Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This is How We Spend Time In Bodega

The time is now 4:04:59 PM. Donny and Dakota are sitting in the shade of the surf shop patio playing chess. The tourists walk by gazing into a world that they will rarely, if ever, take part in. Perhaps Sarah can interest them in a Northern Lights sweater.

This is how we spend time in Bodega.

If the time were 10:04:59 AM, we would be sitting on the bench drinking coffee and staring at the crossword puzzle. The tourists would walk by, searching for the church or the schoolhouse, both of which were in the 60s Hitchcock classic "The Birds". Last week one fellow asked if everyone did crosswords in Bodega. I answered, "In short, yes. That or Sudoku."

This is how we spend time in Bodega.

We're drinking Beck's and still sitting under the plum tree that's dropping fruit on the chess board. Dakota would like to mention that the board is sticky. Donny tells us a joke from the Gaysford Fraits Encyclopedia of Humor.

A man dies and his wife calls up the newspaper to see about an obituary. She asks the reporter what the minimum word count is to print one. The reporter says five. She says okay.

The next day, the obituary is in the paper. It reads:

"Bill died. Cadillac for sale."

This is how we spend time in Bodega.

There's a familiar looking dog in an unfamiliar truck. I ask Dakota if Peter got a new truck. Turns out it's Natalie's truck that Peter is using because his blue one is dead and she's in Laguna Beach anyway. Blue the dog...who Donny would like to mention just killed a buck, and that he and Louisa almost adopted Blue, but Blue almost killed Louisa ANWAYS Blue doesn't look as good in Natalie's truck, but I suppose it'll do for now.

This is Peter and me. He's a smart one. We took another picture but it was backlit, and he had the bright idea to turn around. Like I said, he's a smart one.

This is how we spend time in Bodega.

When the Becks is gone, we'll probably go over to the Casino for Pizza Night, as it is Wednesday. Pizza Steve used to have a pizza shop in Bodega Bay, but now he makes pizza on Wednesdays only. It's quite delicious, and different every week. People are always asking about the Casino, what the deal is, where the blackjack is. It's a bar and it's called The Casino. There's no blackjack, but oftentimes there are a couple of sharks who'll take some money off you in a pool game. The Casino is a great place. There's a six foot Hamm's bear next to the flatscreen in the Dinning Room (sic). And they take wooden nickels.

This is how we spend time in Bodega.

I work at the coffeeshop in Bodega, across the street from the Casino. We make a mean smoked salmon bagel and a delicious cold-brewed iced coffee, as well as many other tasty things. Dakota comes in every day for the Dakota Special, as I call it.

The Dakota Special

(makes one)

You will need:

a doubleshot of espresso
8 ounces of cold brewed coffee
3 packets of raw sugar

Pour the hot doubleshot in a glass and add the raw sugar. Stir til dissolved.

Add half the coffee to cool the sweet espresso.

Add ice.

Add the rest of the coffee.

Add the soymilk.

And presto! The Dakota Special. It's a little sweet for me, but the folks at the Surf Shop seem to like it too.

The time is now 4:33:46 PM. Dakota won the game against Donny and they have commenced again on another game. Two beers left in the sixpack. Pizza's at six. Thanks for reading. Mention this post at Brew in Bodega on a Wednesday or a Sunday (that is, if Charlotte is working) and get a discounted Dakota special.

This is how we spend time in Bodega.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Real Women Eat Quiche

I can see why quiches get such a bad rap. My first encounters with quiches were those dreadful little frozen tidbits popular at so many cocktail and dinner parties. Bland but for the salt, often lukewarm in the center, and with highly questionable ingredients. I mean, how exactly does one get the effect of a flaky rubber crust? Another scientific achievement from the ages of better living through chemistry.

On the subject of the sixties, Julia Child writes of the success of the quiche and opines on its subsequent depopularization in her all-encompassing tome “The Way to Cook”. “The quiche – pronounced keesh - that cheesy, open faced, custard pie much in vogue starting in the mid 1960s, became so ubiquitous and often so badly made, that its popularity waned” (pg 384).

How like the Americans to seize a good European idea, make it their own, and drive it into the ground. The origins of quiche go back several hundred years to the medieval German kingdom of Lothringen, which later became "Lorraine", one of the 26 regions of modern France. The word itself comes from the German word “kuchen” for “cake”.

The quiche came to the centerfold of American popular media again in the 1980s in the form of a satirical work called “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”, and gave us the term “quiche eater – a man who is effeminate or lacks masculine virtues” ( The term lives on in computer programming circles as a person who deals only with the academic and theoretical aspects in life, and is unwilling to “get their hands dirty”. Hmm. Perhaps those who used the term have never had a quiche in its true and glorified form. After all, it’s essentially an omelet in a pie crust. What could be more masculine than an omelet, and what less American than a pie? What’s not manly about eggs, butter, cheese, and flour?

If anything, a stereotypical woman would be unlikely to eat quiche simply due to the overwhelming caloric allowance necessary to partake in a slice. However, only a stereotypical woman so completely overwhelmed with cholesterol, waistlines, and fake sugar would be so inclined to not occasionally indulge in something so delicious. How can you go wrong with eggs, cream, bacon, and cheese? SERIOUSLY! A little goes a long way, anyway.

The classic Quiche Lorraine contains only eggs, cream, bacon, and a smattering of spices. Some dairy enthusiasts (including this one) see fit to add cheese as well. However, once you’ve got the egg custard and pie crust down, the possibilities are endless. How about a Quiche Florentine, with tomatoes, spinach, and feta cheese? Or one with chard and shallots? The only conditions seem to be that the ingredients be briefly cooked beforehand, as the baking serves to only solidify the egg custard and brown the top.

Tonight I’m making the Cheese and Bacon Quiche from “The Way to Cook”. If I were making it for anyone other than my father, and were this any occasion other than his birthday, I would probably skip the bacon and add a sautéed leafy green (I guess I am one of those stereotypical chicks after all), but I think a little bacon every now and then is good for the soul anyway. Just ask any vegetarian. Ha ha ha….

Cheese and Bacon Quiche

From Julia Child’s “The Way to Cook” (pg 385)

(This recipe presupposes a pre-baked pie shell. I made one, but the frozen ones should do just fine too.)

For a 9-inch quiche, serving six.

6 crisp strips of cooked bacon
One 9-inch prebaked shell
½ cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese
Salt Pepper, and Nutmeg
The Custard: 3 large eggs blended with enough cream (or milk) to make 1 ½ cups.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Break up the pieces of bacon and strew them in the bottom of the shell. Sprinkle on all but a spoonful of the cheese.

Season the custard with the spices and pour it to within 1/8 inch of the rim; then sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until puffed and browned.

My good friend MLE has been on a quiche making kick for the last few weeks, and unless you have a hoard of angry friends or at least cocktail party guests at your beck and call, that can be a lot of quiche to eat! You can freeze quiche beautifully if you cut it into individual pieces and wrap them well. To use, just defrost them and crisp them in a warm oven (maybe 350 or so) for 10-12 minutes.

So here’s my quiche! It turned out quite deliciously. Unfortunately, someone helped themselves to a big bite of it when I wasn’t looking.

Fucking quiche eaters.