Sat10252014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Simple traditions from New Delhi

 Image from article Simple traditions from New Delhi

Gitika Baveja wrote her first two cookbooks in India after watching some of her young female friends leave their family homes for marriage without much background in cooking and housekeeping basics.

Now living in the United States, Baveja has written an English-language book of recipes for the Bay Area community, because "you spend a lot of money on (restaurant) Indian food, and it's not satisfying enough for the people I know."

Baveja wrote, photographed and self-published "Indian Flavors to Savor" (Morris Press Cookbooks, 2006), from an apartment off Homestead Road at the junction of Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

"When I was growing up, I would sit for hours on a ledge in the kitchen watching my mother cook, enamored. Now, when I eat in a restaurant, I come home and try the dish my way. It's just a passion," she said.

Baveja, who works in the high-tech industry, said, "My work is more stressful. When I come home and cook (in the evening), it's relaxing."

Her cookbook focuses on northern-style dishes, seasoned by Baveja's upbringing in New Delhi.

"In the north, we are also very cosmopolitan. I'd make a lot of Western dishes even when I was in India," Baveja said.

Most of the recipes are intended to take only 15-20 minutes to prepare. The book incorporates healthful spins on traditionally guilty treats, like an olive-oil version of halwa, a sweet that typically relies on rich dairy products.

"There is a misconception that Indian food is very fattening," Baveja said. She described the dishes Westerners are likely to encounter in American-Indian restaurants as filled with butter and cream, more like wedding dishes than everyday fare in India.

"If you put two cups of butter in, people will like it," Baveja said. But she seeks to offer an alternative in her cookbook: a guide to the Indian cooking techniques that infuse flavor without resorting to fat.

"It's satisfying to share knowledge and recipes," she said.

She is interested in leading cooking classes at some point to teach trickier techniques, such as tempering dry spices in a hot pan. Novices have occasionally filled a kitchen with billows of spicy smoke when tempering goes awry. "Indian Flavors to Savor" offers a crash course in such techniques in its first pages, in addition to a plethora of hints crucial for the novice cook: when to add garlic to a skillet, how to balance unfamiliar spices and on which ingredients it is OK to "cheat" and use the canned. With a guide to cookery terms and an English-Hindi introduction to Indian spices, Baveja tries to entice even the most timid chef to an experiment with curry.

"It's really a misconception that Indian food is spicy. You need to know your tolerance level. The food isn't spicy if you don't make it spicy," Baveja said.

Her potato cutlets, subtly flavored with the homemade spice mix garam masala, coriander powder and a hint of red chili, have the crispy, panfried flavor of comfort food. She adds large pearl tapioca to the cutlets, which lends a delicate, surprising substance and texture to the potato patties. They are eaten dipped in a sweet, salty cilantro and mint chutney, which adds a vibrant color and a bite of fresh, raw herb flavor to the side dish.

Baveja's masala tava salmon is lightly coated in spiced rice flour and panfried, resulting in tender, fragrant fish inside a crisp, rich crust, pungent with a hint of mango powder. Her chickpea curry is a standout beginner's dish, low on fat and smoldering with an earthy, sweet, chopped ginger, onion and tomato base.

For more information about "Indian Flavors to Savor," e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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