Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Feeeevah...

Congrats to Danica Patrick on being the first woman to win an Indy Car race...and thanks to those who came before: Janet Guthrie, Lynn St. James, Sarah Fisher (who's STILL around) and any other I have missed.


One of my Hawaii food blogs, The Tasty Island, just finished a couple of posts about a place from my past: St. Louis Deli and Drive Inn. I used to go to St. Louis High School which is right across the street from the deli/drive inn and would walk past the place after school.

In fact, one of my classmates, PeterD, would pop into the deli and pick up some gobo...which is burdock root. It was cooked in a sweet soy broth and really tasty.

Glad to see that one of the old-time, "local" places is still around with so many going out of business. The pictures on the blog were enough to make me wish I could just drive over there and get a plate lunch. Sigh...

Another shout out for the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook. The olive oil flatbread recipe is fantastic. Easy to make and oh so good. GO. BUY. THE. BOOK.

BBQ-ing today. Hamburgers. Must go and make mac salad to go with.


Just Finished: Feynman's Rainbow. If you don't know who Richard P. Feynman is/was, then Google him. In short, he was a physicist/teacher/writer/character who was brilliant and eccentric and taught at Cal Tech, the MIT of the West Coast. Oh, yeah, he won the Nobel Prize, too. Beautiful book by a colleague who knew him. A really different look at science and creativity.

Just Started: The Making of a Chef. Michael Ruhlman's first book about chefs and the chef's life. I read the second and third before this one...OK, OK, I was waiting for the paperback version. Go to Ruhlman's blog for really fantastic writing on today's food world and the foodies and chefs that inhabit it...and links to other really great food writers.

ALSO (I can't just read ONE book at a time): The Western Way of War, Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson is a farmer in California's central valley and is a Professor of Classics at Cal State Fresno. His books explore the relationships between the philosopy and war-making of the Greeks and how their approach to warfare and agriculture led to our modern ways of fighting. He also writes occasionally for

STILL TRYING TO FINISH: The Numbers Behind NUMB3RS. About the background math used in the TV show NUMB3RS. Fascinating and informative. Led me to the Feynman books.

So, are the Cubs for real or is this just another year when they will break our hearts???

A hui hou...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Some Thoughts...

The photo is from Saturday...a nice Spring day around here...OK, it's a retention pond, but still...

Waiting for the repairman to show up and finish repairing our NEW clothes dryer. He replaced the "coils" and gas valve yesterday and, after calling his tech manager, said he would come back today to replace the "burner." This on a NEW dryer. I think if he replaced the motor, then only the cabinet and controls would be original.

See, this dryer is from a reputable company/store and is a brand that we've purchased in the past and had little to no trouble with for MANY years. What gives???

Sweet Home Hawaii:

Well, the agony continues for the birthplace. Aloha Airlines finally gave up the ghost last week after 61 years. Just the latest in Hawaii businesses that have packed it in over the last year or so.

Then ATA goes belly-up. As of yesterday, there were still several THOUSAND people looking for trips back to the mainland. Auwe...what next?

The latest local food business to close was Tropic Fish and Vegetable Market at Ward Farmers Market. This place was there for decades. I remember going in there to buy "local" food items that were not available at local markets.

Fresh veg and fish always knows?? The "homoginization (??)" of Hawaii continues. I think I wrote here that a local fave spot at Ala Moana Center, Patty's Chinese Kitchen, which was there when I was in high school (that was during the age of dinosaurs), closed, in part to the competition from...are you ready...Panda Express!!!

Folks, there was NO comparison. Local, unique Chinese items vs "MALL food" Chinese. Yet, as an article in a Honolulu paper put it, most tourists want places they are familiar with (I call it the "McDonald's effect" matter which one you go into in the world, you know what to expect), so passed Patty's for Panda. Ugh!


Mmmmmmm...Kirschbaum's Bakery...BAD place, BAD place.

Barbeque weather made an appearance this past weekend. BTW, today it's rainy and cold. SNOW showers expected by Saturday. Gotta love Chicagoland in the Spring.

Anyhow, made huli-huli chicken on the barbie. Yummmmmy. Can't replace that smokey taste you get from hardwood charcoal. AND...DON'T USE LIGHTER FLUID. Go get a "chimney starter" that uses newspapers to get the charcoal going. NO BAD TASTE.

Tomorrow, flatbread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Go buy the book.

OK...that's all folks.

A hui hou...