Category Archives: food

Jean’s Plan to NOT become an Unplanned Grandmother

South Street Cafe Bennington Vermont

Jean walks into the South Street Cafe. Her best friend, Shirley, sits on the couch with a look of frustration. Her calming tea can not calm this situation. Shirley recognizes the look she saw 20 years ago. She sits down and hugs her friend.

Jean: “How far along are you?”

Shirley: “It’s not me. Billy got his college girlfriend pregnant. I’m not going to raise the child. I don’t get it. I made sure condoms were available. On our walks, I point out the young unhappy 20 year old boys pushing baby strollers. I repeatedly told him how many Grateful Dead shows I gave up to raise him and how many Built to Spill shows he will miss if there’s an accident. What could I have done differently?”

Shirley might not be an unplanned grandma if she had bought Built to Spill condoms instead of U2 condoms.  Billy hates U2!!!

Shirley might not be an unplanned grandma if she had bought Built to Spill condoms instead of U2 condoms. Billy hates U2!!!

Jean: “You can put out as many condoms as you want but if you don’t know what type of flavor she likes or the right type of color he likes, the condoms will only collect dust. As far as pointing out pregnant 20 year olds, children can’t grasp the cause and effect. Walk onto a college campus and check out the freshmen in line for a credit card. Unless you are in the room when the kids are getting it on, you can’t guarantee they’ll practice safe sex. To ensure that I don’t become an unplanned grandma, I regulate my son’s testosterone levels. For instance, do you stock your refrigerator with lots of cabbage and broccoli?

Billy and his girlfriend eat a black bean burger, with sauerkraut, avocado, and tomato.  A disaster waiting to happen!

Billy and his girlfriend eat a black bean burger, with sauerkraut, avocado, and tomato. A disaster waiting to happen!

Shirley: “Yes, in fact Billy and his girl friend love black bean burgers with lots of sauerkraut and avocado with a side dish of goat yogurt, raisins and figs for dessert.”

Jean: “Oh my!!!” Don’t tell me he also likes free range eggs and mushrooms?”

Shirley: “He loves mushrooms!!!! Yesterday he begged me to make him an omelet with my neighbor’s chicken eggs and insisted that the mushrooms and spinach be sautéed in garlic and olive oil.”

Jean: “Jesus Christ, Shirley what are you thinking? I’m surprised half the women in Bennington, VT aren’t knocked up because of your careless cooking! Here are some basic guidelines to help keep this situation to only one unplanned baby. Foods with B-vitamins, vitamin-D, vitamin-E, zinc, monounsaturated fats increase testosterone. Cruciferous vegetables help decrease estrogen levels. Next time Billy says, “Hey mom can I make us a broccoli couscous casserole,” I would respond why don’t you microwave some tater tots and smother them in high fructose corn syrup ketchup. You see, processed food with lots of sugar is the best way to keep your son’s testosterone levels low. Also keep in mind exercise increases testosterone. Every time my son suggests going on a bicycle ride or walk to the grocery store I insist that he takes the car.”

Shirley: “Are you serious? You govern Jack’s sex drive by regulating his testosterone levels through food and exercise? Does this really work?”

Jean: “Yes, I’ll prove it. Remember how horny Jack was when I fed him healthy food and didn’t let him use my car?”

Shirley: “I do. You were on a first name basis with the folks at Planned Parenthood.”

Jean gets out her iPhone. She dials Jack’s number.

Jean: “Jack, did you see the McDonalds breakfast money I put out by the TV remote control. Oh good. You drove, right? Cool. Well, I’m here with Shirley. We’re sitting at the South Street Cafe.  The cafe is playing 80’s Madonna right now over the speakers. The song Erotic just ended. Oh you wouldn’t believe who sat down beside us. That cute barista with the long brown hair and the long long legs. She asked how you are doing. You should come down. The smiley barista doesn’t start her shift for another hour. I’ll buy you a cup of coffee. Really you would rather sit on the couch, finish your fries, and surf Facebook. Good boy!”

The End

Don’t become an unplanned grandmother.  Educate yourself on what foods not to feed your son:

http://www.menshealth.co.uk/food-nutrition/what-to-eat/eat-up-to-man-up

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/1953/Tip-560-Natural-Tips-To-Increase-Testosterone-To-Get-Leaner-and-Stronger.aspx

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/801/10_Ways_To_Lower_Estrogen_Toxic_Load_.aspx

http://www.livestrong.com/article/461522-foods-that-increase-testosterone-levels-in-men/

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David Bowie, Funny Mirrors, and a Veggie Burrito at the Old Stone Station

old stone station Cambria California

The Old Stone Station became a place of refuge for John

At John’s funeral, friends and family dropped fresh cut flowers into the grave. Willy walked to the edge where the casket lay.  He tightly squeezed a David Bowie t-shirt before relaxing his hands.  Willy let the Ziggy Startdust t-shirt fall into the grave.

Clyde asked perplexed, “What are you doing?”

Old Stone Station David Bowie

Willie replied, “John loved David Bowie.  Remember how many times he went to the men’s restroom at the Old Stone Station Restaurant?”

A year ago, Willie, Clyde, and John met on a sunny day on the deck of the Old Stone Station. They each planned on enjoying the best Mexican food served on Friday. Ironically, they all ordered veggie burritos. The three of them quickly realized this serendipitous moment. Conversations began and three tables became one. A Friday veggie burrito tradition began.

Like a digital clock with a strong battery, Willie, Clyde, and John showed up at the same time every Friday and ordered the same veggie burrito.  The tradition changed when John’s wife left him for a young stud and the L.A. city life.  Depressed, John began to eat 1.5 burritos, than 2 burritos in one sitting.  Willie and Clyde were amazed by John’s overwhelming burrito consumption.

Old stone Station veggie burrito Cambria California

John developed deadly feelings for black beans

John replied in a condescending snarky voice, “How can a person not eat two of a these remarkable creations!  The flavors of the beans, sauces, fresh ingredients, veggie burger and cheese make me forget myself.  I am no longer John who gave 20 years of my life to a woman who didn’t appreciate it.  At the Old Stone Station I am simply a tongue who doesn’t need love – only a burrito.”

The guys noticed John use the bathroom more frequently and lose weight.

One day when John left to the restroom, Clyde asked Willie, “Do you think it’s weird John’s bladder has gotten smaller since his divorce?”

The last known photo of John

The last known photo of John

Willie, “I don’t think his bladder has gotten smaller.   He frequently uses the restroom because the carnival fees to enjoy a circus mirror in private is ridiculous.  At the Old Stone Station the price of the mirror is included in the price of the meal.  He can laugh and laugh as long as he purchases something.  John’s a huge David Bowie fan. He told the restaurant owner he wants first dibs on the David Bowie shirt in the bathroom.  Notice how he looks at the burritos and mutters the lyric, “Oh you pretty thing your driving your mamas and papas insane.”  I’m a huge Paul McCartney fan.  I would pretend to pee a lot more if a Paul McCartney t-shirt hung in the bathroom.”

John heard most of their conversation and paused before returning. He could not let his friends know of his burrito addiction. He decided to mask his bulimia by becoming a David Bowie fan.

The madness turned John into a David Bowie burrito eater.

The madness turned John into a David Bowie burrito eater.

A month of Fridays passed.  John looked more skinny and unhealthy.

Clyde finely addressed the elephant in the room, “John, what’s wrong with you.  You have grown into the body of 17 year old girl who wants to be a model.”

John snapped, “I look like David Bowie on heroine.”

John went to the bathroom muttering a David Bowie song.

Clyde said, “Willie I have a crazy thought.  Did you see how fast John ferociously devoured his burrito?  He reminds me of my cat, Henrietta. She can eat a can of canned cat food like John can scarf down a burrito. When she can’t eat anymore she sneaks off and pukes up her food.  Do you notice how John eats and eats then leaves to go to the bathroom?  Does John remind you of my cat?”

Willie, “I’ve never met Henrietta but I do know John reminds me of David Bowie on heroine.”

The End.

John's now in Happy Burrito heaven.

John’s now in Happy Burrito heaven.

Old Stone Station
713 Main St.
Cambria, CA 93428
1-805-927-4229

Special thanks to Gillian Rowley’s edits.  Check out her blog Allergy Bites

South Pine Cafe Omelet Review located in Nevada City, California

I glance up at a woman who sits down at the table next to us.  She has a look that could easy blend into any line at the grocery store, pass through airport security, and possibly teach a Sunday school.  I smile at her and return to the joys of my South Pine Cafe Omelet.

This particular omelet delights my palette with mushrooms, spinach, red onions, corn salsa, jack cheese topped with red/green pesto.  Despite the delicious taste of the pesto my eyes keep looking at the woman.  What about her holds my attention.  She has a middle class put together appearance.  It not like she’s is wearing a midwestern militia patch.  She laughs and engages in friendly banter.  Then my eyes become fixated on the stack of napkins by her plate.

That’s it the napkins!  How odd for a person who looks so well adjusted to need such a huge pile of napkins.  Obviously she’s on a date with her life skills coach mastering the technique of public breakfast edict.

I whisper to Veronica, “Check out the pile of napkins.  A stack that large requires a big mess.  Watch out at any moment she may start pouring ketchup all over her face or hurl bits of omelet at the other tables.”  As I say this I pretend to hide behind Veronica’s back dodging chunks of egg.

Veronica laughs, “I guess we’ll see.  Did you know my mouth to hand eye coordination is so advanced that I wager I only need to use a half a napkin from start to finish?”

I didn’t make the wager.  Veronica is so clean that she can go four days without taking a shower.

6 cups of coffee, 2 clean plates and a half used napkin later the woman across from us finishes without incident.  She takes the pile of napkins and tosses them on her plate. To my disappoint I look at Veronica, “Let’s go.  That was anticlimactic.  I don’t understand why the woman across from us tries to pass her self off as mentally challenged?”

That afternoon as I sit naked with my toes in the Yuba River and reflect upon the pile of napkins.  I wonder how much of the environment is destroyed out of fear and paranoia of a ketchup dribble.  Why don’t people simply use a napkin as they dribble.  One napkin at a time?  Does the madness end with the napkin?  What about sanitary napkins?  What about adult incontence pads?  7% of landfill waste is attributed to adult diapers.

It saddens me to observe the woman at the restaurant toss perfectly good napkins but it disturbs me more to think she might daily put on a precautionary adult diaper then throws it away because she’s afraid some poo might dribble out of her ass onto her pants.

Click on this link to learn more about adult diapers and how worms can eat a diaper.
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/adult-diapers-clog-landfills-too.html

South Pine Cafe
Nevada City, California
110 South Pine Street
Nevada City, CA 95959

530.265.0260
Hours:
8am – 3pm 7 days a week

Harold Black Bean Vacations at The Bridge Street Inn

The other day I received an e-mail from Francisco De Lovely inquiring about where he can eat a delicious black bean meal. He writes:

Dear Brandon,

I’m coming to Cambria to vacation with my last two tupperware containers of black beans. I have enjoyed a blissful 6 months with my 25lbs bag of black beans. I named my friend Harold Black Bean. I’ll be arriving at The Bridge Street Inn around dinner time. I’m excited to use your famous cast iron collection to cook up Harold. I also have a special Harold breakfast planned. I’m concerned about the 10:30AM to 5PM lock out. Can you recommend a local favorite restaurant where I might enjoy some of Harold Black Beans relatives?

Thank you,

Francisco and Harold Black Bean

Harold Black Bean likes to go to the beach.

I write back.

Hello Francisco and Harold Black Bean,

Myself and guest, Melissa, recently went on a black bean bonanza. To answer your question we went to lunch at Sebastian’s Store and Cafe located 9.1 miles North of Cambria off of Highway 1 near Hearst Castle. Their black bean burger is EPIC!!!! That evening we made a black bean pizza followed by Heavous Rancheros for breakfast. Hope you enjoy the black bean bonanza photo blog.

See you soon,

Brandon

I recommend the black bean burger at Sebastian’s General Store & Cafe in Old San Simeon Village

Black bean burgers at Sebastian's are so large that we probably ate all of Harolds' cousins.

The surrounding area around Sebastian’s provides plenty of different places to digest black beans.

Melissa digests her black beans along the coast.

Brandon digests his black beans in a tree.

After digesting the black bean burger Melissa and I are ready for the black bean pizza dinner.   The below black bean pizza is similar to the lentil pizza that appeared in the blog post My Underwear Matches my Pizza.  Here’s a link to view a description of the black bean pizza toppings.  http://bridgestreetinn.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/my-underwear-matches-my-pizza-at-the-bridge-street-inn/

Brandon gets ready to enjoy his second black bean meal.

Melissa and I had to take a break from the black bean.  We didn’t eat black beans till breakfast.  I dreamed of black beans.

huevos rancheros: black beans, scrambled eggs, cheese, tortilla, veggie chorizo, green sauce.

Melissa gets ready to enjoy her 3rd black bean meal in a row.

Here are a couple of nutritional links about Harold Black Bean.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/238506-black-bean-nutritional-facts/
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4284/2

Non Live Food Network Preparation at The Bridge Street Inn

I have never been one to pay a cable provider money so that I can watch a stranger prepare food while I sit in my lazy boy chair. Tonight however I find myself joining the millions of sedentary people who are entertained by food preparation in their home.

For this evenings entertainment the bicycle riding French family took over The Bridge Street Inn kitchen. They had pedaled 52 miles from Big Sur to Cambria. Despite being tired from their long day they perform in the kitchen like a well rehearsed TV cooking show. I am thoroughly entertained by the airy sounds of the French language, the smells of spices simmering in a soup and am drawn into the details of the food adventure they are creating.

I can now join in the water cooler conversation, “No, I didn’t see that episode of Rachel Ray but I did sit down to watch the French Family make squash soup. Oh good cooking question. The 3 women were wearing biker type pants/shorts and the man was wearing regular loose fitting pants.”

What’s chef Rachel Ray wearing? CLICK HERE

The French family are making me laugh


It would have been nice to hear the nutmeg scraping in surround sound


I ask the French Family, "when I press my thumb against this wooden spoon and point it at you, will you stir fast as if you were a TV show?"

The French Family found a bag full artichokes near highway 1

yogurt artichoke dip with thyme, dill, cumin, and celery seed

Already star struck to my surprise the French Family invited me to join them for dinner

Fast Food Cambria Style

Boni's Tacos always has bicycle parking

Despite what the Cambria visitor magazine says about fast food. Cambria does have fast food. It’s just fast food Cambria style.

Special thanks to Boni’s Tacos
http://www.bonistacos.com/

Special thanks to Amanda Darling for a little video work.

Music by Brandon Follett
http://www.weirdosmusic.com/

Here’s a link to The Bridge Street Inn website so you too can enjoy fast food Cambria style.
<a href=”http://bridgestreetinncambria.com”>http://bridgestreetinncambria.com</a>/

Happy Guests, Dirty Sheets, and Greywater grow delicious Apples at The Bridge Street Inn

Intern Amanda turns home grown apples into delicious apple sauce

At the Bridge Street Inn guest, Fransico De Lovely, longly eyes the apple in his hand.  “These homegrown apples are crisp like your line dried sheets.  Every bite I take makes me pat my belly in joy.  My belly has loved the company of many an apple raised on worm castings, garden compost, the shit from a goat, warm sun rays, and the most pure spring waters.  Never have I tasted an apple quite as delicious as the one I hold in my hand.

I reply, “There are 3 elements missing from the above apple growing ingredients.  They are happy guests,  dirty sheets, and  greywater.

Happy Guest

Clean sheets need a happy guest

The wash machine produces greywater from the dirty sheets

After a happy guest checks out of The Bridge Street Inn by 10:30AM I strip their bed then put the sheets into the wash machine.  When the sheets have gone through the wash cycle the biodegradable soap and dirty water exit.

The greywater flows through pipes that lead to the underground root system of the apple tree.  The now damp clean sheets are line dried and the process starts over again.”

The simple pleasure of folding crisp line dried linens

Fransico De Lovely looks at his clean toe nails and strokes his well trimmed mustache he sighs, “I notice several beds are unoccupied.  Sadly, I’m only dirty enough to dirty one bed per night.  What’s going to happen to her?”  As he points towards the apple tree.

Apple tree growing in the greywater garden

“Friend, cheer up!”  I say,  “The apple tree loves the frosty nights and warm sandal wearing days.  Life at The Bridge Street Inn has a healthy ebb and flow that coincides with the seasons.  As the tourist season slows into the colder months the winter rains replace the greywater system.  Our apple tree has found a balance between what nature and happy guests can provide.”

Happy guests + dirty sheets + greywater + nature = delicious healthy apples

A Sourdough’s Journey from Bowl to Mouth.

Goodnight! Sweet Dreams Sourdough!

After a good night's rest the sourdough looks forwards to being baked.

Sourdough, you will grow like a weed. In 40 minutes I won't even recognize you. Goodbye to youth.

Oh sourdough, you feel so warm. I wish I could cuddle in the cast iron with you.

Baker Brandon loves his sourdough and cast iron

Special thanks to sourdough!! You give Ken, Gabe, and Karin the necessary energy to explore the Central Coast.

Instructional Creepy Sourdough Video

The RECIPE

1 cup of starter
1 cup of salt
3 cups of flour
mix
cover the dough set out overnight

heat oven and cast iron at 475 degrees
spread floor on surface
poor dough onto counter
fold dough in from all 4 sides

place dough in cast iron
20 min with lid on
20 min with lid off

The Bridge Street Inn offers guests plenty of cast iron options

Need some Cast Iron cooking inspiration check out Cast Iron Idaho.

Eating Vegetarian in Stanley, Idaho

Highway 21 climbs to the top of Banner Creek Summit, an elevation of 7056 ft then drops down into the Stanley Basin.  The highway becomes straight, cutting through green fields that edge up to the Sawtooth Mountains.  The fields are like green dust bowls devoid of vegetables and fruit.  My vegetarian belly has learned not to be fooled by common sense observation.

Eating vegetarian in Idaho has its surprises.  Towns like Middleton, Kuna, and Emmett are surrounded by vegetables and fruit.  Despite the abundance of food most vegetarian choices on the menu taste like an unwanted step child.  If you’re not following here’s a different perspective.  Reader let’s pretend your a horny 20 something straight guy.  All day you walk along Venice Beach observing fields of women.  The sunny California female beach bathers have excited your taste buds.  Later that evening you are in the mood to hear some local music and talk to a beautiful woman.   You decide to check out the bar scene off the boardwalk.  The first bar plays techno music and claims to be the friendliest gay bar on Venice Beach.  You keep moving.  The second bar has Erasure night.  Buffed out men are dancing and mouthing the words,

“And if I should falter
would you open your arms out to me?
We can make love not war
and live at peace with our hearts.
I’m so in love with you
I’ll be forever blue”

You ponder what does forever blue mean to a bar full of guys?  Bar after bar packed with flirtatious men.  You are confused, the beach has field after field of women similar to Idaho small towns with field after field of fruit and vegetables.

Despite only observing cows in the Stanley basin, surprisingly a vegetarian can eat amazingly creative thought out meals from sun up to sun down.  I am so blown away that I might look for Mrs Right in San Francisco’s Castro District.

BREAKFAST

It’s Sept 14, Stanley Baking CO. & Cafe seems to be the most popular eatery at this time of day.  I get into line.  Clouds have socked in the Stanley Basin.  The Sawtooth Mountains are obscured from view.  I wonder will the seasonal disorder effect of no sunshine and the stress of a hopping eatery effect the cooks?  Distressed cooks and pigs don’t make good meals.  I start perusing the menu wall.  Holy moly a vegetarian has more choices than the typical cheese omelet, waffles, and pancakes.  A person can substitute real meat for fake meat.  Here’s the dish that made my vegetarian belly tremble.  This dish didn’t involve fake meat substitutions it’s the real deal.  A signature vegetarian dish called the “Mingas.”

“Our version of a Mexican breakfast.  Two eggs any style, tortilla chips, potatoes, green chilies, feta, provolone, jack cheese and black beans baked in a red New Mexican enchilada sauce & topped with homemade salsa.”  Eureka!

Despite a dark weather mood the chefs cooked like two happy pigs that go on daily walks and get their bellies scratched.

Click here to read the Stanley Baking Co. & Cafe omelet review.

LUNCH

I spent mid morning and early afternoon exploring the shore of Redfish Lake.  After some enjoyable hiking I stopped in at The Redfish Lodge for lunch.  The outdoor grill menu offers a veggie burger.  Before ordering I asked, “do you make your garden burger?”  To my surprise The Redfish Lodge services frozen garden burgers.  I decided to head down highway 75 to Smiley Creek Lodge.  Their website boasts homemade food which means no frozen veggie burgers.

When approaching The Smiley Creek Lodge an urban restaurant goer might keep driving.  City restaurants typically don’t have teepees, wood carved bear art, a gas station, and boast they sell non alcoholic beer.

Inside I’m quickly greeted by a friendly server named Lisa.  I ask her is the Abe’s Chair Garden Burger a fancy name for some pre made frozen veggie burger bought at Costco?  Lisa has incredible delivery on the same level of a comedian or motivational speaker.  She gave a long pausing smile then said, “Our chef makes the veggie burger.  The fries are home cut and the bun comes from Bigwood Bread.  After I take your order I think I’ll have an Abe’s Chair Garden Burger.”  Enough said!

Here’s the menu description.
Vegetable and bean patty, on a Bigwood Bread organic challah bun, topped with a cilantro jalepeno sauce.

DINNER

I am going to pose a question.  Would the Mona Lisa have the same impact tacked up on the wall of a mechanic shop framed by hotrods with models posing on the hoods?  I think not.  Great works of art are properly framed and the buildings that house the art are of the same awe inspiring level.

Welcome to the Sawtooth Hotel’s patio.  If you’re a mushroom lover and love the Sawtooth Mountains you’ll be enjoying a little piece of heaven.

“Mushroom Ragout wild and cultivated mushrooms stewed with fresh herbs and aromatic vegetables served with buttered orzo.”

An amazing dish like this served in a smokey truck stop won’t taste the same as enjoying it the presence of the Sawtooth Mountains.

Side note:  When preparing a menu for a smokey truck stop cafe does the chef ask questions like, “Would a roasted beet salad with spinach, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and a roasted garlic vinaigrette taste good with a Lucky Strike?”  After a moment of thought with a Lucky Strike in the left hand and a beet in the right hand the chef answers his question. “No, a Lucky Strike won’t compliment the taste of a beet but I’m sure a rocking chair, PBR, and The Sawtooth Mountains will.”

SE Asia Omelet Zine featuring eateries in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos now available

In 2010, Bangkok Books began distributing You Can’t Hide an Elephant in an Omelet as an e-book.  Tara Blackmore from Broken Pencil has this to say about the book:  “What a neat concept this book offers: essays and stories about omelettes and cuisine from around the world. This particular issue offers experiences from Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

Part restaurant review, part tour guide, this book offers pure entertainment in eloquent language that can be enjoyed by just about everyone.

Written like a memoir (the good kind), the book offers a glimpse into foreign food production, consumption and a healthy dose of social interaction and culture shock as well. It’s an objective look at travel and all it entails, offering tips and advice on how to get by. It also gives descriptions of local cuisine that can either repulse you or attract you, so reading it while hungry is a bad idea.

This book is well worth the money. Rich with well-worded descriptions and beautiful photos, this zine will satisfy the reader who has either travel-curiosity or no idea what to make for dinner (which, of course, would be omelettes).”

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN WANTING TO READ A CLEVERLY WRITTEN BOOK ABOUT EATING OMELETS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA HERE’S YOUR OPPORTUNITY.

Click on one of the below links to purchase a copy:

Ipad
Android
Kindle
Bangkok Books

Front Cover
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Sample Page
omelets-shouldnt-have-breasts.jpg

contents2.jpg

Back Cover
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