Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Hallowe'en

Don't be Scared

2006 halloween picture

My favourite Hallowe'en post. Sadly it didn't become a yearly event, but it's a great memory anyway.

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Happy Hallowe'en

Monday, October 30, 2006

Pineapple Guava

In Season in California

2006 photograph picture of a pineapple guava

It probably sickens the rest of the world to hear Californians drone on and on about eating locally and seasonally. It's not exactly difficult for us, is it? As the rest of the Northern hemisphere grimly anticipate a Winter of turnips, carrots and cauliflower, I am still discovering fruits and vegetables at my local market that seem positively exotic by comparison.

Take this juicy little pineapple guava whose unique, aroma is currently filling my kitchen. Strongly scented in a way I can't find words to describe, the fruit is sweet and heady with quite some acid in the skin. You can try a sample at the Brokaw stand at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market. That's the same place where you'll find Will's [delicious] Avocados.

I asked if I could eat the skin. "It's too bitter", I was told, "but you could put it in a smoothie". So this morning, that's what I made for my breakfast. One whole guava, half a cup of yoghurt and a handful of ice. It blended into a stunning pale but vibrant green drink that has no trace of bitterness at all. The yoghurt tempers the strength of the fruit's flavour to make a mouthwatering concotion that is slightly puckering on the tongue and certainly wakes you up to the new work week ahead. Talking of which, I must be on my way...

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Pineapple Guava

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bay Area Blogger of the Week

I am way behind with my blog reading and just about everything else I need to do at the moment, so instead of having an actual featured blogger this week, I am just going to share the latest blogs I have found, locally and beyond.

Petit Chou: Please welcome Julianne who has recently moved from the Midwest to the Bay Area.

More than Mocha
: A new blog from Cynthia who describes herself as "a law student who wants to write about everything except law school, especially: recipes, restaurants, and the search for a perfect cup of coffee".

Covers: Blog from reporter Ryan Tate covering hospitality for the San Francisco Business Times. [via Amy]

Tuttifoodie: A new food adventure newsletter with a local slant. "Find out what's new, off-the-beaten-path and delish".

outside.in: This is an interesting concept - a way to discover the conversations that are going on in your neighbourhood. Enter your zipcode to get a feel of what the site can offer. It is still in alpha stage at the moment.

Not local at all, but fans of Floyd will be excited to hear that Keith has started a blog. This is the man who taught me to open up the bottle ahead of time and enjoy a glass of wine whilst actually making the dinner. [via son of Floyd]

Previously Featured Bay Area Food & Drink Bloggers & Friends:
Food Notebook | Give me Some Food | Restaurant Girl Speaks | Savory San Francisco | Civic Center | Meathenge | Jennifer Jeffrey | Sex & The Kitchen | Eating Surburbia | Cocktails with Camper English | Bullpen Baker | Cooking With Amy | Knife's Edge | Culinary Muse | Hungrig in SF | Mary Ladd's Food Finds | 2 tasty Ladies | Dessert First | Ms Glaze's Pommes d'Amour | Hedonia | Dive | Sweet Napa | Cupcake Bakeshop | Tea & Cookies | Albion Cooks | Blogher | Bay Area Bites | Hungry Hedonist | Mighty | Chez Pim | The Blue Bottle Clown College | The Novato Experiment | Amuse Bouche | Feeding Fashionistas | All In | Dr Five Pints | SF Gourmet | Small Farms | In Praise of Sardines | Life Begins @ 30 | Gastronomie | Confessions of a Restaurant Whore | Bunny Foot | Sweet & Savory | I'm Mad and I Eat | Yummy Chow | Nosheteria | Vivi's Wine Journal | Epicurian Debauchery | Food Musings | Pfiff | Marga's Food Blog | Where the Wild Things Are | Eggbeater

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Bay Area Blogger of the Week

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's Mignardise Friday!

This little thing is no bigger than two thumbs!

2006 sugar high friday on the subject of mignardise
Dark Chocolate Weapons of Mass Enjoyment

After recently declaring my love for making mignardise, and because now I have all the necessary equipments (lots of diddly little tartlette pans), I couldn't resist the opportunity to take part in Cooksister's edition of Sugar High Friday: subject "Little Bites of Delight". Trouble is - they take so long to make, I am left with little time to write about them.

Today marks the end of the fourth week at my new job and I thought it was about time my new colleagues recognized their extra-curricular duties as my culinary guinea-pigs. So these little beauties are for them. It's a Pâte Sucrée crust taken from Pierre Hermé's recipe in The Cook's Book, filled with a dark chocolate mousse from Anita at Dessert First and topped with a shard of homemade almond praline.

Where possible I used local ingredients:
Eggs by Marin Sun Farms
Almonds by Alfieri
62% Chocolate by Scharffenberger
Butter by Straus
Creme Fraiche by Cowgirl

Sugar High Friday is a sweet International Food Blogging community online event that was started by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess.

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It's Mignardise Friday!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cortez - Hotel Adagio - 550 Geary - San Francisco

2006 restaurant review of cortez at the hotel adagio 550 geary san francisco 94102

My car is a nippy little thing. She redlines at a whopping 9000 revs and when I get on the freeway every morning I like to push her a little, hoping to get from 0-60mph in a sweet six seconds (thereby putting me fast out of danger from neighbouring snails vehicles co-negotiating the freeway on-ramp merge at the same time as me). I wish she'd drink tea so I could warm her up a little before we set out on our journey, but she says it's not her cuppa, so I have to take her to the road cold. I pop her in first gear, I put my foot down on the gas and off she goes like a rocket... and then... and then... darn it... she's complains about the early morning chill and whap! She cuts out on me and I have to slow down.

I encountered the same deceleration of enjoyment when I dined at Cortez last Saturday evening. Mixed bag that it was, the food that was not the main problem, it was the service. And although our waitress was endearing, it was clear she was overworked or over busy or overstretched and she kept forgetting to bring the wine pairing I had previously discussed with her for each course. I was in a festive, self-indulgent, party frame of mind. I was on my way to a grape-induced high. I wasn't in the mood for someone else putting a damper on my celebration by taking their foot off the gas and slamming it on the brake, but that, unfortunately, is exactly what happened.

This wasn't our first visit to Cortez. We first tried it out last year when husband-and-wife chef team, Quinn and Karen Hatfield, were still in charge of the ovens. Back then we were dining with a couple of friends of Fred whom I hadn't met before and although we loved the cocktails and the food, we weren't keen on the way they paced our meal. We all chose a couple of plates each and then the waiter informed us that the kitchen would send them out as they saw fit, progressing from light choices through heavy. He suggested we all share. All well and good, except not everyone likes sharing, especially people who have only just met. The guest who had only wanted to eat light suffered from both her dishes arriving first and everyone digging in because we didn't have our own preferences to keep us occupied. I was amused when the hamachi croque monsieur madame (?) arrived. None of the staff explained exactly how four people should go about sharing the diddly little fried quails egg that was perched on top of it. But as I have illustrated by effortlessly plucking that dish from my memory - at least the food from that visit made an impression. Indeed, the Hatfield's food still makes an impression at Cortez - it appears that every single one of the good reviews still lauded on the Cortez website date back to when this duo was still in charge. And they left almost a year ago.

Fast forward to the present >>> Thankfully staff no longer dictate the order in which you should eat your meal at Cortez, but the unfortunately everything else seems to have taken a step downhill. Except for the complimentary amuse bouche: warm gougeres filled with hot, liquid goat cheese. They were totally amazing and if I ever go back, then it's just for a plate of those...

To start with, this time round, I chose the Chefs’ crudo inspired by the freshest fish and seasonal produce which happened to be hamachi with topped with hazlenuts. For the $17 I paid for these fresh slivers of flesh I would have expected the nuts to be as fresh as the fish. Sadly they weren't, they tasted stale. Toasting them might have helped balance their raw taste. It reminded me of finding a bag of old nuts at the back of my pantry. In my mind, as I ordered the dish, I was envisaging a replica of the perfect hazlenuts I've encountered at Zuni or the very fine version that have adorned my salads at Coco500. Cortez obviously don't have the nut thing going for them. I also had to add salt. I rarely add salt in a restaurant, only if the dish is screaming for it. My crudo were howling.

Cortez certainly start as they mean to go on when it comes to pacing the meal: They pretty much suck at it. The 2002 Alvarinho, Dorado, Vinho Verde that had been aptly recommended by our server to match my first course was nowhere to be seen. Luckily Fred had chosen a cold appetizer too - and so we were able to wait and attract the attention of our waitress and then wait even further for the wine to be collected and delivered to us before starting to eat.

She who was looking after us seemed to be more in the swing of things by the time she brought us the second course, some crispy sweetbreads accompanied by shaved apples and cider foam (my description, not theirs, which was more eloquent) along with a half glass of some other delicious white wine she had chosen for me. These were by far the best sweetbreads I have ever tasted and although I am normally not a huge fan of all those fancy foams and smears, this dish worked perfectly. I couldn't fault it. Foam that makes sense. At last.

The waitress's control of the stuation was short lived. I was really looking forward to a glass of pinot noir to accompany my sous-vide-cooked pork belly. The food arrived. I looked left, I looked right. I waited a minute, I didn't want to dig in without a glass at my side. I could see the steam dissipating as the meat cooled and our waitress was nowhere to be seen. I took a mouthful BECAUSE I COULDNT WAIT ANY LONGER, and then I looked left, I looked right, I saw our waitress attending other people and wearing her blinkers so she was oblivious to everything other than that which she was doing right then. I made a fruitless attempt to gain her attention. I took another bite, and then another and another and the belly was gone. My spirit was dampened. If I'd have been at Cafe Gratitude, my experience would have been named "I am disappointed".

I don't know what would have happened next if the manager hadn't have come over to ask us how we enjoyed our meals. I think he's a bit of an A-hole, only expecting people to smile sweetly and say "lovely" through grimaced smiles. I told him plain and clear" "The food was tasty but I never did receive the glass of wine I had requested to pair with my pork-belly". His face turned as black as a thunder cloud, he excused himself and off he stormed to reprimand our poor waitress. A few minutes later she returned to apolgize profusely and confess that everything was completely her fault. I think she would have taken responsibilty for George W Bush, Columbine and Paris Hilton too, if she could have done so at that point. She also mentioned she would comp my pork belly. Don't comp me my food, I think, bring me a friggin glass of wine. Pronto. Can't you see I need it? Can't you tell I want it? Right now! Alas...

The spell was broken, the promise of a magical night of food perfectly annointed with alcohol, did not materialize. I place the blame squarely with the sleazy manager guy, not the waitress. She may have slipped up a little but he behaved inexcusably infront of us. When I expressed my disappointment, the first thing he could have done would have been to rush me a complimetary glass of wine by way of an apology. Fred too if he was really smart. It was wine I was lacking, not the money to pay for my pork belly. He should have taken responsibility and shouldered the blame and then taken it up with the waitress after hours, in private. Instead he embarassed her and made her a scapegoat by putting her on the spot, during service, and making it clear that he considered all the problems to be totally her fault. Listen up wise-ass manager, maybe your customers are smarter than that. The reason you probably won't be seeing me at Cortez again is because of your lack of sensibility, not because of the waitress who fluffed up.

Btw - thanks for the sweet herbed popcorn that arrived with the check. It made me feel less bad about walking out on dessert, which I had been looking forward to before my enjoyment of the evening fizzled out like a damp squib. Never mind, I am sure it would never have been as good as Karen Hatfield's...

Cortez on Google Map

This review is "Back for Seconds" for me, and a third visit for Fred.

2005 | Lovo Night at "Bula Re" in Savusavu

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Cortez - Hotel Adagio - 550 Geary - San Francisco

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How To Make a Wonderful Spicy Tomato Chutney

Quick, Before the End of Tomato Season!

photograph picture how to make recipe for spicy indian style tomato chutney

Several weeks ago I made a recipe for tomato chutney from Atul Kochhar's Indian Essence Cookbook. It was a hit. I have had friends begging and even offering me money for more. After my first batch, smart arse that I am, I decided Kochhar had the recipe completely wrong and that I would show him how it would better be done. So I made a version where I started by deskinning the tomatoes in advance, greatly reduced the sugar to almost zero (this is meant to be a sweet chutney, folks), turned up the heat and lessened the vinegar. (I had decided his chutney was too sloppy). My second batch wasn't as good as the first, so on my third attempt I split the difference between his and mine for a chutney I am pretty happy with the results of.

This chutney is first and foremost sweet, before it kicks you from behind with some chili heat and delivers the taste of some whole spices that are mysterious enough to add some intrigue. The mustard seeds, fennel, cumin and onion seeds you'll be using in this recipe fill the kitchen with their aromatic scents as you simmer the chutney for over an hour. The result is sloppy - there is no way around that unless you want to reduce your mixture so much that you'll be disappointed by the loss of volume. The more of this condiment you have, the happier you'll be.

photograph picture how to make recipe for spicy indian style tomato chutney

So about that sugar; you will have to note that I am using late season dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes which by their very nature are incredibly sweet. So I have almost halved the amount of sugar from the original recipe. If you are trying this out with less sweet tomatoes, you might want to consider increasing the amount of sugar again to compensate.

The following recipe makes enough to fill about 8 jars. It is easily halved.

8 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds (brown or black)
2 tsp onion seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 dried red chilis
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 cups raw organic cane sugar*
2 1/2 cups white distilled vinegar
4 1/2 lbs sweet dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes
salt to taste

8 x sterilized 8 oz canning jars

- Measure all of the ingredients out first and core the tomatoes.
- Gently heat the oil in a large high-sided pan (the spices will spit)
- Add all of the seeds, the chilis and powder to the oil.
- Cook one or two minutes until the seeds start to pop.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the vinegar and sugar stirring until dissolved.
- Add all of the tomatoes, bring to a simmer for an hour.
- After an hour, whilst the chutney is simmering away, pick out as many skins as you - can with a pair of tongs. The skins should, at this time, be separating themselves away from the tomatoes and floating to the top almost like discarded condoms.
Continue cooking until the tomatoes have evenly broken down. Total cooking time about 1.5 hours.
- Pick out the 4 x whole chilis and discard.
- Transfer the chutney to the jars according to the manafacturer's instructions. Keep for up to two months. Refrigerate and consume within 2 weeks after opening.

You may now lick the spoon (but be careful not to burn your tongue!)

PS - On this occasion I didn't actually can my chutney correctly, darn it. I only found the Weck instructions after I thought I had proceeded correctly, which I hadn't because I am an idiot with a memory like a sieve. So, looks like I might have to give this batch away sharpish, or maybe even freeze it, and make yet a.n.other batch this coming weekend, to stockpile me into the winter.

Weck Canning Jars
available in San Francisco at Sur La Table
Early Girl Tomatoes from Dirty Girl
*Rapunzel Organic Cane Sugar
Heinz White Distilled Vinegar

2005: Mystery Question
2004: There once was an ugly duckling - Sushi Terrine for IMBB

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How To Make a Wonderful Spicy Tomato Chutney

Monday, October 23, 2006

Marmite in Danger?

I was Just Really Worried when I read this post about this new story. Will my favourite Marmite, be on the chopping board next? Are the FBI going to come around to my house and search my pantry? I am afraid. Very afraid.

PS Related minds obviously think alike marmite.

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Marmite in Danger?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Mario Batali at The Fatted Calf This Morning

Look Who I Bumped Into a Couple of Hours Ago:

Waiting in line to pick up my Toulouse sausages and pancetta this morning at the Fatted Calf, I suddenly sensed something awe-inspiring taking a place beside me. Larger than life, Mario Batali had arrived and he freely started giving a verbal lesson in everything Guanciale to us customers who didn't know what best to do with it. I had a little chat with him and told him that I had celebrated my 40th at his restaurant in New York recently and he asked me what I thought. I told him the worst part was having to be up at 7am on a Saturday morning with a foggy head to try and make the reservation a month in advance, without the help of a speed dial. I have never actually written about our wonderful, family birthday dinner at Babbo. My plan was to tie a review of it in with my thoughts on Heat, when I finished reading it, but several months after starting the book, I am still having trouble reaching the end. I guess that means my meal at Babbo, especially the incredible mushroom pasta and the discovery of Brachetto will simply have to remain as a special magical memory in my mind.

I hope Mario liked Taylor's charcuterie. Of course I couldn't help but add some of the Guanciale to my list of purchases after the encounter. I wouldn't have done it, if it hadn't been for Mr Batali...

PS: Look: girlfriend Joy met Mario too and she describes her encounter in a much more spicy manner than I did. I'd expect nothing less from a whore!

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Mario Batali at The Fatted Calf This Morning

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Perfect Pairing: Plum - Mozarella - Rocket - Fig Balsalmic

(or you could use arugula instead)

how to make recipe for a plum mozarella rocket or roquette or arugula salad with balsalmic vinegar

I tried to turn my back the other way and not notice when the numbers and quality of heirloom tomatoes started to dwindle at the market a few weeks ago. We ate our last favourite salad of the season without ceremony, probably not even aware that there would be no more Tricolore to indulge in for almost another year. My loyalty to the heirloom does not run too deep. I have no qualms simply switching allegiance to the intense, sweet Early Girls who make a bold Autumnal entrance on the Market boards after patiently waiting in the wings as the heirlooms take their bow.

But I kind of do miss that mozzarella mix, thing. It doesn't seem quite right to me with the Early Girls so I do other delicious things with them instead. A few weeks ago, something caught my eye on my mum's blog. She'd made a mozarella salad with plums, rocket (arugula to you) and a dribble of balsalmic for her retirement party. Last weekend I volunteered to help a friend having a wine & cocktail party by catering some canapes for him. I took the salad idea (which, by the way, my mum had pilfered from my sister's sister-in-law, Fiona, in Ireland) and adapted it to make some elegant finger food. Half a plum meets half a bocconcini and they are entwined together with a rocket leaf before a cocktail stick pierces their hearts together, forever. Arrange on a plate and dribble with balsalmic, reduced or not according to your personal preference. I used a local fig balsalmic which worked a treat.

Forcing all the ingredients into one little bite-sized bundle ensures that you get the full gamut of their tastes together in one mouthful. And, boy, do they work well. The unique, sharp aftertaste of the plum, the soft, creamy pillow-like cheese, the peppery rocket and the sweet vinegar join together so that the unique combination of flavours explode on your tongue. be sure to try it before the plum season ends...

2005 | My Kitchen - This is where I chill out.
2004 | roasted onion, pumpkin and arugula salad at the Chowhound (ack) Picnic.

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A Perfect Pairing: Plum - Mozarella - Rocket - Fig Balsalmic

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Potrero Hill - Petite Patisserie Update

Tender is the Tart

Since I had the opportunity to sample a stunning box of pastries and bag full of broiche from Petite Patisserie at the weekend, I thought it was only fair to update my earlier announcement about their opening.

And because it is kind of related, and if you like French-style baked goods, - read my friend Del's description of her discovery of a perfect croissant right here in San Francisco, at Delissio.

Petite Patisserie 1415 Eighteenth Street, San Francisco 415 821 9378
Delissio 1695 Market Street, San Francisco, 415 552 5559

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Potrero Hill - Petite Patisserie Update

Monday, October 16, 2006

World Bread Day 2006

Simple Whole-wheat

basic wholewhat bread from dan leppard's recipe in the cook's book

In recognition of World Bread Day 2006, and prompted by blogger, Zorra, at Kochtopf, I decided to make a loaf of bread yesterday. I went with new favourite, Dan Lepard, using his simple whole-wheat recipe from The Cook's Book. The most exciting part of equation, for me, was using a fairly local flour - almost impossible to come by in these parts, from A Full Belly Farm. I was hoarding that flour for a special occasion - and what could be more special than a world day dedicated to my favourite comfort food? Unfortunately I didn't find the following useful information about A Full Belly's flour until after the baking was complete:
For a successful bread add a small amount (up to 8% to achieve the ideal protein content of 14-15%) vital wheat gluten flour, too. A small amount of enzyme active barley or wheat malt (0.3% of the total flour) will also improve bread. Sprouting the wheat will create the same effect as a purchased enzyme or malt. The wheat is ground on a stone mill grinder that preserves the bran and wheat germ. Sonora wheat was brought to California by Spanish missionaries and grown in and around the missions circa 1820. It was grown in Sonora, Mexico in the 1770's.
What the heck? That all sounds way too complicated for a Sunday morning with a mild hangover. Anyway, I personally didn't have a problem with the end result anyway, despite not adhering to the recommendations. I wouldn't call it unsuccessful. In fact I thought it was delicious. True, it is a dense, heavy, brick-like bread that reminds me of the 80s, hippies, whole-food stores, Cranks, vegetarians and Neals Yard Bakery. And you know what, as such, it made me just a little bit homesick and maybe a little agesick (if there is such a thing) too...

2005 | A Nice Day for a French Wedding
2004 | A Taste of Turkey

World Bread Day '06

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World Bread Day 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hay Hay it's Donna Day # 6

Fritters Foto Hell
Fritters don't photograph well...

2006 donna hay day fritters potato pancakes

Donna Hay and JenJen may be able to make a fritter look pretty, but I can't. All weekend I have been making potato pancake fritters of one sort or another in the hope of being able to enter Donna Day #6 F is for Fritter. They taste delicious but they look bloody awful. Fritters and photogenic are two words that don't belong together in the same sentence in our household.

My first idea was to make fantastic purple potato fritters. There were no less than three different types of purple potatoes available at the Farmer's Market on Saturday and I chose the ones that reputedly kept their colour the best. The batter was a startling vibrant shade of windolene emulsion. I mixed up a dash of cream, a couple of eggs, grated apple, the purple potatoes, a spoonful of flour, a touch of baking powder and some salt in a blender. I fried them up a tablespoon at a time, like little blinis, and then took them to my friend's cocktail party where I served them each with a topping of creme fraiche made piquant by a healthy grating of fresh horseradish, a little lemon zest and some chopped scallions. I was really glad that my friend had employed some very dim lighting techniques in his dining room for the shindig. None of the guests could see that the little canapes had turned a quite unappetizing shade of grey once they were cooked.

On Sunday I tried again. This time I used white potatoes and put the green onions in the batter and served them with fat rashers of Fatted Calf bacon and grilled Dirty Girl tomatoes. A very different taste, equally delicious and just as ugly looking. Oh well, you can't say I didn't try...

PS Thanks to cooks.com for recipe inspiration.

PPS Blogging is spreading like wildfire in our family. Both my niece, Molly Mollie, and my sister, Beccy, started blogs today.

Donna Day is an International online Food Blogging Event started by Barbara at Winos and Foodies. This month's edition is being hosted by JenJen at Milk Cookies. Check in with her for the round-up soon.

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Hay Hay it's Donna Day # 6

Bay Area Blogger of the Week # 56

Food Notebook

photograph picture of the San Francisco bay area food blogger bullpen baker fan of the Oaklan As

I may have hinted in previous posts that I have a new job. Although I may not be quite ready to make a public declaration about what that job might be, I can, perhaps, give a hint about where my new lob is located: A 30 minute drive South of San Francisco, towards Silicon Valley. And you know what that means, don't you? A whole new world of eating opportunities have opened up to me. I know very little about eating out in these parts other than from the Restaurant Whore who insists I go to the Old Port Lobster Shack at my earliest opportunity.

Because it is always a good thing to find a guide to alien landscapes, I was pretty excited to just discover Food Notebook - "the home of the Dining with Notebook Manifesto and the place for foodies in the Silicon Valley and beyond for reviews, news and views" and another fan of that Redwood City lobster joint. I am going to be rooting through this blog for other gems local to my new commute.

But what about the "Dining with Notebook"? It is an interesting discovery by the blog's writer, Carter Lusher, who always takes a notebook with him when he eats. He gradually noticed that this seemed to beget him better service. One day the Chef asked him which magazine he wrote for and then the penny dropped they thought he was a critic.
We all deserve to be treated like the most favored regulars and powerful restaurant critics. But how can we achieve this status? Helping you achieve that status is the goal of The Dining with Notebook Manifesto. Dining with Notebook is a powerful tool for communicating to the establishment that you deserve the best experience.

Bloggers! Maybe you need to put down your cameras and start taking notes instead?!

More new finds for my My Bay Area Food Blog Roll:
I knew this in the back of my head for a while, but hadn't made a note of it: Check Please! has a blog written by the talented and incredibly gorgeous Stephanie.
It also occurred to me that my favourite wine shop, K&L has a blog.
Did you know we have a Gluten Free Blog, here in the Bay area?
Is it hoorah for Boorah? Another Web2.0 restaurant review site in the making. It's still at alpha stage, and even has a blog that is dedicated to making sense of the web instead of talking about the food. Where is the fun in that? You have to sign up with your email to be added to the waiting list for their alpha program which, according to blurb on the site is a "system [that] uses patent-pending Natural Language Processing technology to find, summarize and present information from across the web in a way that is far more useful than it's ever been before." We will see.
Ten Toe TV is another commercial enterprise - this time a Video City Guide to the Best of San Francisco. They even have a section dedicated to food.
I think Cod Cheeks is such a cute name for a blog. Written by four locals who all love food. Yum.
I recently discovered SF in Paris. And although I think this blog may have come to an end, I am looking forward to reading through the archives to find out when an American family discovered about living in France for a while.
Here's another local wine blog - Second Leaf.

2005 | Feeding Fashionistas
2004 | Frito Pie

Previously Featured Bay Area Food & Drink Bloggers & Friends:
Give me Some Food | Restaurant Girl Speaks | Savory San Francisco | Civic Center | Meathenge | Jennifer Jeffrey | Sex & The Kitchen | Eating Surburbia | Cocktails with Camper English | Bullpen Baker | Cooking With Amy | Knife's Edge | Culinary Muse | Hungrig in SF | Mary Ladd's Food Finds | 2 tasty Ladies | Dessert First | Ms Glaze's Pommes d'Amour | Hedonia | Dive | Sweet Napa | Cupcake Bakeshop | Tea & Cookies | Albion Cooks | Blogher | Bay Area Bites | Hungry Hedonist | Mighty | Chez Pim | The Blue Bottle Clown College | The Novato Experiment | Amuse Bouche | Feeding Fashionistas | All In | Dr Five Pints | SF Gourmet | Small Farms | In Praise of Sardines | Life Begins @ 30 | Gastronomie | Confessions of a Restaurant Whore | Bunny Foot | Sweet & Savory | I'm Mad and I Eat | Yummy Chow | Nosheteria | Vivi's Wine Journal | Epicurian Debauchery | Food Musings | Pfiff | Marga's Food Blog | Where the Wild Things Are | Eggbeater

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Bay Area Blogger of the Week # 56

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cookbook Review: Indian Essence by Atul Kochhar

A Contemporary Twist to Indian Cooking

Indian Essence by Atul Kochar

I love cooking Indian food. But although I have the cutural reference of having eaten many English-style Indian meals throughout my adult life, I am pretty clueless about creating the right spice combinations without having a book to guide me. Unlike other cuisines with which I am familiar, like Italian, or French, which I am able to cook almost instinctively, I find it nigh on impossible to remember which combination of how much spice creates a curry that tastes just so.

One thing I am emphatically clear about is that I do not like to use pre-blended curry powders (with the exception of garam masala when I am having an incredibly lazy day). I grew up in a household with a few pots of Sharwood's Curry powders in the spice cupboard and I certainly did not enjoy the results of their usage, perhaps because they usually only came out just after Christmas to make yet another meal of the dreaded turkey leftovers that involved an attempt to disguise it, this time under a snot-green coloured curry sauce bejewelled with plump juicy raisins, a dried fruit I still can not stomach to this day.

In those days, as I recall, the Sharwood blends at least had specific curries in mind, like Madras. But today, according to their website, they sell a simple choice of mild, medium and hot. To me that suggests a dumbing down of Indian home-cooking in the UK inspired, perhaps, by the sentiments of lagered-up patrons of Indian restaurants who can only assess the virtues of a curry according to how spicy it is, or not. I am not a fan of Sharwood's new direction, but neither was I a fan of their old one, so they probably needn't care about what I think.

Instead, I like to grind and make my own spice combinations, under the guidance of a good cookbook. Since living in the US, and until recently, I relied solely on Healthy Indian Cooking for making Indian food. You can tell by how well-thumbed it now is, from the tears in the cover and the curry stains that spot the most well-used pages that this is a book I love. I really do. So when it came to purchasing a second collection of Indian recipes I elected to go fancy and try a more high-end approach to this flavoursome cuisine with Atul Kochhar as my guide.
"Atul Kochhar presents an enticingly modern collection of recipes based in the rich culinary tradition of the subcontinent. Using as his source material restaurant dishes as well as home cooking and the exciting array of Indian street foods, he has created 140 flavourful dishes made from healthy fresh ingredients and prepared in the quickest, easiest way."

As regular readers will recall, I recently hosted an Indian-themed dinner party and I put Kochhar's book, Indian Essence to the test.

Although the dinner party was certainly successful, I thought that Kochhar's book was a mixed bag of successes and things that could possiby have been better. First off he describes the book as simple and, it's true, I didn't have too much trouble with it, but I don't believe it is a book for the kitchen novice, it certainly requires some deftness in the kitchen. Indian cooking needs a great deal of organisation beforehand. Kochhar insists on the use of Kashmiri red Chili powder, for example, not something I've specifically seen listed in my local Indian supply store, Bombay Bazar. Another unusual ingredients listed are Anchur (Mango powder) and Nigella Seeds. If you are going to go town and prepare an Indian feast it will pay to do your spice shopping well in advance and make sure you can get hold of these less usual ingredients before you commit to recipes that use them. For readers in the Bay Area who are wondering, I discovered that Boulette's Larder filled in the gaps left by Bombay Bazar. It is good to note that Bombay Bazar sell fresh curry leaves and that they freeze pretty well. If you have difficulty finding these ingredients in your area, then simply go online to order.

Kochhar's book is full of beautiful photography by David Loftus which makes the recipes extremely alluring. The problem is that in most cases there is only one photograph per two recipes and no notation to tell you which dish is being illustrated. I don't really buy any design arguments for neglecting this information in the layout. Perhaps the beauty of the design would have been slightly marred by some indication, but balancing the form with a little function would certainly help readers have more of a clue about the visual appearance of exactly what they are intending to cook. Then I would have known what the tasty Deccan Fish Curry I made was meant to look like. I am pretty sure it was photographed in the book, although my version didn't look quite like theirs.

photograph of food cooked from Indian Essence by Atul Kochar
Deccan Fish Curry

Even more disappointing was the look-to-result ratio of the Chettiar Eggplant Curry.

photograph of food cooked from Indian Essence by Atul Kochar photograph of food cooked from Indian Essence by Atul Kochar
Ok, so the professional photography on the right is on an entirely higher level than mine I admit, but it doesn't matter how skilled with a camera, it is not possible to make a recipe that calls for a whole can of coconut milk but only one tomato result in a sauce that looks so rich and red. I was sorely disappointed by this recipe because it was the rich, oily red tomato sauce glistening on the dark skins of the aubergine that attracted me to it. It's hard not to enjoy food porn, but if the pictures themselves are untrustworthy then there is really absolutely no point to them in the real world and if I buy a recipe book it's because I want to cook from it as well as look at it. Still, this curry tasted good, and one of my guests even desribed it as "a standout".

Talking of favourites, the same guests, Fred and I really, really loved the Murg Makhan Masala which Kochhar describes as the dish which may have inspired Chicken Tikka Masala.

photograph of food cooked from Indian Essence by Atul Kochar
Murg Makhan Masala, Chicken in a Spicy Tomato & Onion Sauce

Full of fresh tomatoes and cream this dish is the whole reason I bought a 20lb box of tomatoes from Dirty Girl last week and froze several batches of tomato sauce. Now I'll be able to make it throughout the winter. The original recipe calls for a whole chicken, but I used just thighs instead. One of the reasons the flavours in this dish are so subtle and complex is that before you make the Masala, you actually have to cook the chicken using a separate recipe - that for Tandoori Murg or Tandoori Spice Roasted Chicken. It's really good and freezes well despite the fact it contains cream. We ate the leftovers for supper last night, so we should know. I would have no hesitation about making this one again.

Another recipe from Indian Essence that I am keen to repeat is the one for Karjikai or Coorgi Vegetable Puffs, a kind of samosa. I had intended to make these for the big dinner, but ran out of time so Fred and I had them for supper a few nights later instead, using some leftover Filo pastry in place of the specified dough. Apart from wishing the green beans were slightly more cooked, the spicy filling which also included potatoes, carrots and peas was a soft and comforting pillow in contrast to its crispy, deep-fried pastry shell.

I served the samosas with a sweet, sour, spicy and fragrant Tamator Chotni, Tomato Chutney, which is just about my favourite recipe in the whole book. I plan a couple of adaptions and hope to feature this in a separate post before the tomato season ends.

Back to the dinner, and another recipe I particularly liked was the Surti Santara Na Chaal Ma Bathka or Duck curry with Orange. I chose this pictureless recipe because I am fond of duck and have never had it served as part of an Indian meal before now.

photograph of food cooked from Indian Essence by Atul Kochar
Surti Santara Na Chaal Ma Bathka, Duck curry with Orange

It struck me as a little bit bizarre, and indeed Kochhar describes it as an "unusual Parsi-influenced recipe" which is why, I guess, I was intrigued. It turned out very well, and although the sauce was extremely thin, the pairing of the citrus and meat, which I think of more as a typically French combination, worked really well with the Indian spicing.

Less successful was the Marathi Nalli Gosht or Marathi-style lamb shank. This dish, which according to Kochhar, belonged to the Marathi Warriors, a priveleged clan who were allowed to eat meat, had a great flavour but I thought that Kochhar's cooking time of 45 minutes was underestimated for a lamb shank cut of meat. If I made this again I would try and cook it slowly for much longer so that the meat would be more meltingly tender. This time round it was a little bit on the tough side.

On the veggie side we had spicy lentils with mango, made with the Anchur powder, which I really didn't like although my guest made a point of mentioning it glowing terms in a thank you note. Personally, I am such a fan of Tarka Dhal, I find it hard to find love for any other kind of lentil dish in my heart. My friend Katya helped me out by arriving early and prepping the Dhaniyae aur pyaz ki Khumbi or mushrooms with coriander. This was another dish without a picture in the book, but Katya did a good job of making them both look and taste delicious.

photograph of food cooked from Indian Essence by Atul Kochar
Dhaniyae aur pyaz ki Khumbi, mushrooms with coriander

It's my own fault that not everything was perfect - that is what becomes of trying out new recipes on a bunch of guests. At least they weren't unsuspecting - I warned them all in advanced that they would be the subjects of a certain amount of experimentation. The great thing is that when you cook such a wide range of different things, your guests are practically bound to like at least one of the things you have prepared.

I will definitely experiment with Indian Essence some more in the future, especially some of the other great-sounding lamb dishes, but I can't help but think it will never replace Healthy Indian Cooking as my favourite Indian recipe book to date.

2004 | Frisson
2005 | Encounters LAX

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Cookbook Review: Indian Essence by Atul Kochhar

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

San Francisco & Bay Area Michelin Guide 2006

When You Piss Upon a Star: First Opinions Roundup: What do you think?

To say I didn't much care about the arrival of the new Michelin Guide in the Bay Area would be an understatement. I am not much into book-form guides unless I am travelling without web access and I am not really into fine dining either. I've only eaten at seven of the awarded restuarants and six of those were one-stars. More fun than the guide itself, were the reactions to it online. Who had something to say about the whole palaver, and who whipped up the largest responses. Check it out here. Your ultimate guide to opinions about the new Michelin Guide:

Winner of the most comments on the subject goes, of course, to my unbeloved Chowhound. You can either get stuck on this link for 113 opinions or move straight on to The Restaurant Whore and all the other level-headed writers I'm pimpin' for you today.
"I just about puked on my keyboard reading that shit"

She has eaten at no less than 23 of the newly minted Michelin favourites. Everbody's favourite Restaurant Whore summises Oy Vey, Michelin! "I just about puked on my keyboard reading that shit" and illicits no less than 17 heated responses. Yes, she's hot, that one, watch for her!

Poor old Michael Bauer, food critic at the San Francisco Chronicle. Now he's got some competition, and although I am sure he is the one who doesn't like it the most, he leaves staff writer Carol Ness to first break the news and then, a few days later, tear it shreds. Bauer himself trashes the results on his blog, only just scraping in as many responses as the Restaurant Whore.

Perhaps it's because he is an American living in Paris and an ex-San Franciscan, someone who might be able to understand the two cultures at loggerheads here, that my betrothed, the darling David Lebovitz manages to attract no less than 16 comments on his piece, Messing With The Michelin Man.

It's no secret that foodblogger Chez Pim dates a (way too cute imho) Chef. But that's not all - now the lucky lass is dating a cute Chef with TWO MICHELIN STARS to his name. It's not fair. And what? Only 14 people left their congratulations? C'mon peeps, go show the fabulous couple some more love...

I am lucky enough to have dined with none other than Alder of Vinography at new ONE STAR restaurant, Range. See what Alder and 14 of his readers have to say about the new ratings in his post entitled Announcing The Michelin Guide Ratings to San Francisco.

I'm Mad and I Eat encouraged us with Don't Feel Bad, San Francisco and managed to attract 11 snarks.
"To complain about it is like picking up a hooker in the Tenderloin and being surprised when you wake up with V.D."

Gastronomique Ced of SFist attracts my favourite comment of the lot in his piece entitled Thomas Keller Kicks Alice Waters's Michelin Ass!*: "To complain about it is like picking up a hooker in the Tenderloin and being surprised when you wake up with V.D."

The angle of my dear friend Amy, of Cooking with Amy Overheard at the Michelin Preview Reception concludes "the star list raised more questions than it answered".

NS at San Francisco Gourmet is the kind of guy who feels passionately about these things. He analysed it before the results were announced and then finds the whole thing inexplicable after the fact.

The Stars Come Out, as they rightly should for one of my favourite people, Catherine at Food Musings. What, about the results, do you think surprised her?

Just like me, Kristen at Give me some Food was quite apathetic about seeing stars, even though she admitted to having eaten at no less than 16 of the newly graded dining spots.

Restaurant Girl Speaks and says of the Michelin Stars Showered "With food, service, and wine, Boulevard has consistently been one of San Francisco's finest restaurants for thirteen years. Congratulations!"

The Passionate Eater declared "Ouch, That Hurts" and was thereafter left speechless... Until she answered a comment.

Do you agree with the SF Bay area Michelin ratings? Tell Slashfood.

Chez Christine knows a thing or two about the French and has something to say about Michelin in SF. Her solo commentor thinks "bloggers give better reviews and have fairer judgement on the non-star restos". Do you agree or not? Head over to Christine and let her know.

The Stars are Blind
says Curgle Cod. An outsiders perspective.

Thanks to a comment on this post, we have a late contender to the Michelin list. Kevin, on his blog Dive, has written part one of Mice and Michelin. Kevin pulls no punches in describing Michael Bauer and The Chronicle's response, pointing out that his [Michael's] panties are twisted by that little French tire company. This amused me since I almost called this post "Michael's got his Knickers in a Twist" myself.

Connie on Muffin Top asks Sick of Hearing ABout it Yet? Connie's point is this: "I got the impression that new blood on the critic’s circuit fuels the restaurant scene. Bauer has been with the Chronicle for almost twenty years. I know there’s plenty of other good critics in town, but Bauer is by far the most influential. So just imagine - twenty years of accomodating the tastes of one person. What kind of impact will that have on the dining scene? "

Chow's The Grinder was Seeing Red in their opinion of the French spectacle coming to town.

The publication of the Bay Area Michelin Guide brings the total number of starred restaurants that The Ulterior Epicure has eaten in up to 60!

Chef Carlos Middione of Vivande Porta Via has something to say about the Michelin Guide Ratings on his Carlo's Kitchen blog. Well? Do you agree with him or not?

When, oh when, will I meet Marcia? Marcia is an opinionated, sassy chick, aka The Tablehopper who I haven't yet had the pleasure of meeting. I wonder if she'll be at THE party tonight? She's everywhere else - and all over The Michelin Guide. She doesn't take comments. She's strong like that.

Emily Fleischaker
actually talks to Michelin Guides director Jean-Luc Naret in her Bon Appetit blog piece, Bibendum Rolls Into San Francisco. See what he has to say for himself.

What about this piece, Star search by Jodie Chase. Jodie is "pleased to see the standardizing of the review process". Are you pleased too?

Anh-minh in a Taste of The Suburbs ran the low down on what the whole Bay Area Michelin Guide thing is about when it was announced back in April. A great summary for background reading.

Here is an interesting take: Snack blog explains how in hotsnack: michelin – media psa, news is transmitted to the media.

And last but not least, don't forget to listen to NPR's Forum with Michael Krasny on the subject.

PS - If I missed your Michelin-themed blog post out, please let me know and I will try update the article.

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San Francisco & Bay Area Michelin Guide 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

Burning Man Decompression 2006

Finding 'Food' in Unexpected Places:

burning man decompression photographs  2006

Apart from touring around a friend and her visiting sister around the Farmers Market, and making 20lbs of tomatoes into sauce for freezing, I didn't do anything much food-related this weekend. Instead, thanks to my lovely German friend I watched the Blue Angels from a prime spot on a boat in the Bay, lost in a poker tournament and then hung out for half of Sunday at the Burning Man Decompression, a yearly event in our Dogpatch neighbourhood.

The cupcake above is actually some kind of bicycle (I think). And the picture below proves that even little cute, red, butterfly fairies need to eat from time to time.

burning man decompression photographs  2006 dogpatch san francisco

Check here for more of our Burning Man Decompression 2006 photos (non food-related). We were helping our friend Brian (designer of the Farmer Brown interior), taking some posed photographs of the revellers and I will post up here is the link here to his superior collection of pictures as soon as he reminds me of the web address. He had a tripod and did proper lighting and stuff. Mine & Fred's pictures are just snapshots, that's all.

2004 | I met Pim for the first time and made Kedgeree
2005 | Think of Your Beautiful Breasts

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Burning Man Decompression 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bay Area Blogger of the Week # 55

Give Me Some Food

san francisco restaurant and dining blogger from the perspective of the server: restaurant girl speaks

Which Bay Area Blogger has visisted 16 of the 28 newly starred Michelin restaurants in the area, writes posts with titles like "You're Like Dim Sum for White People", made an entirely local response to the "5 Things You Should Eat Before You Die" meme and has also been accepted as a participant in KQED's Check Please restaurant review show? Take a glance at Kristen's Give Me Some Food blog first and then keep an eye open for her on your TV set, soon, too.

More local Blogs and Foodsites to Add to the Roll:
Wine Expression
Carlo's Kitchen

2005 | Bay Area Blogger of the Week #21, All In Just Like Life
2004 | Cafe Bastille

Previously Featured Bay Area Food & Drink Bloggers & Friends:
Restaurant Girl Speaks |
Savory San Francisco
| Civic Center | Meathenge | Jennifer Jeffrey | Sex & The Kitchen | Eating Surburbia | Cocktails with Camper English | Bullpen Baker | Cooking With Amy | Knife's Edge | Culinary Muse | Hungrig in SF | Mary Ladd's Food Finds | 2 tasty Ladies | Dessert First | Ms Glaze's Pommes d'Amour | Hedonia | Dive | Sweet Napa | Cupcake Bakeshop | Tea & Cookies | Albion Cooks | Blogher | Bay Area Bites | Hungry Hedonist | Mighty | Chez Pim | The Blue Bottle Clown College | The Novato Experiment | Amuse Bouche | Feeding Fashionistas | All In | Dr Five Pints | SF Gourmet | Small Farms | In Praise of Sardines | Life Begins @ 30 | Gastronomie | Confessions of a Restaurant Whore | Bunny Foot | Sweet & Savory | I'm Mad and I Eat | Yummy Chow | Nosheteria | Vivi's Wine Journal | Epicurian Debauchery | Food Musings | Pfiff | Marga's Food Blog | Where the Wild Things Are | Eggbeater

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Bay Area Blogger of the Week # 55

Friday, October 06, 2006

I Love Germans, really.

An old British TV Ad for Carling Black Label

Before anyone without a sense of humour accuses me of anything daft like racism, I hereby declare that the person I love more than any other was born in Germany, the first foreign country I chose to visit, all by myself at the age of 13 was Germany, the person who just helped me get a new job is German, one of my dearest friends is German, I read or look at the pictures on German blogs and the Germans make one of the most delicious food items you could ever hope to sink your teeth into. Deutschland? How could I possibly not liebe dich?

But despite all of this, I have to confess I have noticed that some Germans do have a reputation for trying to jostle their way to the front of the queue. They like to be first in line. Carling Black Label wouldn't have made an expensive TV commercial based on this old stereotype, if there wasn't at least some truth in it.

It has been said of the English they queue thus:
"Queueing is the national passion of an otherwise dispassionate race. The English are rather shy about it, and deny that they adore it.
At week-ends an Englishman queues up at the bus-stop, travels out to Richmond, queues up for a boat, then queues up for tea, then queues up for ice-cream, the joins a few more odd queues just for the sake of the fun of it, then queues up at the bus-stop and has the time of his life."
- George Mikes, How to be an Alien

And I would have to confess, I fit the stereotype. I see myself as an obedient queuer befitting of my reputation as an Englishwoman. If I happen to have a Frenchman at my side encouraging me to make creative queue moves which don't sit easily within my own code of etiquette, I quickly become a little embarassed. As Alexander Walker once said "The reason we British have the word queue is that the French had no further need of it." But we are not here to talk about the French today, we are here to discuss the Germans as they relate to the English when they are queueing next each other in an American Food Mall.

So busy is a Saturday Morning at The San Francisco Ferry Building's Market Place, that even a winding waiting-lane, marked out by twisted ropes, doesn't stop customers hoping for a fresh loaf of Acme Bread from lining up, politely, beyond its limits, further down the hallway. It's a well-ordered line, everyone knows the drill. American's seem to follow the British queueing model. I know my place and I am content to patiently wait with my patient, anonymous friends.

The other day, after surviving Cowgirl Creamery's record-breaking longest line ever, I calmly made way to the next line along, to purchase some carbs on which to perch my cheese. As I positioned myself behind the couple at the end of Acme's line, I amused myself by noting the same two lovebirds had also been directly ahead of me in the cheese shop.

A split-second behind me Herr Deutsch, trying his hardest to control a badly-behaved, tempestuous, screaming little Ms Deutsch turned up with the befuddled Gran-&-Grampy-on-vacation Deutsch tagging along behind him. I could see that Mr Deutsch was miffed that I had pipped him to the post. He quickly swung around, baring his brutal weapon, a folded-up buggy perched precariously on his shoulder, trying to knock me out in one fell swoop, but I dodged my head just in time, narrowly missing an undeserved clip around the ear by a whisper.

I quietly stood my ground and tried to mind my own business, with an inkling, or sixth sense, that the whole Deutsch-family was fidgeting behind me, losing the form of the otherwise neat, ordered, Anglo-American line.

A minute or two later I noticed the uncontrollable little Ms Deutsch dart in front of me on the pretext of chasing her imaginary friend, if indeed a little person displaying such hideous, uncontrolled behaviour could actually find such a pal. I politely stepped back to allow Granny Deutsch, who was trying to chase after her, access so that she could retrieve the little brat. Granny Deutsch's attempts to retrieve her wayward grandaughter were not an instant success, at which point her wimpy son, Herr Deutsch, who had been weeviling on the sidelines, edged his way towards his misplaced family to inexplicably sneak a position one ahead of me in the queue. And he stood there as if nothing untoward had happened and that it was his given right for his whole family to move up one place without even giving a damn.

I am used to being looked over when trying to get the attention of a bartender at a busy watering hole, but if I am in a well-defined line, damn-it, hell hath no fury like a woman queue-jumped. "Excuse me", I tried to pipe up above the incessant, childish din of his ill-behaved daughter, "I was actually in front of you in this line. You were behind me and now you've moved infront of me."

He turned to me and bellowed. "I was not behind you, we are in front of you". Why an earth would a shy, English girl who doesn't like to make a fuss make this stuff up? I may be a little coy, but when human rights are in question, I'll venture to open my mouth. Nervously, because I don't much care for confrontation, I tried to explain that his daughter had run in front of me and that they had used that move to adjust their position in the queue. And then it got a bit heated. I don't recall how. He said something condescending like "Have your place in front of me in the queue, if it is that important to you. And just relax." Well, that really pushed me over the edge. I hate it when someone without a uniform tells me what to do. A slimy German father does not help me to relax. A glass of Champagne might help me to relax. Especially if I could throw it in his ugly face. Phew, anyway, I calmed down and was about to turn forward and ignore the whole bunch of them when I heard Granny Deutsch asking, in German of course, what was going on. The son flippantly replied, in German too, "oh, you know, the woman has a problem". I am sure he thought I wasn't translating a word of it. And I don't know what came over me, because I wasn't aware I could understand German any more, but as if by magic I calmly turned around and replied "The woman does not have a problem, you have a problem."

That shut them up sharp, I can tell you. They didn't utter a word, any of them, in either English or German, until they arrived at the counter to order their brot.

2004 | Spanish Red wine: Penasol
2005 | The Anti-Vegan
I Love Germans, really.