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News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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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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Fruit crisps: simply elegant

Photo Megan Rowe/Special To The Town Crier Crisps, similar in texture to crumbles and cobblers, are a delicious way to serve late-summer fruit, like plums – minus the hassle of piecrust.

 

As summer wanes and the days grow shorter (and busier), don’t skimp on dessert. Instead, whip up a quick fruit crisp for the family.

Crisps at their simplest are fruit topped with oats, flour, sugar and butter, then baked until the juices bubble and the topping browns. They are related to crumbles (fruit topped with a nutty streusel) and cobblers (fruit baked with a sweet biscuit topping), as well as the more evocatively named slumps, grunts and pandowdies.

Some scholars think crisps emerged during World War II, when it was difficult to find enough butter to make a double-crust pie. Others think the tradition arose far earlier when colonists attempted to adapt their pudding recipes to what was on hand in America. Either way, crisps are a delicious way to serve ripe summer fruit without the fuss of making piecrusts.

Crisps and their cousins are almost infinitely adaptable, making them an ideal dessert for the busy home cook. And while they’re quite simple to throw together, the contrast between the warm, bubbling fruit and the sweet, crunchy topping makes them elegant enough to serve to company.

Crisps are also ideal for picky eaters or those with various dietary restrictions. They’re dairy-free (unless you top them with ice cream, a highly recommended addition if you can handle dairy), and you can easily substitute a gluten-free baking mix for the 1/2 cup of flour to make them safe for those with wheat intolerances.

Plums are ripe and juicy right now, and their hint of tartness plays well with the cinnamon and oats in the topping. If plums aren’t your favorite, you can substitute the same volume of any juicy fruit to adapt this to whatever is in season – berries, mango or other stone fruits now, or apples and pears in a few months. You can play around with the spices, adding a pinch of cardamom to a pear crisp or almond extract instead of vanilla to peaches. You can also add up to 1/2 cup of chopped nuts to the topping to make it closer to a crumble and equally delicious.

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