Monday, May 29, 2006 

Take Time Out This Memorial Day

to think about the true meaning of the day.

In the summer of 2003, 400 US deaths after President Bush declared victory in Iraq, a group of veterans in Southern California and their friends began to build a memorial to those who died in the war. They made a cross, a Star of David, and other symbols for other faiths for each solider who had been killed, painted them white and fixed them in the ground. It is a memorial resembling the Arlington National Cemetery. As the weeks and months passed, the memorial had grown to over 1,600. Arlington West is the name of a hour-long film that records some of the thoughts and emotions expressed by people who happened to visit the memorial one sunny day on a beach near Santa Barbara, California. - Political Affairs

Arlington West - The Movie

Sunday, May 28, 2006 

What are YOUR Favorite Cookbooks?

The New York Times today has a special "food issue" that highlights a few chef's favorite books....and more. Go nibble on some fine words....especially the write up on the new "memoire" from Julia Child, "My Life in France"

My favorite cookbooks (and a book about food or two...) that I have turned to time and time again...for recipes, tips and just good reading. well...where do I begin? Kitchen Confidential. The Junior League Cookbooks. Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. The Moosewood Adventures. The Greens Restaurant Cookbook. The Silver Palate Cookbooks. The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. The Cuisine of California.

Speaking of "faves" of Julia's favorite little local restaurants here in Santa Barbara is La Super-Rica. (Eating LA discovered our little mexican food gem, too....) One of the highlights is the beans. They're done right.

La Super-Rica Pinto Beans

About 2 hours

NOTES: At Santa Barbara's La Super-Rica, these simple beans have maintained their popularity for almost 20 years, according to owner Isidoro Gonzales. You'll need 6 cups for the party. If making up to 3 days ahead, chill airtight; freeze to store longer.
MAKES: About 10 cups; 8 to 10 servings

1 pound dried pinto beans
About 1 teaspoon salt
3 slices bacon (about 2
1/2 oz. total), chopped
/2 pound chorizo or linguisa (Portuguese) sausage
1 poblano chili (also called pasilla; about 3
1/2 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

1. Sort beans and discard any debris. Rinse beans and put in a 5- to 6-quart pan. Add 21/2 quarts water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender to bite, 11/4 to 11/2 hours. Add 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Meanwhile, in an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, stir bacon frequently until browned, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a bowl.

3. Remove and discard chorizo casings. Crumble sausage into frying pan. Stir frequently until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chili and stir until limp, 3 to 4 minutes.

4. To sausage mixture, add cooked bacon and 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid; stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Stir sausage-bacon mixture into beans and simmer to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.

(from Sunset Magazine)


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