Saturday, February 26, 2011

passion

i'm taking a quiet moment before i head over to a loved one's place and then we'll be going to canteen for dinner. i'm looking forward to the evening quite a bit. at the moment, i'm having a snack.....a decadent one at that. my snack is a duck fat pecan pie from humphry slocombe....and to make it even more decadent, i added a large dollop of creme fraiche from bellwether farm.

so delicious. so much pleasure. hmmmmmmmm. so tasty.

as i am nibbling, i'm thinking a lot about passion....



or specifically, the lack of passion.

after hanging out with someone today i realized how much i take my passions for granted.....or perhaps, what i take for granted is knowing what my passions are....and that there will be passion in my life. always. this, for me, is non-negotiable. my passions are tightly woven into who i am. the strengths of my passions aren't any less in private or in a public forum such as this blog. they are what they are. they are me.

i forget this sometimes.... that others don't feel the same....or even comprehend what i am even talking about...because they honestly don't know.

despite being an uber analytical obviously left-brain driven person, pursuing one's passion is unquantifiable. actually, i should own that statement. the pursuit of my passions and my passions themselves are unquantifiable. they are not something to be weighed and measured. they are not something that follows or is aligned to a ROI (i.e., return on investment) model. my passions are not about ROI. my passions are about joy, love, obsession, learning, discovery, and pleasure. for me, i have faith (another non-measurable non-weighable) that i will always have passion in my life. i will always discover new things. i will always learn. i am excited that there are a zillion things about life that i don't know, haven't learned, and that the possibilities to discover new passions are endless.

for how dreary would life be? to not feel these amazing highs? to stop learning? to stop discovering? to not feel such pleasure?
to not feel alive?

there is a difference between subsistence and living.


i decide to live.

Friday, February 25, 2011

cool things happening with cool people

fridays have become rather intense meeting days. when it is 5am, i'm sitting at my desk in the dark, the room being lit by my computer monitor and street lamp lights.....admittedly, i'm thinking, isn't this kinda early? i'm not a baker. on the flip side though, by the time 1pm comes around, i am so ready to take a break and i feel like i still have quite a bit of the day left. as i was getting ready to head to haus to get away from my place and do some work in a different environment, i saw over my twitter that the humphry slocombe folks are working on a book. i couldn't help but grin. they tweeted that the book will contain recipes and be a "tell-all". they also mentioned that paolo lucchesi (formerly of eatersf and now of insidescoop) will be working with them on the project.

i think this is amazingly wonderful.

i don't know the circumstances on how this deal came about....but if it was an acquisition editor that approached them about the project....then, i must tip my imaginary hat to the acq ed that figured out the potential opportunity that this book would bring to the market. there was also a part of me that thought..."about time". i'm surprised that some editor hasn't hit them up sooner. or maybe one already has and it wasn't the right fit. regardless, i think it is great that this is happening.

first off, there is the product. i think anyone that has read me (or visited my shrine on my flickr page) for the past couple of years is well aware of how much i love eating their ice cream and other sweets such as the delicious duck fat pecan pie. the flavor pairings from humphry slocombe never fail to invoke something within me.....whether it be laughter, feelings of comfort, wonder, appreciation of some of the sneaky sly subversiveness, ....oh so so so many things....that i always look forward to stepping up to the case and seeing what they have on the menu that day. their small shop is one of my go-to sanctuaries.

then there is the story of the small business owners making things happen in san francisco and getting national coverage. i'm not going to go into it here, but if you follow the mainstream press (i.e., nytimes for example), their presence on social media outlets, etc... you can get a flavor of who these people are and the hint that there must be a story there. hence, it will be fascinating to read about their story from their perspective.

then there is the fact that they are really nice. i've never "outed" myself to anyone on the staff, but i've gone to the shop and events often enough to be able to see many of them deal with a lot of assholes and seen many examples of them just being nice people.

i remember when a well known food blog that i'm not going to name....tried to create some kind of "thingy" between them and bi-rite (which is another fave of mine... um, hello...salted caramel ice cream!) and the humphry slocombe folks squashed any notion of a media-created-pseudo-rivalry. when they did that, it made them respect them even more....not just for the product they produce but how they handled that situation.

then, there was today.

i decided to stop in for my ice cream fix (i wanted to try the honey thyme flavor) before i headed to haus to work....

and i saw the smitten ice cream gal at the front counter. i was surprised to see her. i recognized her from the october 2009 SF hearts the Cart party....one does not forget a gal like this. she created this rather awesome machine that uses molecular gastronomy to create ice cream. this appealed to the nerd in me quite a bit. she was also really gracious that night with some people that were actually quite rude. i remember even commenting about that on the pics of her (and that super cool machine) i took that night. recently, i've seen references in the press that smitten will be showing up in hayes valley and look forward to when she goes live with that. yet, it was still a bit surreal to see her in humphry slocombe...and you know what the folks were talking about? one of the owners was giving her advice on the payment system through the ipad.

how nice is that? see.... them good people.

yes, i was blatantly eavesdropping.

i do that a lot.

yet, it makes me grin to know that cool things like book deal opportunities are happening with the cool folks at humphry slocombe. they make such deliciously lovely sweets and i'm sooooo looking forward to buying their book when it comes out.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

staples

kay.

i've been buzzing away on some work stuff since about 7am this morning. i'm trying to finish up a few things so that i can try to stop into sf moma tonight for the meatpaper event in the sf moma blue bottle cafe on the roof. also, it is member preview day for a new exhibit and i'd like to take advantage of that as well. for days like this, i'm glad that i have certain staples in my fridge that i assemble together for random lunches. for those of you who have been with me from the beginning of this blog, you are likely already are very familiar with my random lunches thrown together with what is in my kitchen at that moment.

at anytime you look in my fridge, you will see a pot of cooked grains and a cache of braised greens (i.e., different sorts of kale, collards, mustard, dandelion, etc...whatever looks good at the market). i find these staples in my fridge are a *must* as these two types of foods enable me to use as a base for many different kind of impromptu lunches. also, given the way my homemade pickling experiments are going (which i will blog about at another time), i think i will also have another staple to add to my repertoire. hurray for pickles!

anyways......my quick lunch today included 3 regular staples plus random things i had in my fridge: brown rice, kale, homemade spicy pickled carrots, braised lentils, and some sliced gio lua.

it was actually quite pretty.


i do like to have cooked lentils/beans on hand, but it doesn't appear as often in my fridge as the grains and greens. the reason why i have the braised lentils right now is because after i braised the kale....i remember looking at the liquid left from braising the kale....and thought..."hey! i bet i could braise lentils in this liquid! why waste all of this flavor!"....and just added about a cup of lentils and put the pot back on the stove to simmer away while i was working on my computer.

being able to cook staples like greens, grains, and lentils is definitely one of the benefits of working from home. i do a lot of simmering, braising, and roasting......techniques that allow for me to step away from the kitchen and make strides toward cooking while i'm frantically typing away on my computer or having a work conversation via speaker phone.

while i sectioned off everything into nice piles for the pics above....that isn't really how i ate it. this is actually how i ate it....


which had the kale, lentils, and rice mixed together.....then topped it all off w/some soy sauce and furikake.

there are many things i can make for lunch over the next few days with these staples.....for example, i did consider sauteeing the rice + kale with some green onion, egg, fish sauce, soy sauce, homemade pickled chilies, gio lau....and having the pickled carrots on the side..... but, then dismissed that option for another time as i didn't have enough time to fry everything up. there is also the potential to heat up some clarified butter, throw in some cumin seeds so that they sizzle away in the hot butter, maybe some minced garlic as well, and pour that on top of reheated lentils and eat the yummy lentils with rice and kale as sides. or, i could put the rice, kale, and lentils with some water/chicken broth ....maybe chop up a potato....or onion....add/crush some home dried sage and/or other herbs.....and simmer that quickly for a soup.

see what i mean about staples? so many potential yummy things to make using the staples as a base.....

well, must dash off.....until later dear hearts.

xxooo

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

food nerd moment

i'm in between conference calls and wanted to share with you a rather random food nerd moment. one of the benefits of putting the work mobile phone on speaker phone is the ability to make snacks while the call is happening. so i made myself a morning snack of toasted acme baguette with some apricot conserve from frog hollow farms and a whole lot of hazelnut chocolate spread from rigoni di asiago....


as i was back at my desk, listening to the call, and munching on the treat (thank goodness for the mute button), i realized as i was looking down how incredibly messy and sexy it looked......



and had to take a picture. talk about a random unexpected moment in the middle of the day. yet, it is incredibly sensual.....the multiple textures....from the crunch of the crust to the soft chewiness of the bread....the vibrant orange, the silkiness of the brown.....and yummy factor. one must have the yummy factor when it comes to invoking lusty connotations.

as i was taking the picture, i couldn't help but shake my head. i swear.....



i am such a food nerd.....but i'm good with that.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

before my brain turns to mush


heya.

it is difficult to believe that it is only 7:30..and that it is only tuesday. i'm sitting here at my makeshift desk, sipping on another one of my random cocktail experiments (i.e., meyer lemon juice, meyer lemon peel, maple syrup, hudson baby bourbon, and pelligrino), and will be delving into my light dinner before doing something super decadent like cuddling up with my pets and watching star trek.

oh such a wild and glamorous life i lead. i suppose my life could be more exciting. i could be, i don't know, an international corporate spy for example. chortle.

anyway, in all semi-seriousness, i am rather excited about being done with work for the evening. yet, not excited enough to make anything complicated for dinner. actually, what i am having for dinner is something i've been having for lunch for a few days now. it consists of toasted acme bread (usually their sweet baguette), japanese mayo, soy sauce, homemade spicy sichuan pickles, and sliced up gio lua.

i don't have pics of of sandwich i am eating right now, yet, i did take some yesterday when i had this for lunch. the pics are of the acme pain d'epis instead of the sweet baguette though....









the acme pain d'epis is a great bread for mini sandwiches. it is also an excellent size for toasting up and having with nutella for breakfast btw. just sayin. anyway.....i'm finding this kind of sandwich hits the spot especially when i have my head wrapped up in a work project. i also love that i'm finding all of these different ways to eat homemade pickles. when i made this for the heart sister as a snack during our "henna day", i wonder if i sparked her curiosity about making homemade pickles as well. we'll see i suppose.

before i sign off to begin my uber lazy slothlike evening, i wanted to let you know that tablehopper launched deep dishing. i really love the idea of deep dishing. when i received the invite from the sassy and wickedly funny ms. tablehopper re: the beta, i was excited to participate because of the idea.....the idea of building a positive interactive community around the food that people love to eat.

how could i not love this idea?

it is aligned with my own personal ethos re: how i write about food in this blog. also, given the sf bay area is such a haven for food and technology....this fills a much needed gap.....an interactive community that is focused on the love of food. i can't wait to see it grow and flourish. i have a lot of respect for people that pursue their passions and make something happen. i gotta give her props!

well, i can already feel the effects of my bourbon cocktail...my brain is getting all mushy. i'm such a lightweight. sigh. time to go be lazy.

until later dear hearts.

xxxooo

Sunday, February 20, 2011

henna kind of day


i'm about to head off to bed but wanted to take a moment to share a bit about the day. the heart sister wanted to try a completely natural henna indigo hair color experiment....with body art quality henna and indigo. it was quite an event and can completely understand how this is a two-person job for one head of hair. it also gave me an opportunity to consider whether i will go down this route as well. i'm pretty certain that when my hair gets to about 15-20% gray i will be seriously considering the hair coloring route....and ideally it would be nice to do something that doesn't hurt my hair or involve formaldehyde.

before we started on the hair though, i threw together a rather random lunch of soba noodles tossed with soy sauce, sesame oil,
furikake, and rice wine vinegar. i also shredded some homemade spicy carrot pickles to add to the mix......

as well as some sliced up gio lua




it was a random throwing together of things i had on hand but it helped get us through the next few hours while the henna indigo experiment went underway.


while we were doing her hair, i thought it was rather funny that i was participating in this because i think the last time i was in a salon was years ago..... and it was because i was waiting on the couch for her to get done. i wasn't a customer. i think the last time i was a customer in a salon was well over a decade or so ago. i'm not really the kind of gal that goes to get her hair or nails done. i'm not good with sitting down for that long while someone fiddles with my hair, fingers, or feet.

from start to finish, the henna indigo experiment was probably about 4-5 hours, which is actually pretty short when you consider that two+ hours of that was waiting for it to just soak into the hair. there is also something a lot more relaxing about doing it at home when you can play your own tunes, have wifi access, and do this all with privacy.

after the waiting time was done and the appropriate measures were taken to get it all washed out, we got ready to grab a bite to eat. as linecook/hapa ramen was a guest chef at sebo this evening, we decided to pop in to see if we could grab a seat.

as we were on muni making our way to hayes valley, i felt really old when i turned to the heart sister and asked "do people really go out to eat on sunday night in the city?". i was trying to anticipate how crowded it would be. it shows you how much i know...or how little i know. typically, on weekends, i don't got "out" to eat during the evenings. those are usually "eat in" at friends/loved ones homes or if i am out in the evenings it is because SW or someone else has booked reservations month(s) in advance for a group of us to eat somewhere (i.e., contigo, bar agricole, plum, etc. etc.). i usually reserve my impromptu "going out" nights for during the week when i'm assuming the restaurants aren't as crowded. i'm anti-social like that. as it was about 8ish by the time we walked into sebo, i wasn't surprised when the nice lady at the front of the house indicated the wait was going to be an hour or so.

alas, since the heart sister and i were already super hungry and she also had to get back to the kiddies as well....we decided to grab a bite to eat elsewhere. as we walked outside to catch a cab, she asked me if i wanted to at least say "hi" to the hapa ramen folks and was a bit surprised that i said that i didn't think that would be a good idea. yet, once i explained that i didn't want to do that because it may be interpreted like i was trying to jump the line or something like that (which seems yucky)..... especially since we weren't in the position to wait....she understood my reasoning.

we found a cab within a couple of minutes (hayes valley is good like that), made our way to fillmore, and tried out a local low-key indian restaurant to finish out our day.....and it was a truly lovely day. i think that my favorite moments were the ones filled laughter, jokes, and disbelief over the henna experiment ......but i think we'll get better with it over time. sometimes it isn't about the activity itself....but rather who you get to spend the activity time with that really matters.

well, must get to bed. technically, it is a school night.

until later dear hearts....

xxooo

good-byes in the rain

it is almost 1am at the moment. i'm listening to mr. ray charles' rendition of "come rain or come shine". i'm winding down for the night and think that i may be able to finally articulate some thoughts on what it means to say good bye. while my tweet of "i'm gonna love you come rain or come shine" was a rather cheeky tweet i sent out this morning on my way to the ferry building....in some ways it was quite appropriate.

the rain was definitely coming down at the ferry building market....and it is true, i'm going to love the market and visit it "come rain or come shine". in this case, i definitely wanted to show my support for the various farms and vendors that i enjoy on a regular basis. after i made my rounds this morning at dirty girl, star route, tierra vegetables, chue, june taylor, and acme....is saw that there were only 3 people in the blue bottle line. i have never seen the line be 3 people at the front kiosk on a saturday. ever. so i decided to grab an indulgent blue bottle mocha, settle into a bench for while, and go through a few emails.


one of the emails i read was a good bye...which made me look up...watching the people.....


but really thinking about good-byes in general as i sipped away on my mocha.

there have been some good-byes recently. naturally, me and my analytical self had to try and make sense of my myriad of reactions to good-byes of past, present, and future.

there are the good-byes where there is mutual respect and sadness at not being able to interact on a regular basis.

there are the good-byes that are tinged with regret....when certain folks don't realize what they had until it was gone. personally, i do my darnest to ensure that sort of regret does not get sprung on me. i take efforts for those i care and love to know that i care and love them. even if i don't see them often, they know i love them. so the times when i am on the other side...and hear regret from the other person about missing me or wishing that things could have turned out differently, i'm not exactly empathetic. probably not a good idea to come with me with shoulda woulda coulda.....as my reaction will be you should have treated me better and when i'm gone, i'm gone, and it just sucks to be you then to sit there with your shoulda woulda coulda.

then there are the good-byes when you don't realize that someone is actually going to miss you and it is a surprise. you get unexpected notes about missing "your laughter" which makes you pause....because you know that you love to laugh.....but as laughter being something that is so spontaneously seamless into who you are...that for someone to call it out as being a unique trait....is almost as much of a surprise as the note itself. this is the one i read on my blackberry this morning.

then there are the good byes to those that you love. those are the most difficult aren't they? there are those that you know that you will love them forever. no matter the time. no matter the distance. no matter if it is a sunny day or a rainy one.




you know that the love you have for them will remain. it a love that is past, present, and future....and saying that good-bye as you leave....




doesn't mean you love them any less. it just means that it is good bye.

Friday, February 18, 2011

never had

appropriate.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

a moment with focaccia


yup. i'm dog sitting.

can't you tell? this one is a short stint though. i'm currently working from a loved one's place in hayes valley and once the sun came out, i took an opportunity to take the cuddle monster for a walk and a swing by the blue bottle kiosk. appropriately, the cuddle monster was doing his usual friendly flirty self and managed to maneuver himself into getting some pets from one of the folks behind the counter. i'm actually not surprised. the blue bottle hayes valley kiosk is very dog friendly...there are even doggie treats in a bucket in front the machine.

before i delve back into markets and differentiators for work though, i wanted to take a moment to tell you about a liguria bakery....a place that i've been going to for years. it is at 1700 stockton street in north beach. these days, i usually don't make it a habit of going into north beach (hello tourists!). but years ago, i used to work within walking distance and it was nice to take a walk, visit liguria bakery, go to city lights, or grab a drink after work at tosca. these days i no longer go to that neighborhood on a regular basis.

yet, yesterday, i had to drop off some paperwork at my tax guy who's office is in north beach. while i was supremely tempted to visit comstock saloon (it is on my list of places i want to try....or more accurately.... there is a dish that i've been want to meet....."hello...the beef shank and bone marrow pot pie! i will eat you someday!"), i didn't have enough time to visit. i only had time to get something togo from north beach so i decided to pop into liguria bakery on the off chance that they'd still have some goods left.

amazingly enough, they still had pizza left. so i happily bought a slab.

it is a very humble place. when you walk in, there is nothing fancy about it. after you place your order, there is almost a grace about how the liguria bakery folks move when they package it up in simple paper and tie it with a string.



it is $5 for a slab of focaccia....flavors include raisin, garlic, pizza (tomato sauce wth green onion), and mushroom. the focaccia is quite lovely and anytime when i hear the word focaccia, my mind usually thinks of "liguria bakery". how's that for brand association? i've been noshing on it for years.

i remember being a teenager, being especially excited about the raisin focaccia, stepping into the park next door with my warm slab, and immediately ripping into the soft pillowy wonderfulness of the bread. i have many lovely memories eating their bread. so right now, i suppose i'm creating yet another memory. the apartment currently smells of warmth, bread, and tomato....as i'm reheating up some of it in the oven. when i took it out, i could feel myself sigh with anticipation....


it is very good reheated the next day.

well, must get my head back into the work game. until later.....

Monday, February 14, 2011

not easy

hmmmm. i'm taking a break from work and given the rain that has decided to creep into the city and put us on track for actually having real winter weather, i'll probably be sequestering myself in my apartment all day. good thing that i still have half of my burrito from la taqueria left over.....


the pics were from yesterday and i'm happily humming to myself while i enjoy my leftovers for a pretty hearty lunch. anytime i get my usual (carnitas, cheese, avocado, and sour cream) at la taqueria, it is a two meal event. i know that every year or so, all sort of food publications, bloggers, etc. want to talk about the "best of" burrito amongst other comfort sort of foods. yet, for this foodie hunter, la taqueria (2889 mission street ...between 24th + 25th) is the place that i go to....over and over. i have been visiting them for over 15 years. something new i did this time though was get a side of jalapenos....

they are pretty huge aren't they? i love taking food porn pics. almost as much as i love eating what i'm taking pics of.

so, as i'm munching on my lunch of leftovers, i wanted to ponder and verbalize something i've been processing and discussing with friends and loved ones. i'm not sure why i want to process it today of all days. but that is the great thing about being accountable to no one but myself in this blog. i can write about whatever i want to.

now, i'm not going to name any names or even monikers this time as i want to protect the innocent and guilty alike.

sooooo, a topic of conversation that has come up recently and often amongst myself and friends recently is the theme of "celebrity status"....specifically how people react to it....whether it be a para-social experience (i.e., where people discuss common celebrities within an industry as if they know them...or have even met them....but in actuality have not even met them), or those that seek to befriend people of celebrity status in order to vicariously increase their own status, or developing friendships with people you "click with" that just happen to be celebrities.

i've watched how strangers will treat certain friends differently once they find out who they are and/or where they work. i've also observed how fast a friend will build up a seemingly invisible and yet impenetrable virtual "wall" as strangers treat them differently.

i'm guessing the friends are trying to figure out what...if anything....the strangers want from them. and no, i'm not just talking about the food industry. i find this transfers over to multiple industries. a prime example are distinguished/principal engineers [hello brains!] at technology firms that bring in billions...it is rather fascinating to see the horde converge on them after a talk at a conference and observe the dynamics in play.

anyway, i understand why these friends do this....you know....create this wall....or evaluation stage of strangers.....some friends are more diplomatic, socially adept, and open than others...yet, i understand why they do the evaluation and why the wall is there.

because, sometimes people really suck.

there are those that are jealous of the person's status, work, creativity, etc. and seek to tear them down. people will say some truly awful things that stem from jealousy.

there are those that look at people as opportunities to be leverages/manipulated (i.e., can i have X for free? or can you do X for me?) under the guise of cultivating a friendship. btw, i view business alliances differently....those are rather up front mutually beneficial exchanges.

there are those that do not have a strong sense of self confidence, self worth, and self respect....and are looking to acquire (i.e., fuck) the other person in order to obtain a vicarious sense of higher status....this is otherwise known as a "groupie". groupies are not gender-specific btw. they look at relationships with people like collecting trophies or status bags for some odd notion of bragging rights. these sort of people confuse me and my analytical self.

human beings are not trophies or bags.

to be fair though, some friends are FULLY aware that there are folks that seek to leverage or fuck them for status or an exchange of opportunity.....but they go along with it anyway.... from my perspective, it is their life....their choices. i may not agree with their choices....but i will always support them.

yet, where does this leave making meaningful connections with people....even between those of higher "celebrity" sort of status and not?

well, i guess, to be frank, it sucks then.

i mean, making meaningful lasting connections and friendships with people is not easy....well, i don't find it easy being a non-famous person.... so why would it....or should it be any easier for famous people?

from my perspective, i'm not going to like you just because you are famous. in fact, if you are famous (and i didn't know/love you before you were famous) then i'm much more likely to scamper in the opposite direction (which has been well documented in this blog). hell, i'm a hard person to get to know anyway. i'm also socially awkward. my development skewed more on the analytical side than the social side.

just last week a loved one decided to succinctly point this out to me with a wee bit of anger how difficult it is to become friends with me. my response to him was a cheeky grin, "yup, that is true. whhhaaat? did you expect me to deny it?". because it is true....not only because i'm a shit and an asshole....but it is because when i love someone, i really love them, as a person....and who they really are. dude, that takes time.

also, as i have mentioned before, those that i love...while they are all different...and work in so many different industries from design, technology, education, journalism, food, etc....they inhabit some common characteristics. they are all extraordinarily strong alpha personalities. they are passionate. they are smart. they choose to not be evil (even though they know they could get away with it). they are driven.... and no matter their situation.... they all seek to become the change they wish to see in the world.

they may express these characteristics differently, but the characteristics themselves and their core motivations are the same.

there are not a lot of people running around this world that encompass these characteristics and qualities....and love me and all my stubborn analytical asshole-ness as well.

hence, from my perspective, making lasting and real connections are not easy....no matter who you are.....whether you are "famous" or "not famous".

yet, the most amazing and lovely experiences in life aren't easy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

my tingly egg salad sandwich


i'm still figuring things out.

i wonder if that will ever change. if i will be, like, 75 years hold (hopefully) and be like "i'm still figuring things out". when i say the statement "i'm still figuring things out" to myself, i still feel like a punk ass kid and not the "responsible adult" that i am.

i have definitely been in a mood these days. i knew that i needed some time when i changed my friday evening plans and stayed home instead. i made myself another experimental bourbon cocktail, took a long leisurely bath, and read a few chapters of mary roach's bonk. ms. roach is so funny and rather obsessive about research in a great way. then on saturday, i hit the saturday market and spent most of the day and evening sleeping with snippets of journaling and pictures in between the sleeping. i think it everything (mostly exhaustion) was catching up with me.

today, things are looking much better. thank the gawds.

while i have been working today, i have also ducked into the kitchen to experiment with making pickles! i currently have a jar of radishes pickling in a mix of sichuan/szechwan peppercorns, paper lantern peppers, kosher salt, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. if i like how they turn out then i'll post the "making of" pics as well as the final product. this is my first attempt at making pickles. because i made the pickles this morning, i had sichuan peppercorns on the brain when i was thinking about what to make for lunch. i had some hard boiled eggs in the fridge and thought that would be good with some of the acme baguette i had in my kitchen. then it hit me....i could make an egg salad with sichuan peppercorns! i've never had that before but i was willing to bet it would be tasty.

so i ground up some of the sichuan peppercorns. btw...you can also roast them first if you prefer....i didn't feel like it today. i ground up a lot more than i needed since i figured i could make a batch of sichuan peppercorn salt as a condiment to cook with or put on noodles (like soba for example...i'm still on my soba noodle kick) or roasted veggies (like carrots).

the grounded sichuan is on the left and not-ground sichuan peppercorns are on the right.

the sichuan peppercorns aren't "hot" or "burn". they do induce the "tingle" or numbing effect on the lips and tongue...but by themselves...they aren't the kind of hot/burn that one gets with a habanero, scotch bonnet, or a ghost pepper. the hot factor from folks cooking with sichuan peppers comes in with the other hot chilies one cooks with them....which produces the culmination of effects...you know....the hot and tingle...which, i do adore.

but not for a cold egg salad sandwich.

so i made the sichuan salt by mixing together equal parts ground sichuan and salt.



pretty easy huh?

then i added a few dashes to a bowl that had two chopped eggs and mayo in it....



then i split open a section of acme sweet baguette (which had been toasting/warming in the oven) and added the egg salad...




while i was taking the pics, i remembered that i also had some wild arugula that i picked up at the market yesterday and thought that would be perfect with the sandwich.



this turned out quite well and my palate enjoyed it. the sichuan was a nice surprise to the palate as i normally don't associate sichuan pepper with egg & mayo.....and the peppery-ness of the arugula was a nice kick as well....all without overwhelming the tasty egg and bread.



as i was finishing it up, my lips all a tingle.....i was thinking how i'm surprised that i haven't seen this on a lunchtime menu in the bay area. actually, someone probably already has and i just haven't seen or heard of it. yet, it felt nice to discover something in my kitchen through random experimenting. although discovering this combo wasn't what i was originally hoping to figure out while puttering around in my kitchen today, but then sometimes it really is more about what we discover on the journey....isn't it?