Tuesday, July 24, 2007

comfort food

Feeling a bit better today. Went out for lunch with my old buddy Brandon who just moved to SF from the Sacramento area--he's a Californian and we've been friends for five years more or less, and I am at this point one of his oldest friends. He took me to a Chinese restaurant on Ocean Ave called Emmy's where they gave us a big table for 8, because it was all they had. Perched in between large groups of older Chinese men we ate sesame chicken (for him) and orange peel chicken (for me) which wasn't all that spicy. In fact it was so not-that-spicy that I kept eating pieces of the jalapenos (and wondering why they didn't use fresh or dried red chilies) and ate the piece with all the seeds still attached. And then ate lots and lots of rice.

Man, I miss the Millhouse Panda and their spicy orange tofu. Sigh.

I used to always wonder in places like that if the chicken is really chicken, and if not what it is. I used to care much more but these days not as much. Lots of rice and watery tea and discussion of various girls and crushes and jobs. It's nice to be with someone whose patterns you know. And who knows yours. Eating warm, greasy, crispy food and lots of fluffy soft rice and feeling hemmed in by the low-lying fog--but in a safe and comforting way--is good. I don't have many connections here in SF, but I do get little bits of what I need from various people out here and so it's nice to have something like an old friend. Brandon is the one who drove with me here, and the only person I think that I know who would help me travel three thousand miles to change my life.

After Emmy's we drove out to Ocean Beach and scuffed through the sand, and then back to his apartment in sunny Visitacion Valley, and then he left for bartending and I came home to take the cutie pie to Bernal Heights park.

We went blackberry picking and I came home with enough to make wild blackberry ice cream courtesy of Chez Panisse Desserts, which I am a little skeptical of because it contains all cream and no eggs. If I were a better pastry chef I'd know how to cut down the cream, add some milk, and supplement the fat with yolks. But ice cream experimentation usually ends in ice crystals and not silky-soft perfect ice cream. Lucky thinking ahead, I put the cuisinart bowl in to freeze this morning. Also considering using up the rest of my cornmeal dough (if it's any good) and making some pies even though the berry seeds tend to annoy me. The dough's less than a month old (just barely) and came over here from Oakland with me. Meditation class tonight, good for the stressed out baker.

Cornmeal in the fluffy, soft sweet nectarine cakes, maybe? What is my recent obsession with the grit in things?

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