From Salad to Soup


It was a few hours before the Giants’ game and I wasn’t hungry yet, but I would be when I got to the game. Ballpark food is so expensive, and truth be told, not that great. Although there’s something to be said for steamed hot dog in a warm bun with yellow mustard and chopped onion. That’s four bucks and I can’t have just one, which means going down in the fourth inning or so and standing in line for another. I have trained myself to buy only one eight dollar beer, though.

A pasta salad would be good, and good for me, but I wasn’t in the mood for the Asian noodle salad that I’ve made in the past for ball games.

I dived into my recipe archives. With the Internet, there are a gazillion recipes out there, many good, most bad. In addition to all the free sites, food company sites and blogs, I subscribe to the Cook’s Illustrated website for the tried and true. I do have a bone to pick with CI, it seems to me that if I subscribe to their magazine, and have for years, I ought to get the website for free, or at least at a healthy discount. I enjoy leafing through the magazine when it comes in the mail; it’s a pleasant experience. But NO, the website is the same price as the magazine and there are no deals to be had. The website is a different experience. Even if you “browse” the current issue on the web, it’s not like turning those pages of heavy matt stock. But the website has the archives and easily searched recipes. I gave up the magazine. Bummer. But I digress. Continue reading

Sunday Supper

Peel ‘n’ Eat Shrimp
Leftover Potato Salad


While waiting for dinner at Brophy Bros Fish Restaurant in Santa Barbara on Thursday, we had a mess of Peel ‘n’ Eat Shrimp. Yum. Carol said, “We should have Peel ‘n’ Eat shrimp for dinner every Sunday night.”

Our Sunday night dinners are usually planned, and then when the time rolls around to cook, one of us says, “who’s cooking?” and the other says “How about (Chinese) (Pizza) (Leftovers).” Our Sundays are rarely structured; we’ve been out or whatever, and we neither are inclined to get it up for a nice meal.


On this particular Sunday, we were just back from a trip to Santa Barbara to attend the beach wedding of Amber — one of Carol’s head teachers — and Will, a fine young Italian. We wrapped extra days around the Friday afternoon wedding to create a nice “foodie getaway.” Continue reading

Tale of Two Salads

Sometime in 2001

Before leaving for work, Carol said, “I’m going to be late coming home and you’re going to be late, so we’ve got all the stuff, there’s the leftover Flank Steak, and a bag of spinach, that avocado, cherry tomatoes and stuff in the vegetable drawer, so we’ll throw together a Steak Salad.”

“Great,” sez I.


I was tired coming home, after closing the store at nine. It was about quarter to ten and Carol was watching The West Wing, the recipient of many Emmy Awards, recently. She said she had been too hungry, and had eaten about 9 o’clock, and presented me with the big wooden salad bowl. In it was lots of spinach, some cherry tomatoes, bits of celery and scallion. Near the stove, she pointed to a plate with some steak and mushrooms that had been sauteed in butter. “Just heat these in the skillet, throw them warm on the greens, slice this half-avocado on top, throw on some Newman’s, and there you have it.” Continue reading

Saturday Brunch

On Saturdays I have time to make whatever I want to eat after the Market. When putting away stuff in the refrigerator, old stuff has to be juggled or taken out so the new stuff fits. This taking out can be an opportunity for what to eat for brunch. (I do this alone, as C will already have eaten a big breakfast while I’m at the Market.) And there’s also the possibility of throwing stuff out, but I hate to do that.

So today, I threw out some leftover garlic mashed potatoes, about half a cup in a way too large container, taking up way too much space, which weren’t very good in the first place.

Oh, but look what I found:

sat_brunch_prep.jpg Continue reading

Slice 'n' Dice

Slice ‘n’ Dice Dinner—The perfect eats-for-one caper.

snow_on_SAAB.JPGIt was nearly seven o’clock and I was watching the tail end of the news when Carol called to report that there was a hailstorm going on at San Francisco State and she’s not driving home until it’s over. A hailstorm! In San Francisco! With thunder and lightning! Oh, and she had dinner at her meeting.
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Tuesday Toss

Food_Book.JPGMenu: Sausages, Tossed Potatoes, Baby Leek Salad

I have a blank booklet I call the Food Book. In it I write down the stuff I bring home from the Saturday Farmers Market, so I can see what we have that’s fresh. We have two vegetable crispers in our undersized refrigerator (renter’s remorse), but they are themselves undersized, and even so, stuff can get lost in there.

I don’t need the Food Book to know that I bought some fine young leeks at the Mariquita Farm stand. They were my buy of the day, something new in season that makes me want to create something. Today is the day. What to do? I took a look at French Women Don’t Get Fat, a wonderful book by Mareille Guiliano. She’s a big fan of leeks, but she didn’t have a recipe to tickle my fancy. On to the ol’ standby, Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables. There’s a nice Baby Leek Salad there, I’ll go with that.
Food Book
But that’s not dinner!
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