Three recipes thanks to Angelic Organics and Farmer John

I’ve spoken before about Angelic Organics, whose founder, John Peterson, has gained deserved fame as one of the key faces of the CSA movement. A couple of years back my friend Greg gave me a copy of the excellent Farmer John’s Cookbook and I’ve dipped in and out of it many times.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve gone ahead and tried a slew of recipes from the book, all of which were winners. I won’t post them here since I really encourage you to buy the book, but various sample recipes are available through the Angelic Organics site.

That first photo you see is of a simple sauteed kohlrabi — very tasty and a nice difference from the steaming of kohlrabi I’ve done several times before. Rich, but not overly so, and flavored just right.

The other day, meanwhile, I took a pumpkin which hadn’t been sacrificed to Halloween purposes and adapted a recipe in the book to create a pumpkin basil soup that was almost ridiculously good:

And earlier tonight, something I couldn’t imagine existing before I read it in the book — cucumber with risotto. Cooking cucumber seemed counterintuitive but I went ahead and…

Very, very delicious. Now, what to try next…

Looking at the 2008 California State Assembly 68th District race

In comparison to Tom Harman’s State Senate district, the 68th State Assembly district is, unsurprisingly, smaller, but also pretty interesting for a variety of reasons — as you can see in this map, it reaches from Costa Mesa up through Fountain Valley, Westminster and Garden Grove, along with areas of other cities. If you know the area, you know that those last three cities named are ground zero for the Vietnamese American community that settled in OC following the Vietnam War — and that, politically, said folks are extremely politically conservative, given the repercussions and divisions of the war. As the years have passed and roots have been put down further there’s been increasing political participation as a result, so it should be little surprise to learn that the incumbent is Republican, Vietnamese and, indeed, quite conservative:

Assemblyman Van Tran (R) (this is his official site rather than his campaign site, for reference)

Ken Arnold (D)

Perhaps as befits what is, after all, meant to be the scrappier side of the legislature, this race is one of those ones where local politics looms large — partially due to what I’ve noted, but partially due to other things. There’s been a major, major political feud at the OC County Supervisor level that stretched out for a long while where Tran had input — more here if you’d like some background, along with a brief follow-up here. That said, this election isn’t about that position but Tran’s current job, and there’s little to add here that I didn’t already say in regard to Harman for his positions, a fairly standard conservative take on things for California.

Arnold’s site, meanwhile, is truly scrappy — classic rough-hewn design that now inevitably screams 1995 or so — and it’s not entirely encouraging to read on his issues page this statement:

I am sorry that I do not yet have a comprehensive set of issue statements on this website.

My top areas of concern besides the state economy and budget are education, environment, energy and health care.

But what I am really about is bringing real representation to the district.
Being someone that will listen and care.

He provides links and discussion to issues elsewhere but there’s something to be said for centralization, frankly. Especially with two days to go to the election! (Then there’s his biography, which is…well, expansive. Not that I mind, I can be expansive too, I admit.)

Honestly, this is a race I don’t feel passionate about. Tran’s a political pro, full stop, and he’ll easily cruise to reelection. Running against him is an enthusiastic candidate but that only gets you so far, and I can’t say the enthusiasm’s rubbed off on me. Maybe next time.

My vote…I don’t know, I think I’ll write in someone.

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Looking at the 2008 California State Senate 35th District race

Okay, besides all the propositions there are two other state level things I’ll be voting on — first, the race in my State Senate district, with a map available here. As you can see it’s a pretty affluent stretch of OC featured here — Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, the southern tip of Irvine and so forth — while the north part of the district is much more of a mix. Still, nearly all of this covers what a lot of people think of as ‘Orange County’ in the stereotypical sense — think of the TV series set in this district, for a start — and given the political reputation of the county it should come as no surprise that the incumbent in this race is Republican:

State Senator Tom Harman (R)

Ginny Mayer (D)

Speaking honestly, Harman’s one of those guys I just simply don’t notice all that much. My Assembly representative, Van Tran, has always been far more visible in comparison. As Harman proudly has “Conservative for State Senate” as his motto on his site, that really says all that needs be said, and his basic positions are about what I would expect of the area — lots of talk about how taxes are bad, illegal immigration is really bad, how he’s fighting for ‘business-friendly’ regulations (always a bad sign, especially these days, I’d figure), etc.

Mayer in comparison is an academic and analyst who hasn’t served in elective office from what I can tell — at least, I don’t notice it in her biography — but her basic positions are, unsurprisingly, more in general line with mine than Harman’s. It’s standard enough high end Democratic talk for the general area, no surprises, but with a gentle emphasis on certain points I’m pleased to see (noting that the question of illegal immigration needs a solution that avoids “racism and xenophobia” — which puts it mildly around here sometimes).

I described in the CA-46 Congressional race about how my past votes against Rohrabacher were essentially ‘protest votes’ against him in the knowledge that the overall vote almost certainly wasn’t going to break against him. Honestly, I figure that’ll be the case here, but that’s no reason not to vote for Mayer, and I wish her and the campaign well in these final couple of days. You never know!

So I’ll vote for MAYER — and I’ll further direct you to her comic strip on her site. Because why not?

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