I believe in presentation

October 31, 2011

I was chatting with Hannah last week and I asked her if she wanted me to bring her some lunch on Sunday.  She said sure… chef’s choice.

Yeah… I just said I’d make lunch for a girl with a masters in food anthropology from Columbia who is a killer caterer and working on opening a food establishment in the East Bay.  What exactly was I thinking?

Okay… go big or go home, right?

So I made vegetable stock in the pressure cooker and then roasted the squash and made squash puree and then made squash risotto with parmesan crisps and crispy fried pancetta from the Local Butcher Shop.

I could not have been happier with the result.

Pretty, right?

This is how I roll.



first time for everything

October 29, 2011

Today I cut a large winter squash in half the safe and easy way… for the first time.

Thank goodness Frank got me a Chinese cleaver for my birthday a few years ago… and I’m always looking for more uses for my mallet.

Just make sure you get purchase into the squash with the cleaver then carefully tap, tap, tap with the mallet.

It split perfectly.  And I didn’t once feel that I was in danger of loosing a finger… BONUS!

Then I peeled and diced one half and roasted the other to make puree.

Tomorrow I’m going to make squash risotto with my lovely fresh squash ingredients.  I even made my own vegetable broth in my pressure cooker.

It’s been a while since I’ve done something to stretch myself in a culinary way.  This should be good.


I have a pet peeve.  And it reared it not so ugly head today.  Or maybe… more accurately, this concept reasserted itself into my world view this afternoon.

It’s a tiny thing.  This absolute revulsion I feel for people who proclaim to be strong and smart and in control but who at any given moment will go all helpless and need someone else to start their orange because there’s no way they could peel it themselves.

Image by Tracy Ducasse

Really?  Seriously?  No.  I will not start to peel the skin away from your orange and then give it back to you so you can finish and eat it.

Not if there is no reason you can’t do it yourself other than laziness and or insanity.

Do you think I’m horrid or mean for feeling that way?  I mean, really, I would help and help without complaint if I honestly believed that someone needed it.

But pathetic and whiny does not make me want to help.

If you ask me to start your orange for you… the first thing I will think is, why can’t you start it your self?

And if you don’t have a good answer to the question why?  Well then you should spend some time thinking about a good / better answer instead of trying to get me to do something for you.

Not that I’m obsessing about this or anything.

In fact, now that I’ve put it out there into the universe I feel better.



I got a manicure last weekend.  I don’t normally do that.  It’s not really cost-effective given how quickly I destroy them.  But I had a Living Social deal for The Lounge Nail Spa so I went ahead and got a manicure.

For some crazy reason I picked a very light, very girly shade for both my fingers and my toes.  This is unusual for me, since I usually paint my toes insane colors like dark blue or key lime green.

Here’s the color I picked…

This morning I realized that while I haven’t chipped them or anything I might need to take the polish off soon.

I’m not sure I can deal with the consistency of something so delicate.

It’s just too foreign to my nature.


Do we really need to remake every single foreign film for the American audience?  And if we do, can I not know about it?

Like The Tourist… a fun piece of fluff that I actually enjoyed but was a remake of the French film Anthony Zimmer.  The films are very VERY different in look, in feel, in tempo… everything.  Just the basic plot structure is the same.  That being said – I like both films but I wish I didn’t have them linked in my head.

Or the truly brilliant Swedish film Let the Right One In being remade as Let Me In.  Doesn’t matter how good it was or wasn’t… was it necessary?

The truly despised Point of No Return that was pillaged from Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita is another example of this horrible phenomenon.

And they keep doing it.

Now I find out that the Parkour Action film District B13 is being remade in America.  This movie was so action packed that honestly it could have been a silent film and it still would have been awesome.  So what if the same director is attached and Luc Besson, who wrote the original, is writing this new version?  Do we really need to make a new one?  Can’t we just watch the original again?

I am not okay with this.  In fact I am upset.



Do you HAVE to bring your dog with you into every single store… every day… for the rest of your life?

Please don’t get me wrong.  I love dogs and cats and snakes and ferrets etc etc etc.  I think pets make the world a better place.  That being said, I am really sick of people bringing their pets with them everywhere.  I get that they are your family and your world and the most important thing in your life but they aren’t in mine and I’m not so sure they should be running around the store mingling with my food and my fabrics and well… everything.

Some people say that their pets are like their children and that kids can come into stores.

But seriously… ?

I mean really?

And yes I understand the need for service animals but I know that a lot of people take that to the extreme.  You know what I’m not even going to go down that path because maybe I’m just being a stick in the mud but I don’t want dogs in my restaurants or my grocery stores or … well lots of places.

Yes, I’m in the minority.  Yes, I know it.  Also – yes, well aware of the ADA requirements on service animals.  Still!

I suppose I’ll get over it.



and yet…

I actually went out and looked at engagement calendars today.  In years past I used to bemoan the early appearance of calendars.  Not with quite the vehemence that I reserve for early Christmas paraphernalia but close.

And now I have become an early adopter.  I don’t know that I can wait until New Year’s day to get a calendar this year.  I need to start planning out my schedule.  Haircuts, dental appointments, etc etc etc.

Part of me is completely freaked out by this intrusion of scheduling 3 months in advance and another part of me thinks it might be normal.  But then, most of the appointment books out right now are the academic ones from July to June.  I think I really need to wait until November and then there should be a selection.

That’s a more appropriate time… I think…

It’s just going to be odd not getting a calendar on January 1st.  But then I guess those days have passed.