Simplicity

A wet and drizzly morning of the sort we’ve been having lately, the usually dry stream that crosses our property burbling happily, the canyon veiled in gray and exploding in every shade of green, brought me back to a memory:

A child, a younger me, dripping in the rain — no umbrella, no boots, socks and shoes wet — setting leaves into the gutter and chasing them down the street. Joy: unrestrained, unmannered, untethered.

Simplicity.

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In the kitchen, after a previous evening’s West/East mashup of spaghetti ai ricci di mare, Venetian carpaccio, spicy fried tofu and three different kinds of sushi, I craved simplicity on the plate, too. More

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Breakfast with the Luthier

My uncle, Ernie, arrived with aunt Deb for an overnight stay. Our beers were hardly poured before he announced his new profession:

“I’m now a luthier!”

The Luthier

The Luthier

For those of you who, like I, had no idea what that means:

A luthier (/ˈluːtiər/ LOO-ti-ər) is someone who builds or repairs string instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box. The word “luthier” comes from the French word luth, which means lute. More

Naomi’s Blown Eggs

“Why don’t you do a post about me?” 10-year-old Naomi Schneider said, gazing over my shoulder as I showed her various posts about her father and mother.

“Why would I do a post about you?” I answered.

Naomi

Naomi

“Because,” she said.

I assured her that she must be somewhere on my blog, and began opening posts about Tuesday sushi nights and Mexico vacations and Sonoma wine barbecues and other Schneider-related topics, and finally found a group shot at the Ferry Building in San Francisco where a teeny, tiny Naomi could be spotted in a corner. More

Beautiful Simplicity

At times, I can be an elaborate cook — crafting complicated objets d’art composed of long simmered reductions, leaves blanched to ultimate greenness or fried to lacy crispness, powders of brilliant red or yellow, flowers and tiny herbs.

But at other times, I am reminded that nature — God, if you prefer — is the better artist.

It was Sunday morning, I was home alone sipping some Kauai coffee, listening to Nick Cave and reading the paper. And I got a little hungry.

Sunday breakfast

Sunday breakfast

I’m not really much of a breakfast person. In my roguish youth, I’d skip the requisite greasy diner hangover breakfasts my friends would set out for on the weekends, and the languid Sunday brunches of the early career years held equally little appeal. These days, apart from the occasional extravagant Mexican or Japanese breakfast, I typically grab a handful of cashews or maybe a small bowl of muesli and blueberries. More

Skinny Girls Roadshow LIVE from Lake Tahoe — Trout Smoking in America

I was wondering what kinds of things I might cook while in Tahoe. My friend Curtis, as I said, is a cowboy, so certainly there would be lots of beef. But when I’m traveling, I also enjoy cooking local-style food, or use local ingredients I might not find at home. In Hawaii I like to cook with macadamias, pineapple and fresh fish, for example; in the Northwest, I use salmon and hazelnuts. Would there be any equivalent for Lake Tahoe?

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Browsing the Raley’s market just over the Nevada border one early afternoon after skiing, things looked pretty much the usual. I could’ve been at a grocery store in Santa Monica or Malibu. But then at the fish counter, something caught my eye — a red-fleshed Sierra lake trout. More

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