Sunday, February 28, 2010

leftover thoughts

leftover veggies are a common site in my kitchen and fridge. throughout the fall and winter, i will roast a batch of veggies and/or braise a bunch of greens with the express purpose of having them available for me to add to soups, a stir fry, pastas, rice, etc. throughout the week. this allows me to put together simple yet tasty meals quite quickly. also, living in the bay area allows me access to a seemingly endless amount of wonderful locally grown produce....which would, of course, not be available if i lived in new york....or london.

pros vs cons people. pros vs cons.

i was definitely thinking about this as i was roasting some brussels sprouts about 11pm last night (extra virgin kalamata olive oil, ca-grown brussels sprouts, sea salt, heavy on the cayenne, and a lot of black pepper) and watching an early episode of "no reservations". i think it was the second season...where anthony bourdain goes to venice and he's on this island that grows food for venice and is eating a tomato that has been picked about 10 minutes before. also in that episode, he mentioned how he really wasn't a fruit and veggie guy. this makes complete sense to me as he is a new yorker.

i know that i'm a big fruit a veggie gal because i grew up in the bay area and have always been in environments where it was a given that i would eat fresh produce on an ongoing basis....even when i was in siginifantly poorer environments than i am now. for my mother, it didn't matter how much money we did or did not have, it was a given that there would be piles and piles of veggies...often purchased from chinatown or asian markets buried within little saigon or an equivalent. she rarely purchased produce from american grocery stores. now that i am older, i realize how this was probably not an easy thing to do given the lack of easy access to fresh produce in lower income neighborhoods...even in the bay area.

i can imagine that these challenges are expounded for those living in new york. not everyone can afford to go do dean and deluca or balducci's....and even some of the corner grocers' produce (which has improved dramatically during my random visits to new york over the past 10 years or so) cannot compete with the likes of what i have access to within 2-5 blocks of my place in berkeley. yes, i make good money. i live in a good area of berkeley. it isn't the most chic-chic but it is a FAR cry away from living in the 'loin. yes, i am lucky and spoiled. i realize this. i'm evaluating what kind of life i can have given my current income level in new york and london...and what that would mean for the food i eat. this is not a small insignificant issue given how important food is to me.

i was still thinking about all of this after sleeping in and deciding to make myself an early lunch with the brussels sprouts i roasted last night. i love using strong spicy flavors with brussels sprouts...

"hmmm, what should i have for lunch?" i asked myself after taking out the leftover roasted brussels sprouts. after a moment or two of quiet contemplation of what else was in my fridge and pantry, i decided that i would reheat about half of the brussels sprouts, add some ricotta salata, and roasted pinenuts.

talk about simple, easy, and delicious. hmmmmm.

first, i heated up a pan to roast the pinenuts, then put half of the brussels sprouts in the microwave, then grabbed a wedge of ricotta salata, and then picked up the bag of pinenuts....

and sprinkled some of them into the hot pan.....twirling them around in the hot pan for a few moments and then turned the heat off...but left them in the pan...shaking them around in between my fluttering around my kitchen and shredding a bit of the ricotta salata on top of the sprouts.

then finally, i added about half the nuts i roasted and put the rest of the nuts with the unused sprouts that will likely have with dinner tonight or lunch tomorrow.


isn't that beautiful?

yup, i'm definitely a fruit and veggie gal.....that also loves her eggs, pork, and duck. i think eggs, pork, and duck are the reasons why i am not vegetarian. hmmmm. i suppose that makes me an omnivore...rather than a "fruit and veggie" gal.

soooo, do i know what i am going to do about the new york vs london thing? nope. still don't know. this is quite a new thing for me, to process and share with everyone (particularly via the interwebs) as i am processing. typically, folks find out after i've made a decision. yet, will i be living and working in new york for a month this year? yup, this is something i am pretty certain about. i think this is something i need to see if i could really live there. most of my loved ones....when they first heard about my plan to "try out" new york....they were, like, "i'm surprised that it took this long."

as for london, i am going to wait until after the office opens before i make any further decisions about that one....and lets not forget....i could just stay in the bay area and still go off and live somewhere else for a month....every six months or so...that wouldn't be a bad option either.

the other night the best friend was totally laughing at me, saying that i am the "queen of contingencies" at the moment.

this is true.

it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. for the past couple of years, my life has gone in directions that i would have never been able to predict a few years ago....and i rather like it. i have no idea what will be around the bend......and that is ok. it is kind of like what i have done with the veggies....i'm putting certain things into action that can impact me over a period of time....but am also trying to have enough flexibility to figure out how to make it all work for me on an everyday level.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

independent loves

i don't know what to say.

sometimes, if i am silent, it does not mean that i do not love you. it means, i do not know what to say. i may be standing aside, watching intently....listening intently.....perhaps nudging...every so softly....waiting for something that will give me a hint about what i should say or what i should do.

it is a challenge trying to understand how to support loved ones. even as i wrote the word "challenge"...i think it is the wrong word...because that has connotations that hint at the negative....and that isn't the case at all. a loved one once wrote to me (in chiding tones) that i spend too much time caring for my loved ones and not enough for myself. there is some irony given who wrote this to me, but that is another story for another time. my response to him was that this is a part of who i am and it is a conscious choice that i have made for my life.

i know what i am doing.

i want those that i love to know without any doubt that i love them. it doesn't matter how often we see each other. i am very confident that each person i love knows that i love them. i spend a lot of time thinking about this and ensuring that my actions show this. i do not see this as "work" or anything close to negative. this is just as much a part of my life and who i am, if not even more so, as my passions for writing, cooking, and taking pictures.

it is a delicate thing.....understanding how to support loved ones...particularly those that i love.
each one is different. each one has different needs and desires depending on the situation. each one may or may not be in the space to accept being supported. each one may require me to wait, patiently (sometimes for quite a while actually), until they are ready to be supported. yet, there is something that all of my loved ones have in common and that is each and every one of them have this extremely strong independent streak.

actually, this is a bit of an understatement.

yes, i know. pot. kettle. black.


the thing is with us independent has to tread very carefully when trying to support us. we don't want to rely on anyone. we don't want to seem dependent. we don't want to, gad forbid, be NEEDY... or worse... WHINEY. we don't want to be burden. we don't want to admit that we would like support because that would imply that we couldn't "handle it" and "we always can handle it...on our own."


the totally ironic thing about this is...when someone we love needs us, we don't even think about it. it just happens and it is never a burden....the thought or word "burden" never gets within a million miles of our hearts and minds.

yet, when we are in a tough spot, oh boy. people that love us slowly circle us....peering at us.....gently trying to poke at us....trying to figure out what to do, what to say, and how to support us in the way that we need to be supported....but may not be able to actually verbalize that we need to be supported. sometimes we do things like the stoic warrior know...shut off the world....hide out from everyone...and suffer by ourselves...because gad forbid that we be vulnerable...or let anyone see that we have any weaknesses.... weaknesses that we know, deep down....that people see anyway. or sometimes we throw things out there and then retreat back....hoping that those that love us will see the gesture and it will be enough a hint for them to pick up on.....but not really expecting them to.


see what i mean about treading very carefully with us independent types?

i see you and you see me.

i may stumble a bit while i figure things out. yet, i'll be there. for always.

Friday, February 26, 2010

a writer?

"are you a writer?"



that is a loaded question.

it was a question i've been thinking about quite a bit recently. the other evening i attended a loved one's staged reading of their farce. i was so proud of them. i loved hearing the pacing of the language, the humor, and could imagine the physicality of the piece as well. it is a major accomplishment. after the reading, a group of us went to a nearby watering hole to grab some beverages and discuss the piece. it was then that someone turned to me and asked "are you a writer?"


i understand why this person asked me this question. the loved one who wrote the farce piece is a writer and an artist. also, the majority of the audience of the staged reading consisted of people involved with the theatre so the question made sense. yet, my instant response?

"no, i am not."

are you surprised dear reader?

the next day, i decided to process and write a bit more about this in my journal while i was on the train (see top image).... and then as i arrived early at the homestead for my hanging out session with SN,

i grabbed a table at this casual neighborhood mission bar (we planned to making our way to the pi bar later for dinner), sipped on my beer, thought about, and wrote more in my journal about why i said i wasn't a writer.

i write. i cook. i take pictures.

yet, i do not see myself as a writer, a chef, or a photographer.

yet, if something happened to me and i was unable to write, to cook, or take pictures....then i would be devastated. i would feel like there were pieces of me missing. i know that i will continue to do these things for the rest of my life...with or without an audience.

i write with no expectation that i will be read. i write for me. i write because i have to write and because i have always written....even when my audience was an audience of "1". am i absolutely tickled that people actually read me? you bet. i still scratch my head a bit sometimes....wondering why i see more people (who i don't know personally) keep returning to the blog when they can just look at my pics on flickr....but i am still tickled.

i cook because i love it. i love the creativity, the nourishment, the sensual aspects of cooking....i love cooking for myself and i love cooking for loved ones. i am a sensual and an emotional cook. when i cook for people (me included), i cook for who they are and their tastes....and when they take a bite....or have a taste....i want them to feel comforted, nourished, happy, taken care of, and loved. i do not cook for people i don't like. i am an asshole like that....which is why i will never be a chef and will always be a home cook....because if i invite you to my table and i cook for means that i love you...and everybody knows that i don't love everybody. i highly doubt that my non-inclusive and curmudgeonly ways are going to change any time soon.

as for pictures....i started taking pictures a couple of years ago to remind myself to live in the moment. the foodie hunter's strategic analytical left-brain driven self definitely leans toward the tendency to think about the future a bit too much and...i end up missing the moment. one of the objectives i gave myself a couple of years ago was needing to be more present in the moment...and taking pictures has enabled me to do this and more. i discovered that i love building a story with images....i love being able to capture a moment and an emotion....and is selfish. i take pictures for me. do i do little dances around my place when i get emails asking to use my pics for sites like pellegrino or when people tell me that they like the pics....and/or feel the emotion i am trying to capture? oh yeah. yet, my main motivation now is that i have....this take pics. i say "almost need" because it isn't as strong as my very prominent need to write and to cook.

yet these actions are selfishly motivated....i do this for me...and for a very small group of loved ones. i do these things that because i get so much out of it.....and while i am glad that people can relate to my random thoughts, pics, and snippets.....i wouldn't do it if i didn't love it so. yet, i do realize there is an oddness associated with my not identifying myself as a writer. i spend a lot of time writing for work, writing for this blog, and writing in my journal.

maybe one day i will identify myself as a writer and photographer. i think the main reason why i don't identify myself as a writer....or a because i have a long way to go....perhaps decades learning the craft of writing and photography before i will ever consider adding those words into my identity.

yet i do love to cook, to write, and take pictures.

they are integral parts of who i am today and who i will be in the future.

these are my passions.

street food at the thurs farmers market

yesterday afternoon i had a doctor's appointment in the city so i hopped off of BART at embarcadero and dropped into the thursday farmers market at the ferry building to grab a couple of quick eats from a couple of the stands. i pretty much knew what two stands i wanted to visit and it was also incredibly convenient that the stands are nestled between each other. what stands you ask? the stands i am referring to are namu....

and 4505 meats...

whenever i am near the ferry building in the city on thursday afternoons, i try to make a concerted effort to hit up 4505 meats because i love their dogs/sausages and not to mention their decadently wonderful chicharrones. once one tries chicarrones from 4505 meats....i very much doubt that you will eat mass produced ones ever again. i always pick up a bag or two for loved ones to try. admittedly, i am a bit like a virus.... when i like something....not only do i buy them for me...i end up buying them for loved ones to try. often, i kept telling myself that i should try the namu stand, especially since a group of us will be paying a dinner visit to the namu restuarant in the near future....but i would get distracted and get a dog "zilla style" or totally stuff myself on offerings from 4505 meats.

yesterday, i decided to be a bit more strategic in my approach to the thurs farmers market street food treats. i went to namu FIRST ....

and ordered 1 korean taco.

this took a great deal of restraint as there were many other things at the namu stand that i wanted to try. then, after gobbling down the korean taco, i hit up 4505 meats and ordered the fried mac and cheese...

which i have had before and already knew that i adore....hello, i mean...this is mac and cheese... could this not be good (especially coming from 4505 meats).

hello hot crispy gooey cheesey stuff....

hmmmm. doncha just love food porn?

i love food porn. i love taking pics of food porn and looking at food porn.

well, i hope you enjoyed that as much as i did.

until later.


thursdays farmers market 10-2pm, ferry plaza farmers market, one ferry building, san francisco, ca 94114,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

meatpaper east meats west rabbit dinner

last week when i received the tweet from meatpaper about their upcoming east meats west rabbit dinner, i immediately contacted the best friend to see if she would be down for going. i had already made plans for monday...but i decided to change them on the spot.

i mean, check out this menu.....

Rabbit Charcuterie
- rabbit sausage; rabbit en gelee; smoked rabbit loin; toast, pickles and mustard

Shaved Celeriac Salad
- toasted masa organics almonds

Andante Pecorino Dungeness Crab Salad - baby nagoya and white peacock kale; watermelon radishes; chopped soul food farm egg; buttermilk dressing

Breakfast for Dinner
- fried tartine brioche; sautéed rabbit livers; “hollandaise sauce”

Rabbit Legs Various Ways
- hind leg al mattone; crispy fried fore leg; sweetbread country gravy; little city greens; twice baked parsnips

Secret Desserts
from Liz Prueitt of Tartine and Stacie Pierce of Chez Panisse

when monday (aka yesterday) came around, i was pretty excited. in fact, i'm pretty certain that everyone i passed or was around that day could tell that i was excited. i loved the sign that that they put up in front of bar tartine....isn't that a riot? on one side is a regular rabbit and on the other side is the skeleton. (see top images). i had a good laugh at the sign. a couple of random people also attending the event struck up conversations with they seemed very excited too. we were all excited together! one lady actually attended the first dinner in brooklyn and was looking forward to this one....and another lady had heard about the event through tablehopper and was there for an anniversary dinner with her husband. i notice that random folks talk to me a lot more when i am at these food-oriented events. when i made a comment about this to the best friend, her response was along the lines of how i look a lot more approachable when i am excited as people can tell that i am excited.

hmmm. this is good to know.

anyway, we had a lovely time. the food was absolutely delicious and the service was excellent. things that were added to the menu were oysters from virgina....

and a rabbit and duck pate to the charcuterie offering....

which turned out to be one of my favorite tastes of the evening. my other favorite taste was the crab salad. yum yum. also, in case you are curious, the dessert was a moscato d'asti granita with candied carrot curls well as a floating island (meringue) with citrus and vanilla bean creme anglaise. i had never had the floating island dessert before....and after having it at the event...i realized why it is such an iconic dessert.

the meal also came with a wonderful olive bread.... a cocktail and wine pairings...and the staff didn't even blink an eye when i asked for just red wine pairings for me and for an extra set of meatpaper and diner journal publications.

overall, the experience definitely lived up to my excited expectations....i had an absolutely wonderful time.

UPDATE: to see some truly lovely pics of the dinner, please visit:

no balls mike. no balls.

well, sometimes unexpected things happen.

yesterday, before i attended the meatpaper east meats west rabbit dinner at bar tartine,
i dropped off some of my tax paperwork at my accountant in north beach. i hardly visit north beach, especially since i don't work near there anymore. yet, i took an opportunity to have a quick cappuccino at cafe roma before heading to the mission for the dinner. little did i realize that after i finished my cap and right before i arrived at bar tartine, i would be seeing someone that B grew up with. i haven't seen B since ...hmmm.... october 8th 2007? or was it the 7th? oddly enough, i actually had to google "columbus day" and "2007" to come up with the date. well, regardless, the last time i saw B was when he came back from a recent surfing trip in oct 2007, dropped his bomb, and then i left our home that night after 7 years together.

part of me is surprised that it hasn't already happened. i mean, san francisco is a small world in many ways. yet, i don't hang w/the surfing (um...actually 1.5 hours surfing 3+ hours drinking), skating (they are actually pretty good at this), indie pop band (unsuccessful and will likely remain so...because...practice? what's that?), and wanna-be aging hipster crowd....which is the crowd that B hung out with the last time i saw him.

as for food, well, there isn't any cross over....B's pouted when we were in paris for our honeymoon when he couldn't find an "american" breakfast AND he actually went into the starbucks on the st. germain. i remember thinking...and i can say this now with utter impunity..."is it too late for me to get an annulment?"

for all of the young folks that read my blog (which i am still surprised with btw)...please please please travel internationally with someone before you decide to get serious with them. it reveals an awful lot. please learn from my mistake.

anyway, lets just say that B and the crowd he hung with wasn't into i does make sense that i hadn't run into any of them until now. i didn't even run into mike (yes, i am going to name him) at bar tartine, i ran into him as he was smoking outside the casanova....which is a regular haunt of B's. when i saw mike, i thought..."is that mike? i guess it is." i know that i am going to be well within eye-balling distance since he is outside and there is all of this construction going on on valencia....and bar tartine is just up the road. the sidewalk is not very wide. so as i am about 2 feet before i pass mike, i say "hi mike", you a grown up....and not taking a pause in my gait....and guess what mike does? he acts like he doesn't hear me...looks up at the sky.

well well well.


just fascinating.

surprisingly enough, i wasn't mad. although...i have a feeling that many of you dear hearts....that know me...and know all of the details about B and I, are probably fuming at the moment...but please understand that i see mike for who he is. he just doesn't have any balls. mike has always hid from life, so i shouldn't be that surprised that he "hid" from plain sight. these are the kind of people that B decided to surround himself with ....which i was, admittedly, very unimpressed with.

if B had hung out with them on a regular basis before B and i started dating....well...we actually never would have started dating. this is how much B changed over the course of our relationship. i know that i wasn't the only one that wasn't thrilled with this group of directionless guys who sought to numb out their lives with various substances everyday to the point of barely remembering who they were or where they were the next morning....still reeking of alchohol, stale cigs, and other things. one of them was actually KICKED OUT of zeitgeist. hmmm, actually, he may now be banned...i wouldn't be surprised.

i know that i wasn't the only one that was unimpressed at the time.

one of B's best friends, the chef (who unfortunately for B doesn't live in san francisco anymore and hasn't for some time...if he still did, i wonder if B would have "fallen" into that crowd), didn't want anything to do with them either.....and caused quite a ruckus among them when the chef didn't invite any of them to his lovely wedding....despite the fact that they all grew up in the same neighborhood. yeah, i do miss the chef.....and B's mother. these two people, as i have mentioned before, are the only two people from that life that i miss. unfortunately, these two people are not in the "sharing" post-break up category.

this experience also made me realize how i have increasingly less and less tolerance for those that don't have any balls....whether physically or metaphorically. naturally, this led me to think about the people that i choose to be around and how all of them are these super intense driven people that seek to "be the change they wish to see in the world." they are all different....yes.....but at the core, they do not hide from life....they know who they are....they strive to be good people.....and these are just a few of the reasons why i love, respect, and admire them so.

life is just too short to be hanging out with pansies.

Monday, February 22, 2010

mushroom hunt pics on flickr...

hi there.

just wanted to let you know that there was ZERO cell phone service and internet service during the mushroom hunt weekend. it felt incredibly odd. yet, i did post a set of pics from the weekend on flickr if you are interested....

i'll probably blog more about it later.


foodie hunter

Thursday, February 18, 2010

gathering provisions

the week is almost to an end and i can't wait!

i am very excited as there is a group of us that are heading to still water cove this weekend to do some mushroom hunting, make food, eat food, drink wine, and hang out. this is...hmmmm.....i'd say the fourth event that we have done thus far. the first being a rather large dinner in september, the porchetta event, and a dinner at contigo (which i didn't blog about but had a lovely time). each of us contributes different components to the gathering and my part includes bringing coffee (ahem, blue bottle of course), sweet and savory snacks (i've been gathering snacks from different locations all week), and wine. today, i made the trek over to paul marcus wines in rockridge to gather the wine.

i do love the selection at paul marcus and purchased a selection of italian reds that i hope will be very appropriate for the crowd and activities we have planned for the weekend.

did i mention how i can't wait? sigh.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

the foodie hunter gets political

tonight i went to an event "Same Sex Marriage: State vs. Fed" put on by inforum, a division of the commonwealth club. there were two people providing arguments against same sex marriage and two people providing arguments for same-sex marriage.

before i go into my random thoughts about the event and my subsequent reaction afterwards, i think i should be very forthright about my position and who i am.

  • i was born in san francisco, spent my early years in the 'loin, then spent quite a few years living in south bay in a very conservative household headed up by one person from texas and the other decidedly not from texas....but very catholic, and i went to berkeley for university.
  • i am a straight american female. i married and divorced a white male who is able to trace his ancestry back to the american revolution. i cannot trace my ancestry back to the american revolution. there was a time in american history where our marriage would have been illegal due to our differing ethnicities.
  • my family is not the nuclear family. my family consists of a very select group of loved ones that i have no biological ties to and who i will know until it is my time to pass on. they know that i love them and i know that they love me. there is no doubt.
  • i am for same-sex marriage. i have always been for same-sex marriage.
  • while i was in hong kong for the election, i registered to vote by mail....not because i wanted to ensure that my vote for president would make it in.....from my perspective it was a given who would win california.....but rather because i wanted to vote against prop 8.
so now that you know where i stand, i can provide my very candid thoughts about the event. i decided to attend the event because i wanted to hear the arguments against same sex marriage. i do not own a tv and given my ongoing source of news and outlets i choose to expose myself to, i am not in the demographic that would have seen any of the campaigns against same-sex marriage. i was hoping that given the venue, i would hear arguments against same sex marriage that were not religious based....not because i sought to change my position on same sex marriage....but because i wanted to understand why, from their perspective, why people were against an effort to understand.

to be able to listen to discourse on an incredibly emotionally charged topic where everyone is provided the opportunity to state their arguments and there are no fears of imprisonment, assassination, death, etc..... is an amazing right that we americans have. i felt this quite keenly as i listed to the various arguments.

as i rode home on BART, i tried to not cry on BART ...and was semi-successful. i wrote down these words in my journal (see top pic) once i reached a local place to grab a burger.

yes, i went to the non-sustainable place again. i was really in no mood to think about eating local, sustainable, etc. i just wanted to eat a big burger cooked over a flame in a very low-key surroundings within a couple of blocks of my place. if there was a sustainable place that fit my requirements for this evening, then i would have gone there. but there isn't.

anyway, as i was munching through my burger and not reading my comic book....i was thinking about how i really had no idea that some of the arguments used against same-sex marriage were based on a premise that same-sex couples should not be parents. i also had no idea that arguments also included wanting to protect young children from sexuality-oriented discussions or the idea of same-sex couples. there was also an argument that being gay is not an immutable state but that gay sexuality is a fluid state including a choice. if the courts decide that being gay is immutable than that will impact gay rights substantially.

as i was sitting there, listening, and thinking "wow".

my thoughts are

1) being straight and/or a biological parent does not give you a leg up on anyone else about being a good parent. look at all of the "my-mom-and-or-dad-fucked-up-my-life" stories out there. there are a lot. there are people in this world that are good parents. there are people in this world that are shitty parents. from my perspective, being straight, gay, the bio parent/donor, or an adoptive parent, etc. does not mean that you will automatically be a good parent or not.

2) i don't think that conversations with young children have to be about sex. from my perspective, it is just "here are two people that are in love and decided to get married." why does the conversation have to be about sex?

3) if being gay is not immutable and sexuality is seen as "fluid", could we not argue that sexuality is fluid for everyone? this would mean that being straight is not immutable. from my perspective, i think there is a core set of the population that is gay, born that way, and know that they are gay immediately. i also think there is a segment of the population that has stronger inclinations toward being gay, another segment that has stronger inclinations toward being straight, and a segment that is born straight. however, if the law is going to assume that sexual categories must be one or another, then i would argue that if the books indicate that being straight is immutable than the books should also indicate that being gay is immutable. while "two wrongs don't make a right", i think that there should be consistency in the treatment of perception of sexuality, especially if it pertains to being used to impact rights of a group of adults that are being classified by whom they decide to have sex with.

4) i do not see what is "wrong" with being gay. i do not see what is "wrong" with being straight.

yet, why did i cry on BART? because the event made me realize that there are people who really believe things such as marriage being a sole channel for reproduction and being a biological parent somehow makes you a better candidate for parenthood.....and they are true believers. also, instead of acknowledging that many of the arguments stem from an emotional attachment to an idealized vision of marriage and parenthood (which i get less defensive that is an acknowledgment of where they are at emotionally)....instead seek to say that gay people shouldn't be parents...which is to i have stated earlier in this just so wrong on so many levels....and it makes me so sad. there i was...the super duper analytical foodie hunter....crying at the injustice of it....and the amount of pain i could feel that these arguments inflicted upon many people in the audience. yet, attending the event also made me admire folks such as molly mckay for having such passionate articulate grace when confronting these sort of arguments on an ongoing basis. she has become one of my heroes. maybe i can be like her when i grow up.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

spoil me wickedly

i used to eat quite a bit of ice cream.

this makes sense as it is probably my favorite type of dessert....and this is no small thing considering i have a rather massive sweet tooth. yet, ever since i have obtained access to some lovely artisan ice cream from the likes of ici ice cream (in the ice cream sandwiches and anything they do with creme fraiche), bi-rite creamery (in sf...hello...salted caramel...the best...ever), and of course, the much beloved humphry slocombe (many faves but just a bottle vietnamese coffee, secret breakfast, balsamic caramel, sf), i eat ice cream less. i no longer buy it from the grocery many of these ice creams pale in comparison. this wasn't something that i've done consciously. it was something that has just happened over the past year and it really hit home when i passed on ordering an in-house made ice cream for dessert at a local well-known restaurant.

i don't see this as snobbish behavior...i see this as having been completely spoiled by knowing just how good and amazing ice cream can be and would rather have the amazing taste less often, then have the good/ok taste more often. now that i think about it a bit more, this is much like how i wouldn't eat a macaron for over a YEAR after i had them at pierre hermes in paris. i suppose i didn't want the grocery store bought ice creams to remove my food memories of the delectable delicious creaminess from the ici, bi-rite, and humphry slocombe goodies.

of the three, i must admit that my top fave is humphry slocombe...which is likely to surprise no one who knows me or reads my blog. this past weekend, i had the opportunity to try the chocolate smoked sea salt flavor .....

which was so delectable in its sweet savory creaminess that both my companion and i had many quiet moments sitting at one of their outside tables.....just wanting to relish and savor each spoonful.

it was lovely.

every time i eat their ice cream i feel incredibly spoiled in a wickedly wonderful way.....and speaking of being spoiled in a wickedly wonderful way....i also bought myself a couple of the duck fat pecan pies. i do love these pies....for more thoughts about them, please visit an earlier post i wrote.

i'm eating one right now which is why i have humphry slocombe on the brain. wickedly delicious. sigh.

ici ice cream, 2948 college avenue, berkeley, ca 94705, phone +1 510 665 6054,

bi-rite creamery, 3692 18th street (@ dolores), san francisco, ca, 94110,

humphry slocombe, 2790 harrison street, san francisco, ca 94080, +1 (415) 550-6971, cash only,|_Home_|.html

Monday, February 15, 2010

leftovers for the hermit

today i was a hermit.

i decided to stay inside, despite it being a lovely day outside. i wasn't in the mood to be social. i suppose i may have been a teeny bit cranky by having a meeting that started at 6am this morning...which meant ensuring that i was awake and that all synapses were firing well before 6am. i doubt that i will ever be a morning person.

i wasn't even in the mood to cook today and it was quite convenient to have leftovers from the weekend. i've been wanting to try and seek out some sichuan food....and thought that i may be able to find some if i made a side trip to flushing in march...but then i mentally slapped myself and thought, WTF, why haven't i tried to find some in san franciso for gawd's sake?

after a bit of research, a decision was made to pay a vist to Z&Y on jackson off of kearny in the city. the meal of the day consisted of a cold beef tendon dish.....

which was an absolute fave......and still pretty yummy as leftovers.....

there was also a chicken dish....i think it was called chicken with explosive chili or something like that....which is an absolute visual experience....

most of it is dried chilies and really isn't as spicy as it looks. the leftover version i had today was decidedly less visually impressive....

but still pretty tasty. fortunately, i also have some leftover tan-tan noodles in my fridge as well.

i haven't had a lot of sichuan food so i don't have a strong basis for comparison, but i know what i like....and this made me a heck of a lot more curious about other sichuan dishes. i like the complex flavors perhaps one day i'll be able to mimic that underlying aroma and taste of the sichuan pepper that seems perfectly aligned with the chilies.

z&y restaurant, 655 Jackson Street, san francisco, ca 94133,