Ahoy! I’m back after a weekend of music, mischief, and bottomless garlic fries. Alex, Sarah, Brent, and I joined our pals for the Treasure Island Music Festival this weekend. Saturday morning, we set sail from Pier 39, black licorice and rhythm instruments in tow; after a placid trip, the Owl’s motor died. We drifted in to the Treasure Island Marina, only to be sent to the pump-out dock. That’s right: we spent the weekend next to the poop vacuum. That tiny snafu aside, we enjoyed the bands (Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks! Battles!) and the profusion of fair food.
My favorite festival food was Saturday night’s gyro, which, after a day of light meals and heavy dancing, seemed like a gift from the heavens. Creamy tzatziki, pillowy pita, and wax-paper thin cucumbers: oh, yes! Gyros are a sandwich I enjoy in moderation — I haven’t found a stellar neighborhood gyro joint — but when I get a good one, the memory of it stays with me for days. Nevermind that this one featured beef instead of lamb; if I’m feeling ambitious, I may mix a batch of tzatziki to ensure the continued good [meal]times. Our best meal was Sunday morning’s brunch on the boat. We woke late to a foggy sky, all of us craving carbs and fresh water. While Alex and Brent tinkered with the motor, Sarah and I put together a meal fit for a band of sleepy festivalgoers: strawberries, sweet and cold from their ice nest; peasant bread in thick slices; manchego, brie, and apricot Stilton; and the crumbs of the cinnamon-sugar pita chips we’d so voraciously consumed the previous evening. I made eggs on the camp stove, balancing the skillet on the narrow burner, leaving the yolks runny to allow for maximum dipping. My lack of a spatula didn’t derail my camp-kitchen efforts. Cooking on the Owl made me miss outdoor cooking and its attendant joys: using a stick to knock foil packets from the embers, the scorched scent of flaming marshmallows, getting dirt on every available utensil. If any of you all want to take a camping trip, let me know: we’ll have s’mores and omelets for days.