Monday, November 30, 2009


I neglected to mention the other reason I love to cook Thanksgiving dinner: the leftovers. But I have to confess that this is the one and only instance where I'm a fan. I'm ashamed to admit this because it goes against every single thing my coupon-clipping, special-grabbing, budget-tightening, bargain-hunting mother has been drilling into me for years. She never met a meal she couldn't stretch for a week or so*, and I know it causes her physical pain to see a container with my daughter's extra spaghetti Bolognese sitting for days in our fridge**. Some people indulge in real cream with their coffee, I splurge by only eating a meal the first time around. There, Mom. I've said it. I know I'm going to burn for it.

While I am a clear disappointment to her, my sister is the leftovers poster child. Going out with her always involves toting half-eaten sandwiches, assorted chicken pieces, desserts with bites out of them, the odds and ends of a Chinese dinner, a taco and a spoonful of refried beans, part of a rib-eye, pesto pasta and some kind of a salad home with us. Then we find her a day or so later, happily sitting with a fork and an array of take-out boxes assembling a meal in front of the microwave***:

Me: We're going to grab some dinner at the place down the street. Want to come?
Her: No thanks. I'm all set.
Me: What is that?
Her: My chicken sandwich from Tuesday, the mashed potatoes from dinner last night, with a side of Asian noodles and a lamb skewer that I found on the bottom shelf in some foil.
Me: Ah ha. [My husband is turning pale and backing out of the door.] Are you sure you don't want to come? Our treat?
Her: That's OK. Don't order dessert though...I have half a piece of chocolate cake here that should be plenty for the three of us to split when you come back.

The dog scowls and eats his bare, dry kibble**.

Why then, do I purposely cook way too much food for Thanksgiving dinner? It's simple. Thanksgiving leftovers are different. With a little magic, they transform completely into fantastic new meals that are totally unrelated to the Thursday night feast. For example:
  • Mashed potatoes mixed with chopped scallions become crispy potato pancakes, topped with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of lox. They go perfectly with eggs the next morning.
  • A dab of cranberry sauce between two shortbread cookies, sprinkled with powdered sugar, makes an elegant and tasty treat with a cup of tea.
  • The turkey carcass tossed in a dutch oven with carrots, celery, onions, thyme and water to cover, bubbles into a rich and savory stock for risotto or turkey stew.
And the turkey itself? Thanks to my sister's recipe****, we eat enchiladas, baby!

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas*****

About 4-5 cups (use what you have) of roasted turkey or chicken, chopped or shredded into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
2 c. grated pepper jack cheese
1 c. chopped fresh spinach, optional
salt and pepper to taste

1 10 oz. can Las Palmas red enchilada sauce, or 2 cans El Torito green enchilada sauce
1 pkg. French's Chili-0 seasoning mix (omit if using green sauce)
1 dozen corn tortillas
vegetable oil, for tortillas

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix turkey, onion, sour cream, cilantro, 1 c. of the cheddar cheese, all of the pepper jack, and the spinach, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. Pour enchilada sauce into a large sauce pan, add another canful of water, then stir in the seasoning mix and simmer until blended and warm. (If using green sauce, just heat).

You are now getting ready to form and fill your enchiladas. What I do is create an assembly line near my stove. The first station is a large frying pan, where you heat about 1 tsp. of oil. Next to that is your pan of warm sauce. Then your bowl of filling, and right next to that on the counter is a 9x13 rectangular baking dish. Take a tortilla, and place in the frying pan to soften. Flip after about 30 seconds to soften the other side. Using tongs, carefully dip the softened tortilla in the sauce to coat. Then lay the tortilla in the baking dish. Spoon a good amount of filling into the middle of the tortilla, fold over the sides, then rotate in the baking dish so the fold side is down. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil as needed to the frying pan as you go. If you have extra filling when you're done, just tuck it in around the enchiladas. Pour all of the remaining enchilada sauce over, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese. It will look really soupy, but don't worry! The sauce will be absorbed by the tortillas as they cook. Bake for 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbling. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes (or salsa), guacamole and sour cream.

Unrecognizable Thanksgiving turkey

* After getting the ingredients for 60% off, plus a double coupon and extra value points.
** Thus we are literal interpreters of the phrase "doggie bag". The day before Mom comes over, the dog happily helps us clear away any evidence of unfinished meals. The aforementioned spaghetti, pictured here, will be gone by 5 pm today. When my sister visits, the pooch is out of luck.
*** My microwave is for softening butter, melting chocolate, and popping popcorn. My sister can whip up a seven course meal for her family (sometimes using new ingredients) in hers.
**** The amount of cheese involved should be a clue that it is her recipe.
***** You can make these any time of year using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Family Gathering

Thanksgiving dinner is my all-time favorite meal to cook. Something about preparing this dinner brings deep and intangible joy to my heart. There have been years when we've eaten great turkey, rich stuffing and sinful desserts that other wonderful chefs have prepared: terrific evenings where we enjoyed every bite and every minute. And yet, when that's happened, I've often succumbed to the compulsion to cook the whole thing again the next day*, not because I was craving my own food, but because I was craving the marvelous feeling of making this meal.

As I was puttering contentedly around the kitchen the last few days, I suddenly understood, at least a little. Instead of cookbooks, I was pulling out notes that had been hand written, e-mailed, or dictated to my scribbling. Every single recipe came from someone I love, who loved me back. With each tablespoon of sage or sizzle of sausage, they gathered around me, my family and friends. They were all here, filling the room with memories from childhood, from a rag tag gathering of refugees in my first apartment in NY, from long distance phone calls home for help, from dinners that welcomed me to a new town or a new family. While things were baking, I was unearthing wedding china**, silver from great grandparents, decorations the kids made in preschool, and wine from a cousin's ranch.

Before the doorbell ever rang, before grace was spoken, before a single dish was served, I was surrounded and embraced and profoundly elated by this gathering from the past. The comfort of hands clasped around the table and the rush for second helpings later just made my Thanksgiving overflow.

For this feeling, and so much more, I give thanks.

Specific credits to:
My mom, for the cranberry sauce and homemade rolls
My sister, for the secrets to a great brined turkey***
My business partner and his wife, for the mashed potato souffle
My husband's aunt, for the pumpkin pie and my brother-in-law, for requesting it
My NY roomates, for the gravy
My husband, for the stuffing
My niece, for the inspiration to make cheesecake on top of everything else.

Mom's Ridiculously Easy Cranberry Sauce

1 bag of cranberries
1 1/2 c. of sugar
2-3 Tbs. apricot or cherry jam

Preheat oven to 350. Rinse and dry the cranberries. Pour into 9 inch round baking dish. Cover with the sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes. While still hot, stir in the jam. Pour into a pretty bowl. Cover and refrigerate, then serve whenever you like.

* No one in our house ever complained about eating it again, mind you.
** From three generations of weddings: Mine, my sister's, my husband's parents' and his grandparents'.
*** I strayed from her tried and true method to try dry brining this year, swayed by the glowing reviews in the LA Times. Not a disaster, but I should have stuck with the one I love.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Foodie Girls Lunch Brigade - Episode 10

When my copy of LA magazine arrived and I saw the review, I knew immediately that our next FG stop had to be Mo-Chica. I alerted the troops via e-mail:

"I just read about another place downtown that sounds like it was made for the FG''s a Peruvian place in a Mexican mini mall run by a Japanese trained chef. Here's a rave from Jonathan Gold on their ceviche. Who's in?"

The FG's, that's who. Carpools have been arranged. We are converging from points all over LA. I have a visiting FG lined up. My camera is fully charged. I am heading out the door to catch my ride downtown when I notice a message has come in on my cell phone. Fatally, I retrieve it:

Hi. This is school. Your daughter is sick. Please come and get her right away.

Heart sinking, I return the call*.

Me: Hi. This is Sharon. What's going on?
School: She's sick. She needs to go home.
Me: Like, how sick?
School: [Silence]
Me: OK. I'm on my way.

Fortunately for my daughter, her tummy issues were of the non-swine, non-flu, non-contagious 24 hour variety. Fortunately for you, my fellow FG's came through with the scoop and the verdict. And fortunately for me, it looks like Mo-Chica is open for lunch every day.

I'm on my way.

Episode 10 - Mo-Chica's a Keep-a

A dispatch from FG2, with photos from FG3.

"It’s Monday and I drive down to my old digs, USC, and follow MapQuest to a Mercado to meet my hungry cohorts at Mo Chica, a Peruvian restaurant that is no restaurant. This is a counter in a bizarre food court that also hosts other places to eat and a few stands to get all of your Latino fashions. If you need a striped poncho this is the place to go.

I regress. Let’s talk food. I immediately YELP to get help in ordering, as FG1 has been yanked out of commission by a sick child. In true FG fashion, four of us intrepid souls powered through without her. But we did pout a little.

Here’s what we ordered:

Ceviche – Absolutely a must! Delicious tangy (read lemony) raw fish served with seaweed, hominy, and marinated red onions. Fresh and fantastic.

Potato appetizer – this was recommended on Yelp. Since it’s a daily special, ours came with crab. Two of us liked it and two of us really hated it. Order at your own peril.

Ling Cod – It was the fish special and the sauce it came in was fantastic. The fish was just okay.

Braised Ox tail – Another special. Another amazing sauce, but the meat was too fatty.

Lamb Shank – ORDER THIS!!!! We all agreed that this was the best dish, the lamb wasn’t too lamby and the braise it came in was perfectly spiced. To spoon this on rice was heaven.

Mushroom Quinoa (Keen-wa) – I personally ordered this because I love love love mushroom risotto and it didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, two of us don’t eat mushrooms, which made me sad because this quinoa was warm and porridgy and really hit the spot.

Despite ordering so many things, we were all obnoxiously eying the filet with giant fried potatoes on top. We should have ditched the oxtail and had that instead.

Everyone's order came with a thick veggie soup that had a slight kick and creamy finish. It made us wish the bowls were bigger.

The drinks were weird. Two of us had a passion fruit drink that was refreshing and two of us had an oddly thick barley hibiscus tea. I say, stick with diet coke.

The woman who took our order seemed like she might be a problem, but when she heard all of our “oooing and ahhing” over the food she pepped up towards us. The seating is a small “rural” area in front of the counter.

Was it worth the trip? Yes, especially midday when there isn’t a whole lot of traffic. But next time, we're not going without you, FG1!"

Right back at ya, FG2!

FG Final Verdict? Mo-Chica is ON the list!
Pricing Information: Nothing over $13 on the menu
FG Value Rating: Fair deal

* Why didn't they call her dad? He has a cell phone, a car and, most likely, nothing more exciting than a couple of slices of pizza on his lunch agenda.

Foodie Girls Lunch Brigade – Dateline Paris

This just in from HFG1, our foreign correspondent on the ground and eating out on behalf of the Foodie Girls in one of the foodie meccas of, um, well...the earth. After posting this intriguing blurb just a few short days ago...

"I just heard about the 4 restaurants run by Christian Constant, all located on rue Saint Dominique near the Eiffel Tower. He quit the Crillon, a Michelin 3-star gastronomic palace, to set off on his own and to stop cooking, as he put it, in constant fear of losing a star. Each has a very different menu, but they all share his striving for excellence yet keeping it all affordable for ordinary people.
" true FG fashion she proceeded to immediately go and try it out for all of us. Here is her report:

For anyone going to Paris*, I recommend Café Constant, on rue Saint-Dominique near the Eiffel Tower, for traditional French cooking at very reasonable prices. I had the sardine starter: fresh sardines on a crispy wafer topped with lightly seasoned tomatoes and very sweet onions. For the main dish, I ordered venison but they were out so settled for grilled "bar", a white fish from Brittany's Atlantic waters. It was very light, flaky and perfectly grilled. I was disappointed that the side dish wasn't pureed sweet potatoes, as indicated on the menu, but rather pureed pumpkin that was overly salted. To finish off the meal, I picked a dessert that I used to have with my Grandma Gladys at her favorite cafeteria in Long Beach, CA : stewed prunes. But these were nothing like the cafeteria variety. They were soaked in mulled wine, making them pungent and spicy. My French friend picked entirely different things. For the starter, it was minced salmon, oysters and ginger (a sushi-inspired mix) on the half-shell. He hit a bad note for his main dish : grilled veal brains**. The dark brown thing on his white plate looked like a twice-burned pork chop. Normally veal brains are served luke warm in their gelatin with a parsley-and-egg-yolk vinaigrette called "sauce gribich". I'm not one to like odd meats, especially gelatinous ones, but this dish is rich, dense and very satisfying. He finished off with a plate of tiny chocolate eclairs smothered in even more chocolate sauce. This café had very friendly waiters and a welcoming barman (yes! this is possible in Paris) and an international crowd that was clearly enjoying themselves and leaving their plates wiped completely clean.

* If this is you, then I (Sharon, that is, not HFG1, who is very nice and didn't include any snide footnotes in her dispatch) am extremely jealous and hate you, but hope you have nice trip and visit this restaurant and many others and write to tell me about it but don't gloat too much when you do.

** I subsequently received this clarification: The correct translation of "tête de veau" is calf's head, NOT veal brains. It's a sweatbread composed of the meaty parts between the skull and the brains. Maybe it's just me, but I would still go with the fish.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Labor of love

If you are extremely lucky, one day you will be invited over to make tamales at a friend's house.


You'll walk in and find they've put in hours of work already...braising meat in a smoky red sauce until it falls apart on a fork...soaking the corn husks until they are pliable and silky in your hands...roasting and chopping green chiles...assembling huge bowls of masa and cheese, and smaller bowls of raisins, olives and corn. Perhaps they've even been mixing up killer bloody Marys*.

When you go, the stuffing list may vary**. The people around the table with you will vary too. They could be generations of women, childhood friends, neighbors, aunts, grandparents, perfect strangers. Regardless of the connections or lack thereof, invariably you'll talk and laugh about everything and nothing as you try unsuccessfully to emulate your hostess' smoothness with the spatula and her tidy bundling moves.

As the afternoon flies by, the kids will come home from school and beg for samples. You will instead taunt them by savoring every bite of your tester batch.

The pile of finished goods will become impressively large. So large that it ought to last for months and/or feed an army***, because everyone knows this is way too much work to do everyday. But it doesn't feel like work to you. Instead, you will feel so at home and comfortable and just plain happy that it is clear where the phrase "labor of love" comes from.

You may have new found appreciation for the phrase, "bundle of joy", too.

* Don't count on the bloody Marys. I happened to hit the jackpot.
** Tamale composition, you will soon realize, is an intensely, deeply personal matter, and even within a nuclear family the differences are profound and unyielding.
*** But are so tasty that they will probably be consumed way before they ever make it to the freezer. Mine were.

Friday, November 20, 2009


My husband called last night from Virgina:

Him: Is your mom OK?
Me: What? What are you talking about?
Him: Oprah. I'm worried about her.
Me: You're worried about Oprah?
Him: No! I'm worried about your mom because of Oprah. Don't you read The Wall Street Journal?
Me: Not anymore. What happened to Oprah? Is there another fire? Is she OK?
Him: She's fine. But she's leaving.
Me: Leaving? Where's she going?
Him: [Speaking slowly in an effort to get through to me] She is leaving the show.
Me: [Momentarily stunned] What? No. No! NO! That can't be right. Mom is going to...I don't know! Is it on the local news? You know she doesn't get some of those cable channels, so maybe...
[I trail off]
She must have heard. She's alone. She's devastated. Oh God! How could this happen!
Him: You'd better check on her. Now.
Me: I will. Gotta go.

Mom, broken up though she was, did not feel alone. She trusted that Oprah had made the right decision, even though it hurt. In fact, she was, as usual, able to think of others who were worse off than herself. As she told me when I called:

"We're all just so sad. You know, Ray Romano was on the show this afternoon. He was talking about his mother, and said this was going to be both the happiest and the saddest day of her life. Happiest because he was finally on the show, and the saddest because of the news. Can you imagine what that woman is going through?"

I might not know what she's going through, but I have a pretty good idea how Ray is feeling.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The flavor of fall

I'm typing this with big fuzzy socks on my feet, not as some kind of fashion statement*, but because it's downright chilly around here these days. OK, OK. Technically, its only chilly at night, but then it is really cold. That's why I am also sporting an especially tattered old heavy sweatshirt as part of this evening's ensemble. Some folks have the glorious fall foliage tour as a visual cue that the season has changed. My family has the nightly sloppy floppy mommy sightings.

Perhaps that is why we all prefer the cues that come from our other senses this time of year. The sound of rustling leaves in the driveway and USC fans crying their little eyes out**. The smell of wood fires burning*** and stews braising in the oven. That first crunchy, juicy, marvelous bite of a Honeycrisp apple. A steaming bowl of homemade soup with crusty bread to mop up every last drop.

And something, anything, everything laced with cinnamon, cloves, and ginger for dessert.

Comfort clothes and comfort food. Fall is fine by me.

Autumn Spice Cookies

I clipped this recipe from the LA Times food section years ago. It's got all the flavor of a great gingersnap, but the texture is a whole other wonderful chewy, rich, crispy edged kind of thing. They are amazing**** and unbelievably easy.

Preheat oven to 350.

2/3 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg
1 c. sugar

Combine the above in a large bowl by hand until well blended.

In a smaller separate bowl, mix together:

2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Add this into the molasses mixture, and stir until completely combined.

Put about 1/4 c. of sugar into a small bowl. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, coat lightly with sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet, then flatten slightly with your fingers. Bake for 9 minutes, or until the edges are just turning brown. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack (cookies will be really soft and bendy). As they cool they will flatten out and the edges will crisp up and the centers will be chewy and spicy and utterly wonderful.

If you do happen to keep them longer than a day, they will become crispier over time, but will still taste delicious.

* Despite the fact that I have recently had my nails done, I am still hopeless in this department.
** After Stanford kicked the &#$? out of them in their worst defeat ever. To quote their coach: ''I'm not sure I have the right words to describe being humbled like this. I don't really know where to put it. ... We have fallen apart and given our opponents the opportunity to do whatever they want, but you have to give Stanford a lot of credit.''
*** Intentionally burning with cut up logs in fireplaces, as opposed to out of control wildfires consuming vast stretches of the county. That is a summer smell.
**** To quote the e-mail I received from a guy who had one of these hot out of the oven this afternoon, "That was probably the best cookie I've ever had. Please email me the recipe if its not a secret." No secrets here. Enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Like family

My mom was over this weekend, and witnessed our collective euphoria over an unheard of explosion of success from our beloved, yet beleagered, sports teams:

1. My daughter made a spectacular save as goalie in her soccer game, preventing the opposing team from going up 2-0. Instead, her goal kick helped her team set up a great shot to tie the game in the last few minutes.

2. After icing an injured knee through most of the first half, my son went back on the field and helped his team come from being down 0-3 to take a 4-3 lead in the span of 15 minutes. A great shot by the opposing team with 30 seconds to play tied it up, but it was an amazing game to watch.

3. Stanford upset Oregon*.

4. The Clippers won three in a row**.

5. The LA Galaxy clinched a first round playoff win with a great penalty kick by Landon Donovan***

I turned to my mom in elation as we were out running an errand and asked how she enjoyed the Stanford game. She's a become dedicated sports fan (as we all have) since I somehow freakishly gave birth to a jock.

Her: Oh, I didn't watch it. I don't get that channel on my cable****.
[She sighs]
But I did watch the Notre Dame game because of Regis. He went to Notre Dame, you know. He and Kelly are just like family to me now. He'll be so disappointed, and I know it will come up when we all get together on Monday.
[She sighs again]
Two points. That's a tough one.
[She cheers up a little]
But it is so nice about Stanford. I know how much you like them.

There is still no word on how Kelly's team did.

* A particularly sweet outcome since they've crushed everyone else in the Pac-10, including those annoying guys at USC. We also become bowl eligible for the first time since 2001.
** Of course, the Laker fan in our Jr. High carpool was unimpressed, but he has no idea of the depths from which our wonder springs.
*** We were at the game, and it was awesome!
**** Clearly, expanded cable package is the preferred Christmas gift.

My kind of grocery store

Every Saturday, the Handy Market in Burbank* has a cookout in the parking lot.

On many a Saturday, we have ribs and tri tip for dinner. Burbank grocery stores rock.

* They were also recently mentioned as one of the best butchers in town in LA Magazine's November Food Issue, and if you happen to go by some other day of the week, grab a sandwich to go. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Having Faith, Part 2

I post this, and then the Clippers proceed to stomp all over Golden State and win by 28 points. Maybe I should think a little more like my son and a little less like The Onion.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Foodie Girls Lunch Brigade - Episode 9

I know that we are supposed to be getting more systematic in our grazing*, but it's not working out that way just yet. Montrose for Mexican a week from Monday? Mmm hmm, we all agreed at O'Groats. But when that plan had to be postponed**, instead of scientifically surveying the group or analyzing the queue of suggested places I fell back on gut instinct***. The Golden State, here we come!

Running a few minutes late to lunch, my cell phone rings as I'm exiting the freeway:

FG2: Hey, it's me. The Golden State is closed on Mondays.

Note to self: Next time, go with gut instinct but also check the restaurant hours on the website.

Episode 9 - Umami Burger to the Rescue

My idiocy was the FG's gain. We regrouped about
a mile away at Umami Burger**** and had some gloriously, gut-satisfyingly, great-tasting food. Poring over the menu of available burgers made our mouths water, particularly since FG12, who had been here before, was raving about the choices in detail as we debated. After settling on four options (the manly burger, the truffle burger, the umami burger and the lamb burger),plus side dishes of cheesy tater tots, onion rings and a pickle platter, we sat back and enjoyed the green tea-lemonade coolers and a mini-reunion of the original FGs*****.

The pickle platter, upon arrival, was more like a small plate with little piles of admittedly fresh and tasty things in brine decoratively placed around it. We all enjoyed it, but as FG3 put it, "I don't understand how they can charge $5 for a condiment tray." Amen to that.

The tiny mound on the lower right is pickled watermelon rind. Delicious!

Then the burgers arrived, and blew thoughts of overpriced cocktail onions from our minds. These were like works of art...just the right size, with improbably glossy buns topping a stack of ingredients that melded together into what a gourmet burger is meant to be:

The umami burger. "The fifth taste" x 6, according to the menu.

The manly burger. Girls like it, too!

Prime quality meat grilled to perfection inside that delectable, slightly sweet, warm toasted bread. The umami burger with a crispy disc of Parmesan cheese and sauteed mushrooms. The rich ooze of the truffle burger. The salty contrast of the onion strings, bacon lardons and beer cheddar on the manly burger. The unexpected rightness of apricots and pomegranate glaze on the lamb burger. We were all so, so happy.

And whoever invented those cheesy tater tots and the kick-ass sauces that came with 'em should get some kind of medal.

I think the staff did grow a bit tired of us after a while******, so perhaps we were partially to blame for their inattentiveness. In our defense though, I think our oohs and ahhs and doofy grins of pleasure probably brought in some potential customers who might have been on the fence.

Plans? Methods? Who needs 'em! Gimme last minute Umami every time.

FG Final Verdict? Umami Burger is so ON the list!
Pricing Information: Burgers $9-12, sides $3-6, desserts (which we didn't try) $5 or so.
FG Value rating: Fair deal, except for those pickles. Get real!

* It should be pretty easy to be more systematic than getting an e-mail and saying, "hey, let's go there!", but so far it's been a struggle. See footnote *** and footnote ******
** FG10, who recommended the place, had a child care conflict and we didn't want to go without her.
***OK, it was more like I fell back on FG2's recent e-mail missives, supplemented by the roundup on yelp about their incredible burger:
  • FG2, part I: I'm having lunch at The Golden State on Fairfax (across the street from Animal) and it's great! Must add to list.
  • FG2, part II: Have you been to Scoops on Melrose? I had gelato at Golden State from Scoops that was heaven. I hear they have Horchata flavor. I had coffee/coconut, [my son] had Chocolate Molasses that tasted like Whoppers. Was so good. Sorry to keep annoying you with all of this food talk, but my husband is useless when it comes to gastronomy.
**** Thanks again to FG2, who followed up her "closed mondays" bombshell with "I want to try Umami Burger". Thanks also to a recent column by Jonathan Gold at LA weekly, so I knew what the hell she was talking about and agreed immediately.
***** This was the first lunch in quite a while where all three of the original FGs were able to come. It was a wonderful feeling, being back together.
****** We were waffling big time about dessert. FG12 had sold us on a certain cookie: "It was some kind of a maple cream cookie that cost $4. But I have to say, it was the best $4 cookie I've ever had in my life." But they didn't have the $4 cookie, so we were all kind of at a loss. Maybe this is why being systematic may never work for us.

p.s. I met my husband at The Golden State for lunch the following day. They also make a mighty, mighty fine burger. Juicy, delicious, loosely ground beef, arugula, cheddar, bacon, and another fabulous semi-sweet toasted bun. Freshly squeezed minted lemonade and curry ketchup to go with a big pile of nicely done fries. I'm keeping this one on the list, too!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Will they pass the test?

To make your own eye chart, go here and click on the link on the upper right side of the page.