Friday, February 27, 2009

friday questions

Don't you feel like the collapse of the financial system and our current economic crisis should signal that the public isn't going to swallow shock doctrine shit like this anymore?  Remember when all those loft and condo proponents were ridiculing anyone who was standing in their way locally by bringing out fake statistics about how many new residents were going to come flooding into the city?  I'm glad the downtown arena plan seems off the table.  I don't want them to fuck up the state fair.  I think the state fair would do fine, especially in the recession, if they would just offer some better deals for families to get in, and some food bargains.  A whole new fairground is not the answer.  People like the low-tech shit, like the bunnies, they don't need flashy new buildings.

Tyvek show tonight! It will sell out, so don't show up at 9:30 or ten and think you're getting in.

Question: can someone direct me to a website where I can buy simple, black, ballet flats?  I don't want any bows or buttons or bird appliques or any of that shit.  And jcrew and banana republic don't have them.

Question: have you read any V.S. Naipaul?  I read a short novel from the 80s called "The Suffrage of Elvira" and I loved it, with the caveat that he has some pretty racially questionable shit in there, but he's known for that.

Question: have you seen Jean de Florette?  I never thought that I could ever find Gerard Depardieu cute, but he was!  Classic tearjerker.  Saddest thing to happen to rabbits since Watership Down.

I'm going to feel stupid if no one answers any of these questions.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

nummer nums recipe (pretend I didn't write that)

Oh yeah, I forgot, pineapple upside down cake recipe from EC:

preheat oven to 350
it's 1 can of pineapple rounds in juice (save 1/4 cup juice),
1 & 3/4 sticks of butter
1 cup of brown sugar packed down, 
2 eggs,  
1/2 cup of milk, 
2 teaspoons baking powder, 
1 1/2 cups flour, 
1 cup white sugar, 
I use those insane marischino cherries from cortis, seven of them to be exact, and I drizzle a little of the syrup on there too. 
I put in a dash of salt, (if you use unsalted butter, put in 1/4 tsp salt, otherwise a dash is fine)
vanilla and almond extract too.
I have used rum instead on occasion and that is good too.
You melt a stick of butter in the bottom of the cake pan on the stovetop, then turn it off and add the brown sugar, mush it up, then add 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice from the can and turn on the heat and make sure it all disolves.  Then, off the heat, you put the pineapple rounds in a pattern on the bottom and put the cherries in the middle of each round.  Because there are still 3 rounds of pineapple in the can... I just put those in too, but no cherries because they will be deeper in the cake  Then you make the batter (which should be strangely thick) and you dump it on top without messing up the brown sugar mush or the pineapples.    The batter is so thick that you kind of just push it down to try to spread it out.   it is going to look fucked up, but it rises, and expands and don't worry about it, it will end up ok.  Whatever you do, don't add extra milk to the thick batter just to thin it out.  I have done this several times cause it looks weird, and it makes the cake crumble too much.
You make the batter by mixing the flour, white sugar, milk, flavorings, 3/4 cup of melted butter and eggs together,  finally at the end you add the baking powder (cause it starts working immediately, so you don't want to add it til the last second) then you mix it up real good and throw it in the pan.
You bake it for 45 -50 minutes or til a toothpick in center comes out clean.  then you get a big plate (bigger than your cake pan) and you carefully and quickly put the plate on top of the cake pan and flip it upside down.  It always unmolds very very easily for me.  I have never had a problem.   I think it's because this receipe uses melted butter in the batter. 
My mom made ours in a big cast iron skillet, which helps the brown sugar carmelize more, but it's heavier to flip.  I use a cake pan cause I'm lazy.

When I've make it I've used a 12 inch skillet. I guess you could use a 9 inch cake pan instead?  It's kind of flat from the skillet.  And I don't put as much white sugar, and I increase the salt a bit, but that's because I prefer salty to sweet.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

food nerdery

Tyvek and Th' Losin' Streak show at the UCD Coffeehouse tonight, but I'll be watching Lost and catching them on friday.

There are food nerd activities abounding lately, mostly in Davis.  The Mondavi Food and Wine Institute is going to be a real boon to food nerdery.  It makes me want to go back to school, but I'll have to settle for the free events, like this weekends academic conference: Tasting Histories: food and drink culture throughout the ages.  Most of this is free to the public, there's a link at the bottom of the page to register.

Here's another event.  It's tonight during Lost, unfortunately.  Do you know of any other food events?

Oh yeah, another one is that Richard at Taylor's is hosting a wine tasting on sunday, I believe it's from 2-5.  It's the guy from Kermit Lynch, ten bucks, snacks included.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

rated D for depressing

There's going to be a pretty dramatic, and surely depressing, city council meeting tonight.

Anyone else catch CH on the news last night, representing the firefighters?  I think the fire station brownouts will end as soon as someone dies unecessarily, so they may as well end them now.  I hope the city finds a better way to use the money of the Sheraton sale than to move the bus station.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

so much butter

Happy birthday MH! This is the pineapple upside down cake I made for her birthday.  It's EC's family recipe and I'm going to ask her if I can post it.

AC Newman is playing tomorrow at Harlow's along with a ukelele guy who is on Pawtracks and who I hear is really good.  Dent May.  Ooh, I like it.

Tyvek and Th' Losin' Streaks are playing the UCD coffeehouse on wednesday.  I'll be catching them on friday at Luigis.

Ganglians on thursday!

Last night for a celebratory dinner I had the extreme pleasure of a meal at the Waterboy.  I think I hadn't been since my wonderful, perfect, birthday dinner in July.  If so, I am a fool for not going more often.  All four of us present at the dinner last night vowed to return soon.  We brought a bottle of an extremely reasonably priced and tasty Cremant de Limoux from 58 degrees.  The wine list is the only criticism I have of the Waterboy.  

We got the steak tartare, proscuitto bruschetta, and the white anchovy crostini to start. I love how he always has white anchovies in some form on the menu.  The real marvel was our entrees, which were all perfectly cooked and superb.  I find that many fine dining places can knock it outof the park with apps, but are not so good with the more difficult meaty entrees.  Not last night!  Smiller got a giant lamb shank that was beyond words.  I got an excellent seafood, saffrony, soupy risotto with the tenderest little bits of Monterey squid.  The pork tenderloin and pork belly was more interesting than your usual bland tenderloin.  The service was flawless.  

Good old Waterboy!

Friday, February 20, 2009

V street house

Movies on a big screen in West Sac has an interesting-sounding doc screening tonight. 

I'm stoked that Tower opened "I've loved you for so long" and I'm double-stoked that they're getting "The Class".  How cool is it that Kristen Scott Thomas is so fluent in French that she can play a French woman?  I'll have to start liking her now.

There are some really beautiful leeks hanging around right now.  They are babies, which also makes them cheap because you are not paying for that big tough green top.  I had these two types of produce last night and lo and behold Marcella Hazan had a recipe for braised leeks and artichokes.  Of course the only ingredients were the vegetables and some olive oil, and s and p. That's how all her veggie recipes are, so you better have good ingredients.
Here's the finished product.  The artichokes were interesting.  Very woody and earthy I even detected a faint liver-like taste and smell.  Strange.  The braised leeks were really good.
I have a salad dressing secret for you: buttermilk.  It makes your dressing taste kinda like ranch!  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

mendo burger!

I'm back!

I got this wine from Taylor's, it's excellent!  I think it's like 12 bucks.  It's some kind of red blend, I think. It's a vin de pays du gascogne, but I can't find any info on the internet about what grapes are in there.
This was the Valentine's day dinner.  Stuffed green peppers.  A classic, just like grandma used to make.  I just kinda made a meatloaf, with rice, and stuffed it in there.  I used Bledsoe's grassfed beef.  It's cheap and organic.
Mendocino was wonderful.  The only really good place we eat was Mendo Burgery (it's "mendo burger" but i liked that I coined the term 'burgery" accidentally), which I highly recommend.  Friendly hippy couple, cute dog to pet, she cuts the fries from the potato as you watch.  The burger reminded me of a Whitey's burger.  Here's some scenery.  It's hard to take a bad picture there.
It's kinda hard to make it out, but this was a crazy swoopy house on a cliff in Scott's beloved town of Caspar.

See that weird yellow tinge to the ocean water?  It was a toxic-looking foam.  I'm sure it was natural.
Succulents!  We stole a couple to plant at home.
This was a cool sign that was near the Devil's Stinkhole.  The warning signs were a little outrageous.  One actually said "how to survive this beach".  I started to feel like I was going to get trapped between a rogue wave and a mountain lion.
This bridge is over the beach at Russian Gulch state park.  If you toss a mendo burger wrapper in this area you will hit a new state park.  It's lousy with them.  There's also Van Damme park, which we did not go to.
I would recommend a hike up the river at the Mendo Headlands state park, and a trip to the Cabrillo Point lighthouse.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

this sucks

Hey guys-this is important. Unfortunately, I can't go, cuz I'm going to the Chinese New Year dinner event thingy downtown. But hopefully at least one of you can? Bill Burg posted this on sacrag:

Keep in mind, in all this, that the “strong mayor” initiative is predicated around the idea that the current concil is not pro-development enough.
And the way things are headed, the public will have even fewer possibilities for input:
On Thursday the Sacramento Planning Commission will have a public hearing on a proposal ( by the Development Oversight Commission (DOC), a City-appointed group comprised almost entirely of real estate developers, architects, and business consultants, to eliminate the City’s Design Review Commission and change the development approval process in the City so that City staff will make most planning and design decisions administratively, leaving no opportunity for public input.
The reasons you should come to the hearing at City Hall on Thursday February 12th at 5:30pm to testify against this proposal:
1. This attempt to reduce citizen and citizen-commission input and oversight of development in our community has undergone no public vetting from community groups that will be affected by such a fundamental shift in our City’s development.
The proposal was developed and sent directly to the Mayor with no input from the Planning or Design Review Commissions. More importantly, the proposed ordinance was not brought to any neighborhood association or other community-based organization that normally comments on development in their communities.
This is not the kind of transparency and open government practices that should be an essential part of such a fundamental change in our community’s development approval process.
2. The proposal will greatly reduce opportunities for Community input
The proposal will eliminate the City’s Design Review Commission and fold its responsibilities into the Planning Commission and shift “…the majority of decisions to the staff level..”. The movement of “…the majority of decisions to staff level…” will likely reduce community involvement from the development review process. Communities have a right to be able to comment on projects that will be built in their neighborhood.
Even after moving most decisions to the staff level, by eliminating the Design Review Commission the public loses one of the two opportunities they have left to comment on development projects proposed in their neighborhood. The recommendation would squeeze all public input on a project into one meeting where every issue with design or planning will have to be settled. This will almost certainly create the types of extremely long meetings that discourage public involvement and will force complex decisions that have long-term impacts on communities into unreasonably short decision-making time frames.
Reducing opportunities for citizens to be involved in projects in their neighborhoods decreases transparency, will cause more projects to be appealed to the City Council and will increase the likelihood of lawsuits to block projects. This will decrease the effectiveness of the development review process. Please come to the Planning Commission hearing and comment on this item and let the City know that you think the public should have a role in development decisions in our City. Please distribute this email to other residents who would come to testify in support of preserving the role of the citizen in our city’s development.
The meeting is at the New City Hall, 915 I Street, 1st Floor- Council Chambers, February 12, 2009 at 5:30 P.M.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

weak mayor here to stay

Hey look, Marcos Breton called us "bumpkins"

So, why did KJ have to drop the strong mayor bid?  Was it because the city council wasn't obligated to let him put it on the ballot?  Did he not realize that when he tried to force it through?

no real post

I dont' have anything to post about, but here's a video that me and a coworker watch to get us pumped in the morning

Monday, February 09, 2009

weekend pics

Due to blogger's ass-backwards way of uploading photos, this post is going to be a mess of out-of order pictures, but it's not my fault!

Here's a reminder that Vientiane is a delicious, cheap place to get takeout for a cozy dinner at home!
Those who are on the Poinsettia list knew about this bonkers estate sale at one of the grand mansions on V btwn 21st and 22nd.  I took some so-so pictures.  Does anyone have a flickr set that's better?  This is one of the grand homes of Sac, up on Poverty Ridge, and it is crumbling into disrepair.  It was creepy, it was depressing to paw through the lady's stuff, it was jaw dropping.  Here's the back of the house.
The backyard with the carriage house on the left.  That's a boiler part.
Now we jump to the awesome show friday at West Capitol Bowl.  Thee Makeout Party were so fucking great!  Photobooth was, too, but I didn't get any good pictures of them.

The Box Elders: also great.  Lots of eye candy for the ladies.
See what I mean?
Now, interior of the house. Look at that crazy lampshade! How old is that, Ella?
The backyard of the house.
I got a romertopf cookbook at the estate sale.
And then the next day, at the antique sale under the freeway, I got a romertopf.  Haven't used it yet.  I'm skeptical about all the claims the cookbook makes, but we'll see. It feels really fragile and I predict I will break it and burn myself.
Here's a stylish lady in the cookbook, cleaning her romertopf.  Hey-oh!
That "ask me to ask you" button from ye olde antique faire was really making me laugh.  I should have bought it!
More backyard of the house.

Friday, February 06, 2009

what more could you want?

Part three of Operation: Getting You To Go To West Sac In The Rain.
1) it's friday night
2) cheeseburgers
3) bowling
4) listen to this

Thursday, February 05, 2009

part deux

Part two of Operation: Getting You To Miss Battlestar Galactica and The Mayyors Show (Even Though The Mayyors Hardly Ever Play In Sac) continues:

The Box Elders are a fun Nebraskan band that is kinda Red Kross-y.  They wear silly outfits such as vests, headbands and tie dye.  I really enjoyed them when I saw them at the Witch Dome (RIP).  They describe themselves as "cave pop".  That's apt.

We all know that all the Sacramento blog action is going to be going on at Orange Peel Mouth but I will not write any spoilers in case MH has not watched it yet.  So go over there!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

great show on friday

Phase one of Operation: Getting You To Miss Battlestar Galactica on Friday.  Thee Makeout Party are coming all the way from Bananaheim to play a show at West Capitol Bowl on friday night.  That guy on the left, Lee, is the best, and I met him when he was a wee sprout at a Bananas show.  Their band is pop, bubblegum, glam, right up my alley.  What about your alley?  There are other great bands playing, too, which I'll enumerate in the days to come.  And you can bowl! And eat cheeseburgers!  Or undercooked pizza! And ride your bike there!  And maybe the kids with costumes will show up!  And smiller will play Touch Of Grey on the jukebox!  

Monday, February 02, 2009

last day of NY bagels

God, no time to post, but here's some pictures of NY Bagel's last day.  It was really sad.
Here's a handsome guy musing on the end of bagels as he knows them.
Detail of Robert Gordon's masterpiece.

Here's the guest book.  Read these entries.  I like this one because the kid's aunt busts him out for crying. Cute!

The Boss teabags America

I'm so glad I had my camera with me because I caught some really great action shots of the Bananas ripping it up, like this one below:
 Just kidding, I managed to lovingly photograph the lentil salad I made from this recipe, but I forgot to bring my camera for the show. What is up with blogger not allowing me to stop linking right here?!?!?! I already have to upload my goddamn pictures one at a time! 
The Bananas were on fire, and the people up front were, too.  What a fun show.  Natalie and I made a riot grrrl joke that made all the young girls texting around us think we were really cool.  In fact, I think they were texting their friends about how funny we were.

Can you believe that Super Bowl winner Troy Polamalu was at Luigis celebrating his victory last night?  He rolled up in a stretch hummer.  He was really nice and down to earth, and very religious.  He kept crossing himself everytime he took a sip of beer.
I had time to make bread this weekend, which means I had a relaxing weekend, for once!  Here's the recipe.  
You can get all the ingredients you need for these rolls in the co-op bulk bins for pennies.  In fact, I wouldn't shop anywhere else, cuz you need cracked wheat, which is a semi-obscure ingredient.
This was a lovely dough.  A joy to work with.  It's a bit wet at first.
While I was waiting for it to do its first raise, I made the best drink in the world, a Meyer lemon radler with this delicious German hefeweizen.  The lemon brought out the wheat flavor in the beer.  I'm in love with Meyer lemons, still.  I haven't gotten sick of them yet.  
Here's the risen dough, it was a nice warm day, so the dough did its job.
Here's the rolls, looping them is easy once you figure it out.  For the second rise, the day was already cooling off, so they weren't as fluffy as I wanted.
As the boss would say, the rising.
Finished product.   As the boss would say, nummer nums.  Man, I wanted to post a video of the boss teabagging america at the superbowl halftime show, but stupid nbc is taking them all down!
I have so much to post that I'm not done.  Check the midmo blog, too.