Monday, October 31, 2011

Dia De Los Kecky!

That's right, today is our 8th anniversary. Seems like just yesterday we decided to be friends-with-benefits.

We've sure had some fun!

Our first trip to Hawaii:

The Dickens Faire:

Our first and only Raider's game:

Camping on Angel Island. You may notice this is pre-Frankenboob reduction:

Derby Day! We rode our horses there:

Marauding Rollerskaters:

Our first Donner Party:

Last weekend:

Can't wait to see what the next 8 years bring!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

...and then you have to go to the doctors...

Well, Tumbalina's little knee injury wasn't getting better so I emailed my doc. She said it needed to be evaluated. The "good" news is Tumbalina already has osteoarthritis and a patella that rubs against the knee joint, so Tumbalina just aggravated it. The bad news: she had to get a cortisone shot. Not just a cortisone shot, but first the doc had to aspirate the fluid out of the knee. Yep, Tumbalina screamed like a little girl!

Guess I'll stick to pumping gas cause my career as a runner is officially over! Okay, it was over before, I just couldn't come to terms with it. Boo!

Poppy's cousin Rob and wife Jenny are here for a visit. Far-Pit-Poppy worked her magic last night. We had rotisserie chickens. Not just any chickens, either...Mary's Air Chilled, Organic, Free-Range, no hormones, no nothing! These once very happy chickens that gave their lives for us so we could make all kinds of NOM NOM noises last night. It's funny how chickens raised like that aren't like the mutants you can find at Safeway. These guys were just 3.5lbs each. So tasty too!

Tonight, dinnah at the Stinking Rose...


Monday, October 24, 2011

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt...

Bivalve-Poppy and I had a fabulous weekend in Point Reyes. Started off with oysters and ended with Chicken Paprikash.

I received a new nickname on Friday...Tumblelina. After our most excellent oyster experience, Poppy and I did some rock hunting for our garden. We found some good ones too. I'd had two in my hands and was climbing up the rocks to get them to the truck. I set them down on the last step and somehow I lost my balance and tumbling down the rocky hill I went. My knee doesn't seem to want to work, but it could have been much worse.

Here I am holding my trekking pole, aka, cane!

Now I smell of camphor and menthol!

All weekends should be like this...

That's all I got.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I have nothing to report. There's nothing going on. My life is boring. Oh, alright! We had a public board meeting last night. It was a snooze-fest. We usually get a handful of angry people, but it appears that everyone loves us. Only 7 people signed up for public comments. Got out of there at 8:30.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that Trigger-Finger-Poppy and I are affectionately known as the Dingbats. We had an almost flawless evening last night. Let's just say Poppy was a little out of practice with the ding.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Plants Not Pavement!

After almost a year-long struggle with the dead tree in our front area, we got our new tree...

Her name is Windy and she's a Windmill Palm. When we arrived home on Friday night she was there all planted and everything. Shortly after that, our neighbors John and Stacy came to view her. They're going to get a few of them so we'll have matching trees on the block. Way cool.

We had Dad this weekend so I always like to make some good dinners for him. Porky-Poppy and I are perfecting our Keckyhaxe (pork hock) recipe. We had another winner. This time, instead of finishing it in the oven, Grill-Masta-Poppy put it on the grill.

I just never get tired of looking at pork art...or eating it!

Bye bye.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Schweinehaxe, the other white meat...

When Adventure-Poppy and I went to Germany some years back, one of the things she had to have was Schweinehaxe (pork hock). We found it early into the trip. Porcine-Poppy was pleased. She has said many times since that trip that she really wants to have it again. I found a recipe so it was time to do it. I always thought pork hocks were the little guys that my Mom would make ham hocks and beans with.

Alrighty then, so the other day Poppy and I took the little dog and walked to Sunset Market to get fixings for the Schweinehaxe and some pork belly so Smokin-Hot-Poppy could make some bacon. My recipe called for two meaty pork hocks. I figured we'd want leftovers so I wanted to get four. The little dog and I waited outside the store for Poppy to buy all the goods. She comes out of the store and says "I'm carrying about 50lbs of meat!" I reply "How much bacon are you making?" She said the hocks are huge. Go figure. So between the two of us, we had to carry all this meat home. Not an easy task and we were both sore the next day.

Okay, so for my recipe I needed a mirepoix of celery, leek, onion and carrot. That went into the dutch oven along with a bunch of pepper corns, a little salt and some cumin; then covered with water.

After about 3 hours of simmering, they were pulled from the dutch oven, the veggies were drained and then the hocks, veggies and a little cooking liquid were put into a baking dish:

Time to eat!


Monday, October 10, 2011

What's for Dinnah?

Well, it was ribeye, spinach balls and salad. What is a spinach ball?


2 16oz bags of spinach or for the purist: 2 pounds of fresh spinach (about 3 bunches)
1 (16-ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of piggy fat or butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a large pot salted water to a boil.
If using the purist spinach, cut the stems off the spinach, and soak the leaves in the sink. Wash them thoroughly.
Add the spinach to the boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove spinach from the water and rinse w/cold water to stop the cooking.
Drain the spinach very well, and using a clean tea towel, squeeze out the extra water. Chop the leaves very fine.

Put the cooked spinach in a large bowl, add the ricotta, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, egg yolks, and season with a couple pinches salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Mix well, and make sure that the ricotta crumbles into fine pieces, and mixes properly with the spinach. Shape the mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.

Lightly grease or butter a 13 by 9-inch casserole dish, lay all the balls in it, and dress it with a few very thin slices butter and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Cook the balls at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, then under the broiler for about 5 minutes to crisp and brown the top of the balls.

They are strangely good!

Poppy and I have had a pretty relaxing weekend. Decided it was time to scope out Golden Gate Park. Having lived on the Presidio, we've covered most of what we called our backyard. Now, it's time to explore GG Park. I guess we wandered into a isolated area where men-folk come to hook up. I thought it was odd when this guy was taking a picture of a lump of weeds; then Poppy told me what was going on. Ew.

After about a mile or so of walking and Fatass' endless complaining, we headed for the Park Chalet. That's the back outdoor area of the Beach Chalet. Generally, I hate the Beach Chalet; not because it's a tourist hangout, but because the restaurant management/staff treat it as such. I've never felt welcome there. In Hawaii, they have what is called "Kamaaina". Kamaaina means "locals" and was explained to us as there are tourist prices and kamaaina prices. On-A-Budget-Poppy and I were at Beach Chalet some years back and wanted to split a burger...they charged us $3.00 for the split. Hurumph! We tried to explain the concept of kamaaina, but no luck.

Anyhow, we did enjoy our afternoon at the Park Chalet watching people, listening to music and having a cocktail. Jax-The-Cheese-Connesewer enjoyed herself too. Well, she needed a rest from her walk.

Happy Columbus Day!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Magic of Facebook...

I had dinner last night with a friend I hadn't seen in 25 years! How much fun is that? We've hardly changed...okay, a little older and both our memories aren't great, but we pieced together the past pretty well.

We had dinner at Osteria Coppa in San Mateo. Very good food and a great wine list! I like any Italian restaurant that has Lambrusco! What is Lambrusco? I will tell you...

Lambrusco is the name of both a red wine grape and an Italian wine made principally from the grape. The grapes and the wine originate from four zones in Emilia-Romagna and one in Lombardy, principally around the central provinces of Modena, Parma, Reggio nell'Emilia, and Mantua. The grape has a long winemaking history with archaeological evidence indicating that the Etruscans cultivated the vine.[1] In Roman times, the Lambrusco was highly valued for its productivity and high yields with Cato the Elder stating that produce of two thirds of an acre could make enough wine to fill 300 amphoras.

The most highly rated of its wines are the frothy, frizzante (slightly sparkling) red wines that are designed to be drunk young from one of the five Lambrusco denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) regions: Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro, Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce, Lambrusco Reggiano, and Lambrusco Mantovano. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Lambrusco was the biggest selling import wine in the United States.[3] During that time the wine was also produced in a white and rosé style made by limiting the skin contact with the must.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

What a fun Birthday weekend we had...

Went to see friends, Jeanne-n-Gary for the Big Crush 2011 event. We had too much fun!

On our way to their house we stopped in at Chevy's for a snack. Here's Bucket-O-Margarita-Poppy enjoying her first birthday libation:

Then on Saturday off to the Big Crush event. Basically, you pick a home winery to start at, get your glass and you're off. I can't remember how many wineries we visited. Navigator-Poppy would know.

Who invited Fatass?!...Damn, she needs to lose some weight!

We all agreed we weren't wow'd by hardly any of the we'll have to go up again and retry them and visit some other wineries!

Since Low-Carb-Poppy and I had fallen off the Low-Carb diet this weekend, I wanted a potato. Not just any potato, but a salt-baked potato!

Had those along with:

And a lovely Malbec that Seester, et. al. gave Poppy for her birthday.

Oh fine, here's the recipe:



2 1/2cups Kosher or sea salt
4 russet potatoes , scrubbed and dried
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
6 sage leaves
1 whole head garlic, cut in half
Olive oil


1. Spread salt in even layer in 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Gently nestle potatoes in salt, broad side down, leaving space between potatoes. Add rosemary, thyme, sage and garlic, cut side up, to baking dish. Cover baking dish with foil and crimp edges to tightly seal. Bake 1 1/4 hours; remove pan from oven. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.

2. Remove foil from baking dish. Brush exposed portion of each potato with olive oil. Return uncovered baking dish to oven and bake until potatoes are tender when pierced with tip of paring knife and skins are glossy, 15 to 20 minutes.

Sure was a really relaxing weekend.

Hello Monday!