This is interesting: BBC - Food Message Board - Messages listing what people have in their cupboards. My spice list alone is longer than some of these lists, which confirms my food-freak nature.
For some amusement (mostly my own), here is a general list of my standard pantry contents:
Beans (dried): black beans, fava beans (new), moong dal, toor dal, channa dal
Canned goods: tomatoes (whole, crushed, stewed), garbanzo beans, kidney beans, refried black beans, vegetarian chili, artichokes hearts
Cereals: various granolas, quick oats (currently out)
Flours & baking powders: whole wheat pastry, unbleached white, blue corn, chana besan (chickpea flour), baking powder, baking soda, powdered egg replacer, yeast
Grains: Basmati rice, long grain brown rice, wild rice, popcorn, whole wheat cous cous
Jarred goods: pasta sauce, capers, marinated artichoke hearts, olives (none right now), roasted bell peppers (ditto), pepperocini peppers, black bean garlic sauce, Vietnam-style chili sauce, sun dried tomatoes in oil, soy sauce, Thai curry pastes, green salsa
Oils: extra virgin olive, canola, dark sesame, chili
Pastas: dried, various shapes invariably including linguine, spaghetti, rotelli, rice stick
Spices: see my dried spice list, plus fresh ginger root, dried garlic, sambar powder, rasam powder
Sugars: brown, white, honey
Teas: English Breakfast (Peet's), Zawadi African tea - safari-spiced chai, Yin Hao Jasmine (Peet's), sencha, Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger and others (currently Mandarin Orange Zinger), Republic of Tea selections (I really want to try their pink grapefruit green tea and/or pink lemonade green tea, which are part of their Sip for the Cure breast cancer awareness promotion) [Hey! I'm out of genmacha!! How did I allow this to happen!?!?]
Vinegars: white, red wine, Balsamic, white Balsamic, raspberry Balsamic
"Other" and irregular: Papadum, packaged Indian instant dishes, Nayo (soy & canola vegan mayo), various instant packaged noodles, instant soups for camping, corn tortilla chips, dried fruit and/or trail mix, baking chocolate, dried cranberries, energy bars, asceptically packaged soymilk, nori, vegan cookies, pomegranate jam, chipotle en adobo...
There aren't many pre-prepared foods in my pantry, beyond the Indian entrees, canned chili, and soups. I make most things from scratch, and try to make extra servings when possible so we can have leftover lasagna, sambar, soups, etc., or make fresh snacks like quesadillas, pasta salads, nachos, etc.
posted by Arlene (Beth)11:17 AM
I made my first chili rellenos this past week. S helped me! (This is exotic in and of itself.) He roasted the long, green chilies in the broiler, and peeled off their charred skins. I slit the chilies near the stems, slid in long strips of pepper jack cheese, coated them in a thick cornmeal batter, and deep fried them, turning them once to be sure both sides browned.
It was a very labor intensive process. Ultimately, it wasn't until I'd had three of the resulting, wonderful-smelling rellenos that I realized that deep fried foods such as this really don't agree with me. They're too oily the way I make them, even with smoking-hot oil. My stomach churned for hours.
So instead, I recommend an alternative, which I'd enjoyed the week before: roast the long green chilies, peel them, stuff them with pepper jack cheese strips, and then microwave them until the cheese is bubbly. Or bake them in your favorite salsa in the oven while you make other dishes. It's a lot less work, a lot less oil, and a lot more roasted chili flavor.
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:47 AM
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
I'm sure this is very comforting to the people who have been using these substances for thousands of years: Herbal remedies 'do work' (bbc.com). Clinical studies demonstrate that traditional herbal remedies (from certain studied groups) do exactly what those groups have always said they did. Who knew? :-)
The fun part of the article is a comment that scientists may now tell the traditional herbal users what their traditionally used herbs are good for. Isn't that cute?
Next up: scientists determine that regular yoga makes us more flexible, and begins advising traditional yoga practitioners to practice traditional yoga... Film at 11.
[Yes, yes, I know that in some parts of the world, there are weird remedies that involve powdered endangered animal penes or sleeping with virgins to extend life. I'm not endorsing those. I'm a vegetarian! Plus, I don't think there's much point in sleeping with virgins - what new techniques can they possibly offer? :-) I'm just mocking the idea that medicine is completely new on this earth, and before the big, allopathic, "Western" medical schools opened, everyone on earth just threw up their hands and dropped dead when something ailed them. It strikes me as hysterically funny that the same folks who used to insist that there was no such thing as menstrual cramps, that babies don't have nerves and so can't feel anything when they're born, etc., are now advising people who studied herbs and figured out what they were good for thousands of years ago. The tone of surprise about these traditional herbs is especially silly in light of the fact that many modern medicines are or were derived from plants. (Aspirin, Sudafed, etc.) The REAL reason for the surprise is likely that it's hard to profit from the use of cheap, traditional substances, and substances which don't lead to profit are inherently unimportant because they are financially ineffective.]
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:22 PM
I laughed hard: This Modern World: "Warning! Terrorist threats even more significant than Cat Stevens!"
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:23 PM
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
This is sort of a recipe. Until it turns creepy. Perhaps a Halloween Recipe: Phil Marco's "Black Beets & Grasshopper" from the PDN 2003 Photo Annual, Personal Work catoegory.
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:24 PM
Monday, September 27, 2004
This is a hoot: Can you live online after death? (bbc.com). This talks about how no one will maintain your web pages after you die (gasp!). Also, there are websites that will release "final messages" from you to your regular e-mail correspondents upon your death.
You'll need to leave instructions that they be informed, of course, and as one person points out in the article, most people don't even bother writing WILLS for their significant material possessions... Too funny!!
It is my policy to tell people what I want to tell them while all involved are alive. Which simplifies things enormously.
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:36 PM
On the ideas of "development" and "progress", and how they often just mean heavier corporate involvement in food production for international markets, rather than local families,read Dr Vandana Shiva: Empowering women (bbc.com).
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:10 PM
Saturday, September 25, 2004
I missed the PDN 2004 Photo Annual, both in stores and because my subscription to PDN was still being processed. But it's quite a collection, and makes me want to see all of their annuals. This website (photoannual2004.musarium.com) is fabulous for exploring images (and discussions of new photography books) that merit attention.
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:54 PM
Friday, September 24, 2004
A beautiful book (and photo essay) on Afghanistan was featured in the most recent issue of Aperture Magazine, and on the Aperture Foundation's website here: Aperture Foundation | Microsite | Return, Afghanistan. The panoramas are especially well composed.
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:09 PM
Interesting sports architecture: BBC SPORT | Motorsport | Photo Galleries | Chinese Grand Prix photos (bbc.com).
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:23 PM
A pretty photo essay on a young geisha and her agent: Photo Journal: Geisha (bbc.com).
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:22 PM
I never thought of it that way: All the Way to the White House, a review of Kitty Kelley's thrashing of the Bush family in her new book (washingtonpost.com, 09/23/04):Although Kitty Kelley has the reputation, as does The National Enquirer, of trash-mongering -- and profiting handsomely from it -- both can also be seen as moralists. They 'out' our leaders and celebrities with the zeal of evangelists because they want them to be better.
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:40 AM
I have a random suspicion that this will turn out to be embarassing for the U.S.:Singer Cat Stevens Demands Probe Into Deportation (news.yahoo.com, 09/24/04). The same homeland security people who have been harassing elderly women and 5-year old boys because their names are similar to those on secret lists for which no agency can either take responsibility, make corrections, or gawd help them actually put in a description of the gender or age of the suspect, may have diverted Cat Stevens' plane for some really lame reason. Islam in his name, or because Yusuf is similiar to Joseph and they're looking for someone named Joseph. Something as lame as the past embarassments.
The whole secret government list thing is patently ridiculous. If someone in the U.S. government has been trying to make this apparent by incompetent list-keeping as a public service, thanks. BUT. It shouldn't exist. No American should be harassed or be told they can't fly because the government has a name 'sort of like theirs' on a piece of paper.
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:23 AM
Spinach: great in palak or saag paneer, someday great in your laptop battery array: MIT Works to Power Computers With Spinach (news.yahoo.com/AP, 09/24/04)
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:14 AM
Thursday, September 23, 2004
The vegan "egg" salad recipe at the Full Bellies Recipe Blog is VERY tasty.
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:52 PM
This looked great: overlay of the path of recent hurricanes with the results by county in the Florida election debacle (election-hurricane.gif) (photomatt.net) But a friend has pointed out to me that it is not accurate, per snopes. Alas.
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:03 PM
I had lunch with Ken at Naan and Curry off Columbus today. After my food-scented, slow walk through Chinatown to get there, I was ravenous. We had the palak paneer, channa masala, a rice, and two naan. It was PERFECT - just the right flavors, very filling.
[I was looking for a link to post for Naan and Curry. I found two entertaining items: someone's personal photos of their meal at one of NaC's other locations; a list of review of the other location, which seems to have a theme to the commentary (hygiene); and some comments from the blog Photo Matt, Unlucky in Cards: In San Francisco from a June visit, which has attached some very entertaining commentary. Aside from the Mac user comments, I especially liked this comment from a reader: "No other city is so liberal as to have a dedicated porn section in their Museum of Modern Art." Whether or not this is a joke, the last few exhibits about the sex industry certainly attracted a lot of young people to the museum to contemplate "art." While giggling, but still.]
After the meal, we spoke about photography, one of my passions which I mysteriously almost never mention here. I have albums and journals full of stuff about photography, yet... You wouldn't know it from my posts. I have been accumulating notes for a full-on, primarily text (ha!) photography page. But I've got a lot of film to develop and scan before I work on that.
Ken also brought up the likely short-term obsolescence of film photography for everyone except artists. Which would be me. But even if it wasn't me, it's difficult to persuasively argue obsolescence to someone who is actively using cameras from 1971 and 1958.
These cameras are surely obsolete, technically. However, I can take great pictures with them, and the process of using them is part of a creative process for me. Using my digital camera involves a slightly different process, and produces different results. I'm still experimenting with a new, fully-automated camera, which thinks too much and is afraid of horizontal lines, but which takes fine photos. I can visualize what an image will look like through certain lenses with my new camera. Yet I think I may be learning more about photography through experiments with the 1950s model, which forces me to contemplate square compositions after nearly 2 decades of seeing the world in 2:3 rectangular segments.
The idea of film being phased out wouldn't be bad if all digital photography had fully caught up with film. But it hasn't. It's getting closer. It's about as good as 35 mm photography now, and expanding into "medium format" resolutions now that there are 20 megapixel digital backs. Hasselblad, which specializes in medium format cameras, has often had witty things to say about digital. Even now, when they have digital business relationships and interests, their FAQ remarks that a digital back option is preferred over a solely digital camera because it provides "the flexibility to use film whenever that is better, which is still very often."
But the color is still... different. It's pretty good, but digital seems to have more "white balance" issues in a wider range of light than film does, and the depth of red-violets is often missing. Not always -- I'm sure if you sat me down with digital and film images side by side, I would have a harder time telling them apart than I had back when cameras were under 3 megapixels.
Also, the "look" of certain films isn't yet available through software filters. It's great that filter companies like B+W filter maker Schneider-Kreuznach are making software filters which can approximate the effects of their physical products: more such filters are needed to help photographers get the same results from digital that they expect from certain specific films. (Adjusting the saturation is not enough - it doesn't achieve the same look, because it doesn't favor some tones and colors over others, as brand film does.)
The idea of film being phased out commercially isn't really horrifying, like a conversation with a friend about how photographs of paintings are so good, they are EXACTLY like the original painting. That had my hair standing on end. My friend was unaware that paintings have texture: I brought up one of Monet's Waterlilies paintings, the surface of which is about an inch deep in paint in some locations. And the paintings are very large, while the images you can buy generally are not. My friend didn't know this, because he had never seen the original, yet was willing to swear that film images were completely equivalent. (This is like me attesting to the greatness of foreign language translation programs for languages I don't speak.)
It is worrisome that so much of digital art isn't in a truly archival format. I'm not sure that my CDs of images I've made with my Leica will be around in 15 years, whereas the black & white prints I made in high school will easily outlast me.
But the technology is all heading in the right direction, and is getting better all the time. It's just tiresome to have to wait for the evolution of the medium to get further along...
posted by Arlene (Beth)3:39 PM
More tasty cheese: we went shopping at Rainbow and picked up more good cheeses that I don't have an appropriate vocabulary to describe:
-Rothkase Swedish-style domestic fontina: this is delicious with fresh bread.
-Swedish Vasterbotten: This is super-delicious with fresh bread or on its own. One of the store's customers is from Sweden, and asked them to carry it. So Rainbow looked into it, and ordered some. Which impressed someone: it merited a newspaper story, with clippings, in a Swedish-language paper, which is displayed above the cheese.
posted by Arlene (Beth)3:34 PM
Flashback: I'm sentimental about food, but I rarely have flashbacks to specific meals unless they were part of some very special occasion. But I recently flashed back to a meal I had over a girlfriend's house in high school. It was a sleep-over, and I remember two things about the visit, aside from who was present: that we listened to Red Rockers' "Schizophrenic Circus," and that in the morning, our hostess' mother made us a breakfast of eggs scrambled with diced green olives (with red pimentos) and small, sweet pancakes.
It was a good breakfast. It must have been really good, for me to remember it all of these years later.
[If S' theory is correct, and the human brain is like a bucket that can overflow or spill to make room for new facts, I wonder what I've been forgetting to keep this recollection.]
posted by Arlene (Beth)3:23 PM
Monday, September 20, 2004
A fun political media analogy from David Corn's blog (bushlies.ws) at News from the Green Room: "We've Lost"; and Kerry Campaign Lags on the Analogy Front (09/19/04), about how the media seems interested in what Kerry would do about Iraq, but not about what Bush is doing or will do:"I have two young daughters at home," I said to this Kerry aide. "If one takes a glass jar and throws it on the ground of their bedroom and smashes it into thousands of pieces, I don't point my finger at the other one and say, 'Okay, what's your plan for cleaning this up.'"I've never heard anyone in the media insist on hearing a specific plan from the Bush administration for Iraq. Have you?
The differing treatment reminds of me of This Modern World: the Liberal Media Compares the Candidates.
posted by Arlene (Beth)3:21 PM
The Mammoth Lakes webcame is showing snow!! I'd love to see an image of Tuolumne Meadows right now, but it has no webcam.
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:11 PM
Our Sunday morning storm has moved very, very far inland: check out the clouds at the Mono Lake WebCam (monolake.org)
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:06 PM
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Timing really is everything: Monday through Thursday of this week, I was camping in Tuolumne Meadows. It was cold at night, but sunny and warm during the day -- t-shirt and tank top weather once the sun was high.
But look at the temperatures there now. In the 20s. The thunderstorm that dumped rain on the City early this morning is dumping snow in the high country, where the snow level is down to 6500 feet. (Tuolumne Meadows is at 8,600 feet (2,600 meters).)
And I thought my dad complained about how cold it was at night WITHOUT snow!!
Our car camping trip went well, despite our backpackers' aversion to populated areas. Tuolumne Meadows was not crowded -- during August, we've passed through the carnival/city/parking lot with horror, but this week it was relatively quiet. The meadows were surprisingly dry, filled with gold-brown grasses. After years of visiting in late July and early August, it was a shock to see them devoid of wildflowers. Many of the creeks we've seen roaring were just dry creekbeds. The gorgeous Tuolumne was still gorgeous and cold, but not raging.
My father, who hasn't been camping in more than a decade, liked all of his new camping gear but didn't really like USING it -- sleeping on the ground, even with a posh air mattress he brought along, didn't really suit him. A three mile hike to lovely, reflective Dog Lake brought threats of elder abuse charges. :-) We often stood in front of a spectacular vista, while my father tried to get us to turn our attention to the 800+ functions of his new digital camera rather than the photographic temptations all around us. By our third day, he preferred napping in his car to exploring the area.
Yet, during his torments, he found time to take more than 400 images, and is editing them now. S managed to spend my father's nap day ranging far into the Cathedral Lakes area, a hike which now would involve snow gear just days later. In addition to having some photographic fun, I managed to finally spend some quiet time along the Lyell fork of the Tuolumne, watching shadows move through the amazingly clear water and sunning myself on the smooth granite terraces beside small cascades.
It was a darned good trip.
I even got to wade in Tenaya Lake, which has always tempted me but generally been a blur through the window.
The high protein meals I mentioned earlier worked out reasonably well. Hot chocolate soy milk was fabulous, as were the cheeses we brought along to eat with multi-grain sourdough. Spinach-pasta ravioli with ricotta and pine nuts would have been better if they'd stayed hot long enough to warm us on our first night, when we ate as the temperature dropped precipitously. (Eating before dark is one of my most basic camping requirements, but we blew it the first night.) Amy's lentil vegetable soup (in cans) made a warming breakfast....
And now I'm hungry...
posted by Arlene (Beth)10:43 PM
Friday, September 17, 2004
OMG: Deutsche Welle, now also available in KLINGON!!!
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:55 PM
Mark Morford riffs amusingly about food and gender roles: What Whips Your Spinach? / What's it mean when the men do all the cooking and the women sit back and talk about God?. If this is an only-in-SF phenomenon, I am once again thrilled to live in SF.
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:54 PM
Thursday, September 16, 2004
I'm home from another camping trip, this one a simple "car camping" (as opposed to backpacking) trip in Tuolumne Meadows with my dad and S.
When I've recovered from high altitude hiking, sitting in the sun beside sparkling emerald pools, and listening to my dad describe all 8 zillion "modes" on his new digital camera, I'll write about it a bit. And about food. Because there is always food.
posted by Arlene (Beth)8:40 PM
Sunday, September 12, 2004
I [heart] bikesThe T-Mobile International, "America's Toughest Bike Race" and the finale of the Pro Cycling Tour, was really fabulous today. The crowd, especially on the Taylor Street Hill during the women's race, was really doing the City proud.
The whole thing was very inspirational. Great cyclists! Beautiful City! Great crowds! Great lattés to be had everywhere!
Favorite moment: I was nearly done with my shift of gathering signatures for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's efforts to improve Jefferson Street for bicyclists and other users, when the women's peloton approached and began climbing Taylor's last, steep course block. Near the end of the pack, a rider from Team Velo Bella suddenly made a contorted face and went down on the steep slope in front of where I was standing.
A volunteer course marshal and another guy rushed over to her. They helped her unclip and stand slowly up. She looked like she was in pain (possibly with a calf cramp). A couple of motorbike marshals passed. She stood up and still looked like she was in pain, but also like she wanted to continue. With a guy on either side to steady her bike, she gingerly swung her leg over her saddle and clipped in.
The audience started to cheer her on. One of her legs still looked a bit shaky, but her hands were on the handlebars, and she looked determined. But it's nearly impossible to start on that kind of slope when you're pointing straight up it.
And so, as she started to pedal, the guys each put one hand on her back, and PUSHED. Her volunteer launch pad started running up the hill with her. She started pedaling hard. And the audience went wild. Completely, bell-ringingly, shoutingly, thunder-stick-smackingly wild. She popped out of her launch pad, and flew around the corner, under her own power and at speed, through a wall of deafening, celebratory cheering.
I thought it was beautiful.
The gal cycling up behind her as this was occurring probably wondered what the hell was going on, but I thought it was really beautiful. :-)
I biked home midway through the men's race, and caught the final few minutes on TV. Another dramatic chase at the end! It seems this race is dramatic every year. A great finale for the PCT. Official results will be posted to the website later.
I had lunch at Cafe Greco: a café au lait and provolone and a roasted red pepper on focaccia sandwich, all with a fabulous view of the race and Columbus' cheering sidewalk throngs. 'Just perfect.
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:57 PM
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Highlights from the nasty parts of the news summaries: I've been on line too long today, and need to log off and rest my eyes. (The new random blogger button demonstrates to me that a. LOTS of people blog in languages in which I am illiterate, and b. people who support Bush often write about dating people they just broke up with, or have scary pictures of saints on their pages.)
My little 'news fix' review of the headlines was rewarding: I am entertained that all the things Molly Ivins reported about Bush's inadequacies during the 2000 election run up are FINALLY making the headlines.
Yahoo! provided a link to a Sunday Heald article which attempts to summarize every current disputed idea/concept/rumor/story about Bush currently. Included is a summary of low points from a very nasty-sounding biopic by Kitty Kelly, filled with a veritable goldmine of subjects on hidden abortions, cocaine use, Laura Bush dealing drugs, Bush Sr.'s affair (which hasn't graced the printed page in years) and other extremely unchristian things about the character of our nation's current White House occupant: Unmasked: The George W Bush the President Doesn't Want the World To See. (sundayherald.com, 09/13/04 (upcoming edition)). There is also Kitty's book? Mostly catty (nydailynews.com, 09/11/04), which lists witnesses to some of the ugliness.
Nasty! Which is something of a relief after seeing the saint pictures and the 'should I break up with him or just keep dating him, oh, I love Bush' text I've just been subjected to. It's nearly medicinally nasty.
In the more polite publications, CBS defends its bombshell revelations about Bush not showing up for duty (CBS Stands By Bush-Guard Memos (cbsnews.com, 09/10/04 and 09/11/04)). I especially enjoy the hysterical typeface dispute. Those in the White House insist the documents must be forged, because they destroyed them all years ag... oh, wait, no, they must be forged because the fonts and superscript shown didn't exist? Except, they did:Critics claim typewriters didn't have that ability in the 1970s. But some models did, Rather reported. In fact, other Bush military records already released by the White House itself show the same superscript - including one from as far back as 1968.How can superscript not have been available for the damaging documents when superscript was available for the helpful documents the White House released? BECAUSE!!
Some analysts outside CBS say they believe the typeface on these memos is New Times Roman, which they claim was not available in the 1970s.
But the owner of the company that distributes this typing style told CBS News that it has been available since 1931.
This may be the only time you see font experts mentioned in the news. (If the original documents haven't yet been destroyed, hopefully they will soon surface. Though pity the person who comes forward with them, since surely they'll receive more death threats than the SF's first female baseball announcer...)
Interestingly, certain right-leaning papers are denying that Bush could possibly have gotten any special treatment, ignoring Former Texas House Speaker Ben Barnes' confessions about helping get Bush into the Texas Air National Guard in the first place (miamiherald.com, 09/09/04). This article notes that Barnes generally denied having helped Bush, until he was called to testify about the issue under oath. And prominent Democrats' sons, and famous football players were also in the group, which tells you that Bush wasn't getting special treatment - he was just getting the same treatment as other millionaire's sons.
Molly Ivins wrote all about this years ago, but it's nice to see the news media catching up.
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:56 PM
A nice piece about Greek tragedy and the histories we repeat, at afterschoolsnack.blogspot.com.
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:30 PM
Vegetarian camping with a high-protein dieter
So I'm going on a short camping trip with someone who is on one of those high-protein fad diets. He's an omnivore, and gets much of his lean protein from bird-meat dishes. He's prone to heartburn if he eats spicy dishes, which more or less describes 80% of my cooking. But he'll be camping with me and my partner, and I'll be doing the cooking, so the dishes will be all vegetarian.
How to make sure we're all happy with the meals has bothered me for days. I sat around, wondering what the heck will work for all of us, since I don't believe in separate meals -- I want to be able to share the same foods between the three of us, while meeting all of our needs.
Today I think I worked it out.
Breakfast foods: Silk and Chocolate Silk, a soymilk with a whopping 7 grams of protein per cup; whole grain muffins or carrot cake, because they are tasty; and/or Great Harvest honey whole wheat bread (3 g protein per slice or thereabouts) slathered with organic almond butter (5 g protein per ounce!!).
Lunches and snacks: trail mix (full of nuts), cashews (5 g of protein per 1/4 cup!), energy bars (protein), bananas, dried fruit, and perhaps my own hummus (eeek! I've lost my best snack recipe!) with corn tortilla chips. And perhaps sourdough with cheese and bruschetta sauce again, because that was darned good on my previous trip, even if it is some sort of carbo-sin. Because _I'm_ not on the fad diet.
Dinners: Ravioli or tortellini (containing cheese or spiced tofu) with tomato sauce (the sauce alone has 2 grams of protein per 1/2 cup serving); spicy French lentil soup (legumes!), and marinated tofu with wild rice and perhaps an Indian entree.
posted by Arlene (Beth)3:26 PM
A tasty eggplant recipe: thai eggplant and tofu, from the Full Bellies Recipe Blog, a collaborative blog that deserves a long visit!
posted by Arlene (Beth)3:22 PM
CheeseI lead a vegan-leaning diet, with the very notable regular exception of cheese.* Cheese is what keeps my omnivorous domestic partner from feeling animal-product deprived here at home, where meat products never appear. I enjoy cheese when I'm in the mood for it, a few times a month.
Cheese is included in an unduly large portion of dishes available to vegetarians in omnivorous restaurants, likely on some theory that we'll all waste away without animal products. (*giggle*) But restaurants often use BORING cheeses with unknown sources.
When I eat cheese, I want cheese that is produced without bovine growth hormones (which I certainly don't need in my diet, and which is bad for the cows), without pesticide in the cow's feed when possible, without animal rennet (coagulents made with animal parts), and with tasty flavor. Rainbow Grocery Co-op here in the City is an EXCELLENT place to get organic, hormone-free cheeses, both foreign and domestic.
Tasty cheeses you can get there and which have graced my own refrigerator lately include:
-Welsh Red Dragon, a pale yellow cheese made with mustard seeds, which is fabulous with crackers and rye-type breads;
-Italian provolone, which they note on their comment card blows domestic provolones away, tasting much sharper and generally having more flavor;
-raw and rennetless jack and pepper jack; also mozzarella, very fresh-tasting cheeses labeled with the store's own label (they also wrap cheddars, Swiss, and others, but I don't eat those cheeses often);
-Italian Montasio which I didn't see this week, but which is a delicious, slightly dry, very flavorful, semi-sharp cheese, great for snacking;
-Italian Romano Genuino Pecorino (sheep milk), a better Romano than any I've had previously (and which smells fresher and better than grocery store brands of grated Romano), which is fabulous grated on pasta;
-Italian Pecorino Stagionato Di Roma (sheep milk), a cheese I'm eating right now, and am having a difficult time describing... a Romano you can snack on? A salty, sharper provolone with Romano overtones? It's very good, more intense than the Montasio;
-whole milk mozzarella, white balls of creamy cheese packed in water,a heavenly (and high fat) treat with fresh tomatoes, basil, and a bit of extra virgin olive oil;
-feta, a wide selection, including marinated types; and
-Dutch Prima Donna, a Gouda-style cheese with a silly name.
They also have an array of soft cheeses, all sorts of Dutch cheeses, Emmenthalers, high quality Parmesans, and other amazing stuff. It's high quality, and there is a great selection.
Conveniently, the cheeses adjoin the wine section, if you're planning some sort of decadent picnic, you won't have to wander far.
* [Ice cream is also a "lacto" part of my technically ovo-lacto vegetarian diet, but is something of a rarity. Which is why I make such a fuss over it when my partner brings some home - it's so heavy and decadent. But it leaves that weird, milky aftertaste in my mouth, and generally isn't certified bgh- or pesticide-free. I prefer sorbet, which is more refreshing and dairy free!]
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:47 PM
Cilantro-basil-parsley sauce with green beans, sweet peppers and pasta
Yes, this dish needs a better name. It is partly inspired by the "coriander sauce" recipe in Martha Rose Schulman's cookbook, Gourmet Vegetarian Feasts, which I have previously enjoyed. I wanted the herbal flavor combination, but not the prunes, ginger, or other ingredients, for use as pasta sauce rather than tofu or veggies sauce. So here's what I made, to rave reviews:
For the sauce
-1/4 cup of olive oil
-3/4 cup of cilantro leaves
-1/2 cup of parsley
-1/4 cup of basil
-2 cloves of garlic
-1/4 cup of water
-1 cup of mile long beans, cut into bite-sized lengths
-1+ cups of sweet, long, wrinkly peppers, cut into bite sized pieces
-3/4 pound of dried linguine
-enough water to cover the pasta and veggies, boiling
-freshly ground pepper.
Directions: While waiting for the water to boil, put all the sauce ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Prepare the pasta according to it's maker's directions. The type I use takes about 10 minutes to cook. About 4 minutes into cooking, add the beans and peppers (so they'll have about 6 minutes to boil). Stir periodically to make sure the pasta isn't sticking together. Drain the pasta and veggies.
Combine the pasta, veggies, and sauce in a mixing bowl. Mix well, giving the pasta a moment or two to absorb some of the sauce. Serve with freshly ground pepper.
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:34 PM
Yes, I have been neglecting this blog in flavor of peacetoday.blogspot.com, my other blog. And I'll take a break from both for a few days, to take care of some other projects. But you know I can't stop typing!!
posted by Arlene (Beth)2:32 PM
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
A new brand of backpacking foods: For a long time I've been singing the praises of Tasty Bite, the company that produces 9 vegetarian Indian dishes in aseptically sealed packages which require no refrigeration. They have provided luxury in the backcountry, at the cost of extra weight to carry. Not all entrees are available at my local stores (though I can mail-order them through the website), and I've been waiting for them to expand their line to include a wider variety of flavors.
Why wait for them when there are other companies making similar dishes? MTR Foods makes 16 Indian entrees in sealed pouches, ready to carry into the woods. They are available at Bombay Bazaar on Valencia near 16th.
We tried the bhindi masala ("fried okra in spiced gravy") and paneer makhani ("cottage cheese in spiced tomato puree"), which we ate with basmati rice. Both dishes are quite good. The okra's gravy was a little thick, but that is easily remedied. The cheese was extremely tasty. Both dishes have a decent number of calories, which we need on the trail. (The nutrition information claims there are three servings per package, but two is more sensible if having 2 entrees with rice.)
I've also just acquired the book, Lipsmakin' Vegetarian Backpacking by Christine and Tim Connors. It's designed for long-distance backpackers, and so has recipes that involve dehydrating all sorts of foods to limit weight and bulk. The book is very practical-looking, and the recipes sound tasty. More on this if I can acquire a dehydrator before spring's backpacking season begins! [There is still backpacking to be had now, but there is a lower availability of water here in CA, which is a limiting factor.]
posted by Arlene (Beth)11:28 AM
I see now that I made a strange choice, devoting my sabbatical to traveling and photography. I COULD HAVE devoted my summer to developing a bitchin' set of abdominal muscles. :-)
I went to see the pro women ride in the 30th Annual Giro di San Francisco yesterday at Levi Plaza. They were awesome, and when they were done, some of them posed to display their slender, stringy physiques. With jumpsuits being all the rage, they'd unzip the top portion, pulling it down low on their hips the way surfers do with their wet suits, and lean on their bikes, looking around casually to see whether or not anyone noticed how much work they'd put into getting that level of definition.
If I pulled a jumpsuit that low, I wouldn't be able to see part of it. Perhaps it's time for belly button jewelry to distract from that? Something very dangly? Perhaps about a foot wide, with sparkles?
Of course, the men posed for HOURS before and after their sets, and did a lot of strutting (which is hard in the clip shoes). But I wasn't so jealous of them.
Embarrassing moment: the men's masters were riding when I showed up, in the 35 years+ category. And I thought to myself, 'hey, they look pretty good for old guys.' And then I remembered that this is also my age category.
The T-Mobile International, "America's Toughest Bike Race," is this Sunday, September 12th here in the City.
It was quite the party atmosphere last year. The fans were excited and lining the route thickly. We sat at the open windows of the Steps of Rome after our volunteer shift for the SFBC ended, sipping wine, eating pasta, and watching a group from Italy lose their minds each time the peloton passed. We'd also had delicious pastries and smooooth lattés at another North Beach café earlier. The race is an ideal reason to explore North Beach's café culture all day, really. I recommend it!
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:58 AM
Leisurely breakfast quesadillasFor those mornings when you need a really substantial breakfast, and have some time to do a little cooking.
-3/4 cup of fresh, mild green chilies, diced
-1/2 a small onion, diced
-a little oil, for the sauté
-two tortillas, flour is most absorbent (if using corn, toast them)
-1/3 can of vegetarian refried beans, organic preferred
-1/2 cup or more of grated or thinly sliced pepper jack cheese, organic preferred
-1/4 cup or more of my fraidycat enchilada sauce (from your fridge or freezer).
Sauté the chilies and onions in a small frying pan for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are largely tender but not mushy. While those are cooking, assemble the base of the quesadilla: put a tortilla on a microwaveable plate, cover with an even layer of beans and then one of cheese.
When the sauté is complete, spread it evenly on top of the cheese. Cover this with the second tortilla, and pour the enchilada sauce over it, making sure to moisten all of the upper tortilla. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the dish steams.
[Note: the cheese is the only somewhat unhealthy ingredient: feel free to omit it for a lower fat, no-cholesterol meal.]
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:47 AM
My fresh red enchilada sauce comes out BEAUTIFULLY if you use large, round, ripe, yellow tomatoes.
I'm amazed at how good it is. Absolutely amazed.
Also, the sweet, long, wrinkled red and green chilies are great in everything, even though they are a bit more work to deseed. Try them instead of conventional bells when you can, for variety. They have a slightly crisper texture.
posted by Arlene (Beth)9:38 AM
Monday, September 06, 2004
I haven't mentioned recently that the UK Guardian offers all sorts of insightful commentary from 'across the pond' about our unfortunate political landscape here. I liked this: Guardian Unlimited | US elections 2004 | Despite the double-speak, Bush's message is clear: The Republicans' rhetoric show how nasty they can be, by Martin Kettle, (guardian.co.uk, 09/04/04)In a truly revealing turn of events, after years in which rightwing America has endlessly celebrated the unquiet Vietnam veterans as a betrayed generation of real male patriots, mainstream Republican demonology has now cast Kerry as a man whose preoccupation with his own exploits in Vietnam make him fundamentally unreliable both as man and potential leader. The fact that rightwing America can so shamelessly taunt Kerry in this way, led by a non-combatant president who refuses to condemn the negative campaign and by a vice-president who fanned the flames in his own speech this week ('I had other priorities' is how Cheney icily describes his own Vietnam years) is a reminder that what is crucially important to Republicans is not, as they like to say, the tradition of armed service but, in reality, their claim to exclusive ownership of the politics of US defence, security and war.That's such a great way to put it. (Bold emphasis mine.)
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:57 PM
A whole lot of pretty photographs of athletes screaming: Athens Olympics photo gallery in the Washingtonpost.
posted by Arlene (Beth)4:23 PM
Sunday, September 05, 2004
An elegant idea: Camera Works: Audio and Video: "A Protest Postcard" (washingtonpost.com, 09/02/04).While loud demonstrations fill New York's streets with anti-Bush slogans, one woman has found a simpler way to elicit the political views of New Yorkers. Artist Sheryl Oring is traveling around the country with a vintage typewriter, asking people what they would say to the president. She types their messages on postcards addressed to the White House, saving a carbon copy for exhibits and publications.This is a short video file showing the artist typing up messages of people on the street. It's great to see people speaking so passionately to her with their short messages.
posted by Arlene (Beth)3:20 PM
Levity: I see a pattern. My most frequent drink is green tea. The ice cream that my partner brought home from Mitchell's and which we have now consumed is green tea. The color he's just painted the bathroom?
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:42 PM
Fun to read: Bob Harris takes the long view on human foolishness and world history while traveling through the ancient world: This Modern World: "Notes from a country which borders on Iraq" (09/02/04).
It is comforting to think about how the trials and tribulations of our times will some day be reduced to vague misinterpretations of our sentiments and light comedy ("they had a cold war over - get this - economic systems!!! *hysteria*). It would be nice if this knowledge made it easier to survive our trials and tribulations.
It would also be nice not to suspect that we are standing at the verge of a precipice, like the people who watched the Nazis rise to power, or those who watched leaders with their 'fingers on the button' nearly launch nuclear war, or all the climate scientists patiently pointing out melting glaciers, mass fish die offs, droughts, and catastrophic storms, feeling like Cassandra...
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:42 PM
A few words about interpreting our media and their liesOver recent times this blog, my food-and-self-indulgence blog, has been a bit escapist. I've diverted more serious subjects that used to grace these pages to my Pro-Peace blog, which qualify as 'food for thought' and so could also be discussed here. So my chatter here will expand a bit to include the broader coverage it used to provide.
For example, media reform has been a hot topic for me for a while, and deserves mention here. The mainstream, corporate-owned media does a terrible job of keeping us informed, partly because they, how shall I put it, will print just about anything anyone in power tells them to print.
In the food world, it's pretty bad. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), plants and animals genetically manipulated to benefit the food producer (but not the consumer) are wildly unpopular here. About 60% of processed foods in America contain GMOs, but you'll have to read a specialty publication to learn that: the media don't want to inform consumers that their products contain items they may have objections to.
I've read articles stating that there is "no significant difference" between food grown with carcinogenic pesticides as compared to those grown without. In one article, when pressed to be more specific, a laboratory worker in charge of the research said the main difference was that the produce grown without pesticide had no measurable amounts of pesticides in the edible portions, whereas the pesticide-produced veggies did. Which is a significant difference to some of us, but most news simply repeats the producers' claims without that little follow-up fact.
Mad cow? You can only read about food safety when it's part of a short-term scandal. Your food is no safer this week than it was the last time your read about a food safety scandal, but such information is 'bad for business,' and profit is our national religion.
The organic movement, the return to chemical-free farming employing natural processes like composting and crop rotation, only makes it into the news as part of a business report (the organic market is booming), not as an important issue for our environmental health. You're not really supposed to know about how buying locally produced organic produce can benefit your envirornment and local economy. International agribusiness wouldn't benefit from you having such knowledge.
Foods to eat to keep you healthy? Good luck! You mom told you to eat your veggies, and while more research piled up in support of her advice daily, media companies don't want to alienate their junk-food advertisers by emphasizing nutrition too much. Fad diets are safe -- their creators tend to advertise. But nutrition and common sense don't have a budget, and so are happily drowned out in the pages and reports of advertising-funded news by junk science and food "trend" watching.
So I would encourage you to be skeptical about what you read about food, and what you may notice you don't read about food, in the media.
You'll likewise need a lot of skepticism in an election year of political reporting. The current U.S. regime has figured out that there are almost no fact checkers allowed to examine your political statements in the rush to quote them in the press, and have had a field day twisting reality. I don't often quote from Slate, but the news I'd heard on this topic was beginning to affect my appetite, so here's a link to John Kerry's Defense Defense - Setting his voting record straight. By Fred Kaplan (slate.msn.com). It's worth reading the whole article, but here's a sample about all the alleged weapons programs that Kerry supposedly voted against. (bold emphasis mine)In other words, Kerry was one of 16 senators (including five Republicans) to vote against a defense appropriations bill 14 years ago. He was also one of an unspecified number of senators to vote against a conference report on a defense bill nine years ago. The RNC takes these facts and extrapolates from them that he voted against a dozen weapons systems that were in those bills.The Republicans could have claimed, with equal logic, that Kerry voted to abolish the entire U.S. armed forces, but that might have raised suspicions. Claiming that he opposed a list of specific weapons systems has an air of plausibility. On close examination, though, it reeks of rank dishonesty.The lying and fact twisting exposed here is regularly quoted without question in the papers and TV shows. Even if a headline is eventually exposed as false -- the photos of the Saddam Hussein statue being pulled down by Iraqis was staged by the U.S. Army, the Army has now admitted, for example -- the correction will be buried so deep in the paper or broadcast so late at night that you'll never learn what really happened.
Another bit of dishonesty is RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie's claim, at a news conference today, that in 1995, Kerry voted to cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence budget. John Pike, who runs the invaluable globalsecurity.org Web site, told me what that cut was about: The Air Force's National Reconnaissance Office had appropriated that much money to operate a spy satellite that, as things turned out, it never launched. So the Senate passed an amendment rescinding the money -- not to cancel a program, but to get a refund on a program that the NRO had canceled. Kerry voted for the amendment, as did a majority of his colleagues.
The jokes about how you don't really want to know how law or sausages are made is pretty accurate. It wouldn't surprise me if certain political parties didn't insert the phrase "Mom and Apple Pie" into a bill to cut federal medical funds to severely handicapped children while giving cash for Ken Lay's lawn maintenance, and then after the other party votes against the horrific bill, rant about how that party is "against Mom and Apple Pie."
It's incompetent and dishonest that the mainstream media is so busy playing stenographers to power that they'd report that the 'opposition' party was against Mom and Apple Pie without even bothering to find out if it was dimly based on fact.
So, kudos to this author at Slate. And kudos to those of you paying attention to the actual world, as opposed to political fantasy land where the media and politicians exist.
(In their fantasy land, they claim it makes sense that only multi-millionaire Caucasian men who don't share my values (or perhaps don't have any) can run my government, give themselves tax cuts while shifting the tax burden for all public services to me, make fundamental decisions about my reproductive health without my consent or any medical knowledge, attempt to regulate personal relationships, fail to protect us from their past poor decisions abroad, and spend us into debt and recession, all while claiming to hate big government...)
For more info, see my media manipulation and reform links.
posted by Arlene (Beth)1:36 PM
Saturday, September 04, 2004
What's great at the Farmer's Market - mini-reportThere are all sorts of lovely produce and prepared foods available, including: summer squash (yellow, green, long, round), round green winter squash (!), fresh herbs, Asian pears, apples, peaches, plums, nectarines, strawberries, something called 'jujubes' from Asia, fresh figs, all common melons plus pointy-oblong ones that taste like honeydew and Korean yellow striped melons, cherry & heirloom tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers in a rainbow of colors, ripe avocados, kale, red & romaine lettuce, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, leeks, green onions, chives, spinach, multiple shapes of eggplant, peanuts, greens I don't recognize, bitter melon, chard, loaves of bread, flats of focaccia, eggs, kettle corn, honey, olives, olive oil, white corn...
There's also live entertainment, including an older woman who plays blues on various instruments, accompanied by a dancing wooden cat. Children are delighted with the cat, and she's a good musician. Today she played 'Home on the Range' on a SAW in perfect pitch, which deeply impressed my partner. He even parted with a dollar, that's how impressed he was.
My selections today, in no particular order:
-burgundy mile-long beans
-red seedless grapes
-ripe avocados (the vendor wisely had them sorted by readiness)
-small, elongated purple eggplant
-wrinkly long red chilies (riper versions of the delightful, crunchy chilies I've been using heavily in recent weeks, just $1/pound, and a pound is a huge bag)
-gold, ruffled, heirloom tomatoes
-red roma tomatoes
-white nectarines (firm!)
-bright yellow bell peppers
-baked goods: Great Harvest honey whole wheat (an excellent, substantial loaf of sliced bread)
-Indian specialties: Sukhi's naan, spinach parathas, bharta spread, and palak tofu spread.
There were more foods I wanted, but our arms were full. I resisted the Asian pears, because the samples this week weren't as good as they were a week or two ago. The same went for many of the peaches. There were no round yellow tomatoes this week, but TONS of cherry red. There was no bok choy or gai lan, which mystified me because the green grocers in Chinatown have them fresh daily...unless that's the point.
posted by Arlene (Beth)6:18 PM
New RoutinesToday I actually had the sort of day my friends THINK I've been having since my sabbatical began. 'Woke up early; went to the farmer's market for about an hour (the Alemany market was a madhouse); had a nap in the hammock; made a lunch of gemeli-shaped pasta with a raw sauce fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh garlic, and olive oil, enjoyed with a glass of California chardonnay (1999, neglected by me but still very good) on a stone bench in a shady part of the back yard with my partner; more hammock time; read the latest issue of Surf Life for Women and daydreamed of how to become a surf bum, contemplated taking up surfing so such a fantasy would seem more reasonable...
My days aren't usually like this.
Usually I suffer from insomnia, now that I'm not biking 10 miles/day. So my day starts at 4 a.m. (With the moon full and nearly full, I've also woken up as early as 1:30, but 4 is ordinary.) I either get up to read or write, or just think until I doze off again. I get up between 7:20 and 9, eat breakfast, fret about how I've gotten so little done this summer, and then begin either indexing negatives or scanning film. I do this until lunch. I eat lunch, then get distracted from my photography work by either chores, arriving mail, or the potential for afternoon photos in any non-foggy parts of the City. I do chores and possibly go out to shoot a roll of film. My partner comes home after 4, I chat with him, make dinner, chat with him some more, and then try to log on and/or scan more film. I resent my partner for not being more helpful with cleaning up after dinner. We discuss some unfortunately and completely preventable series of world events. Suddenly, I'm nearly asleep at the keyboard, so I try to get to bed at a reasonable hour, to enjoy my insomnia more efficiently.
On those rare sunny days, I'm out of the house in the late morning taking photos, in the library for part of the afternoon, and then home scanning film in the evening.
Yes. Glamour! Excitement! Your dream life, happening right here! I actually do like it, though I'm going to try to restrict my boring indexing/scanning work to weekdays (a rule too often broken), bike more than twice a week to improve my sleep pattern, and try to restrict chores to... some more opportune times. I understand now why artists have studios: at your studio, you can get work done! At home, there are calls and bills and chores and little petty things that you feel obligated to do...
posted by Arlene (Beth)6:01 PM
Camping: Hendy WoodsDuring some of my recent, restful, non-blogging days, I camped at Hendy Woods State Park in Mendocino County. Hendy woods is in the Alexander Valley, a wine growing region with vineyards lining the highway, and oppressive heat for much of its inland length. (I'm reconsidering the alleged charm of wine regions elsewhere in the world, realizing what kind of heat grapes enjoy.) Two groves of coast redwoods thrive on a north-facing slope along the Navarro River, in cool shade of their own making.
Stepping out of the grove and into the flood plain of the Navarro, with its oaks, grasslands, and planted apple groves, is blinding and painful. Stepping back into the cool, quiet shade and soft, red-brown needles is very soothing.
The Big and Little Hendy Groves are somewhat small (80 and 20 acres, respectively), and feel, as my partner put it, "messed with." The redwoods once covered much more land, but the protective owner Hendy died, and the surrounding woods were logged. The groves remaining have obvious edges, and these edges have let in more light and with it, non-redwood trees. So the groves do have ferns, redwood sorrel, and the usual undergrowth, but there are oaks, maples, and other trees mixed in, depriving the groves of their usual appearance. The groves are lovely just the same.
Hendy has two campgrounds, Azalea and Wildcat. We stayed in Azalea, which is closer to the highway, but which was less crowded. The campsites are reasonably well spaced and treed in both campgrounds, so the 'parking lot' feeling of certain chain campgrounds is absent. The campgrounds are largely (tan) oak, rather than redwood, and are much warmer than the groves. The bathrooms are in good shape. There are a few cabins available, which my partner thinks might be pleasant to visit in winter, when the campground is less populated. (One of the cabins has a campsite sprawled out behind it, which means your neighbors are playing under your window...)
Speaking of avoiding neighbors, Hendy Woods once hosted 'the Hendy Hermit,' a gentle, quiet, Russian immigrant who lived in hollow trees, lean-tos, and various other shelters before and after the development of campgrounds in the park. There's a trail to some of his home sites (now featuring creative interpretations of his shelter), and a good interpretive sign with articles about him, ranging from dumb ('who knows who he was or why he did this') to useful (tributes to his gentleness and the stories he told visitors when he lived, after he died).
It gave us pause to think about how difficult it would be to try the hermit's way of life currently without being a landowner.
Almost no one left their campsites, so we largely had the groves to ourselves, and spent quite a bit of time there.
It became hotter each day, and to escape the heat on our 3rd day we fled down the Philo-Greenwood road to Greenwood State Beach. We enjoyed a picnic at the top of the hill with a view of the bluffs and then a long walk exploring the beach itself. The beach is lovely; the water is sparkling; we enjoyed fabulous weather and wild driftwood formations.
We headed 6 miles north and visited the beach at Navarro River Redwoods State Park/State Beach. The beach has campsites in the parking lot, which horrified us, and gave us a bad first impression. However, the beach is attractive and heavily used. The Navarro River's outlet isn't open water at low tide; the river seeps through the dunes. The shallows were full of fish, hoping for high tide so they could reach the sea.
The Redwood forest along the river is a narrow band, but feels lush, cool, and unmolested. It looked more complete, in that respect, than Hendy's groves.
The website describes the forest along the highway as "an eleven-mile-long redwood tunnel to the sea." This would be a nicer tunnel if it didn't have a HIGHWAY RUNNING THROUGH IT. The campsites are self-registration, but because of the narrowness of the park (hemmed in by steep hill to the north and winding river to the south) are very close to the highway. There didn't appear to be many trails going anywhere but to the river: any trails paralleling the highway would be within a stone's throw of the road, and would be interrupted when the river bends too closely, which occurs several times. (Hikes that involve walking on highways aren't much fun.)
Food highlights: sourdough bread with soft fontina cheese and bruschetta sauce (tomatoes, garlic, and basil; purchased in a jar so I wouldn't have to worry about it going bad before we got there; from TJ's). Mmmmm. We also had great ravioli with goat cheese, spinach, and Greek olives (also from TJs).
Car camping is so luxurious when it comes to food, thanks to ice chest technology.
There are some great fruit stands just outside of the park and just a few minutes from the park on Hwy 128 East. As luck would have it, I hadn't brought cash, but there were lovely apples, cider, nectarines, and other tasty looking/sounding offerings available. If I have one regret, it's that I didn't have cash on me. So, to repeat an earlier note from a few posts ago, always have cash for food!!
posted by Arlene (Beth)5:25 PM