Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday! April 24, 2010! Avon Breast Cancer Walk Training!

Since my Former First Lady was concerned.....

First off...I'm not fat! I just look like a fatso in this picture! You'd think I ate San Francisco. If I could I would, though....

I'm wearing an XXL t shirt for the breast cancer walk.

No table today...had to do training for the walk for my Mums. I did 10 miles with no trouble and way faster than i thought. 10 miles in 1.5 hours. at 46? take me on!

I got a beer after that.... and a beer never tasted better! All those miles to slam breast cancer are all worth it! Another 10 miles in the am.

Saturday! April, 10, 2010!

Uneventful day... go figure....

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Peter Rabbit! Saturday! April 3, 2010!

Well, the rain stopped for one day and it was for my favorite day of the week! And since it was Easter weekend, I pulled out the old seersucker vest to wear under the blazer.

Busy, busy, busy market. Crowded. When I was shopping, there were long lines at every bread vendor. I'm not a patient guy. So I went to Noe Valley Bakery and got two garlic seeded baguettes...they are great. Richard loved them and he is partial to Acme.

I stopped by Lorraine's stand to return a bottle and get her newest soda...Tangerine! She has something going here. That is why I'm happy to do product placement for Drinkwell sodas. This one was by far the best! It is perfect!

Next stop was to Nigel to get some dried lemon sea salt...this is so good on my friend Eva's tomatoes! Well, Nigel wanted me to try his new sugar- smoked chili sugar. It is great with hot chocolate. So as you can see, he got product placement too!

Once I set up the table and said hi to Jeanne who was nice to ask about the collarbone healing. It's fine. I don't want to do surgery. I can live with the golf ball lump on my shoulder. Frustrating thing is I don't sleep well on my right side anymore. Feels funny.

Well, Alison showed up. And she is fun. So I put her new habanero chutney on the table too for product placement. (And more about that later below) Richard came by a bit later. We chatted about our allergies before he went shopping. He swears by Allegra so I need to get a prescription for that now. Everyone says it's the worst allergy season ever this year....I hear that every year! But it is bad. Really bad, if you suffer from it, like I do.

Soon Kevin arrived as did Rob and Suzanne late for them. Suzanne was done with her exercise program so she slept until 10am! Lucky girl! The market was abuzz and the wine bar was packed. Soon the whole gang was at the table and we were all catching up on the week and discussing travel plans. Richard is off to London for two weeks for plays and the new Rufus Wainwright opera... he's his biggest fan! And baseball season is starting and you can feel that in the air. I met many fellow Michigan State alums too...with MSU in the final 4! Sadly, we lost by 2 points!

My gal pal Amy came by a bit later. She was working on Saturday so only could stay for a bit. She loved Alison's habanero chutney and though her friend and celebrity chef Susan Fienger would like it. She is flying back to Los Angeles on this coming week as Susan is in the new Top Chef Masters show on Wednesday! I hope Susan wins! Never met her but have alwas liked her on TV.

Oh, and by the way, it was Richard that pulled out the rabbit ears to make me Peter Rabbit or Peter Cottontail. I sent the "classy"picture to Mums in Michigan. She was watching the weather channel and she wrote back that she was so proud! I spit out my wine and laughed.

Well, the days go by fast and once Jason sets down a glass of red, that mean it is time to pack up. Hailed a cab home where Quincy was so glad that Dad was home. We went up to Lafayette Park and had a long stroll.

Dispatch! Wine Bar! San Francisco!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Delicious Days! Saturday! March 27, 2010!

Got up early and Quincy and I had our morning constitutional around Lafayette Park. Crisp morning but would soon be a perfect weather day for me...65 degrees and why I love San Francisco. And yes, I do miss my former first lady. She reads this.

Hopped in the shower and blasted up my The Script radio station on Pandora on the Blackberry. I win American Idol every morning in the shower! Today was going to be flashy and dapper ... a bit Lily Pulitzer, really. Yellow, hot pink, sandals, navy blazer, very Palm Beach.

Because of the weather the market was busy early as I approached. Good sign. Good day it will be. And fun with unexpected guests from all over the world. As I have said, the table has become the United Nations table. Everyone comes from all over the world and we meet and talk and go in peace.

So after shopping and answering all the questions about how my allergies are doing... everyone knew about my absence last week! Good friends. Well, it wasn't much more than a minute after I sat down that Allison...of McQuade's Chutney stopped by for a little wine and fun. She was off to the Whiskey festival where her Whiskey Peach Chutney is being highlighted. I love my Allison. She's been over for dinner several times. And her Jay loves my meatloaf and smashed potatoes! I should make him some more.

So as Allison and I are catching up on the week, I get a tap on the shoulder. "I see you here every week! You make our day!", she said. "It is so fantastic what you do!," she added. I said thank you. It is the same sort of thing I did back at Michigan State for the football games in the back of my Rabbit. Now I'm older and in San Francisco and its done in a wine bar! Tailgaters! We never die!

Well, she was with her friends and friends from Germany. They asked to take pictures of me and the table. Oliver's camera looked like a cannon! Nicky's was subdued. We exchanged cards after a nice chat. Well, Allison looked at their email and it said "" Allison flagged them back to the table. "I love your blog and I read it everyday!, Love it!" Well I think she was so excited. I pulled up the site on the Blackberry then, and it is a very cool site. Maybe the table will make it on....keep you all posted.

Mums called from Michigan to let me know she was going to spend my inheritance at the casino. Good for her! She wins.

Later, Rob, Suzanne, Sue and Kevin arrived and they took the table next to me since they had other friends coming down. A bit later, my agent Belinda and partner Peter stopped by as they were shopping for a big lasagna for later. I told them I had just read about a great asparagus, morel lasagna recipe in the new Bon Appetite. They read it and were thinking of making it.

Then my good buddies, Dr. David and Father Eric arrived as did Amy! Oh, did we catch up and talk politics for a couple hours! What a week and a historic one with health care passage and Tea Baggage violence. History.

The day went by fast. And when Jason pours red wine, it is time to go and it was 3:00 pm. Amy and I packed up and headed for a cab to share. She is such a nice lady!

I walked in the door and was greeted with big licks from Quincy! And we went to the park where he got to play with his girlfriend, big black Giselle and I chatted with Delia. Perfect, delicious day!

Dispatch! Wine Bar! San Francisco!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Show! Saturday! March 20, 2010!

No show. We have had a horrible allergy season lately. (They say this every year.) All these yellow tiny buds all over, grass cutting, etc. wreck havoc on my system. My head and nose was stuffed, plugged up ears and scratchy water eyes. Miserable.

I stayed home with Quincy and ventured out a couple of times for walks.

Back in Michigan, I used to only get this in the spring. Seems like everyone that moves here who is not a native, gets these awful symptoms.

Hopefully, make it back next Saturday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pastel Madras Saturday! March 13, 2010!

After a week of on and off rain, Saturday morning was so beautiful in San Francisco! A dry period, thank God! And did it ever show in the crowds- early crowds like never seen before. This is what the farmers market people love. The wine bar was packed by 10am. Crazy. And yes, most wanted my three tiered "whatever he ordered." Sadly, they find out that they have to do that themselves.

Spring was in the air so it was time to bring the pastel madras blazer out. I only get to wear it this time of year. I have had this jacket since college and it still fits thanks to keeping my broad shoulders and smooth slim torso! I'm breaking' a sweat!

As you can see by the Ferry Building Clock Tower I arrived at 8:45am to a fantastic and crisp sunny morning. I did not know how the day would turn out. But, as usual, it was a great day.

I as started prepping my table before shopping, Allison stopped by to say hi. I went shopping for all the basics, salami, grilled chicken breast, egg salad, Acme bread, blue cheese dressing, Cheddar and blue cheese, grapes, tomatoes, olives, torta, and a roasted garlic spread I made the night before.

Set up the plates and Allison joined me for a bit. She had a Chutney stand at the Irish Festival at the Civic Center. So we chatted about the mice in my flat which she seems to think they like me but the feeling is not mutual. After she left Rob and Suzanne came by. He brought the dessert he had the day before at barPerbacco that was honey drizzled almonds with Red Hawk cheese. Fantastic!

Soon, Kevin was there, Father Eric, Dr. David, Richard. Then the usual people picture taking and explaining the table. Amy won't be at the table for the next few weeks.

The place was just packed all day. The economy could just be coming back based on this! Thank you Mr. President Obama!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscar Weekend!, Saturday! March 6, 2010

The rain tapered off and went south, but hopefully not on the Oscars.

I was up at 6:30am and Quincy was ready for his walk. He is funny in the morning sleeping next to me. I say ready for the park and he looks at me, yawns and stretches like it is work. When we get up he can not wait to mark everything his. And when he takes a dump he runs faster than a bullet. He is so happy.

I was up early and got to the Ferry Building early. I set the table and had to think. The owners jacked rent up to 75% and now Masterilli's is closed and my salami place is gone. So I have to go to Golden Gate Meat Market, and theirs is good, especially with their blue cheese dressings. What doesn't go with blue cheese?

So this morning, since I was early, I missed my torta, but I got bread from Della, cheese from Point Reyes, grapes from Capay, salami, blue cheese dressings and egg salad from Golden Gate Meat Market,

Lorraine had a new soda. I tasted it and I said it is "Sprite"! Interesting she said. It was Rosemary!

I got flowers and went back to set the table. After I settled down, Rob and Suzanne came by, just back from Mexico. Suzanne always looks like a million bucks! As does Rob. And thank God, he is ok. He had the bends in Mexico from diving.

Well it wasn't much later that a photographer on assignment from the French National Geographic stopped by to take pictures. if we looked good enough we will be in the May issue.

Dr. David and Father Eric went to Tahoe with and Tony and Paul. Kevin came by for a short visit as did Richard who was a little under the weather....too many high kicks in LA!

My friend Amy was stuck in LA doing a photo shoot for Oprah magazine.

Then out of nowhere I get a tap on shoulder....."You look like Truman Capote and would be perfect for my next film.:"

So let's see what happens.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tsunami Saturday! February 27, 2010

I woke up at about 3:30 am Saturday morning in the TV bedroom were I nodded off with the tube on. There had been a huge 8.8 earthquake in Chile. I listened to the early reports then went back to sleep.

I got up at 6:45am and took Quincy for a long walk at Lafayette Park. The rain was just stopping and the sun was peeking out. And good god, the allergies were kicking in so that means spring is here and no need to wait until March 21 to get into my flashy spring wardrobe! If I have to feel miserable I'm at least going to look like I enjoy it!

The news said a major Tsunami could hit Hawaii later in the day. Which I found odd since it is 7000 miles away.

So the shower and shave, the hot pants, Fred Astaire belt, navy blazer, pocket square, sweater over shoulders and flashy sandals and I was off to the 1 bus. This bus I call the Asian run. It arrives full at Sacramento and Buchanan pretty full of all Asians from the Richmond. They are all heading to Chinatown for the shopping. When the bus stops at Stockton, it empties and leave 3 Caucasians! San Francisco is funny that way.

I approached my beloved building right on time. Who knew the drama! and phone calls that would unfold.

Set up and go shopping. I gathered up salami, tulips, egg salad, blue cheese dip, tor ta, cheese, pears, tomatoes, chicken, olives and bread. Made the table and sat down to a bubbly Jason served.

I grab my Blackberry to text Dr. David and Father Eric to see if they were coming and to see if they were here and not in Chile. I had a hunch. And I was part right, I quickly got a message back that they were at SFO waiting for a delayed flight to Honolulu to see his parents. I sent back about the tsunami and he was aware and his parents were seeking higher ground. Soon I get a message back that they are boarding and the pilot says that they have twice the amount of fuel in case they can't land and need to fly back to SFO. Then I get another message from the the Dr. saying they expect a mild tsunami so they weren't worried. That was the last I heard from them so I'm sure they made it fine.

Soon I get a call from Mums. She was watching the weather channel...they do that in Michigan. She was concerned that the tsunami was going to hit San Francisco since there was an alert from San Diego to Alaska. I said I'm at the wine bar and if anything happens this is the way I want to go....good food and wine. Quincy is fine up on the top of Pacific Heights.

(Since getting up at 5am as I write this dispatch, CNN says there was no threat to Hawaii.)

Soon Sue arrives and said Rob and Suzanne who are vacationing in Mexico have a delayed return. I asked why. Poor Rob got the bends from scuba diving and needed to go into a decompression chamber! Tragic but he is fine. Then Kevin finally made it after been out sick for a couple weeks. It was good to see him. Richard was in Los Angeles attending dutifully the ballet. The guy loves a high kick!

As Jason changes me out to a Zinfandel, Amy and Alison arrive. We get all caught up and start checking out the eye candy. Alison said Jay was having a rough couple days in and out of the hospital.

And a sad note was some regulars at the wine bar said they are moving back to Rochester, NY because the health care here is out of whack. BC/BS raised premiums 40%! We need Medicare for all! NOW! Those frickin Senators and Congress people get it, we should too. The difference is they get nice fat checks from the insurance industry to deny us what they get. What a country!

Well it was time and the tsunami threat was dismissed. I forgot to mention the flowers I got were parrot tulips green and red but they never opened. (As I write this I just flipped the light on in the dining room and they are starting to open.) They are beautiful yet somewhat creepy. But that happens sometimes when you have two lips coming at you!

Dispatch! Wine Bar! San Francisco!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tulips & Asparagus! Saturday, February 20, 2010

The rain stopped for a little bit as I approached my beloved building. The sun was starting to come out over the bay and there was a hint in the air that today would be fun. Rob and Suzanne were in Mexico, Amy has been busy and Kevin has been sick, so who would surprise me?

I took some pictures of inside the wine bar so people can see the ambiance. It is such a fantastic place to visit with friends and people from all over the world. I'm expecting photos from a lovely woman from Paris who was astonished by the table as she walked by.

So spring is in the air here in San Francisco. Tulips and Asparagus have returned! I can't wait to start making asparagus everything...soup, gratin, poached, served with a great aioli, and more.

So after shopping for all my goods and setting up the table, my lovely friend Allison arrived- the Chutney Lady! She loves her birthplace and always gets a glass of bubbly and says, "I hope it rains!" She loves Scotland. Well, today she brought a very fun friend who is making bacon jams.
I got to taste four versions, and let me tell you, his stuff is incredible. I bet he makes a fortune. We tried bacon with bourbon and pecans, bacon with Allison's roasted red pepper chutney, and others. Soooo....... good!

My good friend Sarah called to give me a Michigan update. While it is a past chapter in my life, Michigan is the best state in the country. It's where a handshake means a contract. It's where the handshake means you are the best. I once got a hand written note from President 41 George H. Bush who I did some work for and that guy is all class. As is Barbara, she was in my first campaign brochure. All from a handshake. It is what makes you real. That is "Pure Michigan". which tears me up when I see every ad.

Richard came by the table with fun friends in from Chico. Richard got some great Devil's Gulch cheese from Cow Girl and it was perfect with everything and even the blue cheese dip and dried lemon sea salt. And even better with the tomatoes from Eva's stand out front....first of the season.

After they left I put on Pandora and my ear set and was rocking out while reading and then I get tap on the shoulder and it was Melissa, Jason's girlfriend and famous Ess Eff chef!. She brought a great liverwurst from Fatted Calf out back. Then Charles came by and then Dr. David and Father Eric! And then my friend Delia, who owns Giselle who is Quincy's girl friend. We quickly caught up and gossiped about the past week.

Lots of eye candy and we did indeed solve all the world problems at what I like to call my United Nations Table. But I suspect bacon, tulips and asparagus will always make the world a great and friendly place.

Dispatch! Wine Bar! San Francisco!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Foggy Saturday Morning February 13, 2010

My friends Bill and Louise have been visiting family in California and spent the night at my flat in San Francisco. We hadn't seen each other in some time and we got caught up on Friday night and had a great dinner at Le Central.

Yesterday was very, very foggy. I could barely see Quincy when we went for the morning walk around Lafayette Park. Since Bill and Louise only had time for a short visit to Ess Eff, we took a quick drive through Pacific Heights to see the spectacular architecture.

We made it to my beloved Ferry Building precisely on time. As you can see, the fog was still lingering. I unpacked and set the table and then I took Louise on my whirl win shopping. Bill stayed behind and enjoyed the best cup of coffee ever made from Blue Bottle. Louise was so taken with the Ferry Building and Market. She was snapping pictures like it was Fashion Week in New York City! Which is something everyone should do.

I got the usual salami, olives, Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Batch 22 from Cow Girl, great bread from Della Fattoria, torta, egg salad, mortadella, horseradish cream, and tangerines. Prince Willam's were the flowers of the day from buddy Stan. BUT! A great surprise! The first tomatoes of the season from my friends stand. They were eaten immediately with Nigel's new Eatwell dried lemon sea salt.

Bill and Louise enjoyed their visit which was too brief as they had to get back to San Diego to see his son Mike. I'm so lucky to have great friends. It was so fun to see them.

An hour later, I was reading and listening to Pandora as the fog disappeared and the Ferry Building grew with excitement and warm sun. Suddenly, there was a tap on my shoulder. I look up and it was Dr. David! I said what in the hell are you doing here? I thought you were in Manhattan this weekend? Well, the weather this past week cancelled their flights so they surprised me. Father Eric showed up moments later. We quickly caught up and enjoyed the eye candy of the market.

Then it was time to pack up, give away the flowers, and hail a cab back to Pacific Heights. Quincy was so glad Dad was home!

Dispatch! Wine Bar! San Francisco!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday. February 6, 2010

The rain stopped just as I got off the bus at the Embarcadaro. With the cool weather, there really is nothing but "staples" for the kitchen, cabbage, chards, brussell sprouts, cauliflower, etc. Of course then all the citrus, pomelos, grapefruit, blood oranges, mandarins, clementines, etc.

But thank God for the wine bar! Jason knows just what this guy needs.

Rob and Suzanne came by for one glass before heading up to Sonoma to get their pig. Hopefully I will be invited over for pork belly. Amy and Charles came by as did Allison. She is going to have her chutney's featured in Food & Wine magazine.

Dr. David & Father Eric came by and off to Manhattan for concerts at Carnegie Hall. They are going to finally have the burger. Sirloin stuffed with truffles, foie gras and braised short there anything better?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Birthday & A Top Chef Finalist, Saturday, January 30, 2010

The morning was beautiful with the sun beaming down and trying to dry out the City. The artists were still setting up across from the Ferry Building as I approached. Who knew the surprises that were lingering.

I set up the table and then went and did the shopping. Starting at Golden Gate Meat Market, I got a stack of fresh cut salami, egg salad, their Blue Cheese dressing which seems to be great on everything, and a slice of pate. From there to Della for breads, Cowgirl Express for Batch 22, which is a new cheese. Gathered up grapes, olives, torta and crayfish. Finally, from Stan out front, I got a bunch of Twisted willow branches for the flower tin.

Once the table was arranged to my discriminating style, I sat down and Jason poured a glass of crisp white wine. Soon the crowd got bigger and the usual suspects arrived at the table.

Today was Rob Cox's birthday. Suzanne, Sue, Richard, Dr. David & Father Eric and more arrived throughout the day. But who knew what was going to happen at precisely the same time......

First, Eric screams, "Oh my God, that was Tyra Banks that just walked by!" Then he says to me, "Oh my God that's Carla!" I said, "Carla who?" "Carla from Top Chef last season," he says.
So I told him to tell Suzanne. Suzanne then yells, "Carla, Carla, Carla!" And she came over to the table and came in for a picture. Everyone had questions for her about Top Chef and what she is doing now. She has a very nice husband who took pictures and will be sending soon. Rob offered to paint her.

Then later Lorraine come running up and said, Tyra Banks loved her soda! So another fun day at the table. I' know there will be many more to come.

Dispatch! Wine Bar! San Francisco!