Archive for the ‘Food’ category

The crème fraiche dialogues

April 26, 2015

We were recently in Paris. It was delightful.

This is a delightful place in Paris.

This is a delightful place in Paris.

Sadly, I experienced a bout of illness after a meal at a delightful place in Paris, and was incapacitated for an entire day. Troy, in his solicitude for my well-being, purchased a variety of soothing foods before heading off for a delightful evening of watching repertoiry film on the Left Bank. They were the usual––apple sauce, soda crackers, juices, and yogurt.

The next morning, I remarked to him that the yogurt tasted a little strange, whereupon I noticed that it was not in fact yogurt. It was “crème fraiche,” which Troy had mistakenly purchased, largely because it was in that part of the grocery store (you know that part) where one might expect to find yogurt, and indeed, it was packaged as if it were yogurt. This is important.


I was strolling through the dairy aisle at our local supermarket, when a woman, standing in front of the yogurt selection turned to me and said, “Excuse me, I am French, may I ask you a question?”

“Of course,” I replied.

“I am looking for crème fraiche, but I cannot find it.” She gestured at the sour cream. “Is it the same …?”

I assured her that sour cream was not what she wanted; I even mentioned that I’d been in Paris recently. She was unimpressed by that fact (who hasn’t been to Paris recently?) but after thinking, I said, “it might be in the cheese section.” Sure enough, there it was, packaged as if it were cheese:

We keep it in the cheese section.

Looking like cheese …

The woman was grateful, but mystified, just as I had been by Troy’s thoughtful purchase.

And now you know “plus de l’histoire.”

Au revoir mesdames et messieurs!


BMB–nephew edition

November 2, 2013

For the second Saturday in a row, we’ve tried out a new spot for brunch. And for the second time, a menu item was named after a nephew.
Special prize to whomever can guess which niece or nephew will be named next week. Dan’s money is on Afton.

How do I get outta here?!

August 27, 2013

At the temporary “New Zealand cuisine” restaurant on Pier 29 called Waiheke Island Yacht Club:

Dear San Francisco restaurants

February 6, 2013

Suggested pricing structure:

cost of ingredients + desired profit = price per menu item

on the bill, itemize (as % or flat fee):

  • rent
  • kitchen equipment, etc.
  • labor
  • insurance
  • SF “mandates”
  • miscellaneous

plus tax = total amount


“We support Healthy SF and are proud to provide for the health care needs of all our employees.”

Where shall we eat tonight?

Where shall we eat tonight?

On my way to Saturday brunch with the nieces

July 7, 2012

Items …

July 5, 2012

… currently depicted on the labels of wine bottles at the Castro Village Wine Company:

  • octopus
  • telephone (vintage)
  • Chevrolet (~1957)
  • log cabin
  • black shouldered kite (bird)
  • long horn sheep
  • cat (black)
  • pliers
  • human hands (2)
  • mallard duck
  • cello, violin, viola, violin (quartet)
  • locomotive
  • textbook
  • boxing match
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • banshee
  • wooden duck
  • wild boar
  • cuneiform
  • railroad tracks
  • swan (white)
  • mortar & pestle
  • horse & plow
  • chemical equations
  • interlocking gears
  • dudes in a wine cellar
  • angel
  • waitress
  • woolly mammoth
  • couch (in a vineyard)
  • shipwreck
  • migrating geese
  • shipping crane
  • water-wheel
  • pears (3)
  • frog
  • pomelo
  • small boat (unoccupied)
  • bridesmaid
  • prisoner (in chains)
  • Greek bireme
  • monkey on a whale


Novel cooking

November 27, 2011

I’ve been enjoying Murakami’s latest novel “1Q84” and last night I was reading one of his typical scenes. The solitary introverted protagonist prepares a meal for one while meditating on a troubling past memory …  hmm … that celery/mushroom/shrimp stir fry sure sounds good …  if only I had a live-in BF who is also an amateur chef … oh wait.

A couple of texts between the bedroom and the living room later, a plan was hatched, and it came to fruition less than 24 hours later:

"Then a dash of soy sauce and finally a scattering of Chinese parsley. Tengo performed all these operations on automatic pilot."

Chef and cookbook. The "recipe" is on pages 362-363.

"When the stir-fried shrimp and vegetables were ready, Tengo ... still lost in thought, proceeded to eat the steaming food."