If you are, thanks for sticking around.  Got some news for ya!

Tableau Vivante is no more.  But More, please… is up and running.

Yup.  New blog, new name, new outlook.  A lot of the same content as before, but with a little more oomph and verve.  My happiness is your gain.

Mangia! See you later…

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Pasadena Market - Aug 30thI am not dead yet
I can dance and I can sing
I am not dead yet
I can do the Highland Fling

I am not dead yet
No need to go to bed
No need to call the doctor
Cause I’m not yet dead.

-courtesy of Spamalot, which is really really funny and is currently playing at the Ahmanson.

You know what’s really gratifying after going on a long hiatus?  Going into your inbox and reading the comments that just kept floating in from the Internet while I was gone.  Sorry that I haven’t been around to respond.  But there is a good reason for an update now.

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Greetings, etc.

Life…is one harsh ride sometimes.  I’m not talking about the whole, “oh I’m busy” thing.  It’s true on some levels, but hardly adequate in describing the past few weeks.

When JJ and I got engaged, my godmother and tia immediately scheduled an engagement party for us at her house.  The whole family came, too, which meant grub for a crowd of approximately 100 people.  All my favorite Mexican foods were out – fresh guac, fluffy baked rice, beans (pinto, of course), tortillas, and big vats of chicken en mole.  The mole was done up how I like it – heavy on the chocolate and not too spicey.  It was one of the last events my grandmother was brought to.  JJ’s dad and his partner got to meet the rest of the family for the first time.  And everyone had a great time.  A really great time.  My tia’s been throwing down our family functions for years with a sort of effortlessness that we all took for granted.  But that’s how she rolled.

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I know there are a few of you out there.

WAY back in the day, when this blog was on Livejournal (seems so long ago now…time flies) an up and coming caterer named Rachel Hailey approached me and asked for permission to use some of my photos for her new business website.  Well, she’s in business now, doing all manner of impressive things, and my only gripe is that I can’t hire her myself.  So you hire her.  She’ll make you tasty seasonal foods.  The whole ‘personal chef’ thing?  I love to cook, but there are times…oh man.

Little side note: other places my images have been used?  A K-12 teacher’s guide on educating about agriculture in California, a farmer’s marketing materials, and a greeting card.  This is a fun life.  Funny how it took a camera to help me see it.

Congratulations, Rachel!  Salud!

Hollywood Market 9-14-08

My schedule goes through these hills and valleys of time and no-time.  I had told a friend recently that I take tons of photos every week – usually of food – but that I haven’t really had the time to write up a decent post.  I’m under the impression that a blog, or any website for that matter, should be content driven and be able to add a little ‘aha’ or ‘huh’ to one’s brainmeats.

“So? Don’t the pictures speak for themselves?”
“Well, yeah, but I’d like to provide some content.  I’d like to think it’s not all about the pretty pretty pictures.”
“Photos are content, which is better than no content, right?”
“…yes…”
“And you say you’re not a writer. Just post.”

So, the point was made. I’m posting the shots from my Sunday trip to the Hollywood Market, working on the premise that some > none. On with the eye candy.  Mangia.

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Lunch 9-16-08

Did I mention I like eggs? There is only one caveat to that – they should be cooked right. By this I mean no overcooked, dark rimmed yolks. They should have cohesion without being chalky. I give them just under five minutes in a boil and then they get a quick ice bath. Voila, tender albumen surrounding a custardy yolk.

I try hard not to fall in love with Trader Joe’s products. If they can’t keep a supplier, they toss it. Their frozen caneles come to mind – I haven’t seen them since early August at either of my local branches.  Such teases! Though imagine my happiness when I finally – FINALLY – spied Trader Joe’s frozen puff pastry sheets.  Hoping they keep the latest make of their vegetable shumai – que yummy and do not require the accompanying ponzu sauce to be so. Also? A perfect fit in the bento. Two by two…

Sour Success

Worth a three week wait? Oh yes. Oh hell yes.

We taste-tested them at two weeks and were a bit overwhelmed – the salt/sour was pucker inducing. Third week’s the charm apparently. The sour mellowed its sharp tang to a dull roar. The garlic and spice warm them ever so slightly.  I’m listening to the sweet music of jars sealing right now. I have four quart jars and three pint jars. Allegedly they will mellow a bit more over the next week. JJ wanted spears, so spears he got. Made packing the jars easier.

My hands smell like pickle juice now. But these are the sacrifices we must make for good food. Darn.