Food & Drink

Pan stanzas

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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com
CHEAP EATS After three or four days of sleeping under stars, swimming in rivers, and staring into the fire, I have nothing in me but poetry — so don't bother looking for any restaurants in this restaurant review.
Here's one I caught while my brother and friends were fishing for fish. Let's call it "Water Bug Poem."
On the American River, in it, up to my gut, watching water bugs. Who said that corn and cows were beautiful to the extent that they were what they were? Read more »

Taps for tap

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paulr@sfbg.com
The importance of water can't really be overstated, despite its low sexiness quotient. While we can get by without such voluptuous libations as beer, wine, soda, and single-malt whiskey — however miserably — we can't survive for long without boring old water. But... lucky us, water literally flows from our taps, so we need not worry. Not, at least, if we are named Pollyanna. Read more »

To be continued . . .

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paulr@sfbg.com
Time's arrow flies in only one direction, pace Martin Amis and Captain Kirk, and with this verity in mind we should probably be more careful than we are about distinguishing between a progression and actual progress. The former is inevitable and constant, the ticks and tocks of the clock; the latter is neither. Read more »

Standin' pretty

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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com
CHEAP EATS Another weekend away, playing unlikely gigs in unheard of places, like Oregon and Idaho. This time: a punch-and-cookie country dance party down at the elementary school, a train depot, and a barbecue joint.
My new favorite rural Idaho restaurant: Sagebrush BBQ in New Meadows. It's two days later and I'm still picking still-tasty morsels of pork from between my teeth. They must have fed us a hundred dollars worth of meat, on top of everything else. Read more »

Crème de les crémants

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paulr@sfbg.com
Among the many sobering statistics available to today's Americans, none are more jolting — at least to this American — than the numbers on consumption of sparkling wine vis-à-vis the French. They enjoy bubbly about 47 times a year, on average, or nearly once a week, while we manage just three or four times: Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve, somebody's birthday. We tend to pop the cork only on special occasions, in other words; the French make a habit of it. Of course, they also make a good deal of the world's stock of sparkling wines, so this must help boost their tally. Read more »

West with the sun

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paulr@sfbg.com
Middle East–ward the course of empire takes its way these days — a sorrowful and futile operation that does at least confer onto some of us the benefit of being able to look the other way without feeling quite the same pangs of dread. At the edge of the city, the rays of the westering sun glint on the churning waters of the Pacific, most eminent of gray eminences, and if the Pacific has now become mare nostrum, as strongly implied by the president's recent creation of a "national monument" along a sprinkling of lonely islands halfway to Japan, it also seems quite ... Read more »

Body talks

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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com
CHEAP EATS The chicken farmer has a high tolerance for surreality ...
Woke up on a strange couch with a strange cat on my arm that was not Weirdo the Cat. It was a strange time of morning. I could tell it was morning by how badly I had to go, but it wasn't the slightest bit light out. Went, came back and made love to the cat, but could not fall asleep.
I thought about things.
Things were pretty fucked up, almost everyone would have to agree — with the possible exception of me. Read more »

Fantasia: range

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paulr@sfbg.com
If fantasies are about transcending limits, then it's no wonder the la Cornue range is the dream love of so many kitchen fantasists, yours truly among them. Here we have a line of stoves whose cheapest model costs about $17,000, and I do not know what the upper limit is or even if there is an upper limit. Buying a la Cornue is, one supposes, a little bit like buying a Rolls-Royce or a Maybach. Read more »

Town and country

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paulr@sfbg.com
It is safe to say that when city people talk about going on a jaunt to the country, the country they are talking about going on a jaunt to qualifies as the country mostly by virtue of not being the city. Jaunters are not proposing to leave civilization; city people do not drive to Healdsburg on a tranquil Saturday afternoon in June, braving bridge traffic and 101 traffic, so that they can milk cows or pull weeds at a biodynamic winery. Read more »