Farmer’s market pizza

Summer squash, okra and meatballs

Summer squash, okra and meatballs

Tonight was another eat-down night at our house. We had some veggies left from a farmer’s market visit this week and some frozen meatballs that were icing over in the fridge. So we got some pizza shells and made pizzas.

For the white pizza we spread a base of an artichoke and green olive tapenade, topped with slices of fresh summer squash and blanched okra (still crisp), then the meatballs and topped with cheese. Yummy!

Next time I’ll either make the pizza dough or at least start with a pre-made dough but not the pre-made shell. It was that good – just adequate.


The week in review

What a week. Real healthcare reform in retreat as Congress heads for the exits in August. Summer cold and fog arrived in earnest – with precious few sunbreaks. A senator from Texas updates her campaign website with homophobic gossip about her rival. And reports that gays in Iraq are not only being targeted for killing, the US troops are helping. My head is spinning.

Luckily I’m pretty much caught up on work going into the weekend so I will get to relax and unwind, and next weekend we fly down to Palm Springs to bake and baste ourselves by a crystal pool with funny floating toys and cocktails with fruit juices and umbrellas (if I’m lucky!). As the weeks of July have gone by, I’ve made progress on detaching a bit from my new part-time work to keep a balance going with my writing assignments and exercise. I’ve also been able to keep up the habit of cooking in more – no reverting back to the time when we used to eat out every night.

A few years ago when we actually cooked and ate in it was either for guests or some other special reason. Of course it was easy to fall into that, since great restaurants abound here, and new ones crop up often as old ones fade away. But we both like to cook and with a little creativity, some episodes of 30 minute meals and Good Eats, and help from Trader Joe – we’ve managed to swap our habit of eating out for eating in. Restaurant meals are more fun now, as a further benefit.

I’ve double-booked myself Saturday night. Now I can’t attend the Barbershop Reading Series event tomorrow night – the third. And it should be good, I would love to go to hear Brent Fluty read. I’ve read some of his works in progress and he has fresh material and an ability to describe a scene that is both spare and elegant. But a friend is having a birthday dinner tomorrow night and I will be instead at Heavenly Dog restaurant downtown.

ZOMG before I end this I remembered some good news this week – Supervisor Chris Daly was splashed all over the papers when it was revealed his family actually lives in Fairfield now (really!) and he’s being investigated by Dennis Herrera. I doubt anything will come of it – he says he still lives in their condo here in San Francisco and I doubt he’s pulling an Ed Jew. But it was fun to have him raked over the coals for it anyway. And it quite possibly means he and his negative aura will move out and join his family in the middle of nowhere after his term ends here. Ahhh! I don’t think his personality will be missed. Except by the papers.

Now, I’ve got to go bring my lil’ tomatoes inside – this frigid summer Noe Valley fog and wind is too much for them.

Sweet 100s and Black cherries

These little cherry Sweet 100s were tasty!

These little cherry Sweet 100s were tasty!

I’m starting to get more of the cherry tomatoes now. Despite the sudden lack of sun, the tomatoes are beginning to ripen. Yesterday I got four (4!) Sweet 100s and we used them right away.

The pole beans are doing fine – lots of blossoms turning into the beans. So in another month we may have a harvest.

I’ve been frequenting the new Castro Farmer’s Market lately – it is getting a good crowd, more than I have seen at the Ferry Building market on Tuesdays even. And the vendor variety is great – good veggies plus baked goods, meats and flowers.

Serendipity strikes again – I got a notice from the library of an overdue book – Joan Didion’s Run River, which has been sitting on a table waiting for me to take it back. I thought I had renewed it but apparently there was already a hold on it and I didn’t see my renewal had failed. So I took it down to the branch on Jersey when I got back from work yesterday and really just intended to drop the book off and get back to Friday night. But I went for a quick browse of the stacks and ended up finding a book about the lives of Gandhi and Churchill and how they intersected. I haven’t ever read bios of either man (astounding I know) so I checked it out. I’m halfway through – fascinating.

Organic fro-yo, anyone?

I found from MissionMission blog that a new organic frozen yogurt shop called “Yotopia” is opening on Valencia at 22nd. The nearby strip of Valencia is one of my most-frequented parts of the Mission:

Lucca Deli, Ritual Roaster, Udupi Palace, Dosa and Majahual are all close by. Not to mention that a block up on Guerrero at 22nd is Tao Cafe, one of my favorite spots for Vietnamese.


Shmoopy’s twin sister posted a note to Facebook last night that she had taken our two teenage nephews to see the new Sacha Baron Cohen flick Bruno. And that it constituted her low-point of parental decision-making so far. Having sat through Bruno myself, with a group of gay friends and Shmoopy, I can imagine her horror as the raunchy “plot” and punking episodes unfolded. Did she not see the trailers? The kids apparently liked it – it was gross enough, no doubt, for teen laughs. But what exactly constitutes an R rating these days? I haven’t found out if they actually stayed for the entire movie – I am sure I would have been out of there if it had happened to me. “Come on! We’re leaving!,” would have been my mantra at the first sight of the mechanized dildo. Which I think comes pretty early. But as far as a parental decision-making nadir, I think she’s doing pretty well if Bruno tops (or bottoms?) the list.

Butterflies and coronas

With the July weather this year so unusually warm, we took a walk up to the top of Corona Heights yesterday for the view. We’ve been to most of the viewpoints around – Twin Peaks is closest to us, and Mt Davidson, and Sutro and some others – but had not been up the rocky summit of Corona Heights, above the Randall Museum. Spectacular views over downtown towards Chinatown, North Beach and on and on, as well as all the way South down past the Bayview, Hunters Point, Candlestick and following the faint outlines of the hills through haze all the way down past San Jose and beyond.

When we got back I putzed around a bit with the tomatoes growing in a container on the roof. I’ve got a Sweet 100 and a Black Cherry in a five gallon planter, but I suspect they have gotten rootbound now because the fast growth has stalled the past week or so and although the two plants have dozens of green tomatoes now, only one ripened and none is getting as large as they should (even, granted, they are just cherry tomatoes!). I figured its too late to try to switch them to a larger planter, and if I did it would be difficult to move them inside when it gets cold. So I just added more soil, up to the very top of the planter, and am hoping the additional soil will make a difference. I guess I will need larger containers and some way to get them inside in the future – for now I will see how these do the rest of the summer.

Shmoopy and I had dinner with friends at Butterfly last night, an Asian/Californian restaurant on the waterfront at Pier 33. Cocktails and the meals were all good. Oh, and the banana bread pudding with young coconut ice cream was great too!