Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Salade méditerranéenne

Salade méditerranéenne: photo by Cliff Hutson
Salade méditerranéenne: photo by Cliff Hutson
Avocat, laitue beurre, houmous, le flétan pané, huile d'olive et vinaigre

Michael Poland
"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" 


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pizza in the Foothill Cities

Pizzeria: photo by Cliff Hutson
Pizzeria: photo by Cliff Hutson

It should be patently obvious to even the most casual visitor to this blog that I am not one in much need of validation. But, I got a real kick out of the latest issue of Westways magazine which in its “Day Trip” article cited one of my favorite pizzerias  as a good place to eat in La Verne, CA

La Verne

The said restaurant is Warehouse Pizza. It is definitely worth a visit if you are out that way. As David Allen says, more eloquently than I, “ For its size, La Verne has a lot of homegrown pizza parlors (Red Devil, Sal’s, Pizza Barn, Pizza N Stuff and maybe one or two I’ve forgotten), with Warehouse perhaps the best, and certainly the most fondly regarded.”

I would never think of going to any of the others. If you try it, order the side salad with the house dressing, as well. A treat not to be missed. But, as good as this is, this is not where I usually end up when I go out for pizza. I, instead, head for Claremont.


The “City of Trees and PhDs” also has a lot of pizza parlors. But, there is only one for me - Pizza ’n Such. If you look it up, you might also find it listed as “Pizza N Such” or “Pizza n’ Such”. It seems nobody can settle how it should be written, including the owners.

It once was a small eight table restaurant occupying a small section of the east side of the current building. The same owners expanded in 2002 to take up the entire downstairs. We ate a lot at the original spot and still enjoy the same delicious food; plus more menu items and many beers on tap. Allen and I are at odds on the best pizza in the Village, but he can’t always be right.

The careful observer might note from my accompanying photos that Mushrooms and Bell Peppers is my go to pizza. But, I have had others and they are all good.

One last great thing about Pizza N Such is that if you order a pizza for take out, you can get bottled beer to go. How is that for service?


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Holly in California?

Comarostaphylis diversifolia
Summer Holly: photo by Cliff Hutson

Plants of the genus Ilex (Holly) are not native to California, though some may have naturalized. However, several of our native plants do have "holly" as part of their common names. This is no doubt due to their having pointy leaves and red berries, but in total disregard to their taxonomy

Summer holly (Comarostaphylis diversifolia) is found in coastal chaparral from Santa Barbara County southerly into Baja California. There may be populations on the Channel Islands as well. Some sources cite that the geography makes for two subspecies: Comarostaphylis diversifolia ssp. diversifolia in coastal Southern California and Baja; and Comarostaphylis diversifolia ssp. planifolia on the Channel Islands and the Transverse Ranges north of Los Angeles. It is not very common, but not yet listed as rare.

A slow‐growing, evergreen shrub or tree to 20 ft. tall. Attractive features include shiny leaves, white flowers, red berries and shredded bark. While the flowers are urn-shaped similar to the more familiar manzanita, the red berries are warty or wrinkly rather than smooth. That feature also distinguishes it from toyon. Summer holly is a member of Ericaceae, commonly known as the heath or heather family, a family of flowering plants found most commonly in acid and infertile growing conditions.

Summer Holly can be used in the home landscape. It does well in dry part shade and does not tolerate direct water in the summer. Some care must be taken, but one pay off is that birds are attracted to the fruit.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Patch Cat

A type of black-and-white bicolor cat, the "patch cat" is also nicknamed "cow cat" or "moo cat". A patch cat does not have the solid black "jacket" of the tuxedo cat. Instead, it has big black patches over a mostly white body, often with a black mask over the head.  This color pattern gives them a resemblance to the Holstein, (or Frisian) cow, and is the most likely derivation of the name.

These cats are not a specific breed and are named for their coat pattern. Some say that the color of a cat determines its personality. One source posits that patch cats are thought to have the following characteristics: "a love of water, big personalities and a playful nature.”  Another states that "the black and white colored cat tends to be affectionate and lively".

I am going to suggest that this is going to pretty much depend on the particular cat in question. The pattern can show up in many breeds of cats. Behavior is probably more associated with breed. Then each cat is going to have its own distinct personality, just like with people.

Our veterinarian calls Mini a domestic shorthaired (DSH), as she (Mini not the vet) is a cat of mixed ancestry. Mini will occasionally dabble in water, but has never shown what I would call a love for it. She is affectionate, and was quite animated in her youth. 

One of her favorite tricks was to perch in a high place and jump on me when I passed by so that she perch on my shoulder like a pirate's parrot. Thus life imitated the art of the Non Sequitur comic strip wherein Captain Eddie's cat, Paulie,  rides along with him. While this was not a problem when I was wearing a heavy shirt, it could be quite painful foe me. I am glad that she has outgrown this habit.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016