Some Chinese restaurants abroad: C.Y. Joe pointed me to Sopot, Poland & here is Sisimiut, Greenland courtesy of Robert Yu. Thanks for the emails, guys!



Very unlikely lust object for me. But in the context of my vintage car fetish... ya know, it doesn't make any sense for me to own a high-maintenance old ride like the 1954 GMC pickup truck of my dreams, but one of these babies for $280? Hmmm.... (Never mind that I can barely even ride a bike.)

Now that we're on the topic, though, it's not like I'd insist on a pickup truck instead of this stunning thing:


Last night at the Creative Work Fund reception I got to meet & greet all the other lucky grant recipients. One guy said it was the first grant he'd ever applied for, whereupon the whole room would have pelted him with produce, except it was clear we'd rather eat than throw the very yummy hors d'oeuvres.

Quite a groovy crowd. Someone was trying to sell me on the idea of renting an RV for the Southern trip, instead of doing the car & motels thang. Can you imagine?! I was pretty excited about it until I saw the prices -- like, over $200/day! Oh well, it was a nice fantasy. I'll stick to the rental car & cheap motels, thanks.


The blackberry pie has been made, but I still need to make another one, this time not slacking off on the crust. In my impatience I used less-than-frozen butter & flour, & paid for it with a substandard crust. It's still good pie, but it is not The Blackberry Pie of my dreams.

The pelicans of Pt. Reyes, however, are perfect, & so is the blackberry picking on the way home from there.

In the mail today I got menus from Iowa & Indiana! Thank you, menu senders! Those were two states I didn't have anything from, until now.


This is a test, but a pretty exciting one... finally figuring out how to blog images. Whee!


One little step at a time... take a sec & sign this petition to change the name of "Jap Road" in Texas. DUH!!!

On the other end of the intelligence scale: I finished reading The Book of Salt last night. It made me cry, & I can't remember the last time a novel did that to me.


I have such a jones for blackberry pie right now... I just won't be satisfied until I can go out & get all scratched up picking mass quantities of blackberries, & then come home & make the pie. Oh, & eat it, of course.

I was thinking I would do this on my birthday, but maybe I can't wait! Maybe I'll have to do it tomorrow instead of getting any work done. Isn't blackberry pie a perfectly good reason to play hooky?

What food would seduce you away from work? Something to contemplate. (Well, I guess your relationship to your work is also a factor here. I've had jobs that stale m&ms could distract me from!)


Happy ending for the campaign to Save Gim's Chinese Kitchen! The most disturbing thing about this whole story is the fact that I only heard about it from one person. What's wrong with my grapevine? Yeah, yeah, I know, it wouldn't kill me to keep up with the news myself like most mere mortals.... oh, except that most people in this country don't actually keep up with the news, or read anything. Myself, I've been having a book splurge this past couple weeks: ZZ Packer's Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, Monique Truong's The Book of Salt, Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, the aforementioned Deep South guidebook, & then there's nice little bedtime installments of Dan Leone Eat This, San Francisco! See? Who had time to find out about Gim's?


People are always coming up w/ this stuff: "We update you on every Chinese Restaurant, as it opens" If it were real it'd be quite useful.


Quote of the day comes from Efren, on the topic of why crab rangoons are appearing in otherwise-respectable Chinese restaurants: "It's a sign of the apocalypse."

Today I went shopping for travel guides. Once again, just like when I was gonna go to Minnesota, I feel like I'm going someplace really unpopular. The bookstores of Berkeley are stacked high with travel books for destinations all around the world, but slim pickins indeed for Mississippi & Alabama. I found a Lonely Planet guide for Louisiana & the Deep South, from 2001, & the helpful guy at my friendly local travel bookstore called Lonely Planet for me to find out if an updated edition was forthcoming. Quite the opposite: they're going to discontinue that title. Doh! So I bought it.

Despite all this fun-filled art activity, sometimes I just feel like nature does a much better job.

I stayed up late last night mapping out the Chinese restaurants of Mississippi & Alabama. As expected, they are well-sprinkled throughout, so that one is never too far from the nearest egg roll... except for this one big chunk of western Alabama that appears as a vast wasteland, bereft of any Chinese restaurant. Hmm.... Know what I think? There's gotta be Chinese restaurants there, alright, but they just aren't the kind you can find on the internet. Must be the secret-to-the-outside-world, known-only-to-locals kind that can't be bothered with web listings. Strictly on the down low. That's what I think. I'm gonna go find out! <-- (determined)


Plums, plums, plums.... it's all about plums right now. If you, too, have a tree raining plums upon you, try my plum sorbet recipe. Someone at our plum party the other day called me a genius for coming up with it. Aw, shucks.... This recipe is based on our own backyard plums, which have very sour skin & very sweet flesh. They are also very liquid, meaning that any attempt to chop or slice them is pointless; they just sort of mash themselves.

Plum sorbet

4.5 cups plums, pitted. Remove the skins of about 1/3 of them
1 large slice watermelon
1 cup sugar

Put it all in the blender. You should end up with about 5 cups of liquid. Adjust sugar & watermelon to taste. Chill thoroughly, then stick it in your ice cream maker & crank away!