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Showing posts from September, 2017

San Francisco Sourdough French Toast

Whenever I visit the Bay Area, I always pick up a loaf of Boudin sourdough at the airport. San Francisco sourdough has a unique taste thanks to its own bacillus--Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactobacillus_sanfranciscensis). San Francisco sourdough is the perfect base for french toast: thick, fluffy, and with a chewy crust. Here is my rendition served with bananas and Nutella. What a great way to start the day.

Stanford CA: The Market at Munger

I was on a quick break from my meeting at the CERAS building, next to the law school, and needed some lunch. A Web search told me that Munger Graduate Residences included a burger joint. But several minutes of walking and a query yielded nothing. I did find this little market, an upscale convenience store. Most of the food here is really designed to be taken back to one's dorm room. The variety is pretty good for that purpose, less so for a visitor like me. I ended up with a salad and a bottle of water. Very light but well-prepared and tasty.

Atlanta Greek Festival

We interrupt our regular programming to bring you this special announcement---the Atlanta Greek Festival is on! This festival, run by the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, is a longrunning tradition. The drive-in lane, that amazing innovation, is open Thursday Sept 28; the full festival opens on Friday. I drove through for a pastry sampler. Not only are the pastries expertly prepared, they are also extremely fresh. These are without a doubt the best Greek pastries I've ever had either in the U. S. or Greece. We now return to our regular programming...

Stanford CA: Stanford Coffee House

The Coffee House was one of my favorite spots when I was a student at Stanford. It is a resolutely East Coast style institution, a novelty in the 1970s on the West Coast. This spothoused a Spacewar game, built by a Stanford graduate student based on a PDP-11. My standard order was a hot chocolate mit schlag. The 21st century equivalent is Mexican hot chocolate with whipped cream---very tasty. Later, I returned for a good meatball and pasta dinner. Comfort food in a comfortable spot.

Palo Alto CA: Indo

On a recent short trip to the Bay Area, Ken introduced me to a new Palo Alto restaurant, Indo, where we caught up over wonderful food. It is located across from the Fish Market on El Camino. For an appetizer, we ordered roti bread with a dipping sauce in the style of a korma. The bread was wonderfully fluffy with a kiss of thin, flaky crust. We ordered two main courses. The lamb korma was very tender and subtly spicy. The chicken was … For dessert, Ken ordered a pudding which he enjoyed. I ordered this outstanding chocolate cake. The cake itself had a note of gingerbread that I really enjoyed.

Applesauce

When faced with a bushel of apples, applesauce is the only rational response. (Thanks, Marie, for reminding me of this fact.) Processing so many apples any other way is simply too time consuming. You can always hold back a few for pies, but the bulk of the bushel is for applesauce that you can enjoy all winter long. Applesauce is both easy and quick by bulk food standards. I coarsely chopped the apples, cutting out the seed section. Not only do you not need to peel the apples, but leaving the peels on makes the applesauce better: they add dietary fiber and help to turn the finished applesauce that pleasing red color. Into the pot they go, along with some apple juice, brown sugar, three 3" sticks of cinnamon, and a little lemon. After 20 minutes of cooking, I fished out the cinnamon sticks and smoothed out the apples with my stick blender. The sauce went into the jars for canning. I diverted a bowlful for taste testing. It was wonderful---so much more apple flavor than w…

Ginger Ice Cream

Ginger ice cream is my latest experiment in pie/ice cream pairings. Ginger seems like the perfect complement to apple pie. To make it, I chopped a couple of thick fingers of peeled ginger. This batch is all half-and-half because I grabbed the wrong container; this is Philly-style ice cream without eggs. I threw in the ginger and scalded the mixture. The result went into the refrigerator for the day. When I was ready to make the ice cream, I put the machine in the refrigerator to run. We want to keep the container as cool as possible for as long as possible; the refrigerator helps extend the useful life of the container. This batch froze on the edges quickly. I had to chip out the container several times before I could get the dasher to run properly. Here it is going into the pan to harden in the freezer. The ginger and cream go together very nicely. I probably could have put in even more ginger without overpowering the cream.

Autumn Harvest in the North Georgia Mountains

Fall has its own harvest and rituals. One of mine is to enjoy the apple crop. So I got in the car and drove past Clayton to my favorite farm stand, Osage Farms. Before I looked for produce, I enjoyed a half rack of ribs from Tomlin's BBQ; sorry, no photos, I was too hungry. With my hunger sated, it was time to get down to business. I surveyed the huge selection of apples and was about to select two small bags. Then I saw this box of assorted apples for only $12. Assorted apples are exactly what you want for a variety of baking needs---a mix of varieties gives the best flavor. I also picked up some eggplant, peppers, and okra. My next stop was the drug store in Clayton for a root beer float. Their soda fountain is a reminder of a simpler time. My next stop was Blue Ridge Honey Company. They sell an impressive array of beekeeping equipment as well as maintaining a large honey processing operation. They also stock beeswax; you could make one heck of a candle with some of th…

BWI: R&R Seafood and Obrycki's Famous Crab Cakes

I had only a few minutes to eat dinner before my flight. Luckily, airport restaurants are used to people on the go. Crab cakes seemed like the go-to dish in Baltimore and R&R was there to provide. These crabcakes are from Obrycki's. The two-cake serving was expensive but they were very good. The crab meat was in large chunks and tender. The breading was limited to just enough to make a proper cake. Eating from a plate gave me a few minutes of calm in a hectic evening.

Fulton MD: Ananda

Diya and Shuvra introduced me to Ananda, a large and popular Indian restaurant outside of Baltimore. The design and decoration are sumptuous, slightly old world. We sat on a veranda with the doors raised. The fall evening was beautiful. The food is Indian with twists---familiar dishes often sport new ingredients or spices. We started with these figs dressed in a thick, rich balsamic vinegar. A dollop of goat cheese was served on the side. I am a sucker for fresh figs. The balsamic vinegar made for an inspired offset to their sweetness. For the main course, Shuvra ordered beef, Diya chicken, and I ordered the lamb korma. The lamb was very tender and the korma sauce perfectly balanced cream with spices. The spinach on the side had a hint of tamale, which worked very well. Our naan was delicious. Our dessert was outstanding: cardamom ice cream with masala tea. The cardamom wasn't overly strong---it complemented the cream without fighting it. The masala tea was cool so it …

Karlsruhe, Germany: Breakfast at the Ibis Hotel

The Ibis is a nice hotel, housed in a converted post office building. This waffle machine, a marvel of engineering, is the star of its breakfast room. It puts to shame all the puny batter dispensers in American hotels. This unit could be guided over the surface of the waffle iron thanks to zero-force hinges. A few squirts of the moving dispenser gracefully covers the waffle iron. A couple of minutes later, you have a steaming hot waffle. Tasty and fun, too.

Karlsruhe, Germany: Eis-Paradeis Cassata

We wrapped up my visit with a trip to the neighborhood parlor. The ice cream is quite good---very rich. We sat outside on a summer evening, eating ice cream and talking. Little things do matter.

Karlsruhe, Germany: Restaurant Pizzahaus

Pizza is known to induce creative thought. That is why we visit Restaurant Pizzahaus during my trips to Karlsruhe. The Germanic name hides an old-fashioned pizzeria run by Italians. The wood-fired oven is impressive. The atmosphere is old-world and comfortable. They serve very nice salads. And, of course, delectable pizza.