Blog Archives - AM Musings
 
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Redwood Beaded Wood Panel
When replacing the old doorbell with a new intercom on our 1880's era Stick Victorian in San Francisco, we revealed the redwood paneling typically used for construction at that time.  A naive 19th century view of there being a seemingly endless supply of natural resources led them to use redwood everywhere.  Today, redwood is increasingly rare, expensive,  and used sparingly.
 
In the future we will probably also seem naive about some things.  I wonder what?
 
You smell it when you walk up to the front  door.  With an open kitchen, you share the fish with the entire neighborhood -- but I like it and the sardines at the fish market looked really good.  I had some garlic chives in the refrigerator so I stuffed the  chives into the sardine and tied a little belt around them with string.  Pan fried them in olive oil, they were good. 
 
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Fat Choy
Happy Lunar New Year 4710!  It's the year of the dragon.  In Cantonese they say gong hay fat choy wishing people happiness  and prosperity.  Pictured above is a moss called fat choy and sounds the same as the words fat choy in gong hay fat choy --  it's traditional to include this in meals at New Years.  

Increasingly expensive, less and less is being used.  Sold dried, it is re-hydrated before using.  This small amount is floating in a bowl of water.
 
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Kim Chee Seasonings
Hawaii has absorbed Asian culinary influences for well over one hundred years.  This seasoning packette produced in Hawaii helps the novice kim chee maker along the Kim Chee path.  I'm still a grasshopper myself, but I don't rely on pre-packaged mixes.  

I show this image more for the graphics as I remember this brand in the Farmers Market  grocery store from my childhood in Reedley, CA.  The yellow blue and red bands evoke a typical Korean aesthetic.  The NOH with the "Chinese" character at the top is instantly recognizable to my eyes.  I saw this at a Chinese grocery store on Clement Street in San Francisco.
 
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Carved chestnuts on display
New Years in our household means a special feast and I do a small part by carving chestnuts to my Mother-in-law's specifications.  After many years, I finally developed a technique where the outer brown layer is removed first.  Only after that is done is the chestnut shaped in this distinctive faceted pattern. 
 
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The Ophthalmologist's tools blinking at me
Eyes dilated, the world is different.  Street and car lights create a light show -- shards of light radiating from each source.  

I visited my Ophthalmologist  today for  my annual checkup.  Waiting in silence, I stared at the strange and exotic dials and lens resisting the  temptation to touch and turn all the dials.  Oh those lens and dials do look like a robot.  It's blinking at me! 

 
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Galette crust
 

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Ready for the Oven
 

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Apple Galette
I love apple pies, apple turnovers, chausson aux pommes, tart tartins, and apple galettes -- anything with baked apples and a buttery crust.  Chris made two beautiful apple galettes recently and I decided this combination has the perfect ratio of crust to apples.  The single layer of apples seems to cook to just the right degree of doneness just as the crust is browned and flakey.   

A technique she just learned to get a nicely browned crust -- pre-heat a cookie sheet in the oven until hot and set the galette pan on top of the hot cookie sheet.