The Evacu-cation

The first sign that anything might be wrong came on a Thursday afternoon, driving my son Flynn to his baseball practice in Agoura Hills.

As we wound through Malibu Canyon, we spotted a large plume of smoke rising over approximately exactly where the baseball field was. “Uh, Dad…” said Flynn, pointing. We arrived to discover the fire was a ridge away, so practice proceeded as planned.

The next day we could see the smoke from our home, rising like a mushroom cloud over our drought-dry mountains. I was at an afternoon birthday party for a 7-year-old drinking wine when my wife pulled up unexpectedly. “Mandatory evacuation,” she said. She was on her way to our friends Bob and Shoba’s house in the San Fernando Valley. I went back home, gathered a few more photo albums and the important artworks, and descended on the valley to join her. More

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Beet vs. Meat

It was a fun idea my friend, Amanda, and I had.

She was bringing a vegetarian to our house for dinner. (“What’ya wanna go and do that for!??” I protested.)

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I told her as long as it was a vegetarian who didn’t mind other people around him eating meat, that was fine.

“The first course might even be RAW meat!” I told her. More

Happy National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day

Browsing the news items on yahoo.com, I was surprised to discover that today, February 18th, is National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day.

Can you spot the flounder?

Can you spot the flounder?

Not only did I not realize it was a holiday, but I’ll admit I didn’t even know people stuffed flounder with crab. Not that I’m against the idea, mind you — I’ve been known to stuff everything from sushi rolls to artichokes with crab. Why not a flounder? More

Crab Week!

If the Discovery Channel can have “Shark Week,” why can’t Skinny Girls & Mayonnaise have “Crab Week”! It’s kinda the same except less terrifying and more delicious!

Dungeness crabs — Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco

Shelve your shrimp and save the lobster for the nouveau riche — crab is, hands down, my favorite crustacean. Even scampi scurry in comparison. I find myself revisiting the subject of crab on my blog often because it is one of my favorite things. I have fond childhood memories of navigating through the crowded walkways of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, where large pots belched steam into the cold Bay air and Dungeness crabs were displayed in imposing piles taller than my head. That a creature so menacing looking could have such sweet, snowy white flesh was one of the wonders of the universe. More

The American Series, Pt. III — The Crab Feed

On the east coast, you have clam bakes. I’m jealous of you. In Alaska, you have salmon bakes. And I’m jealous of you, too. But on the West Coast, we have crab feeds. And you are jealous of us.

Sure, our friends around Baltimore will point out that they, too, have a crab tradition — spending frustrating hours picking and sucking miniscule bits of meat out of piles of Old Bay-seasoned blue crabs. But to those of us in the West, used to big mountains and wide open spaces, that’s the equivalent of eating a meatball when you could have a rib-eye. I’m talking about beautiful, abundant Dungeness crab, pulled from the Pacific bursting with snow white meat. Up where my mom lives in Sonoma County — where some of the best crabbing waters are — you’ll see signs during crab season inviting you to local crab feed fundraisers. $15 for all you can eat. That’s my kind of community event. More

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