Palm Springs

I’ve just had a very nice visit to family in my hometown, and now have an evening in Palm Springs before flying home tomorrow. Sadly, I didn’t know it’s Pride weekend here, or I might have stayed through Monday.

Because of Pride, the last place I stayed was full, so I just went for cheap. The first Motel 6 I checked online was also full, but there’s a second one, which I booked. It happens to be right next to the Ace Hotel (a hipster chain based in Portland), and so I’m currently awaiting a burger (made from a happy cow) and drinking a Babe’s Vanilla Blonde draft beer.



Community, food, and the economy

It is all connected. My favorite constructive pessimist, Robert Paterson, on the problem:

Our system has destroyed community. Food is now “made” in industrial settings far away from the consumer — where machines or “slaves” do the work. I use the term “slave” deliberately as people who do crushing hard and boring and often dangerous work for just enough to feed them.

And the solution:

If we grow food . . . locally all the work related to this — the growing, the servicing, the processing, the sales and distribution — all return home. We start to create the habit and the systems for doing things locally.

No place for the young in the economy now — Food is the key.

Stratford Tea Leaves

I spent the recent Labor Day weekend in St. Mary’s, Ontario, at a small convention of people I know from the Independent State of Caledon, a neo-Victorian, Steampunk community in the virtual world of Second Life. One afternoon, four of us went into nearby Stratford for lunch and a very pleasant (and informative) tea-tasting at Stratford Tea Leaves.

The proprietor, Karen Hartwick, is one of only a few certified tea sommeliers. She began by asking each of us what kinds of tea we enjoy drinking. She then took canisters off the shelves for us to smell, pointing out how each tea was similar or dissimilar from teas we mentioned enjoying.

tea cannister

Each of us selected a tea to taste, which Karen carefully prepared as to quantity of leaves and steeping time. She used special tasting cups, which had lids to keep the tea hot as it steeped, and a section of grooves in one edge, so the tea leaves could be captured in the cup when the liquid was poured into a drinking bowl.

tasting cup

Karen gave us smaller cups so that we could give each other samples of our selected tea. Two of us tasted several additional teas and went home with happy purchases.

The aftermath:


If you are ever in the area, I recommend a visit. Karen told us that she plans to add online ordering soon.

The Omnivore Meme

Instructions: (but you already know the drill, of course)

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results. (There are links there to wikipedia

1. Venison.
2. Nettle tea.
3. Huevos rancheros.
4. Steak tartare.
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding.
7. Cheese fondue.
8. Carp.
9. Borscht.
10. Baba ghanoush.
11. Calamari.
12. Pho.
13. PB&J sandwich.
14. Aloo gobi.
15. Hot dog from a street cart.
16. Epoisses.
17. Black truffle.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes.
19. Steamed pork buns.
20. Pistachio ice cream.
21. Heirloom tomatoes.
22. Fresh wild berries.
23. Foie gras.
24. Rice and beans.
25. Brawn, or head cheese.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper.
27. Dulce de leche.
28. Oysters.
29. Baklava.
30. Bagna cauda.
31. Wasabi peas.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.
33. Salted lassi.
34. Sauerkraut.
35. Root beer float.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar.
37. Clotted cream tea.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell‑O.
39. Gumbo.
40. Oxtail.
41. Curried goat.
42. Whole insects.
43. Phaal.
44. Goat’s milk.
45. Malt whiskey from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more.
46. Fugu.
47. Chicken tikka masala.
48. Eel.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut.
50. Sea urchin.
51. Prickly pear.
52. Umeboshi.
53. Abalone.
54. Paneer.
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal.
56. Spaetzle.
57. Dirty gin martini.
58. Beer above 8% ABV.
59. Poutine.
60. Carob chips.
61. S’mores.
62. Sweetbreads.
63. Kaolin.
64. Currywurst.
65. Durian.
66. Frogs’ legs.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake.
68. Haggis.
69. Fried plantain.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette.
71. Gazpacho.
72. Caviar and blini.
73. Louche absinthe.
74. Gjetost, or brunost.
75. Roadkill.
76. Baijiu.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie.
78. Snail.
79. Lapsang souchong.
80. Bellini.
81. Tom yum.
82. Eggs Benedict.
83. Pocky.
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef.
86. Hare.
87. Goulash.
88. Flowers.
89. Horse.
90. Criollo chocolate.
91. Spam.
93. Rose harissa.
94. Catfish.
95. Mole poblano.
96. Bagel and lox.
97. Lobster Thermidor.
98. Polenta.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
100. Snake.

(A tip of the hat to Alan.)