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A Press Democrat Blog

Proximal Kitchen

Cooking locally, with really sharp knives

3 Ingredients, 30 Minutes: Hawaiian Sausage, Eggs & Rice

When I was much younger, and still living with hippies, my best friend moved to Hawai’i. For a child, growing up on a commune can feel a lot like quarantine – albeit with more space, and dirtier – so losing my friend was a big deal. But whatever the logical link between our Mendocino commune and my friend’s new home in the cane fields (it still eludes me), it meant that we would visit, and for that I’m thankful: I still remember the feeling of gravelly black sand between my toes, the thrill of getting caught in a sudden tropical shower, and the snot-like sensation of eating poi.… Read More »

New Year’s Eve: Serve This, Get Lucky

If you’ve already got Champagne and caviar lying about, then by all means, use it, and with neither apology nor reservation. But here is my contribution: Whatever you do, make sure you serve something that will get you lucky. As it happens – to nobody’s surprise, at least if they’re regular readers – we in the Proximal Kitchen are nothing if not opinionated, and we love most of all to pontificate about which foods and wines are most likely to earn you flirty looks and even messier sheets, and we’ve got just the ticket:… Read More »

A Nicoise Salad in Winter, and The Rules

Perhaps Will Shakespeare lived in Northern California and craved a salad in winter when he spoke of those days, green in judgment and cold in blood; or maybe I’m just projecting because, as recently as yesterday, I was talking about this salad I had made, borne of winter crops, which still I took to be a very-nearly-classic Salade Nicoise, but for the outrage of tomatoes in absentia, and it got me thinking: What, really, constitutes the One, True Thing, the Nicoise that casts its shadow on the wall?… Read More »

What Obama and Bush both know about wine

Chicken/egg, TV/commercial, show-me-yours/I’ll-show-you-mine; which came first, the food or the wine? In our house, such questions carry weight, a seriousness you might consider more properly reserved for electrocardiograms, or matters of national security. The thing of it is, in wine country, the ordinal structure of food vis-a-vis wine matters, not least because you’ll neither be fed nor drunk until we’ve settled the matter. To wit, a wine that my wife adores and that Presidents Obama and Bush Jr uniquely agree upon, because it’s been spilled on the official tablecloths of Republican and Democratic White Houses alike…
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Cooking for Date Night, Naughty ‘n Nice

sweet n salty vodka whipped creamWhipped cream for dinner, because Saturday night, with any luck at all, means date night. Date night – at least around our house – is at least as likely to mean a raid on the wine cellar and a bag of tricks from the farmer’s market as a babysitter and a night out on the town, because we live in a sleepy wine country town where most of the bars shutter their doors around the same time my kids shut their eyes…… Read More »