Food Writing
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A rose by any other name

So, last night i tried my hand at something I've always wanted to try – chicken with 40 cloves. Yes, of garlic. I learned a few things along the way. First of all, peeling 40 cloves of garlic takes more time than you'd think – particularly when a hungry baby is trying to climb up your pants leg. Secondly, don't ever try cooking brown splattering chicken quarters with a squirmy toddler in your arms. Third, though I love Alton Brown, I had turned to his recipe for my primary inspiration, and he really let me down on this one. Sure, the garlic cloves get sweet and caramel-y after 1.5 hours of braising, but for chicken quarters? I don't know how I didn't think of this beforehand, but after a sear and that punishing braise, they dissolved into ropa vieja when i touched them with a spoon. And, to add insult to injury, the whole magilicutty needed at least a cup or so of broth or water or something, yo. The whole thing left a ring of unprecedented baked-on, caked-on at the bottom of my Le Creusset (but, because it was my beloved Le Creusset, it scraped right up once I added some more liquid after cooking). Here's what else I learned – don't forget the crusty bread while you're at the store. Eating it with my whole grain sandwich bread was not ideal, and made it feel more like eating chicken salad for dinner, which feels kind of transitory and half-assed. Today I'm paranoid that I have the smell of garlic edging from my pores.

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Food Writing
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Tons of new work…

So…it seems that I'm suddenly doing a ton of freelance work for the Chron's Datebook and other various A&E assignments. Also doing a ton of stuff for SF Mag, a piece on Park(ing) Day, a very cool art installation of parks in parking lots, and a travel piece on lovely Pescadero.

Also, it turns out that my book, Cheap Bastard's Guide to SF, has been postponed somewhat. Looks like it won't be out until September or so – about a month later than I'd originally heard.

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Food Writing
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Totally mellow bake-filled weekend….

…but I made the best bread I've ever made.  Tip I picked up from Cook's Illustrated – use honey, rather than sugar, to proof the yeast.  Also, here's what else seems to work for bread:  total neglect!  Let it rise not only multiple times, but for more than an hour while you're out at the farmers market.  The yeast gets Thanksgiving bloated and eats a bit more, but just stops after it has had its full.  

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