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About Us

Welcome to the Brookston family blog. We'll post updates here on what's going on in our part of the world, and especially with our son, Porter, who has been diagnosed with some form of autism. Our hope is that this blog will help us deal with all the issues we'll be facing and keep our friends and family informed as well.

Jay B.

Sarah J.

Porter Brookston
born September 10, 2001

Alice Brookston
born July 7, 2004

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January 25, 2007

Dinner with the Gibbons Family

Categories: Photos, Friends, Trips, Food — J @ 5:09 pm

On Thursday after the tour of Fuller’s Brewery, I left the group and headed out to Lewisham, near Greenwich, to have dinner with my friends Keith, Alex and the girls. It had been a few years since I lst saw them and I was looking very forward to getting together with them at their home.

Casa Gibbons in Lewisham, London.

Alex, Ailsa and Tabitha.

Keith cooked us a yummy carribean dish with plantains.

The Gibbons family on the sofa. This is what happens if you tell everyone to say “broccoli.”

Whereas, “cheese” gets you a different response.

• • •

January 16, 2007

Pasta Night in Novato

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, J, Food — J @ 3:05 pm

With white carpet in the new house, we decided it was best to enjoy our first meal of pasta at the island in the kitchen.

Alice and Porter enjoying their spaghetti.

With music in the background, I kept encouraging Alice to dance.

Finally succeeding.

She busted her moves right there on the bar stool.

• • •

December 8, 2006

Anchor Christmas Party 2006

Categories: Events, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends, Beer, Food — J @ 1:08 pm

Last night Anchor Brewery held their annual invitation only Christmas party. As usual, it was a great time with good friends, good food and, of course, great beer. While the potato wedges were the most welcome addition to the evening’s food, the best combination was an all-meat chili made with Anchor Steam beer to which I added crumbled Maytag Blue Cheese and paired with Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale.

The leading lights at Anchor: Fritz Maytag, John Dannerbeck and Mark Carpenter.

Guests at Anchor’s annual Christmas party.

A self-portrait with my good friend Bruce Joseph, who does the distilling at Anchor Distilling.

Former Publican Judy Ashworth and Christian Kazakoff, head brewer from Triple Rock.

Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf and beer writer Angie Wagner.

Staff and writers of the Celebrator Beer News.

The beautiful, supportive and tolerant Sarah and me.

The lovely Jen Garris looking even more lovely than usual.

The gleaming copper kettles.

Caught enjoying the yummy frittes.

R.J. Trent, former brewer, who just opened the newest BevMo on Van Ness Boulevard and Jeremy Cowan of He’Brew, whose newest beers lately have been wonderful, especially the 10 Monumental Jewbelation and Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. (a rye-based Imperial IPA).

• • •

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Categories: Events, Photos, Porter, Alice, Friends, Movies, Food — J @ 12:09 pm

Happy Thanksgiving from the Brookston family. It’s been a while since my last post, but one of these days I’ll catch up. In the emantime, enjoy some photos and a movie from the kids’ Montessori Thanksgiving feast that took place on Wednesday.

The kids, all dressed up for Thankgiving.

The Montessori Thanksgiving table set out for all of the kids.

The kids sang a little song of Thanksgiving.

Porter and a friend chow down.

Alice in her white dress at the table.

• • •

September 26, 2006

Chiles and Beer

Categories: Friends, Beer, Food — J @ 5:53 pm

The night before leaving for GABF, there was one more beer dinner to attend. The Millennium Restaurant, a vegetarian eatery located in the Hotel California (f.k.a. the Savoy), put on their 3rd annual Chile and Beer Dinner with beers from Russian River Brewing and Nodding Head Brewery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

One of the desserts, a pineapple-Serrano cake with chocolate frosting, coconut-lime anglaise and chile ice cream.

A glass of Monk’s Flemish Sour contrasted by Nodding Head’s Ich Bin Ein Berliner Weisse with Woodruff syrup.

Tom Peters, Nodding Head co-owner and brewer Curt Decker, Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo, from Russian River Brewing.

• • •

September 25, 2006

Sea Ranch Pancakes

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Family, Food — J @ 9:27 am

Even though we’d had pancakes Sunday morning, Porter woke Monday wanting to make some more pancakes.

Pouring the water in to make the batter.

Whipping up the batter.

Damn, that would have been a cute photo.

Much to my astonishment, Porter even set the table!

Though Alice tried to undo his efforts.

• • •

September 21, 2006

Banana Face

Categories: Photos, Porter, Food — J @ 1:47 pm

Despite the fact that I told Porter we already had bananas at home, he was unrelenting in insisting that we need more bananas during a trip the grocery store.

This is my banana face.

• • •

September 3, 2006


Categories: Photos, Porter, J, Food — J @ 11:22 am

The other weekend morning, Porter decided he wanted to make pancakes. So we mixed up a batch. He’s getting really good with a whisk. He didn’t spill a bit this time.

Porter whips up a batch of pamcakes.

Trying a sample of his work.

Solo stirring.

Impatiently waiting for the pan to heat up.

The first pancakes on the griddle.

• • •

August 22, 2006

Jelly on the Left

Categories: Humor, Porter, Food — J @ 11:39 am

Porter has been a big fan of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as long as he was on solid foods. It was one of his first favorites and remains popular today. But there have been a few minor changes over the years. Sometimes he liked his sandwiches cut, sometimes not at all. There was a toast vs. cold bread phase. His new one is even curiouser. He now prefers half-sandwiches that are folded rather than cut, which he calls rather simply, “fold sandwiches” as in “I want a fold sandwich.” But apparently even more important is which side the jelly goes on and which side the peanut butter goes on. It’s jelly on the left and peanut butter on the right. Do it wrong and he won’t eat it. Weird. Before I was aware of this, I tried turning the piece of bread around 180° so that the two had switched places, but he wasn’t buying that. So now I know, and so do you, it’s jelly on the left.

The proper placement of jelly on a PB&J.

A properly prepared sandwich ready to be folded.

One down, one to go.

• • •

August 20, 2006

Stumptown Beer & BBQ

Categories: Photos, Alice, Friends, Beer, Food — J @ 10:37 am

Saturday we all went to the Russian River Beer Revival & BBQ Cook-Off in Guerneville, California. It was held at Stumptown Brewery at a perfect location right along the river. I’m doing a story about the festival and the brewery for the next issue of the Celebrator Beer News, but in the meantime here are some photos from the event.

Stumptown Brewery on River Road in Guerneville.

The festival booths making barbecue and pouring beers was right along the Russian River.

Vinnie Cilurzo pouring a big bottle of Damnation.

Vinnie and Natalie.

Carla and Peter Hackett. co-owners of Stumptown Brewery, along with Natalie Cilurzo, the brains behind the success of Russian River Brewing.

Some people paddled their canoes to the festival.

Natalie snuggles with my daughter Alice.

The food and beer was great, with booths of fruits and vegetables along with all the barbecue. Throughout the day, several bands entertained the crowd, many of whom took to dancing.

• • •

July 29, 2006


Categories: Humor, Friends, Food — J @ 2:51 pm

Okay, this isn’t really funny per se, but it didn’t fit into any other categories, either. A friend of mine, Jim Parker, left his position with both the Brewers Association and the Oregon Brewers Guild to open his own pub in Portland, called the Oaks Bottom Public House. They have a lot of great beers on tap, which was no surprise. The food menu was great, too, and had one particular dish that really stood out: Totchos.

Totchos are essentially nachos loaded with all sorts of goodies like tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa, chicken, olives, peppers — frankly I could have done without the pepers, but that’s just me — and a few other ingredients. But instead of using nacho chips as the base, they use tater tots! Now prhaps that doesn’t sound too appetizing, but it really is deliciously yummy. It seems so obvious that I’m quite surprised nobody ever thought of it before. Of course, I never thought of either.

Oaks Bottom’s famous Totchos.

• • •

July 14, 2006

Cake Grazing

Categories: Photos, Humor, Alice, Food — J @ 9:12 am

On Thursday after I came down from taking my shower, both Porter and Alice had mysterious bits of a white substance all over their faces but concentrated around their mouths. When I asked Porter what it was he replied. “Cake!” “Cake?” I said. “Where did you get cake?” “In the kitchen.” came the reply. “How did you eat it?” Porter then demonstrated his method by showing me how he scooped up the cake icing with his finger and licked it clean. But I was unprepared for just how much cake the two of them had eaten when I lifted the lid to reveal the damage they’d done to it. Sheesh, they’ll be on a sugar high for days.

Alice with the tell-tale white cake signs smusched around her mouth. Porter wiped his off before I could take his picture.

And here’s what the cake looked like. Before I went upstairs the cake had a full top of icing. It was smooth. That’s a lot of missing icing.

When I returned from putting Porter on the school bus, I discovered Alice had gone back for more. I caught her in the act. Is that a sugar crazed face, or what?

• • •

July 13, 2006

The Reception, Part 2

Categories: Events, History, Photos, J, Sarah, Food — J @ 3:00 pm

When we were first shopping for places to have our reception, we visited the Tied House, not expecting they could accommodate us. We told them we wanted to start and 6:00 p.m. and asked what time we’d need to end the reception. When they replied, “well … we close at 2:00 a.m.” we knew we’d found our place. And indeed our reception lasted eight full hours. It was and still is the largest bar bill I’ve ever paid. But it was very memorable and everybody had a great time. Someday, we should do it again.

Sheldon with his groupies Suzanne,

Christi plays “see food.”

Sheldon: “No pictures, please,” with Chris and Michelle.

Chris, Mike S. and John Smith.

Not to be outdone, Kara wins the “see food” game.

But eventually it was time to go and bid adieu to our remaining guests. Thanks for being a part of our wedding.

• • •

June 30, 2006

Costco Pizza

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Food — J @ 3:07 pm

The other day at Costco we tried out a new feature they’ve instituted where you order your food in line and pay for it there and just present it at the food counter thereby saving you time at the window. It did seem to work and we got Porter’s pizza much more quickly which is great since he’s generally very impatient.

Porter happily devouring his pizza at Costco.

Alice, on the other hand, has developed a taste for their berry smoothies.

• • •

June 21, 2006

Father’s Day Snacking

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Family, Food — J @ 7:59 am

After our swim on Saturday and before the barbecue we sat in Tuck and Debbie’s backyard and snacked and drank and talked. Alice developed a particular fondness for dipping her chips in guacamole.

Alice tries to get rid of her carrots without actualy eating them while Porter couldn’t wait to give Grandpa his Father’s Day gift from Margaret.

Alice leans in for a scoop of guacamole.

Then licked off the dip.

Going down for a chomp.

Psych. Teasing the chips in its remaining seconds of life.

Porter making a face in the sun.

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