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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Naked Men and Pineapple with Tomato

Uploaded: Aug 21, 2016

So I just arrive at the Pioneer last Sunday, and while waiting for my Vodka Soda Tall with Lime, had a conversation with a guy I know that was a longer version of this:

HE: You look like you just got out of the pool.

ME: I did.

HE: Your hair is kinda messy.

ME: I just got out of the pool.

HE: You know, you are a public figure [you shouldn’t go out looking like that.

ME: Huh?

HE: And you don’t have on any makeup.

It was just chitty-chat in the beginning, until it went on for a few minutes and I checked in with myself.

ME: Alright already, enough about how I look, let’s start talking about how you look.

I'm fascinated how normal our conversation seemed at first, until I realized I would never start a casual conversation with a guy about the way he looked, as if we were reviewing an object or a dinner plate presentation.

Later this week the statue of naked Donald came out. I laughed until I thought, would I be laughing if someone erected a naked Hillary? Why was it ok for me to laugh at a naked man statue, but be offended by the thought of a naked woman statue?

All kinds of social norms collided this week. My Deadhead client Jerry wanted Mango Mint Crab Spring Rolls with Grilled Pineapple Peach Salsa for his birthday party. Even though I proposed to him, when the time came, I got cold feet. Combining pineapple with tomato, hmmm, in this intimate of a relationship, just seemed too acidic, too yin and yin but strange bedfellow.

But in the end, it worked really well.

"So refreshing," they said.

I guess it's good sometimes to question the norms.

Mango Mint Crab Spring Rolls with Grilled Pineapple Peach Salsa
Makes 4 rolls

6 oz fresh crab
1 mango, peeled and julienned (make it a thick julienne)
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt, and freshly ground white pepper
Rice paper
Green onions, sliced into thin strips

Break up the crab and check it for bones. Combine with mango, mint, juice, salt and pepper.

Soak a rice paper in lukewarm water until pliable. Transfer to a clean cloth to absorb extra water, then immediately transfer to a cutting board. Add 2 tablespoons filling, and roll into a “burrito.” The trick is to tug on the paper slightly while rolling, in order to make it tight. Halfway through, tuck in the sides and finish rolling. Place on a clean baking sheet or plate, and finish the rest of the rolls. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store till Appy Hour.

Slice rolls gently with bread knife, being careful not to tear the paper. Tie with a green onion strip. If the strips are not pliable enough to tie around the roll, blanch quickly in boiling water, then transfer to an ice bath to cool.

Top with microgreens. Serve with a side of salsa.

Grilled Pineapple Peach Salsa
Makes 3 cups

1/2 cup seeded, firm tomato, diced small (must be in season)
1 1/2 cups grilled pineapple, diced small
½ cup pealed peach, diced small
¼ cup chopped green onion
1 serrano chili, diced small
splash champagne vinegar, honey and lime juice
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Cumin and cayenne to taste
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Mix together and season to taste.

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Sundays, 4 PM – 8 PM
2925 Woodside Rd, Woodside, CA

Fantastic blues, top-notch musicians, great dancing, super friendly folks, no cover (but tip the musicians please).

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Patti, a resident of another community,
on Aug 21, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Seriously? I hope it wasn't one of our regular guys. He should take a lesson from how our women friends treat each other. The greeting is usually "Hi Beautiful". We see the natural beauty, the beauty inside and out of our friends, who say "I love you" and mean it. And, we were blessed with a tribe of women who do that.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 21, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Hi Beautiful,

Seriously! I don't think he reads The Food Party!, so I'm coming today with the same hair. I want to see what he says!

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 21, 2016 at 4:25 pm

He didn't mean it is a mean way. It was just a regular conversation. That what was so striking to me.

Posted by John D, a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 7:48 am

I'm not laughing at the naked Donald. Once you see that, you can't un-see it. I prefer to laugh at the fully clothed Donald.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 22, 2016 at 8:48 am

John D, Good response!

Posted by D, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 12:27 pm

"What if it were Hillary?"

Last time I checked, the Democratic candidate has not been seen on stage bragging about the size of Trumps (actually small) hands.

Trump asked for it - "Little Marco", "Lying Ted", publicly sharing his fixation on the size of his own hands, etc..

"Why Donald Trump Has Been Sending Vanity Fair Editor Pictures of His Hands for 25 Years"
Web Link

Twenty Five Years!

The only question remaining is: why hasn't this type of statue appeared well before this?!? Trump asked for it - and loves it. He just wants to be talked about!

Posted by Richard L., a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 5:10 pm

Hi Laura,
I think I saw you shopping over at Bianchini's several weeks ago, and you looked very nice. I was going to stop you to say,"Hi", but I couldn't be sure it was you. Pay no attention to anyone questioning how you look.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Aug 23, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Thanks Richard L for the laugh! I thought you were going to write, "I was going stop you at Bianchinis and say "Laura, you don't have on any makeup!"

Posted by Reader, a resident of Greater Miranda,
on Aug 24, 2016 at 10:33 am

You often use words connected with sex in your titles. A while back you used the word penis in your title.
I suppose it attracts attention, but please, grow up.

Posted by D in Duveneck, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Aug 24, 2016 at 3:27 pm

OMG, the P-word! How aPalling!

Laura, please don't grow up! You might become too much like Reader...

Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 24, 2016 at 9:56 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.


Thank you. My readers keep me on top of things. While the word "naked" does not connote sex to me (especially when imagining Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton), I respect it does for you.

So you got me interested, how many times have I titled a blog with a potential sexual term? I checked it out, and anyone can do the same. Since 2013 when The Food Party! began, I've written approximately 148 blogs. Of those, none fit the description to me. Maybe 2 or 3 did for you.

One title you mentioned is "Like Horse Penis."

As told in the blog, the title was how my teacher described making pickles ("dry the daikon radish until it looks like horse penis"). This was an especially cute comment coming from a 75-year old, 4'8" Asian woman. Still, some readers complained and I changed it half-way through the week, until Steve from Shoreline West accused me of pandering to the masses, "I refuse to read the article until you put the original title BACK." So Like Horse Penis it remains.

This blog title would be the only other, if "naked" means "sex" to the reader, as compared to "current event," which it does to me.

Now one blog title had "lingerie" (in relation to Caitlyn Jenner current event) and still another "Losing My Vino Virginity," which is a beautiful blog. Maybe these are suspect too?

The "sexual" word I've used most often in titles is "love." I used it a number of times. Probably too many. Note to self: don't use "love" in a title for awhile.

Posted by Lauralies, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 24, 2016 at 10:37 pm

But all that said, in my writing do I sometimes describe things with a sexual or relationship flavor?


"Mathematics, science, law; these are honorable professions and noble pursuits. But poetry, music, love; these are the things we live for."

Welcome to The Food Party! It's a potluck and we're glad you could make it.

Posted by Reader 2, a resident of another community,
on Aug 25, 2016 at 6:42 am


Don't change your style. Many of us love it!

No one can please everyone all the time.

Just be yourself. Your blog gets more views than any other on Embarcadero Media and also more replies (most of them positive).

Reader (from Greater Miranda) is welcome to enjoy a different viewpoint or go elsewhere on the Internet to find something more in line with his/her worldview.

Thanks again for being the most entertaining blogger at Embarcadero Media!

Posted by John D, a resident of Woodside: Kings Mountain/Skyline,
on Aug 25, 2016 at 8:09 am

148 blogs and only 2-3 "maybe" sex references? Definitely time to step up your game. If "grown-ups" can't make sex references and children shouldn't who's left? (Maybe the horses?)

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 25, 2016 at 8:15 am

I was wondering what I was going to wake up to this morning! Thanks Reader 2 and John D, you make me laugh!

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