Monthly Archives: January 2009

Good Food

I recently discovered Orangette, a food blog by Molly Wizenberg.  Wizenberg melds food writing, journaling, and memoir, the way so many great food writers do, and posts beautifully composed photographs to boot.  Someone got wise to her skills before me, because she got a book deal out of it.  A Homemade Life, Wizenberg’s food memoir, will be released on March 3, 2009 (by Simon & Schuster, natch).


In addition to being a fun blog, Orangette has an amazing recipe index and the most thorough and thoughtful “About/FAQ” section I’ve ever come across (including Wizenberg’s musing on photography, the practice of blogging, and an eater’s guide to Seattle).

In addition, Wizenberg writes a monthly food column for Bon Appétit magazine called “Cooking Life.”  


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Flower of the Day: Magnolia Soulangiana

This is a special month, because it is the one month this year that my Magnolia Soulangiana, or tulip magnolia tree, is in bloom, along with many others like it around Rockridge.  While some sources claim it’s a mid-spring bloomer, I’ve always experienced it in Rockridge in mid-January and February.  

I’ve been meaning to post some pictures, so here they are:


A clipping with a few flowers looks phenomenal in a vase.  So easy–no arranging required.

Here’s a view with the morning sun streaming through the branches:


Nirvana: In Bloom

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Petty Business

If Petty Business is convinced to have sympathy for Norman Mailer, should we too?  I must admit, I can (could) hardly bear him, but I’m a woman.  I never thought about how much power NM had to piss off the universe, but I think he succeeded. Petty Business

Apparently his letters are a good read.  While I’m at it I might subscribe to the electronic version of the New York Review of Books.  In the mean time I had no idea that so much content was available gratis from the NYRB online.  Thanks you PB.  

A link to Mailer’s letters on the NYRB website.


The eyebrows in this pic do make him a bit sympathetic.  Note to self: whenever reading an essay by Norman Mailer keep a picture of him with sympathetic eyebrows near by so you don’t punch your fist through a wall. 


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These kids can really O____o!

This has been an obsession around ARL this week:

Check out the link here

You’re going to have to take my word for it and click on the link since I can’t embed it.


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Books We Like

Apparently the “we” in the “Books We Like” from includes me.  I’ll be lying back on my chaise longue contemplating my navel with The Paris Reviews Interviews this weekend, focusing mostly on the mysterious character of Ralph Ellison that I’ve been preoccupied with since age 17, in my minds eye. 

Oscar Villalon reviews the book and provides an excerpt here. 


The chaise longue in my minds eye:

img_255119th Century Recamier at Downtown Joe Nye New York via 1st Dibs

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On a Lighter Note

I’ve been meaning to share a new discovery.  While reading this month’s Sunset magazine (I seriously have grown to love it; it soothes me so hard, please don’t let it fold) I came across an article on Erin Rosenow, formerly of ARL local favorite Birch SF

Rosenow runs Rosenow Floral Design, which serves San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.  I’m always on the look out for new, fresh, beautiful floral design (harder to come across that one would think) so I was thrilled to find out about Rosenow.  

Rosenow’s designs range from the classic:


to the avant-garde:


Visit the website and click on the tab “I like color” to view photographs of more amazing designs in flash.

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The Morning Stimulus

By googling “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” I found this website created by a bevy of red-staters and citizens against big government/spending on social services.  I’m not interested in what the Heritage Foundation thinks about the bill, but they and their accomplices have made full text available and easily searchable.  And I’m thinking that when they say “$850 Billion, 1588 pages, and counting…somebody needs to read it!” they mean me right?  and my teacher friends? so we can rub our little hands together in greed that NCLB is going to be funded for the first time?  oh, yeah, OK, sounds like a plan.

There is a congressional “discussion” draft available here in PDF, but without a search function.  But it might work for you if just seeing logos like these (below) throws you into a fit of fury, cause, you know, rich people should keep getting richer, and poor people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps, right? Oh and don’t forget to be “colorblind!”  Because racism stopped existing after the Civil Rights Movement!




Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!

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Wednesday Links

Eddie Ross continues to be prolific and backs us up on our love of carnationsEddie Ross

Quilty reminds us that we are sad we don’t live in NYC, although we’ll take the Oakland sunshine over the NYC slush I hear is there today, GoodJobbb

and Rimpletide does the important work of exploring our collective sexuality for us vis a vis wooden dolls, Rimpletide

while the Pipeline reports on what’s hot from the hottest (pretty fucking hot) currently cold climate, Stockholm, The Pipeline

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Too Bad

Domino Magazine is the last victim of the recession a/k/a “economic downturn.” 


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Special for Me

In the tradition of my dinner-for-one posts, here is the special meal I made for me last night.

Sea Scallops with Cilantro Gremolata and Ginger Lime Beurre Blanc from Gourmet, February 2002

I cut the recipe down to three scallops (purchased at the fine Hapuku Fish Shop), took out my “good” china (Haviland) and served the scallops on a bed of frisee.


I had an unseasonal yet delicious bottle of mildly sparkling Spanish white with dinner (strong enough to hold up to the ginger and cilantro flavors).  It is called Vi D’Agulla:

…a charming and slightly frizzante wine from the Penedes region of Spain located just outside of Barcelona.  Its name means “wine with a prickle” and is intended as a summer thirst quencher.


Other notes: this recipe is super easy, and you can up the healthiness factor by going light on the beurre blanc, as I did.

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