Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Shake, rattle and roll

January 1, 2019

That’s not a Wall. Not even the one from “Game of Thrones.” It’s the side patio, as photographed from the dining room, ’cause damme if I’m going outside today.

Don’t expect me to hit the bricks for the first ride of the New Year. We’ve already achieved the expected “high,” there’s a stiff wind out of the ENE, and the snow is coming in sideways.

Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment), has enjoyed a brace of delicious breakfasts and retired to his quarters to map out the year’s strategy on the underside of his eyelids.

Cranking up the internal furnace.

His adjutant, Miss Mia Sopaipilla, has drawn guard duty in Tower One, but as there seem to be no White Walkers within the perimeter — just a few socialist finches hopping around at the base of the maple, looking for a handout — she too is at a reduced state of readiness.

The conditions compelled me to fry up a skillet of my famous two-pepper hash (red bell and Hatch green, with diced red spuds, minced onion and garlic, Mexican oregano and chopped cilantro). Herself topped it off with a couple eggs over easy, and a generous sprinkle of grated Cabot sharp cheddar with a fruit cup on the side helped douse the fire.

Now the question is: How do I sweat that off? There’s not enough snow to do anything with, just enough to do something to me, and I’m kind of over that. But setting up the stationary trainer strikes me as a poor way to kick off a new training log.

Incidentally, I managed 3,309.8 miles on the bike last year, which is probably about a third of what Friend of the Blog Sharon logged. Still, I make it my best year since 2011, when I rode 3,370.2 miles.

And now, Lightnin’ Hopkins and I would like to wish all you cool cats and kittens a rockin’ happy New Year (h/t to the M-dogg for serving up that hot Decca platter). Wear it out. Tear it up.

Food King

December 4, 2018

I’ve been rethinking my hunter-gatherer protocols after the last two Whole Amazon expeditions topped the $300 mark.

Jeff Bezos does not seem to lack for steady income, I mused. Jeff Bezos never shoves a hand into a pocket and finds nothing in there but four fingers and a thumb, I surmised. Maybe I should start redistributing my* income, I decided.

The main thing Whole Amazon has going for it — as far as I’m concerned, anyway — is convenience. Whatever you want, no matter how ridiculous, there’s a strong chance that Whole Amazon will have it. Don’t need it? You’ll probably buy it anyway, just ’cause. You rarely have to do the Three Store Tango when there’s a Whole Amazon in town.

This one-stop shopping comes with a cost, of course. That hand in your pocket? It’s not yours. It’s Jeff Bezos’. He’s bored with rooting around in his own pants and wants to see what you’ve got in yours. Mine’s bigger than that. C’mon, baby, you know you want it.

Gullible’s travels.

And goddamnit, I guess I do. I’ve been test-driving some alternatives, which involved plenty of driving, and Whole Amazon remains the One Store to Rule Them All, especially when it comes to top-shelf organic produce, cheese, and booze, both real and imaginary.

Albertson’s stocks some of the items I favor — Aroma Coffee, Twining’s Irish Breakfast tea, McCann’s Irish Oatmeal, Taos Mountain Energy Bars — but while the bars and coffee were cheaper at Albertson’s, the oatmeal actually cost a buck more than at Whole Amazon.

And Albertson’s organic-produce section is a very small garden indeed, with other organic products scattered around and about, hidden among the pedestrian bits by category, instead of huddled smugly in their own tiny gated community.

Smith’s has an OK wine selection, but doesn’t carry my Clausthaler Dry-Hopped non-alcoholic beer. There’s an organics ghetto, but the produce is minimalist, nearly as thin a crop as at Albertson’s. It’s just a few minutes by bike from El Rancho Pendejo, but so is Hell.

Sprouts Farmers Market stocks Clausthaler, but only the original fake lager, and the wines are mostly the sort one drinks from a paper bag while sitting on a curb.

However, Sprouts’ selection of organic produce is second only to Whole Amazon, and it offers a house-brand organic plain English muffin I like (Whole Amazon recently re-engineered its English muffins into gummy inedibility).

Keller’s Farm Store has the league-leading meat counter and Sabroso Foods tortillas. I wouldn’t use a Whole Amazon tortilla to blow my nose.

The upshot of this unscientific survey** is that I can do without Whole Amazon, but only by shopping at Albertson’s, Smith’s, Sprouts, Keller’s, and Kelly Liquors (for my fake beer).

* “My” income mostly being “her” income.

** And yes, this is how I roll when Herself is out of Dodge. You can’t stop me! To-GA! To-GA! To-GA!

What’s for breakfast?

November 20, 2018

Back In the Day®, when the cops decided to grab some shuteye during a shift, they called it “cooping.” But this Cooper’s hawk isn’t napping on the job. He’s up early and inspecting the menu from our backyard maple.

I saw this when I stepped out to shoot the sunrise this morning. Our bird feeders have become a bird feeder.

Takeout gets taken out

September 7, 2018

The monsoons persist.

Herself takes an exercise class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and sometimes she’ll slide by Il Vicino afterward to collect a couple sammiches so Your Humble Narrator doesn’t have to cook.

Last night was one of those sometimes. Until the deluge.

First came the thunder, which sounded like incoming artillery rounds fused for airburst. Skylights, which we have aplenty, gave me and the cats a pretty good look at the flash part of the flash-bang, too.

And then, the rain. Holy hell, the rain. A neighbor said we got an inch in an hour, and I have no reason to doubt her. The cul-de-sac basically turned into a giant storm drain.

In any case, the upshot is, I had to cook. It would have been an upstream swim to Il Vicino for Herself and we’d have wound up with soup sammiches after she swam back.

Trail of tiers

March 22, 2018

The Paseo del Bosque hasn’t leafed out yet, but it’s still a nice change, snotlocker-wise, from the juniper-heavy foothills.

Spring? Meh. Don’t talk to me about spring. We got summer down here, dude.

Yesterday I did a nice little two-and-a-half-hour ride that took in a number of the local bike trails — Paseo de las Montañas, Paseo del Bosque, Paseo del Norte, North Diversion Channel — and finished with the Tramway climb.

This is a really good ride for letting the mind wander alongside the body. The first hour is mostly downhill with a few tense moments — a couple dicey multilane-thoroughfare crossings, too much time on Indian School Road, and a narrow, stop-and-go, pain-in-the-ass stretch of Mountain skirting the north edge of downtown — but after that it’s smoove like butta, yo.

The bosque trail is flat as flat can be. The Paseo del Norte rises a bit to North Diversion. And Tramway is a pleasant steady-state, half-hour climb. There’s a little suffering at the bottom, near Interstate 25, and a little more at about the six-mile mark, but mostly it’s a matter of picking a gear you like and turning it over.

Mid-50s at the start, mid-60s at the finish, what’s not to like? When I got home I ate everything worth eating and then set about making some more — tacos, pico de gallo, spuds and turnips roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper. There were leftovers so I can eat it all over again today.

Then this morning I arise to learn that Il Douche and Uncle Joe are barking from a safe distance about throwing hands. Jesus H., etc. Can someone give these noisy old farts a couple of bikes, turn ’em loose in the desert sun for a couple of hours?

The only thing they’ll want to pound on afterward is a taco platter. But I ain’t cookin’ for ’em.

Chow dog

December 26, 2016
From left, taters, tea, bacon and eggs. Not pictured: English muffins.

From left, taters, tea, bacon and eggs. Not pictured: English muffins.

Christmas Day was one chilly sonofabitch, with a nasty bit of wind, so naturally Herself and I decided to go out for a short run, reasoning that we could do anything, no matter how sucky, for a half hour.

You will recall that I have “run” exactly once since May, while Herself pounds ground a couple days a week and did a half-marathon back in October. So imagine if you will an elderly, portly Irish setter chasing a young border collie over hill and dale.

After such a massive caloric expenditure I felt compelled to prepare a pot of pre-Mexican hominy stew, and this morning topped that off with a mess of pan-fried potatoes, hickory-smoked bacon, eggs over easy, English muffins, coffee and tea.

And now I feel slightly sluggish for some reason. Probably the bonk. I should eat something.

Snow cat

November 29, 2016
I don't think I need to break out the shovel for this one.

I don’t think I need to break out the shovel for this one.

It probably doesn’t qualify as the first snow of the year, but we finally got a dusting at El Rancho Pendejo.

The temp remains below freezing as of 9 a.m., and I’m having a very hard time getting excited about going grocery shopping. But we’re inching our way downward through the pantry toward the basics — beans, rice, chile, etc. — and something, as they say, must be done.

I could slap together a pretty interesting vegetarian combo platter with what I have on hand — bean burritos smothered in green and sprinkled with cheddar, sides of Mexican rice and posole — but that would just kick the ol’ can down the road.

Speaking of roads and cans that need kicking along same, some of us have been having an invigorating discussion in comments about the big bad feddle gummint and what to do about it. I don’t want the blog to devolve entirely into a civics course, but just for shits and giggles, let’s take it on faith that the government is too big and intrusive and our tax burden too onerous.

So how do we shrink the federal government to a manageable size? What would you cut? Whose ox gets gored?

And keep in mind that we are not just cutting functions here. We’re shitcanning people. Our fellow Americans. They enjoy their combo platters, too, as do the folks that sell and serve them, so spare them a thought in your calculations.

As of 2014 the U.S. government employed some 2.7 million people. Walmart only has 1.5 million or so on payroll in the United States; Amazon’s headcount is about 240,000 folks, or about twice as many as Apple.

So I don’t see all these sidelined federales landing cushy gigs moving boxes around an Amazon warehouse, greeting the penny-pinchers at Sam’s Club, or failing to fix my 2009 iMac at the Albuquerque Apple Store.

 

Tights stretch

January 2, 2016
¡Cuidado, señores y señoritas, hot plate!

¡Cuidado, señores y señoritas, hot plate!

“I’d like to ride more in 2016,” he said. Yes, and the residents of Hell would enjoy a cold beverage.

No cold beverages for me, thanks. We’re still mired in the 20s here, though “they” say we should see 40-something later today.

But you know how “they” lie.

With the temps pegged well below freezing I skipped my plans for a New Year’s Day ride and instead cooked up a mess of beans and rice to go with the leftovers from our tinga poblana orgy. Now I won’t have to cook for three days. Though I do have some leftover chorizo, and some tomatillos and an avocado, so with a couple of spuds I could crank out some tacos de papas con chorizo y salsa de aguacate. …

Um, no. I make another unholy mess in the kitchen and I’m guaranteed not to make it to Valentine’s Day, much less summer.

Titties and beer

September 18, 2015
One of Marin's Gestalt bikes. I should've snapped the Four Corners, which is a pretty tasty-looking piece of machinery.

One of Marin’s Gestalt bikes. I should’ve snapped the Four Corners, which is a pretty tasty-looking piece of machinery.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MDM) — Well, almost.

Dinner last night was at a Mexican place none of us had ever been to before — Mike Deme, the Adventure Cycling Association’s King of All Media, picked The Eldorado Cantina after sifting Yelp recommendations online — and when we all piled into the cab and gave the hack the address he says, “Strip club.”

interbike-bug“Naw, it’s a Mexican restaurant,” says Mike.

“Strip club too,” replies the cabbie.

Oops.

So, yeah. We were expecting the worst. Pasties in the posole? Instead of a napkin in the lap, a writhing young person of the female persuasion hawking watered-down $20 margaritas? Tony, Silvio and Paulie Walnuts leaning on the bar, serving up heaping helpings of fresh stinkeye, on the house?

Nope. Nice little place, good food, excellent service. Bada bing!

Anyway, we discussed the future of tech coverage in Adventure Cyclist, and I think you can look forward to some good stuff there, though I can’t say much about the details at the moment because Tony, Silvio, Paulie, etc.

Before dinner, there was more wandering about at the show, during which I got a look at the Marin Four Corners and Gestalt series; the Masi Giramondo; and the Giant Toughroad SLR 1, a rare flat-bar adventure bike.

The monster-crosser, fat-tired, all-conditions, disc-equipped adventure bike, with compact double or even single-ring drivetrains, is definitely the industry’s latest wet dream.

But I did see one lonely, overlooked traditional setup tucked away in the corner of one booth — a Fuji Touring bike with a triple crank, Tektro rim brakes and bar-cons. No pasties.

Next: The long and winding road that leads to my door.

And so it begins

September 16, 2015
Run away. Even if somebody else is buying.

Run away. Even if somebody else is buying.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (MDM) — Should you ever find yourself forced to choose between eating at the Public House or doing a full-gainer freegan dive into a Dumpster behind the Luxor, I recommend going for the garbage.

interbike-bugThe Bicycle Retailer crew had a prix fixe deal going on — at the Public House, not the Dumpster — and you’d think that would have greased the culinary wheels of progress somewhat, but no.

Getting “served” required more than two hours, during which time several of my colleagues’ beverage orders went walkabout, and as for what finally arrived at the table, I’m going to go out on a limb here and call it “food,” if only because it came on a plate.

This Starbucks has been the cornerstone of my mornings at the show ever since it moved from the Sands to Mandalay Bay.

This Starbucks has been the cornerstone of my mornings at the show ever since it moved from the Sands to Mandalay Bay.

The racket was abominable, and holding a conversation was impossible, which is kind of a pisser when you have two-plus hours to kill waiting for the grub. So we all shouted at those closest to us — mostly “What?” — and as a consequence this morning I feel like I’ve been gargling with broken glass.

Hey, there could have been anything in whatever that was on my plate. The foundation of a first-rate weight-loss program, is dinner at the Public House.

But, hey, First World Problems, am I right? It’s a brand-new day, I’ve had a couple $5 cups of coffee, and I didn’t have to wait two hours for them, either. Off to the show.

Next: Day one of Interbike.