Category Archives: food


We had our wedding cake yesterday. 5 weeks late, and yet, perfect.


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End of the year and other new stuff

I am in Oregon again.  It is for a short time only, but I am here and that is all that matters. Also, I have a new range in our old farm house – the previous one was a brown, 20 year old electric range with coils, half of which didn’t work, and more mouse poop in its wiring than I care to think about.

The clean-up after they pulled that thing from its spot was toxic.

My fabulous boyfriend, who is soon to be my – wait for it – husband (!!!!) got me the range for a xmas present. I know it sounds that next I’ll be barefoot, pregnant and chained to that stove forever. I guess 2 out of three ain’t bad. HA!

You know I love to cook, so this is really a great Xmas present.  And the electrician is downstairs making sure we can actually turn on the stove and the lights at the same time.

On other news, posting on this blog will remain light in the foreseeable future.  Not that I plan to continue my lazy ways.  Au contraire. I am starting a new blog, one that will be a wee bit more focused that this one, ahemm.

I  need to lose some pounds. And I love food and its place in our life, and I am concerned and interested by the consequences of our mistreatment of the production process of food on the distribution of food across the world.  The fact that I have pounds to lose and that across the Atlantic people are starving, or that my weight comes from eating too much good food while most obesity in the US comes from indulging in Big macs – these are the things that keep me awake at night.

Food is essential, but we humans have not respected it enough, we have no dealt with the inequality in the distribution of food across the globe in a holistic way, and we are not thinking enough about the connection between climate control and food supply control.

If any of this interests you, or if you just want to see me expose myself, my weight, and embarrassing shots of my largest parts, leave me a comment or send me an email (galainoregonATgmailDOTcom) with your email, and I’ll let you know when the new blog is up.

It’s all for a good cause (my weight loss will be a food bank’s gain – more on that in the blog), so I hope to hear from you!


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last night, at the end of a very long day of re-writes and very boring statistical data work i dragged myself to my local wholefoods.  the logic goes like this:  i love this a russian bakery – they make amazing breads, very rough peasant breads, redolent of harsher times. the ladies who are behind the counter are middle aged, wear too much make-up, have thick accents and are only occasionally friendly, and when the shop owner is in teh store, they try to grffly push you to buy eggplant salad and more bread.  they also make amazing sweet poppy seed danishes, strudels, and other sweet concoctions.  it would be very very bad to leave the house with the express and exclusive intention of buying russian carbs.  but morally i can accept dropping in to the bakery on my way out from wholefoods, which is next door.

that is how i happened to be in line at wholefoods behind a guy in a suit, a young-ish guy (late 20’s maybe) in a decent suit with decent shoe and good haircut, buying a ready-made pb&j sandwich and a bottle of oj for dinner.  he said so to the cashier.

whatever the circumstances of his pre-packed pb&j dinner,  i realized that i can make myself a pb&j sandwich whenever i want to.

that made me stupidly happy.

and then i bought a poppyseed danish.

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Gala in Oregon, for a week-end

happy happy happy

PB,  friends, espresso, wine, whiskey sour, polenta with ragu, friends, fresh chanterelles bought off the truck, red leaves on trees, red leaves falling off trees, cozy morning with PB, runny nose, warm socks, harvest dinner, more wine, blue sky, geese flying south, more cozy with PB

happy happy happy

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overheard barside, portland OR

two men, talking as they leave a lovely restaurant in NW Portland wednesday evening:

“no, you don’t understand, she doesn’t want me gone, she wants me dead

his friend’s response:

“johnny, let me tell you, that’s a good thing”

it felt like a scene of the soprano’s,  pacific northwest edition.

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my mom and the boys

i just spent 4 days in CA rearranging furniture between two homes 70 miles apart.  the transfer involved a monstrous SUV in which we fit a surprising amount of stuff, one very controlled trip to ikea, two house cleaning bills (bc two homes) and one mother, sent from exotic places south to help me.

i need my mom for many things, but never more than when i am moving.  faced with two large bookcases and 10 empty boxes, i will tend to sit down and start thumbing through the books.  the process will take days.  with taskmaster mom at my side, it is done in less than an hour. ditto the large monstrous desk (inherited from my great grandfather) – which was used as a mailing station and liquor cabinet. without my mom i’d probably still be sitting at that desk now, wondering what to do with that box of paper clips, that almost empty bottle of knob creek.

we shlepped SO much stuff along the california freeways and still we managed to do some serious damage at the mall, have the best sushi i’ve had in a long time, and eat some pretty fabulous breakfasts at my neighborhood hang outs.

top experience definitely goes to my nearest starbucks – did you know strabucks no serves breakfast? and not a bad one? i know i know – i’ve been in small town oregon for too long… my mother ate her oatmeal with her eyes moving in all directions, trying to take in each scene as it developped.  the tatooed guy, the two skinny guys, the big buff bald guy, the guy with the teeny dog, the one with the huge dog. it’s not hat she’s not used to the diversity, but at 8am in the morning, even i have to admit that there was an lot going on.

and there she sat,  all of  102 pounds, in her jeans skirt and hip white converse sneakers,  eating her oatmeal with a plastic spoon, taking it all in.

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on being exceedingly hot

and i don’t mean hot like the PB, i mean as in it’s a gazillion degrees here.

so hot you sweat even under a cold shower, so hot the night was almost unbearable, so hot Her Highness has not stopped panting all day. in fact, i have been panting too. other people are complaining miserably , i am staying sweaty, but happy. after the two winters we had this year (winter started in october 07 and ended around may 28th 08 ) i can take this heat and i welcome it.

this heat means : TOMATOES! it means happy vines (and yummy wines), it means meteorologically and medically recommended laziness and hydration by any means (i vote for micheladas – see the kitchen section for instructions) – these are the dog-days of summer we hungered for in april, so bring them on!  however, i did not survive a year in yucatan without learning some lessons on how to make this heat more pleasant, so here are a few:

  • drink lots of liquids – lukewarm sweet mint tea, water with a sqeeze of lime, ice cold diet-cokes, micheladas
  • eat cold fruit and veggies – watermelon, peaches, frozen berries, cold cucumbers (slices of which feel very good over sleep-deprived puffy eyes)
  • down gallons of gazpacho (see kitchen section)
  • sleep in a hammock if possible
  • take a wet bandana or sheet and wrap yourself in it – particularly good at night
  • let it slide: there is literally no reason to get excited about anything, and it is too damn hot expend any energy on anything. no really. not even that.
  • go to the cineplex – it’s air conditionned. the PB and kidlets are going to base-ball game tonight, so i am free to see pineapple express. ice cold air and tub of popcorn here i come.

and last but not least, go commando. when it is too hot to breathe, it is definitely too hot to wear underwear. TRUST me.

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