Some recent meals…

April 24, 2012: Recent Eats!  Adoption!  The L.a. Complex!
Porchetta sandwich from Meat & Bread. The pork is spice rubbed and rolled in fennel and rosemary, then roasted to crispy perfection, chopped (along with that crispy skin) and served up hot.
April 24, 2012: Recent Eats!  Adoption!  The L.a. Complex!
Red Curry Beef sandwich at Meat & Bread, the day's special. Had a terrific sansho-like kick.

Meat & Bread : 370 Cambie Street : Victory Square : Vancouver BC.  As tempted as I was, I decided to take a rain check on the maple-bacon ice cream sandwich.

On the home front…

April 24, 2012: Recent Eats!  Adoption!  The L.a. Complex!
Fava beans sauteed in chicken stock and roasted garlic.
April 24, 2012: Recent Eats!  Adoption!  The L.a. Complex!
Crispy roasted Rainbow Trout with olive oil, garlic, and tarragon.
April 24, 2012: Recent Eats!  Adoption!  The L.a. Complex!
Saikyo miso soup with shitake mushrooms, sweet onions, and sweet potatoes.
April 24, 2012: Recent Eats!  Adoption!  The L.a. Complex!
My Mexican Ratatouille: Mix jalapenos, serrano peppers, cubed eggplant, tomatillos, red tomato, shallots, and garlic in olive oil, thyme salt, and a dash of sugar. Pop them in the oven on broil.
April 24, 2012: Recent Eats!  Adoption!  The L.a. Complex!
Once done, strip the seeds out of the roasted peppers (or the leave them in if you like it spicy), toss in a cubed avocado, mix and serve. Sweet, sour, spicy and delicious.
April 24, 2012: Recent Eats!  Adoption!  The L.a. Complex!
Cold chocolate: milk, cream, chocolate.

Heard from the Seattle Pug Rescue today.  They informed me that since it was impossible for them to do a home check on me, they would require photos of my house along with a letter of reference from my vet.  And, if I do end up being approved for adoption, I will have to make the trip to Seattle to pick up my pug since they do not ship their pugs.  All perfectly understandable.  I’ll snap some pics of the front and back yards (both fenced) and some shots of my dogs lounging about in their doggy beds, on my bed, and enjoying It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on the big theater screen downstairs.  If that doesn’t convince them, I don’t know what will.

Akemi is still about two months away from hearing definitive word on her immigration status (we went to the Japanese Consulate this morning to get her printed so the Japanese government can run a background check on her and make sure she isn’t a serial killer who preys on unwitting gaijin).  As a result, either I make the trip to Seattle solo or I wait until she gets the okay to come and go as she pleases.  Guess I’ll just have to see how the adoption process goes.

April 24, 2012: Recent Eats!  Adoption!  The L.a. Complex!

Martin Gero’s The L.A. Complex premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m. on the CW.  Check it out!

41 thoughts on “April 24, 2012: Recent Eats! Adoption! The L.A. Complex!

  1. All that food looks fantastic. Meat & Breat will now have to also be on my must eat list next time I’m in Vancouver!

    It’s great that you finally heard back from the rescue. You’re right about them surely being convinced by your doggie accomodations. If there was anyone that I would be convinced would be more than capable of taking care of them it would be you. Heck, just link them to this blog, as well!

  2. I would like the bread from the sandwiches and the chocolate milk please.
    I am not finding the CW channel on my cable, junky tv, will have to try another way to see it. If Marty was involved, it is surely worth the watch!
    Good luck on the adoption.

  3. Hi Joe, food looks delish! So happy you’ll be getting your pugs, but sometimes I have to wonder why these rescue groups make it SO difficult. I can understand being careful, but sometimes I think they go overboard. Prior to getting Riley, I tried to adopt ANY dog that needed me, especially one of the ones in danger of being put down. I get these messages on Facebook from various groups with the story and the pictures of these dogs, along with urgent messages begging anybody to take them in. Not once was I able to contact anybody!

    Here’s what’s happening at my house: 🙂

    Riley’s agenda:
    Wake up at 2 a.m., pee in bedroom. Go back to sleep. Wake up at 4:30 a.m., pee and poop in bedroom. Go outside, bark at everything, target and destroy fallen branches. Go back to sleep with Gumbo. Wake up at 7:00 a.m. by climbing up on the bed and jumping on Elway, Molly and Mom. Go outside, smell flowers, greet birds, torment cats, go inside to pee. Demand breakfast. Eat. Poop (inside, if possible).
    8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Torment cats, other dogs, spill water bowls x 3, take every toy out of toy basket, destroy said toys. Eat sticks and rocks. Laugh at Mom while she tries to extricate said sticks and rocks from my mouth. Bark at broom, destroy said broom. Pee outside (!), get praise for being “such a good girl”.
    11:30 a.m.: LUNCH outside. Unable to contain urges to steal other dogs’ lunches. Play with Mom outside for 30 minutes, come inside to pee. Have picture taken.
    12:30 p.m.: Torment cats, attack trees, get shoes to eat. Have picture taken.
    1:30 p.m.: Forced to take a nap.

    3:30 p.m. Big Dog (not to be confused with Fat Dog) is still napping, the big baby. Search and destroy! Big Dog and Fat Dog both awake now. Let the fun commence! Mom steps in pee. I wonder how that got in the hallway? Must have been Little Dog. Or Mom. What does sonofabitch mean?

    4:00 p.m.: The Mom person says she’s going back on caffeine, whatever that means. She also says she needs to start drinking. I bring the water bowl to her bed! I am so close to becoming a service dog. 😉

    4:30 p.m.: Fat Dog gets angry and tries to bite me. All because I chewed on his ears? Fat Dog has issues. I cry a lot and Mom kisses it and makes it better.

    I’m off to bed, folks!

  4. Hmmm … is that “good luck on all accounts” or “good luck on all counts”?

    Well, anyway, you know what I mean.

  5. @ Deni – cute, cute cute!! You forgot one thing. The mandatory PICTURE!


  6. You should forward your blog address to the dog rescue people too.

    It alone should be pretty good evidence that you’re a great dog owner.

    It’d be kinda hard to make up years worth of blog entries.

    Don’t they realize who you are? 🙂

  7. We’d all give you references for that adoption, too. Fingers crossed. The cold chocolate looks good. And the fava beans, too.

    @Deni: I’m sorry to laugh at your suffering, but that is hysterical. Do you remember the show Dinosaurs! on ABC? It reminded me of the baby.

  8. Hey Joe,

    Love all the food…wishing I had one of those sandwiches. Everything looks so yummy.

    I swear it sounds like you’re adopting a child. I had no idea that they would put you thru those kind of hoops. Your vet will give you a blue ribbon reccomendation.

    It must be frustrating waiting to get things settled for Akemi. Hope it settles fast so she can go along on the trip. You two make the best parents.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🌹

  9. AND…I did see The L.A. Complex. I really liked it more than I thought I would. I guess part of me misses that life. *smiles*

  10. Hey Joe, I went to a (nicely crowded) Q&A and book signing by Christopher Moore tonight in Menlo Park (readers will recall we read his book Bloodsucking Fiends for the book club). He was signing his new book Sacre Bleu, a novel set in the time of Impressionist painters. He was very funny, energetic, and well-spoken, which I guess isn’t surprising given his writing! He spent 4 years doing research for the book, including spending lots of time in Paris and learning to paint. He doesn’t plan any more books in the Vampire series, but he said you never know. Anyway I’d never have heard of him if not for your book club, so thanks! I would’ve said ‘hi’ for you but the line was very long and my book was pre-signed. BTW he’s a very funny, unabashedly liberal tweeter too — @theauthorguy .

  11. I have been meaning to ask this question for ages…

    Is it a coincidence that the old name for Japan’s capital , Kyoto, is an anagram of Toyko the new capital of Japan.

    Figured if anyone should know it would be you guys.

    Kriss 🙂

  12. get the pork belly confit banh mi at matt’s in the market at lunch when you go to seattle

  13. Fingers crossed for good news from the immigration re Akemi’s status and the Seattle Pug Rescue. 😀

  14. I empathize with Akemi. I’m a permanent resident whose PR card expired in January of this year. I’ve been waiting for the new one, and until it comes, I can’t travel outside of Canada unless my return trip is via a non-commercial carrier. (So I can drive down to Seattle and back, but I wouldn’t be able to fly back, or take the train or the QuickShuttle back.) I’ve got plane tickets to go visit the fam in Detroit the second weekend in June.

    Proof of imminent travel plans (which I submitted yesterday) is supposed to expedite your PR card renewal process. I sure hope it does. Otherwise, I have to get a Travel Document from a Canadian Embassy outside of Canada before I can fly back here. And guess how long the embassy in Detroit says it takes to process an application for a Travel Document? Longer than the time I plan to be in Detroit! Fun times…

    In more exciting news, my fiancé and I submitted an offer on our first house today! We both live in the West End (downtown Vancouver, for those of you not familiar with this town). I rent an apartment; he owns a condo. The house we put the offer on is in Deep Cove (the most polar opposite of “downtown Vancouver” you can think of).

    Up until, uh, yesterday, we weren’t even looking for a house all that seriously. We’d occasionally looked at listings online, just to see if there was anything interesting, or to feel each other out about what type of house we each might like. Or to answer the question I often have, driving around various parts of the city: “How much would one of *these* houses cost?” (Often, the answer is “$1.2 million”, almost no matter what neighborhood I’ve been in when asking that question.) But we hadn’t spoken to an agent or looked into financing or any of that jazz that serious house-hunters do.

    This past Saturday, after meeting with a wedding coordinator (and getting some yummies from Fratelli Italian bakery!), we decided on a lark to drive to Deep Cove, to see if it might be an area we’d be interested in. Like, eventually. Sometime down the road. Like maybe after we’re married.

    On the drive into the village, we saw a few “Open House” signs, and randomly decided to follow one of them. When we did the drive-by, Shane asked, “Should we go in and look?” I said, “Sure, why not?”

    I don’t even think I got all the way in the house before I knew I liked it. A lot.

    The agent told us that it was its first day on the market, and she expected it to go by the end of the week. (It was priced in the “extremely affordable for Vancouver” range, which, for you out-of-towners, means “under $1 million”. I know. It’s insane here. Stucco shacks with wood rot go for $1 million within Vancouver city limits.) The sellers are building their own home in the same neighborhood, and it sounds like they need to sell fast to get approved for financing on construction of the new place.

    So we hemmed and hawed all day Sunday and worried about the fact that we hadn’t been to ANY other open houses, or even really seriously looked at the rest of the North Shore market. But we emailed the agent Sunday night to express our interest. Monday she told us the sellers would be accepting offers today (Tuesday) and deciding among those offers this week. So fast, so fast!

    Shane wanted to see the place again yesterday evening, but I had to work. And since I was already emotionally attached to the house (and had been from the start), I suggested he take along some friends of his who recently bought in a nearby area, because (a) they knew much better what else was out there for the same price; and more importantly, (b) they could be completely objective. They, too, thought it was a nice house for a good price.

    So last night was crunch time. I stayed up all night looking at listings for all of North Vancouver, and compiling a list of about 25-30 that looked promising or similar to the one we were considering. I emailed them to Shane with my thoughts on each one, and then he spent this morning looking them over in “compare/contrast mode”.

    By 2:30 this afternoon, we had decided to make an offer. The agent wanted us there by 4:00. (She was expecting 2 other offers in addition to ours.) Seller would start considering offers at 5:00, and would reach a decision by 6:30. Ack!!! So fast, so fast!

    Shane was freaking out a little at the whirlwind nature of this whole scenario. And then he had to go to the agent’s office by himself, since I had not yet finished my geothermal paper. We talked about what conditions we should include and how much we should offer, and then he was on his own.

    By 7:15, I hadn’t heard from Shane. I decided to go walk my dog in the short window of time that it wasn’t raining today. While out, I imagined that the reason we hadn’t heard yet was that our offer wasn’t accepted. That thought made me a little sad. Then I imagined that the reason we hadn’t heard yet was that they were still deciding, and our offer was still in the running. A faint ray of hope! Then I told myself to stop imagining unverifiable scenarios and just focus on picking up Sadie’s poop.

    I arrived back at my apartment to find a message on the machine. Without listening to it, I immediately called Shane. He answered with a terse “H’lo” and sounded like I’d just interrupted something. “Are you on the other line?” I asked.

    “No, just logging into my computer,” he said in a bored-sounding voice. Okay… With no urgency to his voice, I assumed the agent hadn’t called back yet. Nevertheless, I prompted him:


    “Well… I talked to the agent…” he began, in a flat, dejected way. My heart began to sink. I braced for the bad news. With that same glum tone, he continued, “And… we have a house…”

    “What?!?? We do?!?” I could hardly believe what I was hearing, given that I’d been expecting the worst.

    And I could hear him smiling at the trick he had pulled on me as he said, “Yup.”

    So if all goes well with the inspection and financing, we take possession June 28. And then everyone’s invited over for a hot tub barbecue! 😉

    1. @Kathode Fantastic story. I’m very happy for you. When my husband and I were engaged, we were planning a wedding and building a house. Very, very stressful. But we’ve been in the same house now for almost 20 years and I don’t imagine ever leaving. It’s not my “dream home” by any means, but it’s home.

  15. Loved Meat and Bread when I was out in Vancouver. My co-workers there took me there as well as many other excellent places. I truely enjoy these types of places that put love into their sandwiches instead of slapping on pre-packaged, pre-portioned ingredients. Plus, how can you go wrong with placed named Meat and Bread!


  16. Good luck on both Akemi and the pug adoptions! I wonder if it would help if you sent them links to your blog entires concerning your pups? Food looks fantastic!

  17. @Joe: I was so busy yesterday, that I forgot to comment on the food! Those sandwiches look amazing. And big enough to make two meals for me.

    @Kriss: Kyoto and Tokyo are anagrams in the English spelling. In Japanese they are not so similar. Both do contain the kanji 京 (と – to) for capital, though.

    Kyoto is 京都 ( きょうと) and means Capital City. It was pretty much the first capital city of Japan and its design was based on Chinese cities (which is why it is so nice and organized and easy to get around in).

    Tokyo is 東京 (とうきょう) and means Eastern Capital. It became the capital in the 1800’s and just kind of grew up in loose circles around the Imperial Palace – high ranking people in the inner circles and lower ranking outside – which is why you can’t find anything in Tokyo even if you have an address.

  18. @ Deni – 😆 I hope you have tile and/or hardwood floors! *Note to Mr. Das – THIS is why we don’t have a dog!

    I don’t have anything as, ummm… damp… as Momma Deni to report 🙂 , but yesterday while MDing I had a great find – a sterling silver baby spoon! (Gorham, Greenbrier pattern, pat. 1938) Took me over 3 hours to polish up (or, one rugby match, one ep of NCIS, and the local news). These things are going for about $45-50 bucks on e-bay, but I think I’ll just keep it. 🙂 I also found a hand-painted compact, a toy car, and a bullet! Fortunately, it didn’t have my name on it. Have also found over $13 in change (clads) so far this year, not as much as some diehard MDers (also known as ‘swingers’), but more than I had when I first started. 🙂

    Here’s pics of my latest finds, along with a bowl of coins and the silver spoon:


  19. Hola everyone… the super awesome Deni pulled me over to hang and catch up with y’all… I’ve been off work sick for the week with an annoying cold…courtesy of the Supanova convention where I met Rainbow, Cliff and Morena, among others.

    Just reading Deni’s “Day in the Life of Riley” and I’m having a coughing fit…. OMG that’s hilarious…I do hope you have floorboards not carpet. My fave bit was “What does sonofabitch mean?” I can relate to the peeing thing…My cat is 15 years old and if I drop a towel on the floor after a shower she goes and pees on it….very annoying….note to self: pick up towel

    Belated birthday wishes to Akemi. I hope your day was full of surprises….and cake. Best wishes with immigration.

    Seriously Joe, you should show the Seattle Dog Rescue people your blog. They’d see you’re excellent parents. The lengths you go to so those dogs lead a healthy, comfortable life is impressive…some people should be so lucky. Then there’s the extended family – Uncle Ivon, Uncle Lawren etc

    My prayers go out to you Cheryl. Hang in there hon….sorry to hear about your loss Das….condolences.

    gforce looks like a helluva trip…planning one myself for Summer.

    I’ll make sure not to be a stranger round these parts…

    Keep the stories and photos flowing Joe.

    Cheers, Chev

  20. @Kathode: Congratulations! Post a photo or two of your new house!

    @Das: Oh yeah, I have tile throughout, wouldn’t do this with carpeting! I do, however, have a 8×12 seagrass rug in the living room…ugh. 🙂

    @PBMom: Oh yeah, ha ha. Dealing with this along with the hair dye allergy (yes folks, after a year of dyeing my hair, I got a bitch of an allergy and have spent a week with a very itcy scalp, blisters, swollen glands, the whole shebang) has been nothing but FUN! She brought the water to my bed again this morning. This was the spill-proof, puppy-proof bowl that supposedly she couldn’t pick up. I was soaked, Elway was pissed, Molly ran. 🙂

  21. @Chev, Maryanne, imwegurl (sweet girl): Good to see you here! Now, stay. Wait, maybe I’ve been around dogs waaay too long. 🙂 xo

  22. I watched the LA complex while it aired on muchmusic, pretty good show, but i was dissapointed in it being a short season with a huge cliffhanger!

  23. Yay on the adoption! It does seem reasonable that they want references from the vet. Plus, pugs have so many health problems that I wouldn’t stick a couple of older pugs on a plane and expect them to get there safely. Yes, I know some people fly with pugs but the breed has special needs that have to be looked after. Too bad about Akemi’s visa but you can make “fun” trip later on.

    Deni: Pretty funny!

    The food pictures are making me hungry. (grumble)

    Has anyone heard about the new “Doomsday” computer virus? They were talking about it on the radio this morning. They said everyone has to check out their PC’s/Mac’s by July OR their computers may stop accessing the internet. The Fed’s have arrested the people responsible but the virus is still in stealth mode on hundredths of thousands of computers. Someone is always out there trying to ruin it for others. Here is the link:

  24. Joe, I wish you the best on the adoption. Friends of ours adopted a dog from the midwest, and I was called as a reference. They must have called and talked to me 3 times! They were very careful about the placement, and these folks live a rather humble life, so I figure you won’t have any problem.

    Also, I second the idea that you suggest they visit this blog. Not only are there pics of your house, but also of your own dogs, in action… or inaction, whichever the case may be. 🙂

    Will get back to you on the food. Gotta run now.


  25. @ Chev – Good to see you, and thank you. I’m feeling better, but still so sad for Vicki. Just yesterday she broke down and started crying in my arms. So sad. 🙁 Death sucks.


  26. Kathode: That is so exciting! I remember how intimidating it was to sign all those papers for our house. It will be worth it!

    Deni: that sweet little face caused all those problems? 😉 I’m allergic to hair dye also. I was lucky because I found out about my allergy getting highlights (very little dye touches the scalp). I hope your allergy gets better soon.

  27. @ Deni OMG, that is the cutest doggie photo ever!!!! Like, that’s so cute it could win awards or something. I notice the pink collar… Are people always assuming Riley’s a boy? They do that with my dog Sadie all the time. She’s a big girl (tall and very long), and it’s interesting how people associate “large dog” with “boy”. I used to have a pink leash for her and that helped a bit, but she chewed through it when she went through the chewing stage. Now we use the purple Flexi-leash that’s a hand-me-down from my previous dog Roscoe. With the neutral color that purple is, we’re back to everything thinking she’s a he.

    And since you asked…

    @ Joe I, too, vote that you direct the pug rescue folks to select blog entries where you focused on the doggies. You’ve got plenty of pictures of your house there, taken over a long time, which shows that you didn’t just clean up for the photos you sent to the rescue organization and that you’re not a hoarder. (That’s what they’re worried about.) Those entries will make it abundantly clear that you’re a doting papa and not a lunatic. (Or at least that you’re not a lunatic in a BAD way…) 😉

  28. @ Joe – Your ratatouille looks and sounds delish! I would make a slight change, however (for me) I would add corn and take away the eggplant (I know it’s a main ingredient in ratatouille, but…). I like eggplant, but it makes my throat itch, so I only eat it in small amounts. Also, I would sub cilantro for the thyme. And I wonder how jicama would work in that dish? I’d have to add some lime to the finished product, too. Just a dash. Maybe some cumin in there somewhere as well.

    And now I’m hungry. 😛

    Joe, did I hear you say you think you’re allergic to pineapple? I’ve developed a growing problem with it over the past 20 years. If I eat it fresh I often get a sore throat and canker sores (always got cankers after eating pineapple ever since I was a kid, the sore throat is something new). Last time I had a bad reaction I actually thought I had strep throat, that’s how red and swollen the back of my mouth and throat were. However, I do not have the problem if I eat canned or processed pineapple, only the fresh. I was told that the processing (heating, I guess) neutralizes certain enzymes in the pineapple, and that’s probably why the canned stuff doesn’t bother me. I would never recommend someone with an allergy to experiment without talking to a doctor first, but I have noticed that canned pineapple doesn’t seem to bother me, whereas fresh does.

    Just thought I’d share. 🙂


  29. @Tam Dixon: What are you doing for hair dye? I found two products that are supposedly hypoallergenic, but they’re a pain in the ass to apply, from what I can see. I’m going to try one (with a patch test first) and we’ll see. I won’t even get near the stuff for a couple of months, but going grey is not going to happen if I can help it! 🙂

    Hey Joe! Thanks for putting up with all this! 🙂

  30. @Kathode: What a lovely house! I hope you have many years of happiness there!

    Everybody thinks Riley is a boy, but I think it’s mostly because of her name. She’s kinda little yet for anybody to assume otherwise, but then again, most people think all Boxers are boys. 🙂 She’ll be wearing pink for years, I think!

  31. @Das: I like your version of the ratatouille better, mostly because egglplant and Mexican don’t quite add up for me. Still, if Joe wanted to invite me over for dinner, I’ll get by…:)

    I can eat fried plantains but not “raw” bananas, and what you say is true. However, I’ve also heard that if you keep pushing your luck, eventually even the cooked/canned stuff will get you. Be careful!

  32. Good luck with the adoption. Sometimes they really make it too difficult. Can’t you just show them your blog? I can’t imagine them finding a better owner for a couple of elderly pugs.

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