Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Archive for June, 2009
Saturday morning at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was classically representative of the way I shop the market. My plan was to get in and out in about an hour and go home to start my day. But all the vendors had stories, and I ran into friends and two and a half hours later, I was trudging home, my arms laden with lots of delicious goodies for the week.
Last Sunday, a brand-new farmers market opened in one of my favorite San Francisco neighborhoods: The Inner Sunset. The market, in the parking lot at Ninth and Irving streets, is run by the Pacific Coast Farmers Markets Association and will run from June through November.
Just as quince gets described as apple’s tough, weird older sister, so apricots are often just a placeholder for peach-lovers, something sweet and orange with a pit that will do until the real goodies come along.
But apricots are good for cooking in a way that peaches aren’t, their flavor intensifying into an ineffable tangy sweetness that leans just right against a crumbly, buttery crust or a piece of whole-grain toast. And ask any home jam-maker what apricot they prefer, and you’re bound to hear paens of praise for a little, freckly, squishy, short-season fruit that, when ripe, practically turns to jam all by itself.
I love all summer fruits, but peaches are close to the top of my list of favorites. There’s nothing tastier than eating a plump fresh peach, juices bursting. But after eating my fill of peaches, I crave more. I still want all that sweet and fragrant peachiness, but in another format. This is where peach pies and tarts come in, not to mention grilled peaches and peach jam. My new favorite peach recipe, however, may be the simplest of them all: peach ice pops and creamsicles.
Last month, Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, an outspoken leader on food safety and animal rights, hosted a special screening of the documentary, FOOD, INC. for a roomful of legislators in Sacramento. Thanks to a friend who works at the capitol, I was able to sneak in.
Sunset magazine has long been the go-to source for “how to live in the West” especially when it comes to travel, gardening, home improvement and of course, food and wine. Since the centennial of the magazine in 1998, Sunset has been hosting an annual open house called the Sunset Celebration Weekend.
No matter what you do, fruit+sugar=sweet fruity goodness. And just like homemade pie, homemade jam is better than anything you can buy, even from a fancy place. Why? Because anywhere this side of Smuckers, you’re using more fruit and less sugar when you make your jam at home.
For the last two months, I’ve been part of this dinner troupe, as a stagehand — a chef apprentice. Starting in April, I took a leave from my job as an editorial writer and columnist for The Sacramento Bee to intern at Oliveto, an Italian restaurant in Rockridge.
I’ve currently got Paris on the brain. I’m about to invade that city for a week of eating and drinking and wandering and thinking.
So, naturally, the first thing to pop into my head for today’s post was, “I should do something German.”
Because that’s how my mind works.