Monthly Archives: September 2012

Early to bed…

Early to bed, early to rise…that is the beauty of a 10 hour flight; your circadian rhythm is thrown off, possibly never to return until a week or so after you arrive back home. Nevertheless, we carry on fresh off the flight…a walk in the neighborhood, some shopping, and of course wine and a few noshes at a local cafe. Then a stroll past the Bastille monument, down the canal Saint-Martin to the river Seine where we turn the corner only to be surprised by the view down river of the grand lady, Notre Dame. Sitting in the middle of the Seine on the Ile de Cite, it literally takes your breath away. But that is nothing new in Paris…she takes your breath away with every turn of the corner, every tucked away courtyard, every tiny side street with tightly packed mansard roofed buildings and wrought iron railings. There is no end to surprises in the City of Light…the biggest surprise being that it illuminates you. You want to live it, breathe it, and hold it in the palm of your hand like a tiny bird that you want to keep forever but know that to do so is not possible. So that first night you reluctantly return home early with bread, cheese, pate, a bottle of wine (for those interested, a 2010 Chorey-Les-Beaune) and a promise to hit it big time in the morning…

…which came at 4:30 a.m. Curse you disturbed sleep patterns! Sleep will not come again so you reluctantly get out of bed and make your first cup of coffee for the day. A little bread, butter and jam and you are finally ready for the day.

AND since I am a day behind due to the circadian thing, I will just tell you that today’s post was going to be called Channeling Julia Child and this is the story.

Starting at the metro stop Ecole Militaire you can walk to a street called rue Cler which was Julia Child’s shopping street. Here she found the old-school butchers and bakers who basically were Julia’s earliest culinary teachers.  Here she also cut her teeth on the concept that only the most excellent ingredients would produce the most excellent results for the serious cook. Today the street looks much the same and is a feast of sights and smells that is not only pleasing to the eye, but can make you downright hungry at 9 in the morning! Julia also shopped on rue de Bourgogne and her home was just off that street, #81 rue de l’Universite. It was in this kitchen that she started her experimenting and forged her life long love affair with cooking. Next stop was  Julia’s favorite cooking store on rue de Coquilliere packed to the gills with pots, food mills, knives, you name it. We ended our “All Things Julia Walk” with a lunch of oysters, onion soup, herbed goat cheese on toast and a bottle of red wine (a 2009 Savigny-Les-Beaune) at Pied de Cochon, one of her favorite hang outs.

But that was not the end of channeling Julia. For dinner we walked to Joseph et Louise for a wonderful dinner cooked in an open fireplace. In honor of the woman who changed the way America cooked, I  ordered Bouef Bourguignon…so good that I might be hard pressed to find another dish that beats it here in Paris. Enjoyed another fine burgundy, 2009 Nuits Saint-George.

After a long walk by the Seine and a stop for an sugar cone filled with quite literally some of the best ice cream I have ever had we called it a night. Today brings to mind the saying, “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we may diet” – Harry Kurnitz (whoever he is.)

Bon appétit!

“I am half-French and that is all there is to it”. – Julia Child


September 29, 2012 · 3:01 pm

Endeavour’s Final Flight

Today started out pretty much like any Friday…I get the same question, “Wanna go to the ranch?”  And of course I did wanna go, so we loaded up the car and left the house early this morning even before Mom had her coffee. However, this time we made one stop on our way north that promised to be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see greatness…and it did not disappoint.

Click here for the Golden Gate flight path!  (Thank you Moulfrit Productions for this extraordinary video! Mom’s didn’t turn out too well.)

Endeavour’s final flight was a piggyback ride on a modified Boeing 747  from Houston to California, a journey that included an Arizona flyover in honor of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband and last commander of the Endeavour Mark Kelly (Click here to see the article), a flight pass that split the uprights of the Golden Gate Bridge, and included an incredible 800 foot flyover at Bay Area’s Moffett Field to pay homage to NASA Ames. Endeavour’s final stop was Los Angeles International Airport. There it will be prepped and loaded on a special flatbed trailer that will travel through city streets next month to its final destination, the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Endeavour made 25 successful missions to Earth orbit and back. Rock on Endeavour…you really were the stuff dreams are made of!

In memory of Laika, the first dog in space…if only you knew the extent of what was to come.

Love (and eternal respect and gratitude),


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RIP Willie

This past weekend we buried Willie, our little foster dog gone native, who escaped to the hills for a life he figured would be better than the one we left him with on July 26th. It was a beautiful home, tucked into the hills of West Dry Creek with a new family, a winery, olive press, tennis court, a new doggie pal, and a young boy who could have become his new best friend. But Willie saw things differently; he was a tormented soul who could not trust just anyone and so chose to slip under the gate never to be seen again.

When he didn’t show up for a few days we hired a dog tracker and so began a series of false sightings and hopes ending in the dashed dream of bringing him back to the Ranch to begin again the hunt for a suitable forever home. We finally brought him home last week and his remains are now buried in our garden across the pathway from the door to the shed. From this vantage point he will be able to see the coming and going of his beloved golf cart, a herding dog’s dream machine. He will be happy there as he was during his short stay with us at the ranch. I, on the other hand, will never be able to back the cart out of the shed without feeling his presence and a sense of sadness that he never found the loving forever home he so deserved.

Tom wrapped him in a cloth and tucked a cookie under the twine we used to secure him in his final dressing gown and we cried as we covered him gently with dirt. Willie has crossed the rainbow bridge;  a nice stone marker will forever mark the place that he holds here in the garden as well as in our hearts.

Rest in Peace my dear little Batman!

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