Flipped the calendars, dosed the cats with their monthly flea stuff. After doing my usual computer stuff, I decided it was high time I got a massage. There was a new place I wanted to check out, and it is halfway to Ranch99 Market, which was also on the agenda for today. Got there, it is still under construction. Plan B was way far from there, almost all the way back home and then a few miles further. Decided Ranch99 could wait. If I went shopping and then massage I would miss the May Day event in Los Altos, and Ranch99 is on the way home from Los Altos.
Massage was very good. She remembered not to touch my feet, or walk on my back.
On the way home I got this notion to check one more store for the possibility of good cheeses. There is this place called the Milk Pail, which has been there forever, in a very inconvenient niche between a restaurant and Ross. In all the years I have lived here, I have never been inside, for two main reasons. First, they have like 4 parking spots and you can't see if they are taken until you pull into the driveway and get stuck between the parking vulture who is sitting there waiting for a spot to open and the tailgater who pulled in right behind you, and probably wants to go to Ross or Bevmo but you're blocking his way. Second, the sign says "old fashioned European style market" which usually translates as "narrow aisles you will get stuck in, open air with obligatory flying insects and maybe birds, and not up to health codes". But hey, a place called Milk Pail ought to have cheese, right?
So I parked in the Ross parking lot, walked across the driveways (2 of them) and looked around. To my right there is a fridge case with a sign on it that says "cheeses from San Francisco gourmet show" or something like that. Bingo! Well, not really, it was a cheese case all right, but it was all domestic, mostly stuff from Napa and Sonoma, and mostly cheese with stuff in it. Cranberries. Walnuts. 11 herbs and spices. Not my cup of cheese. Not much of a selection.
Just for grins I went to the other end of the store, wiggled my way through the single-file-width aisle to the Back Room, and when I got there it was cheese heaven. Two walls lined with fridge cases - the kind with doors - labeled in big letters with where the cheeses are from. There was one section for domestic, two for French, two for Italian. German, Danish and Greek shared a section. And more cheeses were in the open fridge cases to the left of those.
I never thought I would ever spend $40 on cheese.
So, I picked up two chunks of the Lingot d'Argental which I'd gotten at Piazzi's and loved, but never saw again, and both sheep and goat soft cheeses from Argental. And a little bitty wheel of Brillat Savarin. And some Delice d'Argental. And a couple of sourdough baguettes.
Took those home just in time to see if the sheep cheese on sourdough would combat my oncoming hypoglycemia (I had not eaten yet, it was about 2:30 pm). It did. Lovely stuff.
Parked everything in the fridge, then took off for Los Altos Museum, which was pretty much wrapping up the festival, which had started at 1. There were maybe 6 other visitors, and about 10 staffers. I did have time to take a tour of the now-restored historic house which had been mostly closed for ages. It is well worth the trip, they have stocked every room with period items which would have been found there 100 years ago. Or whenever the house was built, maybe later than that. Spices whose brand names I remember on my grandmothers' shelves. Also had a look at several 1930's era cars parked out front, including a fire truck Los Altos FD maintains and uses in parades. And took a quick walk through the museum's downstairs exhibit, which I have to spend more time in later.
At about 4 I headed to Ranch 99, and stocked up. Last time they were out of some of the stuff I use, this time they had plenty of cartons of coconut milk, I also got straw mushrooms, Penaeng curry (there was a choice of two brands!), sliced bamboo shoots & sliced water chestnuts. Surgical strike shopping, so I bypassed the deli. A wok was also on my list, but they don't have any. WTF? An Asian supermarket which doesn't sell woks? Maybe I'll use my coupon at BB&B and get the real heavy aluminum one with non-stick lining they have from some Scandinavian company.
Home, unpacked the goodies, pulled out Nancie's Q&E Thai cookbook and whipped up a double batch of Penaeng curried meatballs. It took a little longer to prep than the recipe estimated, because I was using twice as much meat, half lean ground turkey and half not so lean ground lamb. I thought I'd also bought buffalo, but I saw I'd changed my mind (maybe the $9/lb did that) and got lean ground beef instead. I'll used that for something else. Anyhow, it took a few minutes to smush the two kinds of meat together and make meatballs. Other than that, and allowing an extra few minutes to cook the larger batch, all went well. I took her suggestion and substituted basil leaves for the lime leaves, on account of how I have never seen lime leaves for sale anywhere. Oh, and the curry sauce came out too thin, I'll have to add some starch and thicken it up a bit before I freeze the results. Taste test result: A little more bite from the curry than I expected, but definitely good noms. Good on rice, or in Pot Thai noodles.
In other news, Scarlett objected to the photo I posted, which somehow got copied to Facebook. I don't have model releases yet, so I nuked everything I'd uploaded to Flickr, as well as the FB posting, and will do the same to the one here Real Soon Now. I thought it was a great shot of her and her two special guests. The main purpose of the shoot was for the models to get portfolio fodder, so I'll just keep the pix on my hard drive until models email me asking for a CD. And I'll avoid going to any more of Scarlett's events.
Plans for tomorrow:
Doctor's appointment in the morning
Turn off the gas furnace