Food and Drink Archives
Lighter Drinking and the Life of the Street 2014
"(This essay by Dinah first appeared in the Hayes Valley Voice.)
If you haven’t gone before 5pm on a workday, you haven’t really been to our little neighborhood bar on the green. At opening time—2pm—on a recent sunny Tuesday I stopped in at Brass Tacks to talk with co-owner Matty Conway. My plan was to spend a quiet hour discussing a topic of mutual interest: low-alcohol cocktails..."
Oh Facebook, why do you show me the text preview when I write the post and then hide it when you post? Sigh.
Sherryfest San Francisco 2014
The next big thing? 2014
"Manhattan mixologist Naren Young thinks low-alcohol cocktails could be the next big thing. "Over the past five years, there was a trend towards super strong cocktails, served neat," he said. "Those aren't drinks you can enjoy in succession for a long period of time." The man has a point. Taste a temperate future at The NoMad's Bar, which has an entire page of low-alcohol drinks. Or try the popular aperol spritz at Nightcap, a brand-new industry hangout on the Lower East Side."
Sherry Cobblers! 2014
(photo by Jinx McCombs)
my introduction to the John Cameron Mitchell cocktail 2014
Also in Seattle, thanks to the team at Tavern Law we were introduced to Andrew Bohrer's smoky wonder the John Cameron Mitchell cocktail, (sometimes shortened to the "John Cameron"). Ardbeg in a shim? Oh my goodness yes!
Shims on the coast 2014
[Photos by Mum Jinx]
I gave a presentation on The Art of the Shim: Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Keep You Level in the afternoon at Coast Library. Alas, due to a complaint from a modern-day Puritan we could not give samples of even the lowest proof of cocktails, so the attendees just got to taste Luxardo cherries. Despite the sample setback, the event was a success and the small crowd enthusiastic.
There were great questions, including one on the history of an obscure drink or possibly dessert or possibly both, the Knickerbocker Glory, which I'm researching in the picture below.
It was very windy but lovely on the way back to my folks' house.
That evening I was able to provide a private sample to thank my parents for their help with the event.
River's End 2014
A lovely stop on the way north this evening!
Photo by Mum Jinx.
media I've enjoyed recently 2014
Advertising and Selling
- Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold (TEDtalks)
- Full Price Beats Penny Saved for Selling Some Items (60-second Science)
- Candidates Affect Viewer Reactions to Ads in Debates (60-second Science)
- Jacqueline Novogratz: Inspiring a life of immersion (TEDtalks)
- 100,000-Year-Old Art Studio Discovered (60-second Science)
- Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies (TEDtalks)
- Science Grad Students Who Teach Write Better Proposals (60-second Science)
- Doodles and Drawings Help Cement Concepts (60-second Science)
Food and Drink
- Student Researchers Find Secret Tea Ingredients (60-second Science)
- Molars Say Cooking Is Almost 2 Million Years Old (60-second Science)
- High-Pressure Food Treatment Can Kill Microbes And Up Nutrients (60-second Science)
Health and Growth
- Molly Stevens: A new way to grow bone (TEDtalks)
- Gamekeeper's Thumb Condition Outlives the Occupation (60-second Science)
- Test Tells Viral and Bacterial Infections Apart (60-second Science)
- Poultry Farms That Stop Antibiotics See Resistance Fall (60-second Science)
- Endurance Exercise Has Stem Cells Make Bone Over Fat (60-second Science)
- Carbon Nanotubes Impale Compulsive Cells (60-second Science)
- Online Gamers Help Solve Protein Structure (60-second Science)
- Health Data Could Spot Genocide Risk (60-second Science)
- City Cyclists Suck In Soot (60-second Science)
- Rapid PCR Could Bring Quick Diagnoses (60-second Science)
- Pathogen Genomics Has Become Dirt Cheap (60-second Science)
- Kid Scientists Show Medicines Can Be Mistaken For Candy (60-second Science)
- Fever Increases Numbers of Immune Cells (60-second Science)
Nature and Sexuality
- Mole's Extra Finger Is Wrist Bone-us (60-second Science)
- Full Moon May Signal Rise in Lion Attacks (60-second Science)
- Send Ants to College (60-second Science)
- Sea Lampreys Flee Death Smells (60-second Science)
- Toxoplasma Infected Rats Love Their Enemies (60-second Science)
- Modern Rivers Shaped By Trees (60-second Science)
- Upright and Hairless Make Better Long-Distance Hunters (60-second Science)
- Electrolyte Balancers Set Stage for Multicellularity (60-second Science)
- Flesh-Tearing Piranhas Communicate with Sound (60-second Science)
Politics and Philosophy
- Jody Williams: A realistic vision for world peace (TEDtalks)
- Martin Jacques: Understanding the rise of China (TEDtalks)
- El Nino Ups Conflict Odds (TEDtalks)
- Steven Pinker: Violence Is Lower Than Ever (60-second Science)
Technology and Physics
- Johanna Blakley: Social media and the end of gender (TEDtalks)
- Medieval Armor: Was It Worth the Weight? (60-second Science)
- Traffic Cameras Save Millions in Canceled Crashes (60-second Science)
- Juno Mission Gets Goes for Launch (60-second Science)
- Channeled Chips Can Spot Substances (60-second Science)
- Smartphone System Saves Gas (60-second Science)
- Sound Sends Electron to Specific Location (60-second Science)
- Moon Not Made of Cheese, Physicist Explains (60-second Science)
Posted on February 21, 2014 at 01:38 PM in creativity, Food and Drink, health, linky goodness, politics & philosophy, school, sex, the big room with the blue ceiling, warnings & kvetches, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)
feasting with family 2013
Joe and I brought a small Wagyu beef roast to my parents' house. They prepared it, along with fresh crab, Hollandaise sauce, and broccoli for the four of us and my aunt and uncle to enjoy. Boy oh boy did we!
(Photo by my mum)
San Francisco Book Launch 2013
Announcing The Art of the Shim—a new book from Dinah! 2013
Hooray! My second book, The Art of the Shim: Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Keep You Level, is now out in hardcover and ebook.
Building this book has been a fun time and—due to an aggressive sub-one-year production schedule—a challenge, but the results are beautiful. Kelly Puleio's photography is even better than my high hopes and the production quality on this, the first offset printed title from Sanders & Gratz, is excellent. I'm very happy that the book has the sturdiness to serve its readers many years on their bar shelves.
Along the way I've been expanding my skills even further into the publisher realm. (Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff is print-on-demand in its paperback form, so inventory management and distribution is a new adventure.)
Some of the lessons have been painful. I've now learned the hard way that Amazon's record of a book can apparently get messed up if the release date is before Ingram has their copies on hand—or at least that's the only explanation I can find for Amazon suddenly switching the book's status to "Out of Print--Limited Availability" sometime between midday Saturday and midday Sunday last weekend. We're now on day four of no order button for the hardcover, which is enough to make anyone trying to launch a book tear their hair out.
Copies of the book are now in stock at Ingram's Oregon distribution center and lots more will be arriving at their Tennessee one today or tomorrow. Perhaps that will help kick the Amazon status back to normal (though I fear that if their techs don't identify and eliminate the bug, the problem would just come back the next time Ingram or their on hand count hits zero).
Next Tuesday (9/17) will be the New York launch at Pouring Ribbons bar and a week from Monday (9/23) will be the San Francisco celebration at The Booksmith bookstore. Looking forward to those events very much!
Even with bumps on the road, I'm having a great time as an author and a publisher!
Test-driving the proof copy 2013
Low-alcohol ingredients require refrigeration 2013
Low-alcohol ingredients require refrigeration. Treat your vermouth kindly! (And sherry, port, quinquinas, etc. etc.)
Welcome to my fridge at home. Buying food will have to wait until after photoshoots.
First Bibulo.us Facebook post 2013
Four years ago, on the Bibulo.us cocktail blog, we praised low-alcohol cocktails and dubbed them "shims" (http://www.bibulo.us/2008/12/in-praise-of-the-shim.html). Now it's time to bring together in one book some of the best examples of this kind of drink.
The Week Behind 2013
It's been a good week, with much satisfaction arising from the current book project, The Art of the Shim: Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Keep You Level. All the amazing conversations of the week before and much digging in old cocktail books, thinking about principles of drink creation have been percolating in my head. This resulted on Tuesday in my finalizing the first draft of the Bibulo.us Cocktail Taxonomy and posting it for comment. Mostly Twitter chatter in reaction so far, but the process of articulating my principles for others has, as usual, clarified them and this structure is performing well as I continue to research old recipes and organize the book's recipe candidates.
This pleasant creative burbling all week was accompanied by a big experiential spike in the form of an amazing concert Sunday at the new SF Jazz Center in honor of Bobby Hutcherson. Wonderful sound and great performers! Such a joy to have this resource so close to our home.
Around those themes the week swirled along quite well with a nice mix of home life and time out on the town and up in Napa county for Joe's work.
Proud: I have been keeping up my exercise routine! Between the Fitbit, the treadmill desk, and Zombies, Run! I am able to make myself put in the effort and seeing my strength and endurance grow as a result. Very pleasing!
Completed: I think I can now say I've achieved mastery on maintaining a beautiful, uncluttered living space with minimal effort. Still projects to be completed and undulation in tidiness from day to day, but in general the place is within ten minutes of "company-ready" pretty much all the time. The fortnightly visit from the maid who does my most-hated chores (vacuuming and scrubbing porcelain) has helped tremendously in letting me put my energy into things that pay off without driving me nuts.
Learned: Twitter may not seem like it eats much time to quickly check now and then, but it is a huge time-suck if not constrained. Trying out a Pomodoro method timer to help keep me on track and not ducking into email/Twitter/etc every 10 or 15 minutes. Getting better at managing this will help me not only with completing the current to-do's but also with staying focused on work as my social media activity grows when the book comes out.
Inspired: The barfolk I've been talking to as I research the book have been just marvelous; generous, enthusiastic, customer-focused. Really looking forward to working with them a lot this year.
NOPA managers wish happy holidays 2013
Yay! Great portrait of you all! Back in town and hoping to see you tomorrow to make sure January gets it off to a proper start. smile emoticon
[Link not working as of October 2015]
First Feast of Christmas 2012
Feeling great 2012
My relationship with my body is doing so much better since I started exercising and eating fresh foods more! I feel stronger and more alive.
Some of that liveliness may be coming by contrast to the less articulate of my coaches: the shambling hordes of zombies pursuing me at least three times a week, thanks to Zombies, Run! Great writing, voice acting, and a compelling story fight against procrastination to make sure I keep on my exercise schedule of 30-60 minutes at over 3.1mph on the treadmill every other day. That's enough to get me in a great sweat and (I think, though I'm not measuring it) get my heart rate up.
I'm walking fast rather than running because it's so much gentler on my body. With my previously injuries to knee, ankle, toes, it's better to play it safe and steady.
I'm now trying to do 12,000 steps a day, including on days when I don't have a workout. The treadmill desk really helps for that. I don't always make it, but now I'm embarrassed to end the day under 7,000 steps, so I can tell I've created a good new normal.
The desk has also made me really good at typing under odd circumstances. Currently going 3.5mph. Usually, I'm going about 2.1mph or so, but the music was so good when the last mission ended seven minutes ago, I just kept going at the same pace as we went into radio mode. Hadn't even noticed I was still moving that fast. Yay!
In parallel, I've upped our produce delivery from Planet Organics to come every week instead of every other, which means I'm eating a meal of a big chopped salad or pan-seared greens several times a week now.
I've also gotten the app Paprika for my iPad, which I'm using to create recipes for all the things I know how to cook, to remind myself to do that more instead of ordering in, eating something pre-packaged, or going to a restaurant. Just went through all my Flickr photos in the past week and captured lots of reminders of recipe names and images, plus in some cases detailed recipes where I'd written them up. There really is something motivating about a personalized cookbook. Haven't gotten into using Paprika's other menu planning and shopping list features, but am looking forward to them in future.
All in all, I'm feeling really good, which was the main motivation for this. Going down in weight or clothing sizes might be nice, especially if it reopens certain options in my wardrobe, but it's really about feeling strong and happy and healthy.
More lovely cheeses 2012
Sometime last month we had another amazing cheese plate at Jardiniere. This time it included the following:
- Bent River, cow, from Alemar in Mankato, Minnesota
- Etude, goat, from Andante in Petaluma, California
- Calvander, raw cow, from Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Hudson Red, washed raw cow, from Twin Maple in Ghant, New York
- Shaker's Blue, raw sheep blue, from Old Chatham in Old Chatham, New York
Their selection has been wonderful in 2012 for showcasing great U.S. dairies. Well worth a visit for a cocktail and cheese plate at the bar.
Getting healthier 2012
I'd grown dissatisfied with how strong and healthy I was feeling and frustrated over clothes that didn't fit anymore. Here's what I've been doing to change that:
- Eating more fresh food and cooking more from scratch.
This is an old habit I'd fallen out of so I have good skills here that just need reviving. One of my biggest tools to help with this is a weekly produce delivery from Planet Organics. They have grocery items as well as produce and even have recently added a CSA box within the order, selectable or not by the week rather than being locked in, which is a big help for folks who travel a lot.
- Walking 10,000 steps or more a day.
Still trying to reach the point where I do this without fail, but the treadmill desk helps a lot. I haven't left the house today and haven't been doing much around the place, but as I write this I'm going 1.9mph and have already hit 3300 steps just catching up with email, doing my weekly review, etc. The tool that helps motivate me here is my Fitbit. I thought about adding a Nike Fuelband, but I tend to hate bracelets since I'm typing a lot of the time.
- Measuring my weight and BMI.
I use a Withings scale for this (Joe has one), but actually track the measurements on the Fitbit site. The other tool that supports me here is the Bang Bang diet app, which is basically a tracker tool for the Hacker's Diet: if you're on track for your weight loss goal, eat normally, and if not, eat light. Haven't tried the Withings app, but am about to try it out.
- Making chopped salads.
I know this shouldn't seem like such a big deal, but I think having one of these every week has really helped, and they're so delicious I feel confident I could up that to twice a week. I got the idea from this Jamie Oliver podcast.
Is it working? Well, after gaining about 10lbs in the last year (when I was actually trying to lose 13lbs), in the last two weeks I've lost over 4lbs. I blame restaurant dining, inactivity, and cocktails, but mostly restaurant food. Now probably half of this recent weight loss comes from when I had food poisoning (not salad related, I'm pretty confident), but even if I am losing a couple pounds a month, I'm going to be feeling a lot better by spring and will have installed some good habits under my skin.
Living Better 2012
If you cook & freeze some pieces of bacon, when you get home after a party at 11:45pm you'll be able to have 1 piece of bacon in 10 seconds.
New Orleans under the skin 2012
RT @hayeswire: Chef Justin Simoneaux Reflects on First Year at Boxing Room
Best salmon of my entire life tonight at Nopa. Wow! #food #bliss #SF
sweet relief 2012
Fellow cold/scratchy throat sufferers! Take an orange & put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Cut into 8ths. Eat the cold tart bliss
rewarding ourselves with the best cheese plate in the city 2012
We've been enjoying Jardineire's focus on U.S. cheesemakers. Wonderful selections!