Sunday, August 30, 2009


Surrounded by so many, but yet no one
For Friendship
For Comfort
For Love
For Companionship
For Passion
For Someone
Anger? Yes.
Sadness? Yes.
Bitterness? Yes.
Frustration? Yes.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Market Funny

There aren't even words to describe this. It's been at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market the last few times I've been there. It's a pop up 'screen'. And yes, it's a banana. And a monkey. With little holes cut in where a 'face' and 'arms' might be. Weird, right?

Well. That's not all. There's a guy playing the guitar and a guy planning a saxophone that go with this. They stand behind the 'screen', and stick their heads in the 'head' holes. And then there are little 'arm' holes too. So that they can stick their hands through and play their instruments.

It's beyond bizarre. I can't really explain it, but just had to snap this photo and share.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Favorite: Sunset in Sonoma

A gorgeous sunset over the Sonoma Valley...
This was the view from the house I rented for my 30th birthday. Not a bad way to ring in 30!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Feeling Down

I’ve been kind of feeling down lately. There have been little things that are getting me down. Frustrating situations at work. People rubbing me the wrong way. That date that never came through (because, yes, you guessed it, a busy night at the restaurant.) Things just not going my way. Not a big deal. Things I can shrug off.

Then there are the things that are a little bit more frustrating and more challenging for me to get over. That guy I like that just isn’t that into me. Struggling to feel comfortable and confident on my scooter. Finding balance between work, my friends, and my own quiet down time.

Then the hardest thing? A situation that’s made me miss my mom even more than usual. It has my heart aching and has me thinking about how different my life was just a few short years ago.

The combination of all of these things? It’s just gotten me down. I’m beat. Each time I try and look at the positives, something else happens. Each time I try and shake it off, something else gets thrown at me. My emotions are up and down. I feel like that poor character in Charlie Brown that’s got that dark cloud over them. Following me no matter which way they go.

I’m continuing to try and keep my head above water. To keep my chin up. And to stay smiling. And thank goodness for so many amazing friends. Ready to be there with me when I need a drink (bourbon please!), there when I need a walk, some company, or just a good cry. In the meantime? Forgive me if the next time you see me I’ve got that glistening tear in my eye.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Poems and Lists

I’ve been doing a lot of non-blog writing. And I’ve been reading a lot. One of my all time favorite blogs is Eggbeater by Shuna Fish Lydon. What do I love about her blog? The honesty. And the poetry. I think I’m going to give it a try. Maybe if I can’t express myself in full sentences and complete thoughts, I can get some of my feelings across via a poem (or more accurately, via phrases or lists).

I also feel like I’ve been ignoring my blog a little bit. Shuna’s most recent post also talks about some of the reasons she’s been ignoring her blog. While her’s is written in a much more eloquent form, here are some of my reasons:

Reading more
Watching TV more
Spending time with friends
Missing mom
Missing dad
Balance—less time in front of my computer
Feeling sad
Feeling lonely
Spending time outside in the sunshine
Spending time on the couch when it’s foggy
Dinner with my friends
Making jam
Emotionally drained
Learning to scoot
Not dating
Getting stood up
Figuring out my finances

I hope things turn around. And I get out of this phase. I do miss writing. And I miss my little blog.

Monday, August 24, 2009


This blog post on Slashfood made me think. For a girl that will eat just about everything, what foods do I dislike? There are a handful of things. Things you wouldn’t be surprised to hear (goat kidney for example). But then there are some other foods that you might be surprised to hear. For example, if you’ve been a longtime reader of my blog, you’ll know about my dislike for cilantro from this post.

But did you know there are other foods that I don’t love? Foods that sure, I’ll eat. But will I ever choose to eat them? Do I ever make them at home? Do I ever order it when I’m at a restaurant? No. For example, risotto. Yup. Sorry guys. Not my favorite thing to eat. I prefer straight up pasta. What else? Oysters. I like one every now and again. But eat dozens and dozens of them? Not for me. A few other things? Mushrooms. Chorizo. Again, foods I do eat. But not favorites. I don’t love papaya. And while I eat pineapple (and love it), I don’t love pineapple juice (so when you’re making me a cocktail, please refrain from adding the juice!)

What do you dislike? What foods or dishes do you hate? What foods or dishes are you just not crazy about?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Favorite: The Orchards

Aren't these photos incredible? A few weeks ago, I drove out to Brentwood with my sister and good friend Tarlan. Our mission? Peach picking!

For some reason, my sister and I have always wanted to do this. Maybe it was my obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder and a vision of living on a farm. Or maybe it was my sister's love for Anne of Green Gables, and life on the picturesque rural Prince Edward Island. Regardless, this was something we had always wanted to do.

In addition to peaches? We picked plums and apples. We had a great time--although I do have to admit, I'm not sure how fun it would have been if we had to pick all day under that hot sun. And of course for us, it was a novelty. A photo shoot we kept saying (and we did get some awesome photos!)

In the end? A really fun day and an amazing experience. Would I go back? For sure! I would like to go pick some other fruits and vegetables too.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Favorite: Some Soapy Porky Goodness

My newest kitchen addition--some soap. But not just any soap. It's soap made out of lard. And peppermint scented. And with a cute flying pig!

Get it quick while you can at the Boccalone store in the Ferry Building Marketplace!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I think about Paul often. For a guy I don’t know very well, I think of him often. I can probably count on my two hands how many times we’ve actually had a conversation. We’ve never really hung out. And I don’t really anything about him. But I think about him a lot. Just about every time I pick up a knife. Why? Because my limited knife skills—I owe to him.

It was back during my staging days at Postrio. And I was working the line, and had no idea what I was doing. One night, it was slow. And Paul, the executive sous, was peering over the counter to see what I was doing. I was cutting something. An avocado actually. And he grimaced as he watched me. I could feel him looking at me. I knew immediately I was doing something wrong. “STOP!” I put down my knife. He told me I was doing it wrong and making him nervous. He came around the counter and into the pantry island station. “You’re holding your knife all wrong. You have no control and you’re making me nervous. Here, let me show you.”

And show me he did. He taught me how to grip my knife. And how to cut. And how to chop. And how to slice. And how to attack that avocado with confidence. It sounds stupid, but I had been doing it wrong all this time. Sure, I was able to cut and slice and make do in the kitchen. But it’s really a miracle that I hadn’t sliced a finger off. I had been holding my knife wrong all this time.

He told me to practice. Told me to go home, buy a bag of carrots and start cutting. Make them all uniform pieces. Cubes, thin little strips, chunks. Didn’t matter the shape. Just that they were all the same.

Paul took the time to teach me. He didn’t have to. He could have let me just figure it out. I wasn’t a permanent cook. Who knew how much longer I was even going to be there for? He wasn’t the one that hired me. I didn’t even think he liked having me there—I thought that I was getting in the way more than I was helping. But no. I was there. And it didn’t matter who brought me, how long I was staying for or what. I was there, and that’s all that it mattered. If I was going to be there, he was going to teach me. I will forever owe him for teaching me this skill.

So. Now, every time I reach for my knife and my fingers slip into that soft spot right between the bottom of the blade and the handle, I think of Paul. Every time I grab my knife confidently, I think of Paul. Every time I dice something up and all the pieces are uniform and the same size, I think of Paul. And I thank him again.

And there are times, when I get lazy, or am in a rush and just trying to put dinner together, I look at something I’ve cut up and see the jagged and uneven pieces, and I think of Paul. He would be disappointed. He’d tell me to stop. And to do it all over again. Because if you’re in it, you better do it right.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy National S'mores Day

Did you know? Today is National S'mores Day! Yes, that gooey childhood favorite. Best when made around a camp fire. And shared with friends.

I was recently able to enjoy a good gooey s'mores during a fourth of July picnic. In my excitement, I dug right into it without capturing the moment on film. And when I did? My sticky fingers didn't do a very good job. Opps. Guess that just means the s'mores was that good.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Favorite: End of a Long Night

I absolutely love this photo. It was taken at the end of a long night of eating and drinking. My friends and I had begun with pre-dinner drinks (thank you Mark!), and then headed over to Incanto for Chef Chris Cosentino's Head to Tail dinner. We started off with some bubbly while waiting for our table, and then yes, we did have the wine pairings with dinner. Post dinner? Drinking some bourbon-like-sake with the kitchen crew, and then heading over to Beretta for some more drinks.

So much fun! But you know it's time to go home when your feet are killing you--so much so that you have to take off your shoes.

How exactly did my shoes end up on the table? Not really sure. And why did I put down my BlackBerry AND my beer (two things that never leave my hand)? Again, not really sure. And how did a candle end up IN my shoe? Sigh. No clue.

What am I sure of? It was one fun night with some great friends.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Random Act of Kindness

I prejudged someone. I made an assumption about him based on nothing aside from how he looked.

I was at my local wine bar with a girlfriend. Hanging out, catching up, gossiping. At one point I noticed a little old lady walk in. She was alone. She went up to the bar and ordered some food. She sat and quietly ate her food. She caught my eye because she was so frail. And so small.

The rest of the bar? Filled with young people. A lot of gals. A few people out on dates. We saw a group of friends, guys and girls. One of the guys waved to my friend. I asked how she knew him. "Oh, he's another neighbor. I see him in here sometimes. He's kind of a surfer dude, I'm surprised he cut his hair, it use to be so long!"

I didn't pay much more attention to anyone else in the bar. We continued our conversation, whispering, giggling, drinking our bubbles.

I'm not really sure how it happened. But the next thing I know, the little lady was done. And she was getting off her stool, getting her bags together and heading out.

The 'surfer dude' immediately left his group of friends, and went over to her. He helped her gather her belongings, grabbed her bags for her, and held out his arm for her to hold onto. She grabbed on, and with very little dialogue, they walked out. He was walking her home.
I sat there in awe as I watched them out the window, walk slowly up the slightly inclined hill. They were moving at a turtle's pace, and he was hunched over, and you could tell he was talking to her.

I interrupted my friend as she was mid-sentence, and made her look out the window to see. "Oh yea. He's really nice. I've seen him walk her home before."

Amazing. Who does that anymore? I don't think I know very many people that would have done that. It took a mere 10 min for him to walk her home and get back to the bar to rejoin his friends. Sure, maybe he was trying to impress that girl in the group. But I don't think so. It seemed genuine. And he was doing it for no other reason than because she needed help.

It was an eye opening experience. A much needed reminder that genuinely good people are out there and to not judge a book by it's cover.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Meal of the Month: July

July was an interesting month. There were lots of good meals…but there was also lots of pain. My painful stomach/intestinal issues also resulted in lots of bland meals and sadly, lots of soups and liquid dinners.

But of the meals I was able to have? Let’s see. Lots of dinner ‘in’. Maybe it’s the recession. Or the cold SF summer. But there was sushi at home with a friend, wine and cheese night with two of my favorite “Michelle’s”, and a relaxing evening with home made pizza at home for a friend’s post-surgery recovery meal.

What else? Multiple delicious meals at my friend Chef Chad Newton’s restaurant Fish & Farm (my favorite pole bean salad, a DELISH hamburger, and AMAZING fried chicken!)

There was the simple breakfast at Out the Door, and the delicious dinner at Heaven’s Dog. The ‘wedding food’…at the Clift House! Some of the best ‘wedding food’ I’ve ever had. And the amazing Sonoma dinner at El Dorado Kitchen with friends new and old (with PLENTY of Robert Sinksey wine!)

Another highlight of the month? Fourth of July! Hanging out all day in Golden Gate park with some fun friends from the restaurant industry. A day of playing soccer with one of my favorite 4 year olds, water balloon tosses, slosh ball, and oh, did I mention there were two whole pigs roasted and all the meat, sides, desserts, and booze you can imagine? And that post the day long festivities we continued celebrating the holiday by grilling mortadella dogs and eating leftovers from Spices (yum yum!)

And the end of the month highlight? A delicious meal at Pesce with friends John and Justyna. I was so happy to finally go to this awesome spot (right in my neighborhood!) and to be taken there by two good friends who were regulars at the place. It reminded me that it's always best to check out a restaurant with regulars. The highlights? The octopus. The corn with panchetta. The milk braised pork. The crab linguini. And oh. ALL the amazing cocktails and drinks. YUM.

But no. That was not the meal of the month either. Meal of the month? Burger Night at Sarah and Evan’s. Let me set it up for you. It’s a Monday night, and my dear friends invite me over for Burger Night at their house. The invite came about mid day and not that I was an after thought or anything, it was a bit of a last minute invite. No problem. I was free and happy to hang out with them. Burger Night sounded perfect.

WELL. Burger Night at the Rich household sure isn’t like Burger Night at my house. To start? Burger Night starts off with cocktails…with freshly squeeze juice. Yum. And a cheese plate that included a home made chicken liver moose. YUM. I could have eaten the whole jar. Seriously.

Then the main course. Well, they were kobe beef burgers to begin with. Ground up right at home. And there was a whole condiment tray. And umm, hand cut, freshly fried French fries. SO GOOD. If only that could be my standard Monday night meal. Or even just my standard “Burger Night” meal. That would be heavenly. Thank you Sarah and Evan!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out

Poor Ralphie. Now I know how he feels.

I’ve been thinking about getting a scooter for some time now. And have always wanted to zip around the city. I know that there are dangers associated with riding a scooter. And I know that if I plan to drive one, I need to be careful. But little did I know that the immediate reaction for so many people the second they heard I was going to get a scooter would be “Oh my god. Be careful.”

Who did they think I was? Some irresponsible kid? Yes. I will get motorcycle safe shoes, jacket and gloves. No. I won’t wear open toed shoes when I’m riding. And umm, no. I won’t be drinking and driving. Thank you very much. Safety classes? Yes. I’ll definitely sign up for that. Insurance, driving permit. Of course!

I know many of my friends and family members are all concerned for my well being. I appreciate it. And I love them all for it. But I am not just jumping into this. I’ve done my research. And I’m going to do it right. I’m going to take the right steps and take every precaution. I’m not rushing into anything and hoping on the scooter before I’m ready.

I want this to be a good experience. I want my little scooter to change my life—to make things easier for me, to make grocery shopping and every day errands a little bit easier, to minimize the amount of time it takes me to get from one neighborhood to another and maybe to save some money on cab fare. I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize this!

In the meantime, I hope my experience turns out a little bit better than Ralphie’s…because as the loyal fans will remember, he did shoot his eye “out”.