I AM THE GOD OF HELL FIRE AND I BRING YOU | The Food Party! | Laura Stec | Palo Alto Online |

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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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Uploaded: Oct 13, 2017

I'll take you to burn


I'll take you to learn

I'll see you burn!!!

You fought hard and you saved and learned

But all of it's going to burn.

- Oct 13, 2017

So much smoke and fire around.

Eyes watering. Head pounding.
Is that from smoke, stress or tears?

Look out on the horizon and all of a sudden it’s Beijing or LA in the distance, not Portola Valley.

“Worst Air Pollution Ever.”

So thanks must go to fighters for Northern CA clean water and air. Now we’ve inhaled what happens if no one cares.

Then whiffs of EPA Scott Pruitt billow in. Cough, cough, cough. I hate hearing his next evil-mental action. What is it this time? EPA repeals the Clean Power Plan. I choke at his disregard for that which gives us life and energy.

But maybe that was a smoke choke?

I can’t keep up with the pollution.


I’m feeling so unsettled lately.

Non-centered. Discontent.

About a lot of things.

I’m naturally regurgitating “shut up” at Hannity, choking on his wrighteousness. “All liberals hate patriotism.” Cough cough cough cough. It’s sickening. Smoke lapping at my car window doesn’t help the nausea.


Don’t agonize Laura. Organize.

Rise up and help your neighbor as so many have done already.

Here’s two food places for instance...

North Bay Fire Recovery Fund
A collaborative effort by Farmers Guild, CAFF (Community Alliance with Family Farmers) and San Francisco North Bay organizations, channeling resources to help families, small farms and farm workers recover.

The Farmer's Wife Recovery Fund
Kendra and Paul Kolling of The Farmer’s Wife and Nana Mae’s Organics, and their three children lost their home in the fires, after quickly evacuating at 12:15 am on Monday, October 9th. The family’s recovery fund is here, If you are in the City Oct. 14th, please support their stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

And if you read this far down - we will also be there Saturday, October 14th. The Food Party! teaches EZ Seasoning with a Cambodian Twist at CUESA. 10:15 AM – 11 AM. Be there and be aware!

- photo by Christine Krieg

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 13, 2017 at 9:31 pm

How did a food blog turn into random thoughts about the fire in the North Bay mingled with partisan words of disgust about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and conservative pundit Sean Hannity?

Posted by Too much heat for..., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Oct 13, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Poor Nayeli. A blogger has taken some of her beloved trumps syncophants to task and there is nothing that Nayeli can do about it. No bill Johnson to come to the rescue.
Well stated, Laura.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 13, 2017 at 10:02 pm

@ Too much heat for:

Really? That is the best that you can come up with? As I have stated many times in comments on the Palo Alto Online, I am no "fan" of Donald Trump. I know that you and others apparently have some obsessed hatred for the man. I totally get that.

Personally, I couldn't stand the corruption of the Clinton machine. I rolled my eyes at Bernie Sanders' poor math skills. Joe Biden is as suave as fingernails on a chalkboard. Yet, I never once hated any of those politicians. I certainly didn't rail against them excessively like some of the most partisan syncophants on internet message boards. I didn't march through the streets on the day after the previous two elections as part of a "resistance" demanding blood.

Still, Trump wasn't my first, second or even twelfth choice. He just wasn't conservative enough for me (and I didn't really like his foot-in-mouth issues). I was holding out hope for a few other candidates to win the nomination. I simply felt that Trump was the best remaining option on election day. I am proud of that choice and I would gladly make it again if that same election were held today.

The one thing that does make me happy about Trump is that he calls out partisan, agenda-driven op-ed organizations and writers that masquerades as "news" outlets and "journalists." I've wondered why politicians were willing to allow media outlets to go unchecked with their slanted, agenda-driven reporting.

My question stand. Why does a food blog turn into a partisan political diatribe? I guess that there are enough cheerleaders to applaud. However, I would shake my head even if the object of the writer's vitriol was Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer or Hillary Clinton.

It is amazing that partisan politics have invaded sports, late night comedy and even food blogs. Wouldn't it be nice if people were able to separate their sociopolitical views from such things that aren't really intrinsically tied to politics. Of course, this is difficult for ideologues who might view the world through a single "my way or the highway" lens.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Oct 13, 2017 at 10:14 pm

It's not the political party, but the comments and actions that make me sick. They could be any political party and I would still cough cough cough cough

Posted by Laura stec, a resident of Woodside School,
on Oct 13, 2017 at 10:34 pm

Politics is nothing The joy of nature and sadness of loss is where passion lies

Posted by Food nerd, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Oct 14, 2017 at 7:55 am

Laura, please take Nayeli up on her plea and delete her long unrelated partisan rant, it is really offensive on this platform. I thought your comments were appropriate as gutting the EPA has everything to do with whether we get a resurge in manmade bad air just like this, and certainly we know from Beijing that it's possible. I also remember LA and other cities from the '60s, we can't say it will never happen. Clean air requires vigilance, including against people who turn any important cause like environmentalism into a slam against their patriotism.

Is there anything the food community can do to make homecooked meals for survivors for awhile? When the immediate aftermath is over, for people who have lost everything, the need to nest is powerful. Eating out when you are so overwhelmed is even difficult but you have no choice.

Disaster recovery is a marathon, but resources to help typically don't last much longer than the camera crews. It's hard because inevitably there are people who pose as disaster survivirs to take advantage. I implore people who want to help to implore the disaster agencies to work with tech volunteers to come up with some way to reliably validate that people are disaster survivors so that it's possible to crowdsource help as time passes. There are no agencies involved in longterm recovery on the time scale of actual longterm recovery.

There is a crowdfunding platform, I believe it's donorschoose, that only allows public school teachers to set up asks for school projects and supplies. Because of this, it is easy to validate the donations are going where they should, and thus it's easier to donate money knowing for sure the donor can trust the ask. Something similar for validated disaster survivors would be immensely helpful for disaster recovery, since recovery can depend on specific help (including counseling,legal and accounting help) for years after the loss. (Yes, I post based on personal experience losing my home in a disaster.)

Keep up the good (food) fight, Laura :-)

Posted by Bill Boos, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Oct 14, 2017 at 11:48 am

My original comments were mysteriously deleted. I will not reiterate them but I lauded the blogger for her support of recovery funds and also stated that in my opinion politicizing an ongoing tragedy seems grossly inappropriate. Some people seem to subscribe to what the mayor of Chicago once said --- "a disaster is a terrible thing to waste"

Posted by Lol nayeli, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Oct 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm

looks like we got the reaction we wanted from nayeli- a long drawn out diatribe. Thanks. Nayeli. You complain about politics but then launch into a overwrought response full of partisan politics. LoL

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 14, 2017 at 12:58 pm

Thank you for the response, Laura. As you can tell by the other posters, meandering into politics brings out the mob mentality from people who cannot stand the notion that anyone has an opinion other than the one that they collectively embrace.

Since these posters missed my point or preferred to attack me, let me be clear that I don't have a problem with anyone having an opinion. I just wondered whether it makes sense to meander into political discourse (particularly targeting two people) with what is a food blog.

I don't mind opinions because we all have them. I just think that attacking the EPA Administrator (as if he had anything to do with the fire) or Sean Hannity (as if he has anything to do with anything) just isn't the best option in an otherwise well-stated words of pondering.

Posted by foodie, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Oct 14, 2017 at 3:56 pm

"Still, Trump wasn't my first, second or even twelfth choice."

Yet, your first through twelfth choices ENDORSED and supported Donald J Trump and his Putin machinery.


Me? I don't 'hate' him, but I detest what he is doing to this country and a once grand party. I detest those that enabled him, and that supported him.

Posted by Some cheese, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows,
on Oct 14, 2017 at 5:08 pm

How about some cheese to go with that whine? I don't really get how the EPA ties in. If you want to talk about the fires, how about addressing the fact that CA parks and the National Forest Service have utterly failed to unleash the logging industry to clear out all the dead trees in our hills and mountains during and after this last drought. We're going to lose our forests because of their inaction.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 14, 2017 at 6:38 pm

@foodie - "...his Putin machinery?" That is quite some conspiracy theory that you've got there. Did you complain about the revelations gathered from Podesta's leaked emails? Were you upset by the collusion between the DNC and Hillary camp with the media, press and tech companies?

I make no apology for voting for Trump. If the same election (Hillary, Trump, Jill and Gary) were held again today, I'd happily vote for Trump again. I believe that the Democratic Party has been hijacked by extreme far-left zealots who are out-of-touch with mainstream America.

This is why Democrats have lost so many elections over the last 6-7 years. The party is being controlled by far-left of center politicos who rely upon dirty tactics. This doesn't go over well in about 30-36 states.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Oct 15, 2017 at 8:19 am

Food Nerd. I just read this

Below is a list of fire stations we've spoken to directly that are more than happy to take those home-cooked, well-seasoned meals made with love and kindness:

Sonoma County:

The Bennett Valley Fire and Police Department is taking food donations later in the weekend. // 6161 Bennett Valley Rd. (Santa Rosa), sonomacountry.org; call (707)-578-7761 beforehand for more details

The Russian River Fire and Police Department is taking food donations now. // 14100 Armstrong Woods Rd. (Guerneville), sonomacountry.org; call (707)-869-9089 for more details
The Forestville Fire and Police Department is taking food donations now. // 6544 Mirabel Rd. (Forestville), sonomacountry.org; call (707)-887-2212 for more details
Napa County:

Drop-off all home-cooked meals to Fire Station #25 at any time. // 1820 Monticello St. (Napa), countyofnapa.org; call (707)-253-4940 for more details
Yuba County:

Drop off all home-cooked meals at Yuba City Admin Fire Station Monday through Friday. // 824 Clark Ave. (Yuba City), yubacity.org; call (530)-822-4686 for more details

Posted by foodie, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Oct 15, 2017 at 9:09 am

"I'd happily vote for Trump again"

Trump's own guy called Trump a moron. Technically a more vulgar term, which we shall not print here.

(Actually, Tillerson was Putin's choice, having previously given Tillerson his Russian Man of the Year trophy...)

"I'd happily vote for Trump again"

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Oct 16, 2017 at 6:41 am

Here is another way to help with meals:

Epicurean Group is feeding fire evacuees & first responders.

"We are providing more than 1,500 meals per day to evacuees and first responders at the Marin Center," said CEO Mary Clark Bartlett

Web Link

Posted by Louise68, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Oct 16, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Thank you, Laura, for your very moving blog. I didn't know you were a poet, but disaster wrenches us all, and sometimes enables some people to say deeply touching and stark and true things.

As of today -- Monday, October 16 -- some of the fires seem to be out! Or at least well under control. Those firefighters and police and first responders are heroes!

So glad there are ways for people to help the displaced residents who have lost their homes and to help those who are helping them -- with home-cooked meals, and other necessities.

Laura: I look forward to the time when you will again write about food, but these are no ordinary times, and it is good that you wrote what you did here. Again, thank you.

Posted by Joann, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Oct 16, 2017 at 9:12 pm

Yes, let's get back to food, while Nayali patiently waits for Tillerson to deny he called Trump a "moron".

Keep waiting.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 12:39 am

@ Joann - "Keep waiting?" You misunderstand. I hold no allegiance to Trump. I hold no allegiance to Tillerson. I hold no allegiance to any political party. I simply hold firm to my own well-considered beliefs.

I didn't vote for Trump because I felt that he was the best person for the job. I voted for Trump because I felt that he was the best viable option to prevent someone so corrupt and vile as Hillary Clinton out of office. I voted for Trump because I was voting AGAINST the policies of a Democratic Party that has shifted far, far to the left.

This is why Trump won. His favorability ratings were very low. Yet, people in 30 states voted despite Trump's personality rather than because of it.

The people in those 30 states (plus six more where former Republican governor Gary Johnson siphoned significant votes) indicated that they didn't want a Democrat choosing a Supreme Court justice, devising health care behind closed doors (and lying about it) or continuing the outsourcing of jobs and importing of foreign workers in the name of "globalism" where America and Americans aren't first.

Personally, I don't care what you or Rex Tillerson thinks about Trump, Hillary, Pence, Bernie, Stein or Johnson. I also don't care what anyone thinks of my vote. I make no apologies.

Posted by Too much heat for..., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 12:47 am

[Comment removed.]

Posted by Sea Seelam Reddy, a resident of College Terrace,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 4:21 am

Sea Seelam Reddy is a registered user.

We need to realize life if fragile.

We are on earth for a short time.

My heart breaks for those that lost their lives and their dear ones.


Posted by Scotty, a resident of Green Acres,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 2:19 pm

I am sorry all this death, destruction, and loss has caused your cough...wow...just wow. Not sure a food blog could possibly show more insensitivity. Listing charitable organizations does not change the context. So sad.....

Posted by foodie, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm

"That is quite some conspiracy theory that you've got there."

Name a top Trump official who hasn't yet lied in public or under oath about contact with Russians during the campaign.

We know about the lies from: Trump. Pence. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Trump campaign manager Manafort. Donnie Trump Jr. Kushner.

Keep going down the list.Maybe Preibus was smart enough not to get caught in a lie. Who else?

Back to food - how would you like your crow prepared and served?


Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Gosh I'm sorry everyone. I should have noted that the title and all the words before the first picture are a song written by Arthur Brown in 1968. Did any reader not know that was a song out of curiosity?

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 6:13 pm

@foodie - Easy. NO ONE lied about Russia. That is the grand conspiracy theory upon which many far left zealots are hanging their hopes upon. They cannot fathom the notion that people voted both AGAINST Hillary Clinton and her political machine as well as AGAINST the continued destructive socioeconomic policies of a Democratic Party that has been hijacked by zealous politicians and political operatives.

The rhetoric and goals that are pushed by certain politicians in California (or the San Francisco Bay Area) apparently don't play well in at least thirty states -- including those behind the "Blue Curtain."

Those who want to blame some ambiguous "Russian" bogeymen are ignoring the real reasons why Democrats continue to lose elections in most places outside of the West Coast and Northeast.

Of course, I would love for you to tell me WHO these "Russians" were (e.g., government, civilians, 16-year-old kids, etc.) and HOW they actually "hacked" the election. Apparently, the biggest "hack" in the election was when John Podesta's private emails were hacked and released. If they had revealed a noble politician working for America, perhaps Hillary Clinton would have been elected. Instead, we found what most people already suspected -- that the DNC and Clinton machine engaged in dirty, corrupt politics and collusion with the media.

Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Hi Laura,

I had no idea that was a song. I'll look it up though. My husband is the musical one in our house, so he might know it.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Big omission on my part - sorry everyone. That song was the first thing that popped into my head last week when I sat down to write. I was so worried and angry and feeling not good about the fire and then everything. It is so unsettling to think about the wine country burning, and so is this song. It's rough and scary, and that's how I felt.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of another community,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 7:10 pm

And in this poetic attempt at processing the madness, Scott Pruitt came up in the writing not because he's a Republican, but probably because he completely disregards the health of the environment, which is wrong and makes me mad. And Hannity came up during free association because, well, probably because he's so angry all the time and I was angry that day. Really angry. I just heard him say that asinine comment, and this particular day he wasn't the only angry person who got to vent his emotions in public.

Posted by foodie, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on Oct 17, 2017 at 7:33 pm

"NO ONE lied about Russia."

Actually, they have virtually ALL lied about Russia, meeting with Russians, etc..

- Trump.

- Pence lied about Mike Flynn, Russia and sanctions.

- Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III lied UNDER OATH (ferchrissakes!) during his confirmation process.

- Trump campaign manager Manafort took $60 million from a Russian oligarch tied to Putin.

- Donnie Trump Jr. lied about his meetings with Russians, claiming it was about ADOPTIONS!!

- Kushner messed up his SF-86 form and his Russian meetings he had to amend it several times.

Only a matter of time before 'pardons' keep some of these traitors out of jail.

"I'd happily vote for Trump again"

Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Mountain View,
on Oct 18, 2017 at 6:44 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

P.S. I know that these are the first shouted out words of a popular song in the 1960s. I grew up with this song: FIRE

Web Link

Nice realistic graphics of the effects of atomic and hydrogen bomb blasts..

The original Mr. Brown video

Web Link


Posted by Hey, get off my lawn!, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Oct 19, 2017 at 1:28 pm

I picture the irate screaming voice in the intro to the title song and punnisher match up completely.
Such disdain for others...angry sad man,angry sad life in CO, coming back to MV via angry sad posts, searching for what isn't here either, because it only comes from within. I hope he finds peace one day.

Posted by Wash, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills,
on Oct 19, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Trump is so disturbed.

Posted by RUSSIAN, a resident of another community,
on Oct 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm


Posted by Stick to cookies, a resident of Cuernavaca,
on Oct 19, 2017 at 9:36 pm

I'm with Nayeli - food bloggers should stick to food. And random rants toward Scott Pruitt are a bit of a joke. If you're worried about the environment you're a little late to the party. Obama appointed Monsanto's chief lobbyist (Michael Taylor) as senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA, then later as food safety czar. The previous administration approved numerous extremely toxic pesticides for widespread use as well as GMO crops readied for the most toxic herbicides. The destruction of the environment is non-partisan. Just follow the money (and the contributions to political campaigns) and don't go running after Trump for blame. The process of destroying our soil, ground water, oceans and air has been in the works for decades.

Posted by Online Name, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Oct 20, 2017 at 10:26 am

Online Name is a registered user.

I'd like to thank Laura for bringing the plight of our neighbors to the north to our attention. Obviously Napa, Sonoma and the other communities effected by the fire play a big part in the food and wine business in our area since they're a mere 100 miles away and of course they're a global tourist destination.

I've been horrified by some of the comments on PA Online dismissing the fire as if it's a million miles away when it's actually in COMMUTING distance of the Google buses and where many of us have friends and where many area residents have second homes. Where's the compassion?

Since Podesta was raised earlier in the comments, maybe you'd like to review Cosmo Pizza in (DC) cowhere Hillary and Podesta were widely reputed by the likes of Alex Jones and InfoWar to be running a sex ring in the basement?

Too bad Cosmo Pizzxa does't even JAVE a basement as the brainwashed jerk who came up from the south to "rescue" the kids discovered -- to his NATIONAL embarrassment.

Posted by Horse country, a resident of Woodside: other,
on Oct 21, 2017 at 10:56 am

Worst wildfires in state history. Where's the executive branch?

Sending out a formerly respected general to lie about a Congress critter telling the truth about Trump's insincerity.

Absurd. Stay away.

Posted by Wyatt Roberts, a resident of another community,
on Oct 23, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Makes you wonder what's coming next when we have all these troubles now.

Posted by foodie, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Oct 30, 2017 at 10:36 am

Nayeli: " That is quite some conspiracy theory that you've got there. "

Actually, the Conspiracy is Paul Manafort, Trump, etc.. conspiring against our great United States of America.

See Manafort's indictments today.

Quick, look up InfoWars and get a counter story to distract from the Trump Traitor Team!!


Even as President Trump was on Twitter insisting that the indictment of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was meaningless because it involved activities unrelated to Trump or the campaign came news that former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with, wait for it, Russia.

The Manafort news drew the bigger headlines Monday morning -- understandable given his high-profile role at the top of the Trump campaign. But, the Papadopoulos guilty plea -- and the fact that he has been cooperating with the special counsel investigation since his July arrest -- strikes me as significantly more problematic for Trump and his White House in the medium-to-long term.
This paragraph from the FBI's guilty plea agreement with Papadopoulos is incredible:

Web Link

Nayali, Punnisher and the "Party before Patriotism" crowd sicken real Americans.

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