Tuesday, October 27, 2009

San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer's Market

Saturday was a happy happy day. Got to meet up with The Big for the first time in MONTHS. Honestly, the way medical school destroys relationships is almost offensive. An unexpected trip to the Bay just in time for the Game (49-17 GO BEARS) meant that we got to meet up for brekkers.

Being a genius, I volunteered the Farmer's Market as an excellent source of pre-game nourishment.

Instead of being smart and healthy young people, investing in our future with colorful veggies:
we instead opted for the delicious Golden Gate Breakfast Muffin. With Bacon. Duh.

We walked and chatted, and sat and chatted, and ate and chatted. When you go months without speaking to people, you tend to have a lot to catch up on.

Appropriately spirited flowers:

We both kind of wished we liked egg plant more after seeing the color on these puppies. But...they are gross! And kind of rubbery!

Tomatoes...I can get behind. However, at the end of the summer, you have had enough caprese to tide you over till the next June.

Instead, we have harvest season:

Side note - late season harvest was last week for Simi. Delicious.

I actually had an ulterior motive in dragging The Big to the farmer's market:
That's right. Apple Cider. Fresh apple cider. For Apple Cider Doughnuts.


I don't even need to say it. You already KNOW how sweet it is.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ok So Here's What Happened

This post has multiple parts:

Thursday - Chez Panisse
Saturday - Alternative Press Expo
Sunday - Chaja


So Thursday - it is the Man and my 1-year anniversary (balloons). I'll wait while you go throw up from emotional overload.


Although the two of us are both very bright, we are both very broke, so choosing to go to Chez Panisse was kind of a big deal. Luckily, Ms. Waters totes delivered. I had never been to this excessively fancy restaurant before, but I was well pleased. It's a very warm room - the lighting almost reddish, reflecting off the hammered copper lamp shades and sconces. We sat in the back corner against what looked like a mirrored wall, and the light shone off the sconces and lampshades and warm polished wood and made the food look amazing.

First was pate de campagne, with mustard and carrots and beets and green beans and cornichons. My experience with pate is...limited, and my palette is comically inadequate but it reminded me of the way you kind of always wished cured salumi would taste - wild, but softer.

I screwed up my courage and took pictures for the rest of the courses with my dinky lil point and shoot camera:

This was probably my favorite - 3 soups combined into one awesome party: spinach, corn, and pepper. Now, looking at that list o soups, you would think they would be all jostling for attention: corn is always sweet, and spinach is unmistakeable, and pepper is...pepper. Instead it was like they all came to the party and were like "hey, what's up..." and that was IT. They MELDED and as you swallowed they made themselves heard in different parts of your tongue. Also, HOORAY FOR MARBLING.
Ok, so main course: Grilled Sonoma Liberty duck breast au poivre with chanterelle mushrooms and gratin dauphinois. A fairly traditional way to do au poivre, but the duck was perfect. Melting meat is a curious sensation, but there you are. The potatoes were delicious - not heavy at all (quite the feat for gratin) and sort of tangy. It was awesome to have au poivre a different way, seeing as the Sinks usually rock the venison au poivre (only in our family its venison + black goop. Yeah.)

To finish up, a Tarte Tatin with the first Pink Ladies of the season, with a scoop of housemade creme fraiche ice cream.

Dissecting a meal like this is definitely out of the ordinary for Sweetness (I am sooo not Ruth Reichl), but it was a special occasion.

This post is getting long, so I will leave you with these one liners:
Friday - ZOMBIELAND. Go see it. Rule #32 Yo.
Saturday - Alternative Press Expo. I got the BEST ART EVER. I love meeting creative people, even though this is how most of the conversations went:
Artist - Thanks for checking out my stuff! You guys artists too?
B - I draw on the side, but I mostly do a lot of writing.
F - Nope, just jealous.
I suppose I have baking. I have reasonable assertions that I'm pretty good at it, despite the incomprehensible messes.
Sunday - Chaja. Dad's birthday + Excuse for making DECADENT Brazilian dessert. Unfortunately, this is really not a dessert suited for photography. Like, at all. In the words of the Mav, it's a hot mess. But it has dulce de leche! And that is enough for me. Recipe will be posted after it has been translated from the odd blend of Portuguese and Spanish that is the peculiar language of the Fernandez-O'Keeffe's.

I love it when my life has the sweetness.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Fantastic news team!!

POLAROID IS COMING BACK. Sort of. If you are loaded. And special.

Sadly, I can only be one of the two at a time. Today it is special. Being loaded will have to wait for another time.


They've had the sweetness since 1948. Vintage, classic sweetness.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Re: The Alameda Flea + HSB

I know right? You had to do a double take because you thought HSB = HSM = High School Musical, and your head almost exploded. I would have freaked out too.

Instead, HSB stands for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, which was FANTASTIC but more on that later. Allow me to expound on the TOTAL AWESOME that is the Alameda Antiques Fair, known by those of us...in the know...as the Alameda Flea.

This place has everything you didn't know you needed (or wanted) and maybe more. For example, how much do you TOTALLY want a new phone? With a rotary dial? IN GREEN?

Next up, we have vintage London bus rolls. I really don't have any desire to live in an overly expensive SOMA loft (although I wouldn't mind living in an old warehouse. With brick siding. ahem) I could probably make these right? With relevant Bus lines? Maybe not...

Walking around the corner, I am jolted to a stop by this:
Now, I know what you are thinking. A marquis frame (lights included and working!) surrounding the Batman Forever movie poster. I know I speak for a definite minority of people when I say that Jim Carrey's Riddler was hilarious, and that I found Tommy Lee Jones hysterically unbalanced, but even I realize the folly of this sales move.

Farm animals. Made out of tin. And then piled haphazardly on one another. Need I say more?
I think not.

Some of you, seeing this next picture will gravitate toward disparate parts of the photo.
Some to the cool ashtray, some to the vintage oval coffee table, and still others to the avocado green circle bench. I myself took this picture for the GIANT FISH. BECAUSE OMG GIANT FISH.

Because, c'mon. How often do you see a jumbled pile of wooden ducks?! I can't really imagine that it's all that often. Unless you are a duck hunter. And these are your decoys. In which case I would tell you that they clearly need some TLC. No self respecting duck is going to be fooled by this amount of chipping paint, and then who is gonna be sorry come dinner time? Not the duck my friend.

And finally, I will end this with jewelry.
Because this is my blog. And we all know that's just how I roll.

A brief note on Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. After a MASTERFUL effort of trying to get into the park (seriously, took us 3 hours) we arrived! And got to briefly hear Neko Case! And were offered miscellany by several different strangers!

I love San Francisco.

And before you ask, I did indeed pick up a few things for myself at the Flea. One, a blue and white china tea cup that is inscribed with Made in Occupied Japan. And a skeleton. Made of wood. And gold leaf.

He hangs next to my bed and leers at you when you walk in the door.

I love him. His name is Tomas "El Dulce" Molina. He oh so totally has the sweetness.

Re: The USC Game

Let's get down to brass tacks people.

When it comes to the Trojans, the Bears have a less than pristine record. In fact, it is almost uniformly DARK except for the one bright, shining spot in 2003.

*tear* Excuse me, I get emotional just thinking about that game. So beautiful.

Anyway, despite an awesome pregame first at The Ferry Building, and then at the Lair (exhibit A)

...we just couldn't get the act together. It was a mess. In the beginning, it looked like optimism would lead the Bears down the field, but this was closely followed by an interception. In the end zone. Best was held to under 50 yards and the Bears were demoralized almost from the start.

Heart Wrenching.

Also, have you ever tried to take the downtown Berkeley Bart after a game? MADNESS. It looked like a scene out of Independence Day, when the aliens drive everyone out of the city and traffic is INSANE. That's what the Bart station looked like. A solid mass of people. My shoulders were cringing, both from people-claustrophobia AND an irrational fear of an alien attack.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Argentina Part 1 - Miami

Of the innumerable blogs I follow, one of my favorites has to be The Big Picture, out of the Boston Globe. Mr. Taylor collects the best AP and press photos internationally, and places them all together, always relevant to some current event. Check it out, Team - Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Thanks to UNESCO adding Tango, it put me in mind of the recent trip to Argentina, and the fact I had never really posted pictures. Also, the fact that I kept a travel journal whilst...traveling, really prompted me in starting this silly blog.


At this point, most of you have heard about the insanity that was our first attempt to leave the country. Heavy storms over TN prompted major delays, so we missed our connecting flight from Miami to Buenos Aires. The next flight wasn't for another...24 hours.


So we chilled in Miami! From this I learned several things:
1) Smart phones are so critical. Like seriously - the Airline kept telling us to use our Blackberries to figure out hotels and the status of the flight. ONLY WE COULDN'T DUE TO OUR TOTAL LACK of smart phones. Blackberries or otherwise.
2) Cabbies in Miami are jerks. For some reason, our Chosen One decided to take us on a merry tour of the freeways between the Airport and our "Airport Hotel" for 35 MINUTES.
3) Miami in June is Impossibly. Hot. Gross Hot. Shirt sticks to back and seat and surrounding objects Hot. Eww.
4) Iguanas in Florida are like Deer in California - everywhere.
5) If someone offers you the chance to drive a cigarette boat, you take it: