notes to self

If wishes were pennies and I could fly, I'd be very rich I'd be very high

Oct 31, 2008

Bridge School Concert

Erin took me to the concert that benefits the Bridge School down by San Jose. It was pretty great, all these bands like Norah Jones and Sarah McLachlan, Death Cab for Cutie and Wilco. We had to leave before Jack Johnson and Neil Young, long drive home and late at night, but the whole experience was great.

Oct 24, 2008

Spanish Fish in a Sack

Here's one to try out, Spanish Fish in a Sack, courtesy of Rachael Ray and Thirty Minute Meals, even though it takes me about 1.5 hours to make this. But I clean and cut fresh green beans, and roast my red pepper on the grill before adding it to the parchment paper. I use about 4 oz fish for each serving, and fresh local sable fish (black cod) when it is available because it is so oily and delicious. I also try to find the saltiest black olives available, even if they have the pits. And I cook it on my gas grill, as hot as it gets, for 10-12 minutes. So I never really follow a recipe. Still, this Spanish Fish in a Sack is so excellent, puts a smile on my face, and Erin's.
Parchment paper
1 pound ready-trimmed green beans, available in produce department, halved on an angle across
8 anchovy fillets, optional
(I like the anchovies, Erin does not)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
16 strips thinly sliced pimientos or roasted red pepper
1/2 cup pitted chopped good quality black olives, such as kalamata
2 pounds cod fillets, cut into 4 portions (get thick pieces from the center cuts rather than tail-end pieces) Or 4 red snapper fillets, 8 ounces each
Salt and pepper
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, a generous handful, chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil, for generous drizzling
1 lemon, zested and juiced

Before it's cooked, it looks like this:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rip off 4 sheets of parchment paper, each a little over a foot long.

Place 1/4 of the green beans in the center of each sheet then top with 2 anchovy fillets -- or don't, 1/4 of the garlic, 1/4 of the pimiento or roasted pepper strips, chopped olives and cod or snapper portions. Season the fish with salt and pepper and top with equal amounts of the scallions and parsley. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil liberally and equally along with lemon zest and juice evenly over the fish portions. Fold the top and bottom edges together and crease several times then crease up the ends of the packets, making a sack for each fish to cook in. Arrange the sacks on the baking sheet and place in the center of the hot oven.

Bake packets 20 minutes. Serve a packet per dinner plate and cut open at table. Pass salad or Potatoes with Chorizo and Onions or even simply some good, chewy bread to round out the meal.


Oct 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad

I think today is my father's 100th birthday!
October 17, 1908 - 2008.
With fond memories,

Oct 6, 2008

Death-to-Indigenous-People Day and I am stuck in war hell

As I was out enjoying my peaceful sunny garden, the Blue Angels just dive bombed our back yard. How I wish they were not allowed to disturb my peace, those evil celebrators of war, horror, violence and oppression. The alarm they send reminds me it will be fleet week in the San Francisco Bay Area, Columbus Day, or more appropriately, Death-to-Indigenous-People Day every year. Usually I try to get Erin to take me out of town, far away from here. And then I let the mayors know, I protest by spending my money in another, more peaceful, and more safe location. But there is no escaping them this year. I am stuck here in war hell. I hear them circling the blue sky as I type this.

And, yet again, I demand to know,
What is their effect on the environment?
What are we going to have to do to repair their damage?
How could these people be occupied in a less-destructive, more constructive manner?

(see also