The Great Plotnik

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Passover Kitchen is Open - THROW AWAY LAST YEAR'S MATZOS

I mean, this IS a Jewish holiday. How can you not buy five boxes at the supermarket for less than the price of one box at Whole Foods?

But you never eat them all. These last two boxes were actually holding up the limoncello in the wine cabinet. A third was open upstairs, hiding behind the almonds. It was so stale it made no noise when you bit into it.

Anyway, we've got five new boxes. We'll eat one right away, and one over the next few months, maybe. Then next year, at this time…shalom, bip, adios.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Passover Kitchen is OPEN

Chicken stock made for soup, put in freezer.

Below is a gnocchi, made in the shape of a small-nosed, big-butted chicken. No, the gnocchi are not for Passover, because they contain flour. Hah! Can you imagine a gnocchi made with matzo meal? You could set one on your front porch, like a demented mezuzah, and then if you ever needed a piece of asphalt to repair your curb, you'd be set. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

They're Here!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring '15

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Kamara and Mark

K-Dawg is in town, which means we got to make and taste Mark's justifiably famous jerked chicken plus Jamaican coconut rice and peas. Good friends, good food, indeed.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Black Lives Matter, But.

A young woman is walking her two kids home from school in West Oakland. Unbeknownst to her, a fight between two women begins on the corner. One of the women calls her friends. The friends arrive and start firing. As the mom happens to pass by across the street, a stray bullet hits and kills her.  Headline in the paper: Another Senseless Killing in Oakland.

Dig deeper. Turns out the fight was in front of a crack house. Neighbors have complained for months about it, authorities have done nothing. When the fight began, someone called 911 immediately. It took fifteen minutes for the dispatcher to even call in the report. By the time cops arrived the damage had been done and the mom was dead.

Next will be a shrine of photos and plastic LOVE balloons on the corner. The crackheads will move to the side as they enter the crack house. Some people will blame the police, some will blame the city, most of us will just say "...well, that's Oakland."

West Oakland is gentrifying like crazy. Take BART across the bay and you see a preponderance of young white faces buried in their IPhones as they wait on the platform for their train into SF. If one of these people calls in that 911 call, does 911 respond more quickly? If a few of them complain about the crack house, do the authorities do something about it?

And, if cops were to actually raid the crack house and someone were shot, what then? What if the cop were not of the same ethnic group as his victim? What about lawsuits, and the threat of personal injury or death? If you were a cop, how much motivation would you have to jump into the dangerous middle? Wouldn't you rather avoid these issues as long as you possibly could? Wouldn't your attitude be closer to "let's let the crackheads poison themselves and hope no one innocent gets hurt?"

So yes, black lives matter, but the system is not set up to serve everyone. It is infinitely more complicated than holding up a sign or a balloon to make yourself feel better. And it does no one any good for me to say "well, that's Oakland." But there, I said it, twice.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Most Beautiful

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Short Visit to the O.C.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Crazy Sky

Last night it felt like a storm was coming, but all we got was thunder in the distance and beautiful light as the sun lit up the clouds.