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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Cookbook author offers sweet presentation at Morning Forum


Kathryn Tomaino/Special to the Town Crier
Cookbook author Francine Segan engages the Morning Forum of Los Altos crowd during her Nov. 5 appearance.

Noted cookbook author Francine Segan’s warmth, energy and enthusiasm charmed the Morning Forum of Los Altos audience Nov. 5.

Segan, a food historian and lecturer, is a frequent guest on the Food Network, the Discovery and History channels, CBS and PBS. She based her Morning Forum presentation on her cookbook “Dolci: Italy’s Sweets” (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2011).

Upon entering the lecture, Segan gave each attendee a packet of five distinct Italian chocolates. The samples included 85 percent dark chocolate (all chocolate), 70 percent dark chocolate (chocolate and some sugar), 51 percent dark chocolate (chocolate and more sugar), dark chocolate infused with limoncello (chocolate and lemon liqueur) and milk chocolate (one-third chocolate, one-third sugar and one-third milk). She asked the audience to smell the chocolates and listen to the sounds as they snapped off bits of the confections. Finally, audience members tasted the samples to determine their favorites, with Segan describing each one’s unique characteristics.

Chocolate has an Italian history, according to Segan. In the early 1500s, Christopher Columbus discovered cocoa beans in the Mayan region of Central America and brought them back to Spain for Queen Isabella. By the 1800s, Italy became the major manufacturer of chocolate. Today, she said, chocolate is widely loved and eaten in Italy, where espresso is often served with a piece of chocolate.

In “Dolci: Italy’s Sweets,” Segan compiled dessert recipes from all regions of Italy.

“Cooks in each region use different ingredients,” she said.

Segan added that local foods determine desserts.

“Depending on the area, desserts are made with chocolate, herbs, fruits, nuts, honey, cheese and, surprisingly, pasta and vegetables (such as eggplant, spinach and radicchio),” she said. “There are even desserts containing meat.”

While most Italian districts grow nuts, often they grow different nuts, Segan noted.

“Piedmont has hazelnuts, Sicily has almonds and pistachios, and Rome has walnuts,” she said. “Desserts in Piedmont, Sicily and Rome use the nuts that are available.”

There are more than 100 pasta desserts, according to the author, many of which are fried.

“In Italy, anything fried is delicious,” she said.

The Morning Forum of Los Altos is a members-only lecture series that meets at Los Altos United Methodist Church. For membership details and more information, visit morningforum.com.

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