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News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Craft beer finds a home at Winter Fancy Food Show


Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
A crowd gathers to sample Cypress Grove Chevre paired with local beers and ciders at the Winter Fancy Food Show.

At the 39th annual Winter Fancy Food Show, held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center last month, more than 1,300 companies from around the world highlighted an incredible diversity of food and beverage products from artisanal cheeses and charcuterie to microwavable prepared meals.

Of course, I went in search of beer-infused and beer-related products, and I found that beer appeared in two significant segments of the specialty-food products at the show: cheese and candy.

Beer-infused cheese

Beer and cheese share an affinity as products that are both fermented, in addition to tasting great together.

Two cheesemakers highlighted the relationship between cheese and beer in different ways. Cypress Grove Chevre, a goat-cheese producer from Arcata, served cheese samples with two different beers from North Coast Brewing Co. in Mendocino and a cider from Ace Cider in Sebastopol. The pairings brought out the complex flavors of both products. Cypress Grove Marketing Director Jason Baxter said they initially planned to recommend specific beers with specific cheeses but decided to let people make their own combinations because each beer brought out different characteristics in each cheese. My personal favorite pairing was the Sgt. Pepper cheese, a slightly tangy goat cheese with spicy chili threads, with the smooth roastiness of the North Coast Old No. 38 Stout.

Rogue Creamery, based in Central Point, Ore., took things a step further. As Francis Plowman, whose business card identifies him as the “Cheese Narrator” for Rogue, said, “The next step in the cheese world beyond beer and cheese pairing is to put it right in the vat.” Since 2004, Rogue has incorporated beer directly into the cheesemaking process, and it currently offers seven different beer cheeses. Four of the cheeses feature beer or ingredients from Rogue Ales, which is not formally connected to Rogue Creamery despite the Rogue name. Several cheeses incorporate porters or stouts (including Rogue Chocolate Stout, Caldera Mogli Porter and Hopworks Survival Stout), each with different flavor balances but highlighting the distinct roast and chocolate notes of these styles. The Hopyard Cheese is a salty, smooth, buttery, medium-sharp cheddar with an herbal bitter finish from hops pressed into the cheese.

Beer-flavored candy

Beer also made an appearance in several candy products, some more successful than others. One highly touted product debut at the Fancy Food Show was Jelly Belly’s “Draft Beer”-flavored jelly beans. The golden beans, with an iridescent “foam” finish, actually look like beer in a glass. However, while the chemically-produced flavor of beer is unmistakable, I have to confess to not really enjoying this candy. I found the beans to taste like a slightly stale mass-produced cheap beer – the possibilities of craft beer flavor are endless, but Jelly Belly went for the lowest common denominator.

Annette’s Chocolates from Napa served two versions of Beer Brittle – regular and “Firey” with spicy peppers. While the brittles were certainly tasty, the flavor contribution of the “local amber ale” was quite subtle. Beercandy Inc., featured in my December column on gift ideas, distributed thousands of samples of its Hopdrops, Beercaramels and Beertaffy. While Beercandy has been producing its beer-infused caramels since 2009, other producers have joined in. Chicago’s Vosges Haut-Chocolat, known for its bacon and chocolate bars, also had a Smoke & Stout Caramel Bar on exhibit, featuring Rogue Chocolate Stout beer and alderwood-smoked salt with burnt sugar caramel and 70 percent cacao dark chocolate.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club in Los Altos Hills, which welcomes both new and experienced beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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