Author Archive for brunosdream

San Francisco and Sonoma

I visited family and friends in Northern California last week. The weather was fantastic, the food was delicious and my overall experience was top notch! While in San Francisco, I visited my favorite art museums – SFMOMA and The de Young. I also tried a couple of new restaurants – Piccino and Burma Superstar. I highly recommend both!

In Sonoma, my friends took me to Gloria Ferrer Vineyards the afternoon I arrived. We sampled some of their delicious sparkling wines and snacked on some local cheeses. A wonderful way to start the weekend! The next morning we drove to Petaluma for breakfast at Hallie’s Diner. Delicious omelets! Later that day my friend treated me to a vintage biplane ride to the Golden Gate Bridge and back. What a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience!! For dinner we grabbed a grilled chicken meal at El Brinquito Meat Market. What a great deal – a whole grilled chicken, beans, rice, tortillas and spicy sauce for a mere $20. This was washed down w/ a couple of bottles of local wines. Heavenly!!

Here are a few snapshots of my wonderful trip:

SF1 10-16-18 My view in S. F.

SF2 10-16-18

Sonoma1 10-19-18 My view in Sonoma

Sonoma2 10-19-18

Sonoma3 10-19-18

Sonoma4 10-19-18

Sonoma5 10-19-18 Me

Sonoma6 10-19-18 My gracious hosts, Dan and Lorraine

Sonoma7 10-19-18 The view from the tasting terrace

Sonoma1 10-20-18 Biplane ride

Sonoma3 10-20-18

Sonoma2 10-20-18 Approaching S.F. and the Golden Gate

Sonoma4 10-20-18 Nice shot!

Sonoma5 10-20-18 The delta

Sonoma7 10-20-18 Sonoma scenery

Sonoma8 10-20-18 Landing…

Sonoma9 10-20-18

Bon Voyage!

Bruno

Garden 2018

Well, this year’s garden may surprise you. The last few years have been progressively worse and worse w/ my tomato plants despite efforts at crop rotation and soil replenishment. I decided to let my veggie plot go fallow this year, planting only a cover crop of Dutch clover to reenergize the soil. It was a tough decision, but I was tired of watching my tomato plants shrivel up and die year after year. In the fall I’ll till the clover into the soil and amend w/ some peat moss. Hopefully this will do the trick so next year I will have a healthy crop once again.

As you will see in the photos, I moved the herbs to the sunny spot where I had been growing zinnias. The herbs are now flourishing! In the pots next to the enclosure I have three type of basil growing – from left to right are Italian Genovese, Holy (also known as Tulsi) and Siam Queen (a variety of Thai basil). Looks like there will be plenty for pesto this fall! The perennials are doing great too.

Garden4 2018

Garden3 2018

Garden2 2018

Garden1 2018

Happy Summer!

Bruno

Reykjavik, Iceland and Greenland from Above

I was lucky enough to spend a day and a half in Reykjavik, Iceland for work not long ago. We had decent weather for early spring – it would snow for 15 minutes, then the sun would break through the clouds. We joked, saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes .” :-)

We wandered the city, which is small and very walkable, finding several nice places for food and drink. If you’re in Reykjavik and get hungry, I recommend trying Saeta Svinid Gastropub, Salka Valka – Fish & More, or  Bryggjan Brugghus Bistro and Brewery. All have great atmosphere and deliciously prepared food.

While flying back to the US we had amazingly clear views of Greenland!

Here are a few photos of our walkabout and flight over Greenland:

Reykjavik1

Reykjavik2

Reykjavik3

Reykjavik4

Reykjavik5

Reykjavik6

Reykjavik8

Reykjavik9

Reykjavik10

Reykjavik11

Reykjavik12

Reykjavik13

Greenland1

Greenland2

Greenland3

Greenland4

Cheers!

Bruno

Aerial San Francisco and Crater Lake

SF aerial1 4-20-18

SF aerial2 4-20-18

Crater Lake 4-20-18

On our descent into San Francisco from Sun Valley, Idaho, I snapped some beautiful photos of downtown San Francisco. Then, as we were flying up to Boeing Field in Seattle, incredible views of Crater Lake in Oregon made their appearance… snap!

Happy Landings…

Bruno

1989 Chateau Margaux

A great wine deserves a great meal to go with it!  On the menu: Filet mignon w/ shaved black truffles and a merlot/porcini sauce; rosti potatoes; roasted Brussels sprouts w/ agrodolce. For dessert: Frost Bitten Ice Riesling w/ assorted cookies and Brie.

wine dinner2 2017

wine dinner1 2017

brie wine dinner 2017 (Brie)

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Bruno

Thanksgiving 2017

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I definitely did! My friends M + B invited me over for a delicious feast. I contributed shredded Brussels sprouts w/ chestnuts and applewood smoked bacon. Additionally, I brought some cupcakes from Jilly’s. The flavors I chose were Reese’s chunkage, pumpkin pie, apple pie, turtle cheesecake, Oreo pie and sweet potato pie. The feast also consisted of a perfect turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, and salad. My belly was very satisfied! Here are a few photos from our gluttonous evening: 

Jilly's Cupcakes

Thanksgiving1 2017

Thanksgiving2 2017

Thanksgiving3 2017

Thanksgiving4 2017

Thanksgiving5 2017

Here’s to good friends…

Bruno

Garden Bounty

garden bounty 10-14-17

Harvested on 10/14/17. The pile of basil on the left is now a big jar of pesto waiting patiently in my fridge for some pasta!

Happy Eating!

Bruno

Rainbow Over Chicago – 10/7/17

Chicago rainbow 10-7-17

This is what I saw after my early dinner in Chicago last weekend. I guess my pot o’ gold was the wild mushroom and roasted garlic pizza I had at Bar Siena that evening!

May all your days be golden…

Bruno

 

Garden 2017 – Update #1

Well, here it is mid-season and the garden is doing so-so. Once again I’m having problems w/ some tomato plants. The San Marzano have all but died and the Cherokee Purple are producing but are on their way out. I discussed this w/ a fellow gardener and they suspect the plants have a fungus. The rest of the tomato plants are doing fine at this point.

The basil, chard and jalapenos are all thriving. My other herbs probably need to be moved to a sunnier spot next spring. The tree they are beneath has grown quite a bit and is shading out the sun. I may move them next to the zinnias which get tons of afternoon sunshine.

As you can see in the photo of what I harvested yesterday, it looks like there’s salsa in my future!

Photos snapped on July 30th:

garden1 7-30-17

garden2 7-30-17

garden3 7-30-17

garden5 7-30-17

garden4 7-30-17

garden6 7-30-17

Good eats and garden treats…

Bruno

Garden 2017

This year’s garden… seeded on April 1st and transplanted on May 22nd. To insure better success I picked items that have done well in past years and omitted items that have not thrived in my yard.

For tomatoes, I chose Cherokee Purple (4 plants); Black Krim (4 plants); Speckled Roman (2 plants) and San Marzano (2 plants). I decided to only plant chard – Bright Lights (4 plants) and 5 Color (4 plants), and to omit kale because of worm infestation in past years. For hot peppers, I chose Early Jalapeno (6 plants).

As you’ll notice in the pictures, I rotated the location of everything in the enclosure because last year I had many tomato plants die or fail to produce. Hopefully the crop rotation will be helpful in reducing or eliminating this problem. After the final lettuce harvest I tilled the soil and put the tomatoes in that spot.

After heavy rains in April and May we finally have dryer weather. So far, all the plants are thriving in their new locations. My zinnia seeds were almost washed away by the heavy rains, but fortunately they are doing well. In the wildflower patch next to the enclosure I supplemented the area w/ a pack of perennial seeds called “Perennial Bloom”.

My herbs, especially the sage, suffered from the cold snap we had in early spring. I added a Greek oregano plant as well as a species of lavender that does well in Missouri. The older lavender plants did not return. Only Genovese basil was seeded this year in the pots in the enclosure. Some of the seedlings in the largest pot were eaten by something early on, but the surviving seedlings are doing well at this point.

Photos taken on 6/21:

garden1 6-21-17

garden2 6-21-17

garden3 6-21-17

garden4 6-21-17

garden5 6-21-17

garden6 6-21-17

garden7 6-21-17

Happy Summer Solstice!

Bruno