Breakfast with Reindeer

The other morning, I was in the kitchen with my wife and 3-year-old daughter Imogen, when I noticed something small either rolling, hopping, flitting or scurrying through the grasses down the hill.

I stared at the object for sometime before I felt confident it was not an animal and was simply some piece of tumbling debris. Then my wife made a gasping sound and pointed. There, precisely at the point from which the mystery object had began its descent, standing stock still and staring in at us, was a deer.


After a few moments, comfortable that we posed no threat, the deer continue munching on whatever portion of our garden it was decimating. More

Tuesdays with Donnie

I never read the book, “Tuesdays with Morrie.” It sounded sort of depressing. Plus, I have my own more festive, culinary version. I have Tuesdays with Donnie!

Donnie & his saké on a Tuesday evening.

Donnie & his saké on a Tuesday evening.

It all started one particular Tuesday, when I ran into Don and Monica Schneider at school. They’re two of our favorite people, and we hadn’t socialized with them in awhile. “I know it’s Tuesday,” Don said, “But do you guys wanna do dinner tonight?” More

A Virtue Rewarded

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 & yuzu tree

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