Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

I just finished reading a good book: "Garlic and Sapphires" by Ruth Reichl. She used to be the restaurant reviewer for the New York Times. Now she's the editor of Gourmet Magazine. There are some good, laugh-out-loud stories in the book. My particular favorite is about a guy who calls himself a "food warrior." During a silent auction he buys dinner with Ruth and her husband at any restaurant in New York with the Times paying for it. Needless to say, anyone who calls himself a "food warrior" is bound to be obnoxious. In addition to some very funny tales, there are also some great recipes. I tried one of them last night. Put brussel sprouts on a cookie sheet, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO as Rachel Ray calls it), and then salt and pepper each sprout. Put in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees F. for about 20-25 minutes. The little sprouts are nearly carmelized when they come out of the oven. Delicious!

I'm in a food phase, but not sure why. My brother also gave me a cookbook: "12 Best Foods Cookbook" by Dana Jacobi. Lots of good recipes there too. I spent quite a while watching television in Washington when I got sick. Unlike last year when Kerry and I were both sick for four days, this time it was just the 24 hour flu and he didn't get sick. I watched mostly cooking shows. Go figure; when you have the flu you would think I wouldn't want to look at food. Rachel Ray is one of my favorites. I want to learn to dice food the way she does. The other lady I like is someone who's name I can never remember, it's contessa something. She's southern and rather zoftig. We like zoftig. She taught me how to chop garlic with the food processor. Turn the processor on, drop whole, peeled cloves in and before you know it you have properly chopped garlic. Then you just add the rest of your ingredients. I haven't tried this yet.

We are having Dungeness crab for our New Year's dinner. This time of year it's plentiful and delicious. We spread several layers of newspapers on the table, put the crab in the middle and start eating. No utensils, no plates; just crab, wine and French bread plus lots of paper towels. When you are done you roll up the newspaper and take it immediately out to the garbage. Otherwise your kitchen will smell like a fish market before the old fish are tossed out. I'll make crab cakes out of the leftovers. Not sure where all of this food stuff is coming from but I'm enjoying it.

Most of my e-mail attachments these days seem to be pictures of snow from various parts of the country. I'm just glad it's snowing somewhere else and not here. I worked in my garden today. About a dozen bulbs are already peaking through the soil. My brussel sprouts and romanesco are doing nicely.

While we were in Washington, we watched Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth". It's hard for me to believe that George Bush is still denying that global warming exists. Wait, I forgot, he was a C-student at Yale. I'm glad to see that individual states are adopting the Kyoto Treaty rather than waiting for the U.S. to do it. The breaking off of a huge chunk of ice in Canada should be testimony to what's happening in the world. Polar bears would not have to be endangered if we hadn't screwed up their habitat.

Well, hope you all have a great new year celebration. I finished the entire New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle today so my year ended on a high note. I have my bird calendar ready for the New Year. The bird for January 1 is the Andean cock-of-the-rock. A real beauty. I'll try to find a picture.

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