Lisa Dinsmore

psycho_40.jpgGrowing up I was generally a very agreeable child. I did what I was told and rarely pushed the envelope. So why did I go against my father’s better judgment and watch PSYCHO, even though he told me I’d regret it when I woke up with nightmares? Well, I was 14-years-old and I guess it was my way of proving to him and myself that I was a mature young adult who couldn’t be scared by a silly, old black and white movie. I had never heard of Hitchcock or this film and had no idea what to expect. Besides it was on in the middle of the afternoon, where children younger than me could see it, so how scary could it really be?

I had tested my capacity for horror a few times before and was smart enough to know the answer. Secretly watching JAWS when I was eleven had kept me out of the ocean since, but I didn’t consider that much of a sacrifice because I hated swimming and didn’t live anywhere near a beach. Plus, shark attacks DO happen, so my behavior wasn’t completely irrational. Almost drowning in the ocean had already made me wary of the water, JAWS just sealed the deal.

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mfkfisher.jpg I had never heard of M.F.K. Fisher until I started working at One for the Table. She was/is apparently one of the most famous food writers of the last century. I rarely read about food, only branching out occasionally to pick up Gourmet, Food & Wine or Cooking Light depending on what recipe was featured on the cover. In recent months I discovered I was one of the only ones not familiar with her work, because her name kept popping up in various pieces on this site as one of THE people everyone consulted when it came to enjoying good food. Finally, intrigued by her reputation and tired of reading murder mysteries, I decided to see what all the fuss was about...and found a new friend.

For most of my life, I was never really INTO food, eating mostly what was put in front of me without much consideration. Up until about 5 years ago, I was a very picky eater and though I still don't like the various foods on my plate to touch, I am proud to say I have overcome many culinary hurdles and will now try just about anything once. Especially if I don't know what it is first. I've also taught myself to cook and though I won't be opening my own restaurant anytime soon, the meals that come out of my kitchen are for the most part pretty good. At least I thought so until I read The Art of Eating by Ms. Fisher. Now I know I'm just trying too hard and am failing in the biggest way possible– to take the time to truly enjoy the experience of eating.

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celts2.jpg With the NBA Finals over (Yeah Celtics!), the Stanley Cup won, March Madness completed and the race for the Triple Crown decided, we can finally relax because the demon (a.k.a. the Super Sports Freak) has subsided…at least for now. Summer is upon us and the only sport we need to worry about is baseball and no one really cares about the outcome of these games until Labor Day. Well, except my husband…and millions of other men around the world.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I married a sports fanatic.  When we were dating it didn’t really seem important. Then when we moved in together, I realized that if I wanted to spend any quality time with The Man, I better get interested in the game. Any game. I initially picked basketball because it seemed to have the least amount of rules and was over quickly. Of course, my skill at retaining useless knowledge and obnoxious competitive streak soon had me winning the office pool for March Madness and using my husband’s vast love for the game to help me pick the right players for my Fantasy Basketball Team, which I also won. The men in the pool, i.e. everyone else, were not amused. 

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paso102007a.jpg People are always asking me what I'm going to do with my wine education. Most of them assume I'm going to become a sommelier or a winemaker because those are the most well-known choices. In reality, neither is an option because both require more time and hard work than I'm willing to give to indulge my love of wine. I'd rather drink wine than serve it and with so many other people taking the trouble to make it, there's no reason I have to.

That being said, learning about the process, in limited doses, is quite fascinating to me. To that end, the founding members of the Studio City branch of the Friends of Cass Winery (an unofficial, nascent organization made up of me, my husband and our friend Sam) volunteered to help bottle their upcoming 2006 releases of Grenache and Mourvedre in the ever-growing Paso Robles area. We weren't sure what we were in for, except we knew it would be a bit of work and probably quite fun given the natures of the winery's owners. 

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sacalobramallorca.jpgOne of the best things about Europeans is when they invite you to come visit them, they actually mean it. When a co-worker of my husband’s found out we were journeying across the pond, they not only let us stay in their London flat, they insisted we come stay with them at their house in Deia, Mallorca. I initially didn’t want to intrude, but once I saw pictures of this beautiful Mediterranean island, I changed my mind.

Since this visit was off the original itinerary, I choose places I wanted to go by looking at the local postcards. One of our first stops was Sa Calobra. My husband and I aren’t exactly sun-worshippers, but this beach locked between mountain cliffs was a sight I had to see.

With directions from our hosts, Lanny and Shelly, which included a description about the road to get there and all the tourists we would find at the end of it, we set off. Not needing to see this natural wonder yet again, they agreed to meet us later for lunch.

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