Real Live Jujubes (Not From A Movie Theater)


So at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, where I bought the ingredients to make my soul-stirring Summer’s End pasta, I spied an unusual sight–something I’d never seen before: a crate of Jujubes, identified as “Japanese Dates.” Jujubes are a real thing? A fruit? Not just a movie theater candy? I was intrigued. So I filled a small bag with them and brought them home. First, though, I paid. I’m not a crook.

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Cinnabon Story


Once upon a time (aka: this past weekend) I found myself in a mall, the Glendale Galleria, wandering around looking for patio furniture with Craig. Not that we have a patio, but we have a front porch at our new place and figured we’d get some cheap outdoor chairs and a table and sit out there while drinking coffee on weekend mornings or while sipping a glass of wine in the evening. Funny, though, the last time I went out there to soak in the scenery, I saw a fancy car pull up to the alley across the street. A man got out, he looked around (didn’t see me) and promptly peed on a dumpster. Still: we wanted patio furniture.

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If you read my newsletter (and really, you should; subscribe here), you probably saw that this weekend we attended the L.A. Times Taste festival which was a terrific event–despite the heat–and had the coolest venue of any such festival I’ve ever been to, being hosted, as it was, at Paramount Studios. Here’s a picture so you get the idea.

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These Grapes Are Crazy! Some Taste Like Cotton Candy, Some Look Like FINGERS


There’s no denying that L.A. is a strange place–juice bars everywhere, Scientology–but sometimes the strangeness manifests itself in grapes.

This wasn’t something I knew about, but the other day I found myself at Gelson’s (my favorite supermarket here) and a man in the produce department said, “Would you like to try a grape?” Now my mom always warned me not to take candy from strangers, but she never said anything about grapes–even grapes that, according to the man, “taste like Cotton Candy.”

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The Used Cookbook Sale at The Hollywood Farmer’s Market


On Sunday, my friend Ben Mandelker of The B-Side Blog invited me to the used cookbook sale at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. As many of you know, I’m kind of a cookbook junkie (see here) so this was a no-brainer. When I got there, I found mostly generic cookbooks (many, many diet books) and old copies of Bon Appetit anthologies. But then Ben started to dig up some treasures, which I’ll share with you here….

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My Name Is Adam and I’m A Squatter

This San Francisco Chronicle article addresses the problem of coffee shop squatters and how they hurt business. This resonates a lot for me because, um, it’s about me. Here in L.A., I can tell which coffee shops are cool with the squatting (Coffee Commissary, Broome Street General Store), which probably aren’t (Proof, though I still squat there because I love it so much, so I buy as much as I can) and which are dealing with it in clever ways (Paper or Plastik which designates most of their tables as laptop-free). Craig points out that this problem’s heightened by the fact that so many young people have jobs that allow them to work from anywhere and working from home can be a bit depressing. So many squatters, only so many seats. What’s to be done?

Stay Sharp


Any time I put a new razor head on my razor and I shave I have a little monologue in my head that goes: “You should do this more often because you don’t cut yourself and it’s so much smoother and, really, it’s worth it.”

Now that same monologue is going to kick in when I get my kitchen knives professionally sharpened. I’m such an idiot for not doing this more often. At the Atwater Village farmer’s market, there’s a man who sharpens knives (you can see him above). All I had to do was carry my knives to the market–a 20 minute walk–and cough up $11. That’s a small pittance considering the impact it immediately makes in the kitchen.

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Omelet Issues


I’m at the point now where I really think I could make a good omelet, only I’m held back by a cruel and powerful force: a sticky non-stick skillet. David Lebovitz warned me, ages ago, not to flambĂ© in my new non-stick, that it might ruin the coating, and did I listen? I did not. So my punishment is that my omelets, which are beautifully formed, almost always stick when it’s time to roll them up. Take a look.

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