Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Plus ca change....plus ca change pas

Re: Sunday and Walking The Christians.
Dear Christians:
We are probably the most open minded restaurant this side of Dharma’s on 41st in Santa Cruz.
You can wear a Southern Battle Flag T-shirt here (Tim’s great grandfather died fighting for the South in the same battle where my great grandfather was wounded. They might have shot each other!).
You can wear IRA shirts, and British rugby shirts.
You can wear ManU jerseys, even though we are Liverpool and Barca folk (Real Madrid….not so much!)
Sorry, you can’t wear a t-shirt with a rainbow and some bullshit words like: “Jesus hates the sin, but loves the sinner”. Hashtag: GTFOH!
I grew up as the bishop’s altar boy in Reno. My Ancestry.com tree is stacked with Jesuits and Sacred Heart nuns as far as the eye can see. I am cool with Jesus and God and their Whole Crew. I can still say the Our Father in Latin…so back off.
My memory of the Jesus I met in the scriptures was a revolutionary guy who lived at home with his mom until he was 33, hung around with a dozen dudes, and whose best female friend was a hooker. Where do you get “homosexuality is a sin” from that?
The only time he actually got his ire up was when he laid the lash to the bankers and moneylenders in the Temple. What was it you do for a living again?
My Amanda just spent a month overseeing the passage of my mom from this side to the next side. The last ten days she spent 24-7 by her bedside, praying her soul out, trying to connect Pat (and herself, and us) to the Whatever Comes Next.
In Amanda’s world you don’t pray to one guy or one thing…..you just fucking pray. Somebody will hear, and that Something is probably beyond our feeble tries at definition.
The experience itself is transformative.
Amanda had in the Jews. She had in the Buddhists. She had in the Unitarians. She had in the kindest, sweetest spiritual lady with crystals. She had in Father Emil for Last Rites…..not to mention the daily visits from the Shamanae nurses from the Hospice. The vibe was intensely spiritual, peaceful and supportive.
One day I arrived for a visit from trying to keep all our balls in good juggling mode, and Amanda made me sit in the yard for an hour with a glass of bubbly until my energy matched the house’s. At no time were any of these devotedly spiritual people anything but positive, generous and loving. Zero judgment or condescension…..even from the Catholics. Against the enormity of transformation and death….petty Earthly squabbles vanish.
You think Jesus gives a shit who has sex with who? Jesus is fucking Jesus, you morons!
Just because you are a hypocritical, judgmental asshole…don’t flatter yourself that God made you in his image. Production line errors are common. Consider yourself a spiritual Pinto, and believe me, The Factory is anxious to recall your model before you do further damage to The Brand.
I worked in Swiss and French kitchens long enough to become toxically allergic to arrogance and condescension. It puts me off my feed.
So…..please move your pure, virginal buttholes on to the next restaurant.
Perhaps they will be silly enough to believe that the customer is always right.
Yours in Christ,
Mikey

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Back at it.....

Saturday Garden Catering Menu
Instant COVID-19 Test (for two) free

*Amanda’s kale salad with her amazing sesame dressing $9
*Cachagua Store Pear Salad: yuzu:dressing, parsnip chips and Pt. Reyes blue cheese $12
*Industrial Eats Rt 246 salad: Oro Blanco, Cara Cara, tangelo, navel, Meyer citrus with garden cress, candied pecans, Schoch Junipero cheese $14
*Massa Ranch grilled organic brussels sprouts with Nueske bacon and Han Kook kim chee $14
Grilled Hog Farms organic asparagus, Linda Ferasci poached eggs, Rebecca’s sheep feta $14

*Amanda’s Carmel Valley oak smoked wild Monterey salmon with capers and onions $14
Hawaiian style poke (ahi tuna) with soba noodles, seaweed salad and spicy cuttlefish $14

Kathy Lambert’s special sandwich: grilled Nueske’s ham, Schoch Junipero cheese, Jane Flower tomato jam, baby arugula $16
Mesquite grilled Wagyu sirloin with wedge salad and blue cheese dressing $20

Grilled OraKing salmon with Momie’s dressing, Hog Farm asparagus, forbidden rice, etc $22
Monterey Bay wild rockfish Catalan style (capers, olives, tomato), sides $22
Salinas Valley syrah braised short ribs with our fresh linguine $22
Mesquite grilled Mishima Ranch Wagyu sirloin with sides or as a sandwich with garden salad $16 (after 12:45)

Desserts
Carl Muia olive oil cake with Valrhona white chocolate crema inglese and P and K Farm strawberries and strawberry coulis $8
Valrhona Araguani chocolate crema inglese with river and sea salts and Muia EVOO $10
Vasquez Ranch strawberries with strawberry coulis and white chocolate crema inglese $8
Contact Us: Text or Call 831-659-5100; Massa Tasting Room, 69 West Carmel Valley Rd

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Dina Syndrome

Dina Ruiz syndrome tonight: where the man in the power couple tells me "no more wine for her".
At cocktails.
Before the Echezaux, the Montrose and the Yquem.
I don't serve drunks, but I do serve funny, irreverant, ironic women who raise the level of discourse.
I mean....I live with Amanda! You want to hear truth? Buy her a large sake, and pucker up.
Amanda and Liz have this look they get when the menfolk talk over them and ignore them.
It is not pretty.
We call it Dina Ruiz Syndrome from a small dinner party we did back in the day.
Clint and Dina, the Pine Cone couple, our intellectual Republican hosts, and a few grindingly boring folks.
Dina was fun. She may have even danced around spontaneously at cocktails.
When the table of eight sat and I started serving the first wine, Clint put his hand over Dina's glass.
Fuck you, buddy. What gives you the right? You are a guest in someone's house, and being served by a professional.
Oh, your wife's behavior makes you uncomfortable, and so you want to shame her in this small, powerful group?
Wow.
One nice thing about being a waiter, sommelier, bartender, etc is that we represent the bedrock of human interaction. You need to eat, you like to drink? Well, asshole there are rules we have worked out over a few thousand years.
Be nice, be civil, respect each other enjoy, each other's company, wit and wisdom.
You might learn something.
And fuck a whole lotta "Don't serve my wife".
Y'all are lucky she bothers to talk to you..

Friday, February 11, 2022

Wuv, twoo wuv.....

Reposting this romantic story from 2005in time for Valentine's Day. Hope it works! Otherwise just search the blog for "Runaway" https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/11789035/112028854156952090

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Ghost of Turkeys Past

We have worked the last 30 or so Community Thanksgivings in a row, so there is some compulsion/addiction/PTSD to continue to cook the American Traditional Brown Meal on third Thursdays in November.
I had to order turkeys in August…not because of some failure of Joe Biden, but because of the continuing failure of the American meat industry to recognize the value of its workers and: a) protect them against a devastating disease in the workplace; and b) pay them actual money for doing the worst job in North America.
A job so stressful and awful that no actual North North Americans will do it….at any price.
I ordered two turkeys….Diestal organics. We had already decided to have nothing to do with the Community Thanksgiving shit show, but last year we had a Beach Boy and a dear friend panic at the last minute looking for a turkey….so two seemed like a good call.
And…turkey dinner is Amanda’s favorite meal. And the hounds like turkey.
Twenty years ago or so was our first Thanksgiving after buying the Cachagua Store. We were feeding our normal 300 or so in town, plus we were on site to protect the 50 or so meals that were supposed to be dedicated to Cachagua. Town folks had to come to us to get the food for town folks, so Cachagua was in the cat bird seat. Back then, the original values of my Mom and Dorothy and June Campbell were still in play: Thanksgiving wasn’t cheap food slopped in a to go container, but real food served on china, with linen and flatware….and even glasses for the wine. Yes….wine.
I think I did 30 turkeys that year. Plus all the sides, etc.
The deal with working for Pat, Dorothy and June was the food had to be fresh and hot. Normally the Thanksgiving free dinner folks start cooking the turkeys a week or so out, and just reheat them. Along with everything else.
No, no, no, no with those ladies.
To have 30 hot/warm fresh turkeys by 11 am, I had to start early.
I had two ovens that could hold three racks of sheet pans each. We brined the turkeys in our walkin the day before, then cut them all in half. We cut out the backbones, roasted them to make gravy.
I think I started about 1am in actual turkey cooking. I could fit three half turkeys on a sheet pan, three pans to an oven…two ovens. So nine turkeys at a time. 2-3 hours per load, three loads, 27 birds, plus three for Cachagua later.
It wasn’t just throw them in and forget them. I had to take each sheet pan out, flip it around, and move it up and down in the oven to make sure they all cooked evenly. At that time we had inherited Dave Fox…a local houseless person who pretended to tend bar in the Pub, and who slept on the floor of the bar at night. Bartender, night watchman, burglar alarm.
Except that Dave was nearly deaf. Sometimes in the mornings it took actual gunfire or small explosives t wake Dave up to open up the Store for us and actual customers.
That night I started at 1am when Dave closed the bar. I set up next to my ovens in a sleeping bag, and Dave set up next door in the Pub.
I set my alarm so I could get up every hour and switch out the sheet pans of turkeys, front to back, top to bottom, middle to top, etc.
After four or five shifts of switching roasting hot pans on an hour’s nap, I was getting a little bit punchy. This time I staggered a bit, slipped and dropped the edge of the sheet pan…and poured boiling hot turkey fat on to my stocking clad feet.
I screamed bloody murder, shoved the pan back in the oven, and ripped off my socjk….taking all the flesh off my foot with it.
I screamed again. Fuck.
“Mike? You, Ok?” Dave came around the corner of the kitchen. At a dead run.
Are you fucking kidding me?
“Here. This will help.”
Dave was holding up and ice cold beer and a Vicodin….
Cachagua first aid.
That is when I first really knew I was home out here.
Thanks, Dave.
Miss you, and Amanda and I think of you and laugh and laugh every Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Take out Menu.....Interesting Times

Saturday Take Away Menu
While our landlords battle it out in court we will be open for on site catering in the garden sporadically. We are wide open for midweek dining, as always. Call or text 831-659-5100 to order. We deliver in the Village.

Prices include tax and tip.
Infamous Fandangos: asiago/scallion bruschetta $7
Corralitos sausage with Muia local mustard and our sauerkraut $6
Cast iron grilled Borba Farm padron peppers with river salt and EVOO $8
Gazpacho Andaluz (heirloom tomatoes, roast peppers, etc) $7
Massa Estate cheese platter: Schoch Farmstead cheeses, Rebecca’s local feta, Pt. Reyes blue; lactic fermented carrots, pineapple/fennel relish, our cherry membrillo, red onion/black pepper compote, local fermented cherries $16

*Amanda’s kale salad with her amazing sesame dressing $9
*Cachagua Store Pear Salad: yuzu:dressing, parsnip chips and Pt. Reyes blue cheese $12
Roast Borba Farm baby cauliflower with Schoch Farmstead Junipero cheese and raw yoghurt $10
*Amanda’s Carmel Valley oak smoked wild Monterey salmon with capers and onions $14
Hog Island oysters with yuzu vinaigrette $10
Kathy Lambert’s special sandwich: grilled Nueske’s ham, Schoch Junipero cheese, Jane Flower tomato jam, baby arugula $16
Mesquite grilled Wagyu sirloin with wedge salad and blue cheese dressing $20
Homage a Tout Va Bien: Entrecote grille avec chanterelles $24 (NY strip steak)
Duck tacos: Sonoma Muscovy duck with mole verde, duck cassoulet, red rice $14
Grilled wild Monterey Bay salmon with Momie’s dressing, Borba green beans, red rice, etc $22
Salinas Valley syrah braised short ribs with our fresh linguine $22
Mesquite grilled Mishima Ranch Wagyu sirloin with sides or as a sandwich with garden salad $16 (after 1:45)

Desserts
Carl Muia olive oil cake with Valrhona white chocolate crema inglese and Vasquez Ranch strawberries and strawberry coulis $8
Valrhona Araguani chocolate crema inglese with river and sea salts and Muia EVOO $10
Vasquez Ranch strawberries with strawberry coulis and white chocolate crema inglese $8

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Bang bang.

Hey...I know the Alec Baldwin/Rust thing has been hashed over...and over.
Now everyone involved is pointing fingers, trying to dump responsibility for the completely avoidable death on set.
As probably one of the only (or very few) gun guys (except for Barry Powell and Lyle Linares) all y'all will ever see on your feed, there are some lessons here.
The iron clad rule among gun folk is that....if anyone hands you a weapon and says it is "cold" or "unloaded", you never believe them. Not only that, you look down the barrel and make sure that there is nothing in the barrel....pistol, rifle, shotgun...doesn't matter.
If you don't know how to open the weapon, ask.
Trust, but verify.
Brandon Lee was killed....not from a live round as seems to have happened last week....but by a fragment in the barrel left by a previous discharge.
Anyone hands you a weapon....even your best friend, dad, mom, boss.....you check.
Not to doubt them....but shit happens.
If there are rounds visible...you take them out and check to make sure they are blanks or whatever they are supposed to be.
You can not only kill someone in front of you, but you can kill yourself.
You can shoot your balls off. It happens all the time.
Even if there are no rounds in whatever chamber, you still look down the barrel.
It is like passing a knife in the kitchen: all of us would agree that you never hand anyone a knife blade first.
It is not polite, and is not safe.
Anyone from that set who tries to pass blame downhill is an asshole.
Never, ever, ever take a weapon from anyone whoever without checking yourself to make sure it is safe.
And.....even so....never, ever, ever point a weapon at anyone you don't want to actually kill.
Right now.
Gun folk take a lot of heat for being retro assholes.
No one I know involved in guns would ever have accepted a weapon and pointed it at a human or animal without checking to make it safe.
Drunk or sober.
So...fuck a whole lot of Alec Baldwin.