Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Up North

We did, as I said we would, head to San Fran over the weekend. We did, as I said we would, eat A LOT. I'm being really conscious in my pregnancy that this is not a time to eat whatever I want whenever I want to because 1) I want to feed the hummingbird beautiful nutritious things instead of a bunch of refined crap and 2) there will be weight to lose later. That's inevitable. But I'd like it to be the weight I needed to gain and not the weight that came on because I started eating for 5 instead of 2.

That said, it was SO FUN to indulge pretty much all weekend. I was liberated. It was so good.

Friday night we walked through freezing mean rain to The Slanted Door. Yummy and relatively light. Til we got the apple cotton candy at the end. We were determined to walk as we'd been in the car for 6 hours, but that fantasy died as soon as we got to the restaurant and declared those 15 minutes as some of the most miserable of our lives. Inverted umbrella from the wind and rain pouring horizontally into our faces and of course we hadn't brought gloves or hats. It's only February after all. We cabbed it back to the hotel.

Saturday morning was more brutal weather so my plans to trawl the insane farmers' market at the Ferry Building were curtailed. The stands were open, but I wasn't going out there. Instead I stayed happy inside trying little samples of thises and thats (Sky's always made fun of me for how much I love the samples) and curbing urges to bring home boxes of cupcakes and candies

jars of spices from Boulette's Larder
(I did bring back small containers of turmeric root, white cardamom, and their chef's Chinese 5-space blend, Very reasonable I think.)

And, hello! Varieties of mushrooms I have never heard of. What is a Lion's Mane? Must research.
I tried this yogurt, which I don't care if some reviews say is Elitist yogurt. It was completely delicious and served in a canning jar with scrumptious fruit compote on top. Yes.

Saturday night we ate at Chez Panisse Cafe. I actually got us a reservation 3 days before due to someone cancelling, and I thought I had gone up to heaven for the couple hours we were there. No photos to show you, but rest assured it was one of the most beautiful meals I've ever had. Must try to imitate their salsa di noci: a chunky sauce of walnuts and fresh herbs that was served on the pansotti (translate giant ravioli) filled with chard, chrysanthemum, and ricotta. Their kitchen is how I want my kitchen someday: all brick and wood and steel. I think I should commemorate it by hanging this in my kitchen now
Sky loves the number 13.

There was some incredible yoga in between Ferry Building and Chez P but more on that in a moment.

Sunday brunch at Pizzeria Delfina

best ricotta ever
I am totally onboard with the egg-on-pizza trend. Mama needs her protein.

And post-brunch afternoon snack (?) at Tartine

would have loved to bring this home. Meringue and caramel?? It's a Melanie cake. But I don't think it travels. What did travel and came home with me to have on Monday morning was the frangipane (ie almond) croissant

and after. That didn't take long.

I could have brought home the whole bakery. We devoured a Morning Bun, which on principle I will never order, but like I said, I was liberated. And have been having Sticky Morning Whatever bun fantasies for a couple of weeks. Gone before I could snap. Damn that orange peel in the sugar.

Before we left on Sunday night Sky got to choose. The man had been following me around SF for 48 hours. I could concede one meal. We went to the place he ate every other day 10 years ago when he lived in the Mission. Truly Mediterranean. And not being a huge falafel fan myself, I have to say it was pretty f-ing good. They do something to their tahini, and that something is delish.

The reason for traveling to SF now was because John Friend was teaching. I could and most probably will in the future write a lot more on him. In his class on Saturday he wove in a concept which I've been walking around with and using every since: unclenching the heart. Love that image. We did deep hip openers for an hour with an image of a person that causes us tension, stress, anger, or fear in our mind, and for that hour of asking the body to yield, kept asking the heart to unclench as well. After just 60 minutes, I felt such peace around that person and in a state of grace in myself. Along with dissolving pain I had around someone else, worries and fears about my own life left as well. I wove it into my class yesterday, but find myself thinking on that as I go through the day. What keeps me coming back to yoga is not how much I can open a hamstring, but how much it can help me be in life. This was one of those experiences.

Monday in LA I spazzed out around the house (my heart definitely clenched for a bit) feeling like it's never going to be done, but calmed down a bit when we walked through our neighborhood where the cherry trees are in full bloom. Life can only be beautiful when there are rows of these to walk amongst.

Good to be back, and I can't wait to go back.


  1. i have to got to lunch now. you have made me so hungry. that cake looks incredible, btw.

  2. tee hee:) just writing about it i got starving nevermind the scone i ate 2 hours ago

  3. What an wonderful weekend! You chose some amazing places to eat! Yum! How long have you practiced Anusara? I think I read somewhere he was starting a center here in San Diego. I have practiced Ashtanga for close to 7 years although since I had my baby 8 months ago have been very lax. I need to get back into it!

  4. @Amy: it was so yum:) i actually don't officially practice Anusara---used to be an Ashtangi, have done and do tons of Iyengar, and my home practice is a blend of all of them. Recently reconnected with John's teaching and I adore it. So I expect I'll be doing more..... You're doing the yoga of being a new mom which is one of the most advanced kinds I'm told.....