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?