Today’s NYTimes had an article about passwords and how they are an attempt at personalizing what is essentially impersonal. It got me thinking about other names.

I once did work for a mfg software company whose servers were all named after the Marx brothers. After they ran out of brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo, and Zeppo), they added Karlo. Wonder who the next server was named after. Keaton? Lenin? Trotsky? Moe/Larry/Curly?


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Making Veal Stock

Having veal stock in the freezer is the culinary equivalent of money in the bank. One can pull out a cup or two, add it to a pan sauce and voila, an unctuous sauce that does not need thickening and has no chemical tastes or ingredients.

I use the basic proportions from the CIA’s Professional Chef–10 lbs bones, 1 lb aromatics, 6 oz of tomato paste and a sachet of thyme, fresh bay leaf, parsley and peppercorns. Six quarts of water turns into 16-20 cups of stock. Do this twice and you (I) have enough stock for the winter. Continue reading

Day Seven – No Rest for the Weary

Back from NOLA yesterday. Sarah and her sister Anne were due to spend a week in Costa Rica. Anne’s wife Barb had another seizure Tuesday night. Rachel got in touch with them and they got off the plane in Costa Rica, got back on and flew back to Atlanta where Anne got to say good-bye. Barbara died early this morning. She was a kind, generous, and loving person, younger than me, and we will all miss her terribly. I am so glad that Sarah is there for Anne.

Day Seven NOLA post will be a little delayed.

Day Six – In Which the Titanic Approaches the Iceberg



So originally we were supposed to eat at Antoine’s, an old school New Orleans restaurant. A chance to taste the classics as they’ve been done for 170 years. However, after checking a lot of the on-line reviews, the major comment by most posters was that the ambiance was fantastic, the food ranged from good to great, the servers from friendly to rude, but the price never approached less expensive. So we shifted to Donald Link’s oldest restaurant, Herbsaint, on St. Charles at the edge of the Central Business District.

Wow. To quote several grandchildren out of context, “that was a good decision.” We had what we all agreed was the best dinner we’ve had this week. When we got there, Donald himself was having a glass of wine with someone at one of the outside tables. Later on, we saw him duck into the kitchen. Now, we’re not thinking he personally cooked our meal, but just the fact that he was around was comforting. Continue reading

Day Five-Pigeon Town Steppers and Gumbo Z’Herbes

So here we are at the Maple Leaf bar, waiting for the Pigeon Town Steppers second line to come through. It’s twenty to five and their permit runs until five and there are several other stops still to go, so the question is will they make it or will they just turn off and head for the Blue Flame Lounge where they disband? We’ve run into friends of Bill and Cindy’s and been invited over for some gumbo z’herbes, had some grilled oysters from one of the BBQ grills on pickup truck beds that seem ubiquitous at every outdoor event, and followed the rumors back and forth.

At the Maple Leaf

At the Maple Leaf

“They extended the permit until seven,” comes the latest word and suddenly, NOPD is blocking off the side streets, the crowd has grown and the brass band gets louder and louder. Continue reading

Day Four – In Which Our Hero Collides with the Local Flavors

OK, so I’ve been told I am somewhat demanding when it comes to food. I was looking forward to Vincent’s, an old school Italian place and especially the bracialoni , a roll of veal around stuffing and touted by Gumbo Tales as the New Orleans Italian dish to have. So, of course, we had some.
IMG_0810Vincent’s is old school. Green, red and white, Jerry Vale on the sound system, second generation run. All I wanted and more. The breadsticks and softened garlic-scallion butter on the table to start was a superb touch. The Rose of Sicily (a breaded deep fried artichoke heart draped with shaved parmesan in a garlic olive oil was quite tasty and the parmesan was good quality. The crabmeat stuffed mirlton (chayote) in a white sauce was also quite good and I got a sense of mirlton’s taste (subtle) and texture (like the pepper in a chile relleno). The duck carbonara was loaded with bacon and duck in a homemade wide pasta. Even the blue cheese vinegrette on the salad was good, a touch sweet from balsamic, and Gorgonzola blue cheese. Continue reading