Sushi lovers, check it out: Seafood Watch has a new sustainable sushi guide that you can slip in your wallet, so when you go out for sushi you can whip it out & order like a true eco-foodie geek. Fish definitely tastes better when you eliminate those nagging guilt pangs!

If you’re an eco-foodie-technogeek with an advanced cellphone, then Environmental Defense Fund has a version you can download to your phone. No excuses now.



I’ve been busy lately! Coupla weekends ago I had a quintessentially East Bay foodie day with The Witch. First we went to a chicken workshop (yes we have urban chicken fantasies!) at EcoHouse, where I got no good photos of the chickens, but this friendly duck came to investigate my camera:

After that, we dropped by the People’s Grocery garden party, where we ate an embarrassment of padrón peppers & admired this lovely kiwi vine:

Then I felt kinda crappy for a week & didn’t do anything interesting. I think maybe I successfully fought off a full-blown cold.

Once recovered, I had to come up with a goodbye card for the incomparable Steve Woodall, who is leaving (wah!) to run the Columbia Center for Book & Paper Arts after nurturing our own San Francisco Center for the Book from its very beginning. I have always been in awe of Steve’s big, big heart. He is one of the kindest people you could ever hope to meet, & somehow manages to keep tons of stuff running smoothly with the most easygoing manner… I just don’t know how a person becomes like that. If I’m lucky maybe I’ll get to be a little more like him in my next life.

Anyway, you can imagine the pressure was on since I knew that about a hundred killer book artists were all making cards for Steve too. None of this running out to buy a card & scrawling something in it with a ballpoint pen for this crowd, no way. Not when John DeMerritt is making one of his famous boxes to put all the cards in. I was so distracted by the card situation that I forgot all about bringing food to the party until like half an hour before I had to leave. Doh! The fridge looked pretty bare & I thought I’d have to run out & buy something on the way, but you know, that’s not how I like to do things if I can help it. I spent too many years of my life as the person who brought chips & salsa to potlucks. (Although for the record, let me say at least it was always Casa Sanchez. I did have standards.)

Here is Mother of Invention Salad. We have fuyu persimmons on the tree right now, so I grabbed two of those, plus an apple & half a head of some speckly chicory (sorry I can’t remember the name of it—you could use radicchio or anything similar). Mandolined the fruit, squeezed some lemon juice over it. Sliced the chicory; the tops of the leaves were too soft to do on the mandoline, so I did that with a knife & then hit the mandoline when I got closer to the stem end. Tossed it all with red wine mustard vinaigrette (thanks again, Orangette!) & then thought it needed some green, so I ran out into the garden & pinched off some pineapple sage for garnish. Done!

Of course, when I got to the party it turned out everybody else had brought chips & salsa, bread & cheese, & wine. Occupational hazard of the book arts: no way in hell do you have time for anything else. Now I remember why I always used to do the Casa Sanchez thing… & why I don’t edition books anymore!

Next night, it was the reception for Road Trip at San Jose Museum of Art. I hadn’t seen the show yet so was quite eager to find out how it looked. I have to say I’m pleased as punch to be in this show. Curator Kristen Evangelista did a fabulous job; how often do you go to a big group show like that & really enjoy most of the stuff in it?!

It was a fun opening too. Five Dollar Suit was playing bluegrass, & the food was thematic, reaching its conceptual peak with these teeny tiny chicken fried steaks, sandwiched in biscuits with gravy, here modeled by the talented, hardworking hands of Noah Lang & Donna Ozawa.

Labels: , , , , , ,


OMG! Kitty Burns Florey tried to diagram Sarah Palin’s sentences. I loved Florey before this, but now… !!!

Labels: ,




What are we going to do to stop her from posting salads all the time?
Do you think an intervention is in order?
What if we ask her to post some flowers or something? She likes flowers. Probably as much as she likes food.
As much as she likes salad?
Yes, I think so.

The last sweetpeas of the season.

They kept going all the way into October! Pretty cool.

Red leaf lettuce, treviso, Warren pear, red onion, Iberico cheese, sherry vinaigrette….

Hey! What happened?
She may be beyond help.
I think it’s her coping mechanism. She’s just trying to make it to Election Day without having a nervous breakdown. Like the rest of us.

Labels: , , , ,


Look what you get if you do a search for “Chinese” in the New York Public Library’s Buttolph collection of menus!

DINNER TO GOVERNOR GOULS, LT. ... Digital ID: 472661. New York Public Library ORIENTAL DINNER MENU [held by]... Digital ID: 471895. New York Public Library

Just the tip o’ the iceberg.

& more fruit than I know what to do with, too…

[Fig varities (White Hanover, ... Digital ID: 1107603. New York Public Library [Pears (Catherine, Lemon, Late... Digital ID: 1107606. New York Public Library

Labels: , , ,


So, about that gazpacho… I’ve made many batches of gazpacho in my life, but it seems that I need to revisit, revise, re-conceptualize the recipe every so often. The gazpacho that made me so happy 20 years ago is not the gazpacho that made me happy 5 years ago, & the gazpacho that I want now is yet another one. If you’ll bear with a bit of astrology here: lots of folks have needless anxiety about Mercury retrograde, believing that it just fucks everything up & you should basically hide under the covers until Mercury goes direct again. Not so! It’s an excellent time to do anything starting with “re-”: repair, return, remember, revise… you see where I’m going with this?

The latest, & arguably most Spanish, of my gazpachos, this is also a smaller quantity, reflecting the fact that I live with someone who is allergic to tomatoes. This is but a blender full, not the 2 blenders I used to make in my more voracious (& more social) days. I’m sure you can double, triple, do any kind of math you want with this, especially since the amounts are so loose to begin with:

dry-farmed early girls (or any excellent tomato of your choosing)
1/2 of a long, skinny Armenian cucumber (or other cuke of your choosing)
1/2 of a medium-sized red onion
a small, mild green pepper, like a bell pepper or pasilla (according to this handy grocery receipt here, mine weighed 0.13 lb.)
cilantro (I used about 1/3 of a bunch, but YBMV—your bunch may vary)
about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
about 2-3 T. sherry vinegar
salt & pepper

Fill blender almost to top with halved tomatoes. When you pile on 1/4 of a cuke & 1/4 of an onion, plus part of your pepper & a few sprigs of cilantro, it will be full. Blend to reduce volume, then add the rest of your veggies, more cilantro, salt & pepper, & about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add a shot of vinegar. Blend & taste & adjust as necessary. Chill thoroughly—this is important! I stick the whole blender jar in the fridge & then when I’m ready to eat it, I give it another blend to make sure everything is all thoroughly mixed & smooth. You can garnish it if you like, with chopped tomatoes or cilantro sprigs or what have you, but I’m liking this one bare naked right now. This minimalist presentation & the creamy texture together seem to allow more focus on the yummy flavors. (The color field is nice too!)

I also made that Niçoise salad I was talking about, but the picture didn’t come out pretty enough to show you. I used this dressing, drowned a drained can of tuna in it, then tossed the lettuce in it, & heaped that on plates waiting with steamed green beans, hardboiled egg wedges, tomato wedges, sliced steamed taters, & of course, the Niçoise olives.

Labels: ,