Sunday in the ‘Wood

Shopping for a bargain at the Target in Inglewood today, I passed by this landmark riding up La Cienega on the way home. I had to go to the Target on Century Boulevard to pick up up some ckearance stuff that was sold out closer to home. That’s right, along with the rest of the country, I’m apparently willing to go to no end in search of a bargain. Amazingly, there were three Wii Fits on the shelf. I should have bought all of them, but I grabbed one in case someone I knew had a hard time getting one and then left a couple for some other lucky person to find. I thought for a moment about snapping them up and selling on eBay, but then that seemed, well, lame. Hopefully some deserving kid gets it from the Claus.

Gas Mileage MPG Calculator in Google Docs

I created a Google docs spreadsheet to calculate miles per gallon (MPG). The MPG calculator is here. It was something I started to see what kind of miles per gallon my VW Jetta is getting. It’s averaging 21 MPG in the city, according to the Google docs calculator. The setting is set to Share with Everyone, so grab a copy for yourself and start seeing if you can get green (which was my goal) by making sure your tires are inflated, that you’re not gunning the engine and generally not speeding, all of which are factors which will improve your MPG car rating and reduce the amount of money you’re spending on fuel.

Turkey in a Glad Bag – L.A. Times Recipe

From the Los Angeles Times, this article in last Wednesday’s Food section touted the awesomeness of the Roast Salted Turkey. We rinsed and dried a 22 pound monster turkey (we have fourteen people coming to dinner on Thursday) – a Butterball we got at Pavillion’s on sale for ten bucks – and sprinkled it with kosher salt as the recipe called for. The big bird wouldn’t fit in a 2.5 gallon Ziploc bag, so we put it in a thirty gallon garbage bag and sucked out the air with a plastic straw from one of my kid’s drink cups. That’s right – I sucked the air out of the sucker to get that dry salt brine right up against the skin. No, I didn’t ingest any salted raw turkey juice. Yes, it’s going to rock on Thanksgiving. Apparently the advantage of this method of brining is that the cooking process won’t leave the pan dripping too salty, and I can get a good gravy from the roasting pan.

Best comment of the week: I was trussing the turkey up in the classic French manner for roast chicken (per Julia Child’s cookbook) with a mattress needle and butcher’s twine I got at Surfa’s (the best chef’s supply store in L.A., if not the country). Robin and Caroline were in the kitchen watching me thread the twine through the huge turkey, and Robin commented on the impressiveness (not all positive) of tying up a turkey. Caroline’s response:

“That’s right. I married him for his meat needle.”

It’s going to be a great Thanksgiving weekend.

Peet’s Coffee

It finally feels back to semi-normal, at least in terms of stinky wildfire air.

I love this Christmas tree sculpture made from stacked shopping carts. It's extraordinary in that it represents an icon of LA (the abandoned shopping cart, and the collectors who scour the city returning them to retailers for a bounty) as well as being such a great complement to the architecture at Edgemar, a Frank Gehry building on Main Street.

Smokey Sunlight

The light is deep orange, casting an almost salmon pink light.

Can't smell anything like smoke, but the air is still and hot. Squirrels are fighting in the palm tree. There aren't any birds in the air either.

It's earthquake weather, as they say. You heard it here first.