Tag Archives: wine

Christmas Vacation!

Subtitle: Getting your car stuck on an icy driveway in a winter wonderland!

My family and I departed Rockridge at approximately noon in a “boys car” and a “girls car,” respectively, not purposely protracting heterosexist world views but doing so nonetheless.  It was a fairly uneventful drive to Nevada City, California, where we have rented a log cabin/lodge big enough to sleep ten, replete with hot tub, grand piano, a sign above the back door that says, “Friends are like pottery, you can never get enough.”  Now, I wasn’t aware that you can “never get enough” pottery, but…now I know.  (Thankfully the sign is very small and only over the back door off the den leading to the hot tub, AND the other strengths of our rental–foosball, a violin, and multiple wood-burning stoves—outweigh any textual elements that have been incorporated into the decor).

When we drove into Nevada City on highway 49 we were greeted by visions of a beautiful snow topped Victorians and evergreens.  It was breathtaking.

But, what really took my breath away was the two-foot high moguls that compose the 400-yard inclined driveway to the lodge.  We made it about 20 feet up before getting completely stuck.  

Fun!

Ironically, we had contacted the proprietors of the establishment earlier in the day to ensure that no such problems would occur.  Did we need chains?  Nooooooo!  Was the house accessible?  Yeeeeeees!  Did we get stuck?  Yeeeeeees!

It took about a half hour to locate a shovel while the light was quickly fading.  Our fearless leader saved the day: 

leader2

Unfortunately, the job took a little more than a shovel.  One hour, phone calls to every major national rental car company (we wanted to rent a 4WD vehicle.  None of the national car rental companies had ANY 4WD vehicles, not even at the Sacramento Airport, but Enterprise offered me an “all weather” vehicle, that they really wanted me to rent that “might” have 4WD, but was not listed as such), multiple phone calls to the proprietors, countless trips up and down the first 20 feet of driveway, and a trip to buy chains, we had the good fortune of making it up the hill to the lodge.

The proprietor came and salted the driveway, and made vague intimations of a “maintenance crew” coming by tomorrow.  

There was absolutely no food in the house.  We had reservations at the New Moon Cafe in town.  Very soothing.  We also had reservations about going down the driveway and needing to get back up, but our hunger got the best of us.

We had a fabulous dinner.  New Moon Cafe has a phenomenal wine list.  I ordered a great Anderson Valley cab for my dad since he’s a cab guy, and a nice Barbera for myself.  Everyone else was generous enough to go along with my wine selections.  I had an unbelievable sturgeon filet with a mustard seed crust and white wine buerre blanc.  Amazing.  But more on that later.  

We got to the driveway and I got butterflies in my stomach.  I wasn’t driving and I just had a bad feeling about our prospects for getting back up the hill.  We got that same 20 feet up the hill and got stuck.  The driver started to reverse to try again–but the rear window had fogged up, what with five people in the car–and the driver couldn’t see when he was reversing and ended up reversing part of the way down the embankment on the left side of the driveway so that the left rear wheel was sort of, you know, hanging off a tad.

Fun!

The elders jumped ship.  I. and Rimpletide and I spent about 45 minutes trying to get the left rear wheel back onto the driveway.  I stayed in the driver seat and let the boys be boys.  We tried all combinations of chains, twigs, and spare boards wedged under the wheels.  Pushing didn’t really do much since we were going uphill.  I suggested calling my roadside assistance, but the boys were sure that they could be mountain men and get us out of the embankment through sheer will and ingenuity.  So I went along with it until I was just too cold.

So at approximately 10PM I trudged up the driveway and called Geico Roadside Assistance (no cell reception up here).  Within 30 minutes a tow truck was at the base of our driveway.  K., a pleasant and burly fellow came to pull us out of our rut.  K. was wearing shorts and shoes with no socks in 38 degree weather.  K. was missing a few of his front teeth, and saw “no reason” why we were not able to make it up the driveway, and saw “no need” for chains on our tires.  

Within five minutes he had knelt down in the snow, attached our car to the pulley on the truck, and yanked us out of the embankment.  To prove how easy it is to drive up this particular snowy/icy/narrow mountain driveway, K. offered to drive up back up to the house, free of charge.  

Without much ado, we piled in.  K. reversed down to the based of the drive, and then sped up to 30 miles and hour as we blasted over the icy moguls known as our vacation rental driveway.  

K. is part of a towing establishment known as “Kilroy.”  When he announced the name proudly to us he said, “Kilroy, ever heard of that?”  We assured him we did in fact study WWII and that the $10/month I spend on Geico Roadside Assistance is probably the wisest investment I’ve ever made.  Seriously.  Major Geico plug.

kilroy

Love you K.  Love you Kilroy.  Love you Geico.  

Happy Holidays from A Rockridge Life via Nevada City.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Travel, Uncategorized

Guapissima!

This marks the second in a thrilling series of recipes by Begonia Colomar.  

Gemelli Pasta in Old Fashioned Basque Style Tomato Sauce, Sauteed Beet Leaves, Button Mushrooms, and Chorizo 

Serves 2 (lovers)

Old Fashioned Basque Style Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:  

6 fresh ripe plum tomatoes cut into fourths

1 small yellow onion /chopped

 3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp brown sugar (for this recipe, I recommend the extra sweetness)

1 garlic clove

1 tsp salt, or to taste

Preparation:  

Heat oil, then add onions and cook at medium high heat until clarified and golden.  Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the tomatoes, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil.  After the sauce has reached boiling, reduce the heat to low let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent from sticking.

Sauteed Beet Leaves, Button Mushrooms, and Chorizo

 

Ingredients:

1 tbsp raw pine nuts

1 shallot / finely chopped

1 garlic clove / minced

10 button mushrooms / brushed clean and thinly sliced

1 bunch beet greens with stems / well washed and cut roughly into large pieces

3 tbsp olive oil

1 three-inch piece of Spanish chorizo/ halved and cut in thin slices

1  stem fresh thyme

pinch salt

Preparation:

Remove thyme leaves from stem and set aside.

Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add pine nuts and brown for 10 seconds.  Remove the pine nuts and set aside.  Leave remaining oil in pan.

Reheat the oil over a high flame.  Add shallots and allow to brown for 1 minute.  Add  garlic and cook for one minute, then add mushrooms and saute over high heat for 2 more minutes.  Finally, add chorizo and stir, allowing flavors to mingle for one minute before adding beet greens, salt, and thyme leaves.  Cook until the greens turn dark and reduce in size ( 3 – 5 minutes).

Gemelli

Ingredients:

Gemelli pasta 

1 stem fresh thyme

olive oil

salt

Preparation:

Remove thyme from the stem and set aside.

Bring water to a boil.  Add plenty of salt and a bit of olive oil to the boiling water.  Then add gemelli and boil, until al dente.

Drain well.  Sprinkle with the thyme and a bit of olive oil (this will keep the noodles loose and firm).  Set aside.

To Serve:

Warm a large serving bowl.  Add the gemelli, tomato sauce, toasted pine nuts and green and toss thoroughly.

Sprinkle with fresh Romano or parmigiana cheese and serve immediately.

This is a hearty winter pasta that will pair well with a robust red Merlot or Chianti.

Buono Appetito!

gemelli

3 Comments

Filed under Gastronomia

A Real Treat

Begonia Colomar has agreed to contribute her culinary talents to A Rockridge Life.  Ms. Colomar was raised in the Basque country of Spain.  Her nuanced palate, which she cultivated in the Spanish countryside of her childhood, is obvious in the impeccable flavors she is able conjure with fresh, everyday ingredients.  We can’t all sit down at her table each night, but we may now strive to replicate such an experience in our own homes through her thoughtful recipes.  Without further ado, I present Ms. Colomar:

Galloping Flavours: Braised Pork Chop with Saffron Chorizo Orzo and  Onion Marmalade

by Begonia Colomar

Serves 2 (lovers)

Ingredients:  

two 1″ cut  Pork Chops

For the Rub:  

1   tsp  whole coriander

1/2 tsp  whole white pepper

1/4 tsp  whole fenugreek

1/4 tsp  whole cumin

1/2 tsp  smoked paprika

Preparation:  

Bring pork chops to room temp approximately 20 minutes prior to braising.  Generously salt them (Maldon is highly recommended).  Combine the herbs and spices and then grind them.  A spare or carefully cleaned coffee grinder can be used for this purpose.  A mortar and pestle works too but requires more elbow grease.  Pat the pork chops generously on both sides with the herb and spice rub.  Set the pork chops aside and keep at room temperature while preparing the marmalade.  

For the Onion Marmalade:

3 yellow onions /peeled,halved and sliced

1 shallot /peeled,halved and sliced

3 tbsp brown sugar

pinch freshly ground pepper

pinch salt

1/4 tsp dried tarragon

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preparation:

Heat oil and butter in a skillet.  Add the onions, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Cook on very high heat while stirring frequently for 5 minutes.  Add tarragon and continue to cook on high heat for an additional 5 minutes.  Do not allow onions to boil or burn. 

For the Orzo:

1 cup orzo

1/2 yellow onion /minced

1/2 leek/minced

1 garlic clove /minced

1/4 tsp Spanish saffron threads

3 cups vegetable stock

3 large whole sage leaves

2 inch cube Spanish chorizo halved and thinly sliced

1 tsp salt

olive oil

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Add a bit of olive oil, just enough to barely coat the pan (approximately 1/2 tbsp) to an oven-proof frying pan. Heat the oil until you see smoke forming.

Add the pork chops and sear 2 minutes per side on high heat.  Cover the pan with an oven-proof lid or tin foil and place in the oven.  Let the pork chops cook in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

While the pork chops are in the oven, heat the oil for the orzo in a medium size pot.  Add onions and leeks and cook on medium high heat until caramel color, then add garlic.  Add the orzo and saffron to the mix and stir constantly for approximately 2 minutes.

Add the stock and salt and let simmer at medium high heat for 10 -12 minutes or until the orzo has absorbed the stock and has a creamy texture. 

While the orzo is cooking remove the pork chops from the oven and let sit, still covered for 5 minutes before serving.

Keep stirring the orzo.  When the stock has been completely absorbed, add the sage and chorizo.  Turn off the heat, and serve the orzo very hot.  

Place the pork chops atop the hot orzo, and spoon the onion marmalade on the side.

This meal will pair deliciously with a full-bodied Chardonnay.

Buen Apetito!!

begoniarecipepic

6 Comments

Filed under Gastronomia, Lifestyle

Hot Hosts

hosts

Approximate time: 11PM

My Hot Hosts in NYC enjoy some libation at the Forever Young party at China Chalet.

Earlier that evening I was greeted by B and B at their Navy Yard loft by my own room (denoted with a name placard on my door), fresh linens, Cora the English bulldog, and a beautiful spread of tapas.  We had a fabulous dinner: tortilla, lasagna, scallops, ay!  We drank the Txacoli, it was amazing.  We rolled up her hair, threw on some pearls and sequins and we were off!

3 Comments

Filed under Autobiography and Memoir, Gastronomia, Travel

THIS PAST WEEK

Written December 5, 20008.  Published December 9, 2008.

This post is in regards to November 28-December 5

Note to my readers:

I have been reticent up to this point on the blog to 1) say I am married 2) say I have a husband 3) explicitly identify with a gender. It is time to come out of the closet on points 1) and 2). I am happily married to a man. 3) will be left to your imagination, unless you know me personally, as many (most?) of my readers do.

Also, as the foregoing information suggests, this post is uncharacteristically(?) intimate in nature. But I think justifiably so.

THIS PAST WEEK:

The Constants:

Monday marked my first wedding anniversary to my husband. It is a sacred day. I have been overwhelmed with my emotion of love for my husband, remembrances of these days and weeks as we lived them one year before when we were marrying each other, committing for life in front of all our loved ones, and I take that so seriously. And it isn’t easy. Marriage is damn hard and I love that man so much. And I take that commitment incredibly seriously. And it is overwhelming to think about the fact that this is my life, this is OUR life, and we WILL be together for the rest of our lives because we promised each other and everyone else in that church and GOD. It is NOT easy AND I LOVE that man. These thoughts, feelings, and emotions infused my everyday experience this week.

symbiosisSymbiosis by Cameron Michel and Vashti Windish

Other factors that affected daily life this week:

-We currently have no heat in our house and somehow it is most of the time colder inside than it is outside. We have two space heaters that are somewhat effective but by nature of being space heaters don’t heat evenly and often leave you too hot in the smaller rooms because no matter where you put them they are blowing on you in some way. Alternately they leave you too cold in the large open living and dining areas because the space is far to big to heat with space heaters.

-I am THRILLED to be flying to NYC on Friday 12/5 to celebrate two of my best friends’ thirtieth birthdays at a 500 person bash in lower Manhattan AND visit all my other loved ones there. Thoughts of my weekend in NYC, the impending party, and my two best friends for whom it is thrown hung over me all week.

philippe_and_ed_bdayParty Flier

-I have been sick since Friday, 11/28

-I teach three periods of 6th grade Monday-Friday and attend Mills College in the afternoons/evenings Tuesday-Thursday.

Friday-Sunday: sick to the point of constant need for horizontalness

Saturday: So sick I flaked on working at the flower shop and felt like such a douche bag about it.

bloomies

Sunday: My laptop became non-operational. Reasons unknown.

Monday:

I had a wedding anniversary.

Had a family emergency in the afternoon.

Had a draft of a paper due Tuesday that I had only vaguely outlined on Sunday (very not my style, I always do my work in advance, it’s the only way I stay sane. I’m not one of those people who regularly waits till the night before something is due to write it–that would make me crazy and compromise the quality of my work. Just speaking personally…).

I had to create and prepare to teach a lesson for Tuesday of my own curriculum (I most often teach a scripted curriculum that I am required by my district to teach due to an agreement between Alameda USD and the University of Kansas. Alameda USD has adopted this curriculum and is providing data for research being conducted on the effectiveness of a curriculum KU designed called “Fusion” to remediate reading for struggling, under-performing urban students. While creating my own curriculum is in fact ideal, doing so the night before is not, but I simply could not move I was so sick over the weekend).

I had a hard time planning/writing my lesson and my paper because my laptop was broken. I had to use my husband’s computer, which has some kind of fucked up version of Word that corrupts the files and is not connected to a printer so when I would email the files to myself to print elsewhere they would not open. His computer is new, snazzy, and has a 30″ monitor. He does big important arty shit on it and has a million external hard drives. But you know what, the copy of Word is fucked. Word is my life. My husband (and many other people) constantly make fun of my 2005 12″ PowerBook G4, but the machine has never died on me before and is perfectly suited to my Internet-obsessed life and word processing habits.

Went out to dinner for my anniversary (to Oliveto obviously) and was spoiled by my husband. It was so lovely, SO many flowers. Honestly.

Tuesday

Taught in the morning, went to class in the afternoon, having managed to get everything word-processed and printed. Submitted draft of aforementioned paper.

Ran to the Apple store after class, couldn’t get help because I didn’t have a Genius Bar appointment because when I checked they didn’t have any and usually when that happens I just go there and wait and someone doesn’t show up for their appointment and I get helped. Not so this time. Some asshole was trying to blow me off. So I just bought a new power cord thinking that the fact that my machine wouldn’t power on had to be either the power cord of the need for a new battery.

Went home, the power cord made it all better!!! I had a working computer again!!!

I cooked a big dinner (something I don’t do every weeknight especially when I’m stressed with schoolwork, but it was part of…

Anniversary week month celebration. (Monday night was a lot about my husband celebrating me, and Tuesday night it was my turn to celebrate him). He loved it, I even got his favorite scotch-mallows and molasses crisps at See’s across the street from the Apple store at Bay Street. It was great.

molasses

scotchmallow

Wednesday

Woke up amazed that I was still sick, so I committed to flushing my system. Within the course of the day I drank approximately 5 liters of water, a carton of tangerine juice, and a bottle of 100% Pomegranate juice. And multiple cups of Yogi brand Ginger tea and Honey Lemon Throat coat tea. My stomach managed the whole thing incredibly well.

Taught in the morning…

Was in class at Mills from 1-5:45PM straight. Wednesdays are a bitch for me. Had a paper due Thursday (again that I hadn’t started due to my sickness) and a second draft of the paper I wrote for Tuesday. I also had to write a lesson plan and prepare to teach it on Thursday (again, similarly to above). And I had to prepare for an important meeting with a professor on Thursday.

When I got home I had a family emergency that had to be dealt with before starting my papers. It was a long night.

Thursday

I woke up in the morning to the electricity we paid 12K to get entirely redone in August on the fritz. I went outside in the cold to the box on the side of the house (it’s 6AM) and I switched the fuses on and off, but only half the power went back on.

On my way to work I called the electrician and left a voice mail, a kind, urgent voice mail.

Along with my early morning realization about the electricity I was still ridden with mucous and remained intent on my flushing mission. Again I drank 4 or so liters of water over the course of the day, a lot of Yogi tea, and a “magnum” size bottle of Cran-Apple juice from Trader Joe’s. My urinary tract should be extraordinarily healthy this week.

Got to school.

I taught a great lesson–a great fucking lesson. I wish I had videotaped it. I was on fire, the kids were on fire, they were teaching each other. It was so fucking beautiful. YES! That’s my art baby.

I left school, picked up my prescription that I had to have for Friday. While I was waiting for my prescription to fill I made a to do list for the rest of the day and made a packing list for NYC that was very thoughtful so as not to look like a Bay Area schlumpy bumpkin in NYC.

During all this, there was a man that I had hired cleaning my gutters at the house. He’s a great guy and I had told him about the electricity issue. He figured out the problem–the switch of one essential fuse was stuck and wasn’t really switching on and off–it was stuck in the middle (I didn’t notice this in the dawn’s barely light after my sleepless night), we just had to push it harder, then the electricity went back on. Problem was fixed by noon. And I got to call my husband and tell him and he was proud of me, even though I didn’t solve the problem at least I found someone to solve it for us. He calls me his frontier wife. My skills are akin to using EVERY part of the bison–wasting nothing.

My meeting with my professor was at 1PM.

At 12:15PM I arrived at Bloomies and made a flower arrangement for my professor because she has admired my designs before and I thought it would be good to soften the blow of what I was about to tell her: that the faculty’s and her program to prepare “teachers for tomorrow’s schools” with a clearly articulated heavy social justice mission is in my view falling incredibly short of accomplishing that mission and I’m not going to sit around and be quiet about it. Do you know how much this shit costs??? And do you know how much teachers get paid??? I ain’t going get a buck twenty five like fucking associates out of law school you know? So if I’m paying this money you better bring it. And even if I wasn’t, this is my education at stake and I’m supposed to be a fucking educator! MAN, sorry guys, I get heated about this shit. Someone made the mistake of giving me a T-shirt in high school with an Adrienne Rich quote that said “we will not live to settle for less” and I never looked back. Then my fucking husband goes and gives me a necklace that says “I’m Worth It” in diamonds so yeah, this is it, and it’s never going to be any other way. Some wise people told me “do you” and I’m doin it.

The night before I had managed to revise the paper from Tuesday to turn into my professor (not the one I was meeting with) in his box prior to my 1PM meeting.

By 1PM I arrived at Mills. There was ABSOLUTELY no effing parking because everyone gets there around that time. Risked it and parked in the 10 minute zone in front of the School of Ed. building.

I had an hour and a half long meeting in which I described to my professor the various and major issues that I see as compromising my graduate program. The constructive criticism was very well received. It was a major triumph. I’ll be partnering with my colleagues and the faculty to continue a dialog about improving the teacher preparation program at Mills.

I didn’t eat a damn thing the entire day. I forgot.

I went to the library after my meeting and finished my paper for my 4:15PM class. I went to class thinking that I hadn’t done the reading and found out when I got there that I had done it–two weeks ago when I was working ahead. Blessed. What a day. I was a bit high on me and the way everything was going so well.

Class ended at 6:45PM and I raced home–but stopped to pick up a bottle of wine at Paul Marcus. I had to celebrate surviving the week. I got one bottle for me for the night, a more expensive bottle of Nero D’Avola than I usually buy, to treat myself, and a bottle of Txakoli to bring as a gift for my dear Basque friend who I am staying with in NYC.

I got home and having memorized the list I made earlier in the day, I laid my clothes out on my bed and carefully folded them (I love being a good packer) ready to put in the suitcase. I readied hors d’oeuvres for my friends and family who were coming over to see me off. I lit candles.

I had my weekly Thursday night meeting with The Triumvirate: EPK, MDM, and RCR. We are a group of Mills students who enjoy each other’s company, respect each other as intellectuals, are committed to supporting each other as we embark on exceedingly challenging careers in public education, and have a damn good time.

I rehashed my meeting with my professor for RCR and MDM, who are equally invested in improving the condition of our graduate program, and heard their stories of the day. As usual we yelled, screamed, laughed, and gestured. Hands flying, interrupting, taking turns.

Rimpletide and Alice came to witness it.

My husband didn’t get home until almost 10PM.

He injured himself fairly badly on the film set–it involved a finger and either a drill or screwdriver and a loose flap of skin and that’s all I’ll say. I got him hot salt water baths in finger bowls so he could soak his finger. I fed him food. He went to lie down and read.

Rimpletide and Alic borrowed my car for the weekend and took off, subdued by hangovers from the night before and pleasantly tired by the spectacle of The Triumvirate in action. Thursday night is our night and we never hold back. Once RCR and MDM come to Rockridge all hell breaks loose in the most glorious way. Usually my husband likes to watch and throw something in here and there but the injury and set construction exhaustion had him down for the night.

I fucking baked my husband, RCR, and MDM chocolate chip cookies. Yes I ripped that shit up whipped that shit out! I was on fire yesterday. I could do anything. I could write papers, argue my points, say things I was scared to say to people who are above me, laugh with my friends. I could do it all. AND I knew exactly what I was taking to NYC and remembered to get the wine as a hostess gift dammit.

I loaded the dishwasher, I cleaned up the kitchen, I left minimal mess. I hate to leave for a trip with a messy house. It’s just not right.

My guests trickled out but the last didn’t leave till midnight.

Off to bed.

Friday

I woke up at 5AM with a splitting headache from the Hendricks (the Triumvirate drinks Hendricks exclusively) and wine and so much excitement the night before—unbelievable excitement anticipating my time in NYC.  NYC is like home to me.  It’s going home dammit.

So I got in my Weleda Rosemary Milk Bath (so fucking great it deserves its own post and will get one) and took some headache medicine and downed some water and read Perez Hilton in the bath on my iPhone and emailed my people telling them how I couldn’t wait (to be even more intimate and detailed I will tell you that a bath like that with the concurrent Internet browsing is quite habitual in A Rockridge Life) I finished all my packing, I set my hair.  I made coffee for my husband and me and I let him sleep as long as I could.  I was all ready.  I forgot nothing.  I got it all.  I just had to get on the Bart and get on the plane.

weleda

My husband told me he would drive me to West Oakland to make my trip shorter.  It was great.  I love him so much and I was excited to spend more time with him before I left.  I am not sad he’s not coming.  It will be the good kind of separation.  I will have a chance to experience my NYC loved ones as I should from time to time, just them and me, and husband has art to do.  Some serious art and “making things” as he calls it and that’s what it is and he loves it.  And I love it that he loves it.  And I love IT too—the “making things” that he makes.  It’s all really fucking great.  So we’ll miss each other but it’s cool. 

route

So, I’m the type of bitch who never carries cash because I never have two seconds to take it out of a machine because my life is crazy hectic and it just isn’t what’s going on, trips to the ATM, I can barely get around to filling my car with gas and that is something I HAVE to do because my ass is driving all the fuck around to schools teaching and to a college learning and home again repeat.

SO I get to Bart, I’m on time, it’s COOL.  And I’m on the escalator up to the platform and I realize I left my fucking purse in my husband’s car with my cell phone.

This nice lady on the platform let me use her phone to call my husband but he didn’t pick up because my man is always on the phone with important people in LA and Paris and shit and he’s not so down with unknown numbers so basically I’m fucked

I run down to the station level and get on the pay phone.  Still no pick up

Repeat that 4 or 5 times.  Finally as I’m about to call again he calls the pay phone, says he was trying to pick up but there were some issues who knows?

He comes back.

I get my purse.

I get on Bart.

I make it to South San Francisco but I’m on a fucking Millbrae train so I have to get off and wait for an SFO train.  It works, it comes, but I’m dizzy, nauseous, gassy, and think I might throw up.  I had pain pills and coffee and water and no food and I feel fucked.  I’ve got nothing on me to imbibe or consume in any way.  I was looking at this kid like 20’s listening to an iPod and snacking and I thought about Literally ASKING that motherfucker for some food that’s how much I was dying.  Like hello crazy!  Like my privileged-ass Rockridge-living self begging for food in my nice clothes jewelry and ticket to NYC on Virgin America.  Goddam.

So I get to the airport and I think I’m fucking made.  Because I’d been scared I wouldn’t make it–but I did make it.  I’m like fucking Joe Pesci in Goodfellas going to get made–all puffed up with my good suit on just so ignorant that right now shit’s really hitting the fan and my ass is going to get knocked off!!!

getting-made

I make it through security and I’m just like OK all I need is some fucking yogurt you know? All I need is some yogurt.  Those live cultures are going to settle my stomach.  So  I grab some Yoplait, it’s cool, I indulge in some BS fashion mags, and get on that PLANE!!!

And I’m putting my shit in the overhead and I realize I fucking left my computer in the bin at security.

I’m sweating.

I tell the flight attendant.

He said to tell the women at the desk at the gate.

I run up there.

They tell me to run to security and get it.

I do.

I run.

I’m panting.

I tell the TSA guys, it’s cool, early morning at the International Terminal and not too busy.

I know it’s going to be cool,

But the running made my stomach crazy and I’m worried I’m going to throw up on the TSA guy’s shoes.  They get my comp, make me sign something and I’m off.

I get on the plane.

I eat a yogurt.

I feel better.

I start reading the December issue of Bazaar (Lindsay Lohan really randomly soothes me).  It’s the best issue of a fashion magazine I feel like I’ve read in about 5 years.  Amazing shit.

bazaar

I’m starting to chill and I see a jacket that makes me think about my best friend Mrs. Jubbison.  And ooooooooooh shit Jebbison’s birthday was yesterday and I fucking forgot.

 

 

 

 

 

Jubbison is a seriously tough lady and the most loving person I know.  She’s a third year law student at one of the highest ranking law schools in the country.  She’s a star there.  She already has her high paying job all lined up and this girl is a SUPERSTAR.  She is just so hardworking and smart it’s out of this world.  AND she is the most loving Christian I know.  This girl is dil-I-gent.  I mean for REAL.  You just don’t know.  And I LOVE the fuck out of her.  And she is the most thoughtful person, you know she emailed and called ME on MY wedding anniversary.  Because she is in love with me and my husband and our love that she wanted to celebrate us and make sure we knew it.  And she doesn’t give a fuck about her birthday or presents.  She thinks it’s silly at the age we are to have to have some big deal about your birthday every year.   All she cares about is the people she loves, taking care of them, working really unbelievably fucking hard, and praising the Lord.  And if someone she really cared about cared about his or her birthday she’d care about it.  But she doesn’t care about her own birthday.  But I forgot her birthday.  I couldn’t believe myself.  I knew it was coming too, I planned it out, I knew I would write, would call, would do it all.  And I didn’t even stop long enough yesterday to realize it was December 4th.  We’ve been close since we were 12 YEARS OLD.  Man, I felt dumb. 

So there you go.

Onwards and Upwards.

Thank you.

And

You’re welcome.

Signed,

Saddleshoos

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Waiting for the Chicken to Bake

Digital mixing, wine drinking, and my favorite magazine, Sunset.  I know there are some haters out there, but it is a really soothing cornucopia of Western food, travel, and the good life.  Think slow food and Napa.  Great recipes too.  

sunset

What I’m making tonight (not from Sunset magazine…I know).

The wine I’m drinking:

dolcetto

I just can’t get enough of the Italian reds these days.  This is excellent and can be found in the “Bargain Red” section of Paul Marcus at approximately $13.  Paul Marcus is a brilliant place.  

On the digital playlist tonight, at randomly and on purpose:

Prince: Cinnamon Girl from Musicology (really random), Sebadoh: my old favorites favorites favorites Not A Friend and Got It, Sufjan Stevens: All Good Naysayers Speak Up Or Forever Hold Your Peace! from Greetings from Michigan, Grizzly Bear: Colorado (Dan’s guitar in the middle/at the bridge is amazing, I could just listen to this over and over again–great song–I’ll never forget when this album came out and Sean blogged about it with the title CHEER UP CHEER UP CHEER UP–when I am listening to this song I also think WHAT NOW? WHAT NOW? WHAT NOW? WHAT NOW? amazing), Dorival Caymmi: Samba Da Minha Terra, Pixies: Rock Music from Bossanova, Keilis: Bossy, Marisa Monte: Pra Ser Sincero, Eddie Palmieri: La Malanga, Tito Puente Y Hector Lavoe: Timbalero, Keyshia Cole Featuring Lil’ Kim & Missy Elliot: Let It Go, Aurelio Martinez: Nuwerun

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

It was supposed to be 1 pasta dish, 1 glass of wine

But Oliveto can’t be that simple.

I got back to Rockridge from after school night at nine pm, starving.  I. was at a work dinner, and rather than return to an empty house to scrounge something together, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine at the bar at Oliveto.

When I got there I turned exhausted self and my gastronomic experience over to the capable hands of Finn, who often works upstairs behind the bar.  When I told him I was coming from BTSN he immediately started mixing me a Vodka Nero.  Now, I’ve always been curious about the Vodka Nero cocktail offered at Oliveto, but never tried one.  Let me tell you, it was worth it.  It was really, really good.  I mean really.  Finn mixed Ketel One with Navarro Pinot Noir grape juice and a tad of lime juice.  Exquisite.  The pictures are bad, because all I had was my iPhone, and the lighting is dim, but I must include them anyway:

There is something about how they grow Pinot Noir grapes in Mendocino that is unworldly, and Navarro is just TO DIE FOR:

Then I got the glass of wine, Pinot noir (this time with alcohol), and the bowl of pasta I’d been hoping for.  Finn helped me select the farro spezzatini with boar meatballs.  The meatballs were made completely delicate with a subtle hint of juniper.  Yet the spezzatini itself was strong enough to make the entire experience both refined and comforting.

Then, as Finn plied me with Pinot Noir, Fernando helped me pick dessert.  I can’t even remember exactly what the ice cream was, just that it had toffee–oh yes and almond base!  And it was delicious.

Sitting at that bar is just a slice of heaven.  I stared into the fire in the wood burning stove, watched as Hoffman farm hens were cooked under a brick, and chatted with the wonderful people of Oliveto.  I even spied through the kitchen door Paul Canales wrapping proscuitto in the back, hopping around energetically in his black beret, black Monterey Fish Market sweatshirt, khakis, and black converse.  It’s hard for me to remember a time I’ve seen him in anything else.  He served the table of VIP’s behind me on the balcony the prosciutto, and had even removed the beret to do so.  After chatting them up, he came back behind the bar, and scrubbed his hands in the sink.  It’s amazing to spy and artist’s hands; his fingers fit together nicely, making his hands into two cups he scrubbed toghther.  He walked by, I caught his eye, and he said, “keeping out of trouble?” I said, “sometimes.” 

Finn wasn’t done with me.  He poured me a glass of sherry by Pedro Ximenez.  You can catch a glipse of the troublemaker behind the glass:

It was quite an experience, the Pedro Ximinez.  Unbelievable taste, strongly reminiscent of molasses, of which I’m a huge fan.  It must be my Southern blood. 

At nine when I came in, the people of Oliveto were scurrying around, making every amateur diner’s night a magical experience.  They are amazing those people of Oliveto.  Everyone from the busser to the manager has a spark, a wild spirit if you will, along with great knowledge and pride in their work.  Sitting there at the bar surrounded by convivial atmosphere (and two gorgeous large scale fall colors arrangements with leaves, snowberries, and rosehips!) I just wanted to MOVE IN and LIVE THERE.  It’s that great.

By ten things had calmed down, Paul was out the door, and Sarah, who drew me in to Oliveto in the first place came over for a little chat.  Another great night at my home away from home. 

Long live Oliveto.  Bravo i miei amici, Bravo!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized