Closer to knowing

December 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

Peter Hook
Last night at Mezzanine, San Francisco. After enduring (too) many dozens of minutes of video clips from the Joy Division and New Order archives, Peter Hook and the other unknown musicians took the stage–unknown, except the other bassist was his own son!

Peter Hook was the the bassist of post-punk rock band Joy Division during their short existence between 1979 and 1980. Though short, their music helped formed modern/alternative rock we know today. Furthermore, we now have New Order.

Last night Peter’s vocals didn’t(couldn’t) achieve the unique character of Ian’s, but the music was spot on.

They played every song from Joy Division’s debut 1979 album Unknown Pleasures. The set started with an intro from a Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europa Express.” Then in encore: Atmosphere (dedicated to Peter’s recently passed friend), Transmission, and the crowd pleasing Love Will Tear Us Apart.

updated 12/13/10:

Well, it looks like I blew it. They lights came on after Love Will Tear Us Apart. Show’s over.

Today at work, I compared notes with my co-worker, Mark. He mentioned liking the last song the best–I was a little surprised at that. But it turned out that there was a second encore. The song played: Ceremony. The first song released by New Order as a new band. To me it’s a classic JD/NO song and a favorite.


setlist via


captures: last few days

December 8, 2010 § 2 Comments

The last few days various images were made. Trapped in the phone. These stuck out.

golden ore

aondrea opening

split tree

furniture hunt with jen

seeing aondrea’s art

rainy day at work

pear crisp no. 3

December 8, 2010 § 2 Comments

Better crisp topping. Pears, good, but not as good as Sunday Dinner dessert.

Yes. I made another one. A late night version. Smaller. Experimental. Bosc pears. Stick with D’Anjou, comice or bartlett. I used 1/2 C of coarsely ground oatmeal +2 TBSP AP flour instead of 6 TBSP of AP flour. Toss in a half a small handful of whole oatmeal, cut in 6 TBSP butter. The pear quantity was 3 which means the topping was double the amount previously. That is the way to go. Same spices and same rum raisins. Left out of this round, for guilt sake, but definitely should go in future versions, melted butter over the pears; a winner. Maybe walnuts instead of pecans?

Midnight dessert over.


Listening to:
Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animal Collective
Scratch My Back – Peter Gabriel

cacciatore, crisp, and catching up

December 6, 2010 § 2 Comments


We had talked about teaming up in the kitchen for a long time. Terri and I finally followed through yesterday, a gray stormy day in SF. The perfect opportunity to catch up with my friends Terri and Louise, it had been a while.

Cooking with gas, literally. Thanks to Terri’s great remodel, an awesome gas stove was waiting for me. I was psyched. It’s easy to get excited about a stove when your daily driver is an electric stove which was very likely one of the cheapest models Home Depot carried circa 1989.

Along with the nice kitchen, there is the view. Even in the rainy grayness, looking out at the grand span of the twin peaks is spectacular.


A couple of days ago we decided to make chicken cacciatore, roasted potatoes, broccoli rabe. And the big challenge was going to be our first try at homemade pasta with Terri’s new pasta maker. Continuing my obsession with pears this year, I wanted to make a crisp for dessert.

Terri decided on fettucine alfredo for the starter. Terri masterminded the pasta dough creation and it went quickly. I made my first little pasta dough ball ever. Though, the rolling didn’t go as planned. As we were rolling the pasta, we noticed that the newly acquired hand-cranked pasta machine roller was adding some extra ingredients. We did not like that. It was ditched. Terri’s rolling pin and pottery skills came into play as she made fast work of rolling out the dough into thin sheets and hand cutting the fettuccine. After that feat: now we know: check your gear, push to the outside and cut the noodles thinner because they expand quite a bit.


Chicken cacciatore, seemed right for the weather. Today I remembered the chicken cacciatore from when I was a kid, I can still picture the takeout metal tin that crimped over the lid they used for leftovers or take out. It either came from Lombardo’s, a classic Italian-American restaurant with tall back booths, in downtown Albany or that place on the corner on Second Avenue–the name escapes me. [edit: Mom told me that place on Second was Cavaleri’s]

It’s one of those dishes that has no real recipe because it is mainly a technique. I did reference a recipe from my Italian Slow and Savory cookbook I just picked up. Essentially: brown chicken, then saute soffritto, brown mushrooms and peppers in batches. Add tomatoes and herbs. Combine all the precooked items in the large pot and let braise for a while.

Terri has a garden or two, and I have my herb pots, so of course the herbs: rosemary, thyme, marjoram, parsley, and basil came from our backyards.

So I did forget to add the pancetta to the cacciatore, it was included in the recipe I referenced. I hadn’t used it before in cacciatores before–but it likely has been a decade since I’ve made this. It all worked out–we got our bacon fix. We used the pancetta to top the fettuccine. Next time for the cacciatore: more garlic, more mushrooms, and more rosemary. don’t be afraid of the garlic when cooking with friends.


A mix of Comice and D’Anjou pears was used for the crisp. The secret ingredients are a little rum to soak the raisins and lime zest. We all liked the crisp enough to go for seconds. It may have been thirds if I hadn’t forgot to add the pecans to the topping! We all agreed that it’s a good idea to double the crisp topping amount in the future, even if the nuts are included.


Words: Art. Museums. And flour.

Cooking & eating listening:
unknown album – Shout Out Louds
Brothers – The Black Keys
The People’s Record – Club 8
The Audience’s Listening – Cut Chemist
Ga ga ga ga ga – Spoon
Swim – Caribou

Writing listening:
Phrenology – The Roots

morning drive

November 28, 2010 § 2 Comments

I headed out to the coast to find some cool trees, mist, fog and someone doing something interesting around any of those things. I left the house at 6:30, before sunrise. 25 miles west to the coast. I noticed that the gas light on the dash was on while in the driveway. oh well, I have light to catch.

I didn’t find what I had in mind, at least I got to play a little.


apples on trial

November 24, 2010 § 1 Comment

Braeburn v. Fuji, 2010

Deciding on which apples to use for the Thanksgiving Tarte Tatin (a.k.a. Tarte des demoiselles Tatin), I did a trial run last night.

The Braeburns were more tart, but still sweet. The tartness nicely countered the sweet caramel sauce. The Fujis were slightly softer and sweeter but still good.

It’s very simple: in one pan, make caramel. cut apples. place apples in caramel. cover with dough. bake. another step of pre-cooking the apples in the caramel is needed, prior to topping with dough, if large chunks of apples are used. I referenced about 3 recipes for mine. I winged it on timing, which is necessary due to apple size and type of pan used. 30 minutes is the first checking point.

The Thanksgiving version will use fancy pre-made puff pastry rather than the my own homemade pâte sucrée dough which used for this trial run. And Braeburn apples will be dominate, though I am planning on a layer of Granny Smiths as the base. Still experimenting. With creme fraiche from California.

Happy Thanksgiving eve all.

Listening to:

Kate Bush - Cloudbusting
Kate Bush - W‪uthering Heights‬
C‪at ‬P‪ower - Cross bones style‬
Bat For Lashes - A Forest.  A cool cover of one of my favorite Cure songs

...listening during blog entry/photochopping. Tarting was sans tunes.

soundtrack for stew

November 23, 2010 § 1 Comment


Yes, these first posts are going to be dominated by food topics. How can it not be? This is the week of Thanksgiving.

The end of the Gustavo Stanaolalla’ soundtrack for Motorcycle Diaries is playing in the background in the living room. ‘De Usuahia A La Quiaca’ is an especially good song.  Tonight during my stew cooking endeavors in the kitchen that album was mixed with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club . Obvious connection, interesting juxtoposition. Thanks to iTunes.

Listening to:

B.R.M.C. - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (2000)
The Motorcycle Diaries Soundtrack - Gustavo Santaolalla (2004)
Selmasongs - Björk (2000) 

Here is the recipe for the Beef, Barley, and Butternut Squash Stew…. « Read the rest of this entry »