time it was way thick and tough. Damn. I tried to go to the Real Pie Company on 12th and F the other day but they were all sold out of fruit pies. I have a daydream of watching the lady make pies for a day to learn.

On the fourth I didn't partake of any additional grilling, but we did go to a spot on 49 near Lake Clementine, as did everyone else in Auburn. We heard a veritable tower of Babel of languages around us, well really just Russian and Spanish, which just goes to show how multiculti this country is, and we also heard the work "loooooouuiieeeeee" bellowed 5,678 times as some drunk kids played with their dumb dog. The croc came in handy once again.

There's a show on friday. The pizzas are playing the Distillery.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

happy fourth

I don't have a lot to post so I thought I'd post a picture of Ralph at the Yuba, because there is no one that could be immune to the cuteness. Have a good fourth of July.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Just a quick post before I have to go do a bunch of dumb shit. I am a real grumpelstilksten this morning. Grumpenstein's monster even. Cheer me up!

The Yuba at Edward's Crossing was lovely, but the brakes on our station wagon gave up the ghost on the way there so it was a little terrifying (if something can be a little terrifying). Speaking of rivers, yesterday me and Scott rode over the hill at 28th and C and I feel a little dumb that I never knew there was river access there so close to downtown! It's janky as hell but it might be ok if you had some flotation devices and a shiv to defend yourself with. Just kidding about the shiv, I think. This is the subject of my post, what are peoples favorite swimming spots? They can be far or near. I want someplace up in the hills but a little closer than Edward's Crossing.