Postcards: Bavarian-style wrap

By September 14, 2011 Postcards

Today’s lunch in Madison: a crispy buffalo chicken wrap with cheddar cheese and ranch dressing from a Bavarian-style eatery on campus. With chips, just $5.95.

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Homesick for Hawaii — or just its food?

By September 14, 2011 Food

To all you transplants in the Bay Area:

Get those iCals open. In October and November, the Taste Hawaii Tour will bring the flavors of the Islands right to you.

Acclaimed James Beard Award-winning chef Alan Wong and Hawaii food historian Arnold Hiura will headline this tour, which will host six events in San Francisco and San Jose between Oct. 27 and Nov. 2.

There will be cooking demonstrations, book signings and, of course, tastings.

Wong and Hiura, assisted by Hukilau Restaurants, will serve dishes from Wong’s latest cookbook, “The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong,” and classic fare from Hiura’s book, “Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands.”

The tour coincides with the 20th anniversary of the movement of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine, of which Wong was part.

I might even fly up for this!

For a complete list of events or to purchase tickets, visit Taste Hawaii Tour online.

Photo of Hiura by Vivien Kim Thorp

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High school reunions not for me

By September 14, 2011 Musings, The Daily Dish

The other day I was chatting with a colleague and he mentioned his 20th class reunion was coming up.

“You going?”

He frowned. “Nah,” he said. “I see everyone I want to see from high school. What’s the point?”

Exactly what I was thinking.

Shockingly — at least to me — my 20th class reunion is fast approaching, too, and I’m already getting Facebook notifications about it.

I have nothing against get-togethers of old friends and classmates. But a formal, organized reunion where I’d have to wear a name tag and dredge memories of trigonometry class and run into ex-boyfriends? I can think of other things to do that night.

It’s not that I don’t want to see my classmates. In fact, I enjoy running into familiar faces at the mall, grocery store and, most recently, at Rainbow Drive-In. I like catching up, hearing about their kids, what they’ve been up to, who they wound up marrying. But I’m not sure about an entire evening devoted to doing that with, oh, 125 people, many of whom won’t remember me, anyway.

I used to think high school reunions would be fun, a chance to reconnect with old friends and — isn’t this why we all go? — to see how everyone turned out. Did the prom queen get fat? Does the quarterback still have hair? And will my ex show up — and try to talk to me?

You envision — or hope — it will be a lot like “Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion,” where the two friends pretend they invented Post-Its, perform an elaborate dance number stick it to the popular girls and run away with the rich guy in a helicopter. It’s not a bad scenario.

Why do people go to class reunions, anyway? People — like my colleague — always say if those people really mattered that much, they would have kept in touch all these years. Is it the nostalgia? Is it to reconnect with old friends who don’t have Facebook accounts or email?


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Postcards: Blue skies in Madison

By September 13, 2011 Postcards

Blue skies over Madison, Wisc. today, with temperatures in the 80s. It won’t be like this in a couple of months!

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New TV shows worth watching

By September 12, 2011 Musings, The Daily Dish

It’s not every fall I’m excited about the new lineup on TV.

But I have to say, I’m pretty stoked about a few, particularly NBC’s “Up All Night,” premiering Wednesday.

Not only does it star three of my favorite comedic actors — Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph — but the story just works. Applegate plays a successful career women/wife turned mom, Arnett her stay-at-home husband. Both are new parents, saying the kinds of things we only quietly think.

And then there’s ABC’s throwback “Pan Am,” starring Christina Ricci and airing Sept. 25. It looks like a nostaligic period drama — simliar to AMC’s “Mad Men” — that, if the writing is stellar, could be that must-watch Sunday night hit.

Both have all the makings of becoming classics.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been excited about new shows. Like set-the-DVR-if-I-had-a-DVR excited.

I felt that way about ABC’s “Lost” in its first season, “My So-Called Life” on MTV, and — I’ll admit it — the new “Hawaii Five-O.” But I can’t remember too many seasons where I’ve actually punched the premiere date in my iPhone.

Any shows you’re looking forward to this fall?

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