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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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For summer dinners, transform your sandwich into a salad


Garrett Miller/Special to the Town Crier
Banh Mi Salad, a Vietnamese specialty, combines Asian flavors from cilantro, pickled vegetables and chiles with grilled or roasted meat.

For me, summertime means summer food. It means cooking and eating outside. Most of all, it means eating lighter, more healthful foods that won’t contribute to my heat-induced sluggishness.

To that end, I wanted to make a lighter version of the popular Vietnamese street food (and one of my all-time favorite sandwiches) known as “banh mi.” The culinary product of the French colonization of Vietnam, a traditional banh mi starts with a crusty baguette slathered with aioli and gets layers of Asian flavors from fresh cilantro, pickled vegetables and chiles. Proteins may include roasted or grilled meats, pork pâté or meatballs.

While the bread is typically what makes or breaks a banh mi, it doesn’t bring much to the flavor party, so why not skip it altogether and turn this tasty sandwich into a hearty dinner salad? A bed of crisp romaine and sliced fresh cucumbers were a good start, but I still needed a dressing that captured the creamy, tangy, spicy flavors of a banh mi, a tasty protein topping and my pickled vegetables.

I figured the pickles would translate well from sandwich to salad unaltered, so I made a brine in which to soak some matchstick-cut pieces of carrot and daikon radish, along with some sliced jalapeños. I thought the brine would also be a good start for the base of my dressing, as it already had the sweet, salty and spicy flavors I was seeking.

The dressing was a bit of a balancing act. I wanted mayonnaise, as it is traditional on the sandwich, but I wanted the final product to have plenty of zip, too. Fish sauce added a savory, umami note; lime juice cut the saltiness of the fish sauce; a little sugar took the harsh edge off the lime; and a squirt of sriracha sauce gave everything a bright, spicy kick.

For my meat, I chose pork loin, which could be grilled quickly and sliced to top my salad (though beef, chicken, shrimp, tofu or mushrooms would all make good stand-ins).

For the marinade, I used more fish sauce for Vietnamese flavor, sugar for added caramelization on the grill, and lemongrass and chiles for some zing.

Finally, I topped the salad with fresh cilantro and chopped scallions, to make my sandwich-to-salad transformation complete. You can serve this salad with a sliced baguette on the side, to bring the origin of the dish full circle. But this crisp, refreshing salad is so substantial, you won’t even miss the carbs.

Garrett Miller is a freelance writer, food blogger and graduate of Los Altos High School and UC Santa Cruz. For more of his comfort-food recipes, visit noodletherapy.wordpress.com.

Banh Mi Salad with Grilled Lemongrass Pork

Meat

• 1 pound pork loin, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick medallions

• 1/4 cup sugar

• 1/4 cup fish sauce

• 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 large shallot, minced

• 1 Thai or serrano chile, minced

• Black pepper, freshly ground

Place pork in container. In small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Let marinate for at least 1 hour, overnight if possible. Sear in cast-iron skillet 3-4 minutes on each side or grill.

Pickles

• 1/2 pound carrots, matchstick pieces

• 1 bunch red radishes, sliced or 1/2 pound daikon radish, matchstick pieces

• 1 cup warm water

• 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 2 teaspoons salt

• 1 Thai or serrano chile, sliced

Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt and Thai chile in small bowl or, preferably, sealable glass jar. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add carrots and radishes and let sit for at least 1 hour. Leftover pickles will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.

Dressing

• 3 tablespoons reserved vinegar mixture

• 3 tablespoons fish sauce

• Juice of 1 lime

• 2 teaspoons sugar

• 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 tablespoon sriracha

• Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings with more lime juice, sugar or sriracha, as needed.

Salad

• 1 head romaine, roughly chopped

• 1/2 English cucumber, sliced

• 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped

• 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves

Toss ingredients in large bowl with as much dressing as desired. Top with pickled vegetables and sliced pork.

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