Victorian house turned Thai Buddhist temple ~

Wat Mongkolratanaram, December 30, 2012

Wat Mongkolratanaram, December 30, 2012

Wat Mongkolratanaram is the name of the Berkeley Thai Buddhist temple Leslie and I pass on most of our walks to anywhere. It’s most famous to the general population for the Sunday public brunches it offers, the proceeds of which go to the temple and its various activities. As this site notes, the brunch became a subject of controversy a few years ago; this being Berkeley, though, the brunch won out and continues to this day.

Some remains of the (Christmas) day — and Boomerang recommendations!

Still life with mainly chocolate, Decamber 29, 2012

Still life with mainly chocolate, December 29, 2012

A few especially good goodies from Christmas: a Fiat chocolate bar (with a wee filling of gianduja inside each little square), a box of Limoncello chocolates (that one yellow-wrapped item in the middle is the only one left) in memory of our trip to Menton France a couple years ago, and a bar of very delicious  Belgian (Pierre Marcolini) white chocolate that is definitely all gone. Also pictured (on the right), the amazing nutmeg grater that Leslie got from her sister, a bottle of wine that Leslie’s neighbors across the street made all by themselves (yet to be tried) . . . and a ripening persimmon!

Whimsical mural ~

Painted menagerie, December 28, 2012

Painted menagerie, December 28, 2012

Just part of an alley mural off Piedmont Avenue in the small “city” of Piedmont, a commercial and residential area that is completely surrounded by the real city of Oakland. In keeping with Piedmont’s being a bit of a rare bird, this mural is in an alley between Cato’s Ale House (serving smoked trout, scrambled egg, bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches today!) and The Rare Bird, purveyors of vintage goods and local artists’ and artisans’ wares — both fun and intriguing on a cloudy, late-December day!

Merry Christmas to all! (and, The Boomerang recommends . . . )

Wine selection, December 25, 2012

Wine selection, December 25, 2012

Christmas dinner wine selection: Reynvaan, “the Unnamed Syrah,” 2008. Rated 95 (!!) by Wine Spectator and a product of Walla Walla Wa! Here’s what the Reynvaan site has to say about it:

The unnamed syrah has great structure and intense aromatics of tropical fruits, crushed raspberry, rose pedal and hints of green tea. Very concentrated fruit gives the mouth feel an elegant yet balanced flavor profile. Good acid structure cuts through the palette for a strong finish.

We say it’s very delicious and goes well with squab, stuffing, brussels sprouts, and cranberry chutney.

And to all a good night!