Welcome to Four Eyes Forum, a meeting place to exchange news and views on food, food photography, the word on food, food science, style and architecture. Join me, the blogger who wears glasses, in this world as I throw out engaging stuff that I think you'll find interesting, beautiful and delicious. As Charles Dudley Warner, American editor and writer, said,
"Lettuce, like conversation, requires a good deal
of oil, to avoid friction, and keep the company
smooth....You can put anything, and the more
things the better, into salad, as into a conver-
sation, but everything depends upon the skill of

That's my job.

(All photographs, unless otherwise cited, copyright
Kristin Halgedahl Photography 2016)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Autumn = Apples, Apples And Apples

And apples,

and apples,

and more apples,

and more.

Apple cider, apple juice, apple strudel, applesauce, apple pie, apple turnovers, baked apples, apple tart tartine, apple fritters, muffins, crisps, crumbles, cakes, pancakes. apple butter as a topper, caramel and candied apples, apple chutney, dried apples. And on and on. 

Each autumn, especially, I love going to stores, farm stands and farmers' markets and finding all the varieties of the season. For me, they're as beautiful to look at as they are sweet to eat. No wonder, I've discovered, they are a species of the rose family. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars - as many as recipes for them, I'll wager, throughout the history of mankind.. And myths and legends in countries around the world are centered around the apple - eternal youth, fertility, food of the dead, Adam and Eve in the Garden, among others. (see Wikipedia for all that)

Me? As a photographer, I love to shoot them. They glow. And I love basking in that saturation.
It's another primal connection with the beauty of the earth. It's a reassurance that, no matter how challenging life's business, eating an apple is an act  that constitutes the best part of living, a promise that  we will find "reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." (Rachel Carson)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review - Ristorante Allegria, Napa, CA

Bad blogger, bad blogger, no post since last month! It's just that I've been so busy preparing my holiday cards (food images) to sell at the farmers market that I haven't been able to make the time! For eating out, either. Forget it. Until my girlfriend finally intervened and made me drive over to Napa for a lunch at Ristorante Allegria. I'm not a restaurant critic, but I DO know a fine dining experience when I've had one. It started with the road trip. It's harvest time in northern California, and the vineyards looked spectacular on the rolling hills of the Carneros Highway.  (note to self -- do NOT shoot from the steering wheel anymore, not even if you're at a red light!)

Almost as spectacular as the restaurant decor and  menu. If one has the occasional luxury of a lunch out, let it be at a place like this!

As an Italian, I'll go back and try the iconic dishes, but on this day, as soon as he said that swordfish was the day's special, I jumped on it. (after having consulted my Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch pocket guide...yes, I really do carry it around) I haven't had swordfish in years. What a treat!  And no toiling over other choices. No more work today, bring it on. While waiting for it, however, I tried the risotto cake appetizer, which was also a treat. Light and crunchy with a tangy balsamic sauce and crumbled blue cheese.

The swordfish was outstanding . Meaty yet  juicy on a bed of mashed potatoes, mushrooms and roasted summer squash. And a caper sauce. Each bite made me freeze with joy as the flavor in my mouth was the only sense I could feel. Conversation ceased; sighing commenced.

The pace of the service was even and pleasant. Additionally, sitting outside always seems to make it more amiable. And the price was reasonable -- lunch for two, wine included, was $67, including tip.

Ristorante Allegria
1026 First St. Napa, CA 94559
(707) 254-8006
Web: www.ristoranteallegria.com