Friday, November 19, 2010

Open (Holiday) Season

I was about to go grocery shopping — the jacket was on, I was writing up my list — when I thought about it, and realized that I'm going to be spending probably four of the next seven days down in San Jose being fed by family.

So screw it. Empty larder be damned, I'm ordering Indian food for dinner.

After a crazy November heat wave (it was in the mid- to upper-70s here), we're finally getting winter weather. The temperature dropped practically overnight. It started misting my last hour at work this evening, and went into full-on rain as I was walking home along Market Street.

Last night I had a "date" with a new friend (he's gay, Mom, so don't get your hopes up); we joined a couple friends of his for the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at the SFMOMA, and then dinner and drinks at Farmer Brown.

The exhibit: fantastic. Go see it if you can; Cartier-Bresson's got a crazy-extensive body of work, and SFMOMA's done a good job with it, a lot of places including the photographer's original captions with the photo. The man had an amazing eye and interesting take on the history he was able to witness and capture.

The dinner: if you're on a diet, any kind of diet, you have to plan a date to cheat on it for this place's fried chicken. Now, I ordered the fried catfish — which was damn good — but I snagged a bite of my friend's chicken and it melted in my mouth. It was all I could do to resist swapping plates with him when he wasn't looking. We also got an appetizer of fried (sense a theme here?) okra, and I frickin' loved it. Just skip the apple turnover on the dessert menu — it sounded good, but ended up pretty mediocre, considering the bliss-of-palate that had come before. We also could have done without the crappy wannabe-clubbin' music — I mean, seriously, the concept of the restaurant was fucking hipster (organic, local southern-style food), so why pretend to be otherwise with the house music? Still, worth dealing with that and the waiting list for a table* to get to that chicken. I hear that they have a weekend brunch that also features fried chicken ... and waffles. Holy crap sounds good.

* Note: we only waited about 20 minutes or so, but we got lucky since the party before us on the list decided to cut out instead of waiting all that time. So it was supposed to be a 45-minute wait on a Thursday night; not horrible for SF, but still kind of long.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Squash and Bacon

The special guest for tonight's dinner: spaghetti squash. I can't recall that I've ever had this, but I'm looking forward to a new adventure in gourd-dom. Best part thus far: the damn thing smells exactly like a roasted marshmallow. Crazy.

My mother and sister are in the habit, I'm sure, of referring to cook books for a recipe when they're getting ready to work in the kitchen. I, however, lacking a wide range of cooking books to choose from and having not gone to culinary school, have the internet. It's been a good companion in my rise from culinary novice (Nicole, you can stop laughing now about the raspberry pork chops incident) to maker-of-things-that-taste-good. Maybe that should be title-cased: Maker-of-Things-That-Taste-Good. Yes. Much better.

I admit, in my most inexperienced days I've had to look up how to hard-boil an egg (though cut me some slack: I just needed to know how long to boil it for, not how to heat up the water and add the ovum to it), but I will say with some pride that I've never needed Rachel Ray to tell me how to do this: Late Night Bacon Recipe.

Just the fact that Food Network isn't embarrassed to have that recipe up on their site alone is funny enough, but read the comments. It pleases me to see that all common sense is not yet lost.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Orange and Black

The SF Giants Win the World Series

In case you had not heard, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series this week.

Now, from my understanding, it's been a long time since SF last had any sort of championship sports title. And the Giants themselves (correct me if I'm wrong) haven't won a World Series as long as they've been in SF, well over 50 years.

So the city went a little nuts, you could say. Today, there was a ticker tape parade to celebrate, and as luck would have it the route started along the street on which I work. We weren't allowed to shut the office down completely for a couple hours — it's earnings period still, and we're a big office so it would be hard to forward to anyone for a major period of time — but we were allowed a little extra strictly-scheduled break to slip down and watch the festivities.

The SF Giants Win the World Series
The players got to ride by in their own cable car vehicles.

I'm not a sports fan myself, but it was hard not to get caught up in the excitement. From where I was sitting 39 stories up I could hear the screaming and cheering and blowing of vuvuzelas (the darned South Africans have infected the world now). It was kind of hard to concentrate on work when the rest of the immediate vicinity was busy taking the day off, and I dashed downstairs the minute it was time for my break — call me a bumpkin, but I do kind of like a parade.

The SF Giants Win the World Series
Confetti being blown out of cannons

The SF Giants Win the World Series
People walking in the aftermath

This is as close as I got. Right outside my building. The crowd was intense:

Not sure how well you can hear it, but they're playing (and people are singing along with) "Lights" by Journey. This and the smattering of other songs selected to play with the floats highlights one big fact: San Francisco is seriously lacking in the well-known contemporary ballads. Does it say that we're past our peak, when the bulk of the songs still played about the city are from the 1980s? I'm thinking it's time for an SF-Song Renaissance. Who's with me?