13 Jan 2013
in Food, Humor, Recipes, Starlets, Yoga Students & Quinoa (stories), Video
Tags: citrus, fish, hamachi, Hass avocado, Japanese cuisine, Ponzu, sashimi, sushi, yuzu
About seven or eight years ago, I was making Japanese food at our previous home in West Los Angeles. I had a rare delicacy — a yuzu fruit, a small Japanese citrus that, on the odd occasion you can find it, sells for about $3-$4 a fruit. Yellow and wrinkly, about the size of a lime, it is filled with seeds, and you’re lucky if you get a few drops of the pungent, floral juice from within. More useful is the aromatic zest, which the Japanese will shave over tempura, use to brighten sauces and fold into dishes both savory and sweet.
Koi pond, bamboo, afternoon sun & yuzu tree
I have no recollection what I did with the yuzu that evening. But what I do remember is planting several of the seeds in a pot outside in the garden the next morning. A couple weeks later, I had a few bright green seedlings which somehow over time became reduced to one gawky, spindly little yuzu tree. More
27 Nov 2012
in American Series, Food, Humor, Observations, Starlets, Yoga Students & Quinoa (stories)
Tags: Byck's Department Store, Dann Byck, Derby pie, dessert, Kentucky Derby, Kern's Kitchen, Kurt Vonnegut, Louisville, recipes, Robert Altman
I am fortunate to have not lost many friends over the years. There was a rash of deadly car crashes in high school, reckless kids gone almost before they began, but since then things have pretty much been quiet. With the exception, that is, of one of my dearest friends — a Southern gentleman named Dann Byck.
Dann at Byck’s Department Store in Louisville, 1977
Dann would bristle at that description of him, which is exactly why I use it. He had a good sense of humor. We met at a coffee joint on a snooty street in Santa Monica where we would both sometimes sit in the mornings and watch the beautiful Range Rover mothers push their babies past in Italian-made Peg Perego strollers. More
22 Nov 2012
in Food, Observations, Starlets, Yoga Students & Quinoa (stories)
Tags: clam chowder, cranberry sauce, food, Foods of the World, Oxnard, risotto, Solvang, stuffing, Thanksgiving, Turkey
If you had told me, as a child, that Thanksgiving would one day be a favorite holiday, I might’ve laughed. For the younger me, the fourth Thursday in November was a day of dread.
Me and mom, around the time of the Thanksgiving Rebellion
The memories are hazy. As I’ve remained close to my extended family on my mother’s side, I can only assume they were my father’s relatives. I can still remember rolling up to a curb somewhere in the Southern California suburbs, and not wanting to get out of the car. More
28 Sep 2012
in Humor, Observations, Starlets, Yoga Students & Quinoa (stories)
Tags: bacon, clarified butter, food, ghee, humor, license plates, tofu, turkey bacon, yoga
A friend of mine at a design firm where I do contract work a couple days a week makes herself some turkey bacon every morning. You can smell it when you walk into the break room.
I began referring to it as “fakecon” (as in fake bacon), which she objected to. “It’s not fake, it’s turkey.”
As far as my knowledge goes, turkeys do not have a bacon cut. (If they did, Thanksgiving might’ve been a more memorable meal.) More
25 Sep 2012
in Food, Humor, Starlets, Yoga Students & Quinoa (stories)
Tags: Barley Forge Brewing, beer, brewery, Culver City, Ernie Demontreux, Greg Nylen, hops, pale ale, Topanga
Sunday morning, as my wife gathered up the children to go to church, I went to a different sort of place of worship, to a service more in keeping with my vision of the divine… I went to make beer.
Cascade hops on the vine outside
It all began last spring, at the fundraiser silent auction for the school my children attend. As I was walking around bidding on various items, I discovered the beer-making session offered by my friend — litigator, Cubmaster, Irish fiddle player, Topanga brewmaster and all around good and generous guy, Greg Nylen. More