Scenes from a Weekend

Lots of  food-y (and foodless) goings on this weekend. Sadly, I didn’t have my camera for many of them. The biggest event of the weekend, Pre-T Dinner, was held outside, in the late evening, on a not-so-well lit patio. Noting the absence of external lights, I didn’t even fiddle with my iPhone.

Pre-T stands for Pre-Thanksgiving, and may I just say, Wow, what a spread. Omid deep fried the turkeys, and though I wasn’t able to snag any meat, I did try a bit of the skin. Full disclosure: Alex cajoled me to try the skin, and I am very glad I did. It had a texture similar to jerky (not-quite-jerkified jerky) and a taste like buttery heaven.

A. & I brought two dishes to Pre-T — well, three. We made two Tortillas, which turned out beautifully: potatoey, symmetric, and just golden brown. In the buffet line, I heard murmurs of “Is that Tortilla? Who made Tortilla?” And I experienced swells of pride, even though I had nothing to do with the slicing of vegetables.

Joey and Pat’s Italian Bakery & Cafe, a quick two blocks from my house, opened last week. The few times I’ve walked past, I’ve given a curious eye to the pastry trays: croissants sprinkled with delicate almonds, crumb cakes, danishes. On a whim, I picked up a pound of assorted cookies to bring to Pre-T. The woman who took my order (Pat, is that you?) was supremely friendly; we talked bus routes and intersections. The cookies were dynamite; I say this because I ate six or seven yesterday, the turkey having been devoured before I could get to it. The Mexican wedding cookies had a beautiful crumb, teetering between crumbly and sticky. Soft & almondy biscotti, sugar-encrusted rugelach, sugar cookies dashed with candy-colored sprinkles. Oh, yes: I’ll be back. Saturday afternoon, pre-Pre-T, Alex and I strolled through the Ferry Building Farmers Market. I could not resist the grapes, purple-black and dusted with yeast, or the dinosaur kale. A. & I each got a bunch of organic carrots, knobbier than their city cousins, and shorter. They’re built like peasants. I can’t wait to try them in tomorrow’s dinner.

We stopped by Prather Ranch, where Stu was working. Bought some bacon from Stu (because Prather Ranch’s bacon is BEYOND ALL OTHER BACONS) and learned about the shop’s heritage turkeys, raised by one Frank Reese. “Frank saved heritage turkeys from extinction,” Stu told us, leaning against the bacon cooler. “It’s a great story — too long for Saturday afternoon at the Ferry Building, but there was a great piece on NPR about it.”

And so there was: the story is here, if you care to listen to it.Though muesli has reigned supreme for months as my top breakfast choice, peanut butter toast is gaining favor. Saturday morning, when I woke up after the deepest, most prehistoric sleep, I made two slices, to which I added cinnamon. Cinnamon sugar would have been better, but cinnamon was good. I find myself lately making my coffee a little too strong — on purpose, though. I’ve gotten my milk-to-coffee ratio down pat. Strong coffee with more milk tastes better than moderate coffee with moderate milk. Extremes in all circumstances, as they say.


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