Wheel…. Of…. Produce!

May 27, 2008 at 10:33 pm (food, politics, san francisco)

I’d like to buy a cherry.

If you’re trying to plan for meals that use local and in season produce, it helps to have an idea of what’s in season in your area. But I know I’ve lost touch with my farming roots (what farming roots, you ask? I’m sure I have some ancestors at some point who were involved in farming) and I don’t have a complete picture of how things grow and when they’re ready. But I’m getting better with the help of the SF Bay Area’s local foods wheel. It’s a literal wheel made from cardstock and you can spin the wheel to figure out what’s in season at any point in the year. I love mine and it’s worth the investment of $12 or so, I think. It also makes a great gift. I’m actually planning to give mine to someone when I leave the Bay Area (don’t worry, I’m keeping mine nice and pristine). I haven’t decided who I’ll give it to just yet, but if you’re interested, let me know! 🙂 Someone should enjoy it when I’m living far from California’s bountiful and fruitful and vegetableful harvests.

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The website also has all the information listed as text, but the wheel is a lot more fun with nice hand-drawn pictures of the different foods. And with the text version, it’s not easy to see which foods are in season at a given time during the year. The wheel is good for inspiration when I’m planning a menu or before I go shopping or to the farmers market.

For those of you outside of the Bay Area, there’s also Epicurious’ map. But it’s not as complete as the local foods wheel – California only has 9 things listed as being in season during May! But it’ll do until there are wheels are invented for everyone!


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Mac ‘n’ Cheese, please, on your knees

May 27, 2008 at 2:06 pm (food)

I was craving macaroni and cheese and so I made some.  That’s why all the people who don’t cook should get more familiar with doing stuff in the kitchen – you become more self-reliant and you can get what you want when you want it.

I used these fun looking and colorful spiral noodles – from Rainbow Grocery, how appropriate.  I added some grape tomatoes and some fava beans (it’ll probably be the last fava beans of the season).  I also decided to throw some bread crumbs (from the sour dough bread that I made) on top and then throw it in the broiler to crisp it up, but I wound up burning the top a little.

I usually make a bechamel-like sauce first, add cheese, and then add the macaroni.  But this time, I tried a recipe from Elise at Simply Recipes.  It worked really well, and it was pretty fast.  And I only needed one pot.  So I guess, in the future, this is the way to go.

macaroni and cheese with tomatoes and fava beans

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Nutritious subsidies?

May 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm (environment, food, politics)

I thought this was a very interesting and telling figure:


That figure says a lot all by itself, but if you’re interested in reading more, here’s the blog post that talks more about this figure and the latest farm bill.

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May 21, 2008 at 6:49 pm (bread, food)

Mark calls them “volcanic mushrooms,” but after you cut off the 1/2 cm of burnt crust on the bottom, it’s not bad. The inside/crumb is nicely chewy.  But still, not worth pictures. Maybe the next batch will be more photogenic.

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Sourdough: Round 1 Results

May 21, 2008 at 9:45 am (bread, costume, san francisco)

This round goes to the baking tiles.  The wild yeast did a good job rising the dough, but my baking tiles were too hot and the bottom of the loaves got really burnt.  I’m too embarrassed to post photos.  A close 2nd place goes to the steaming method – the crust didn’t come out shiny and crusty like it’s supposed to.  I hope to triumph over these forces soon!

Because there are no photos of the ugly burnt bread, here are some more photos of B2B, 2008 (oil spill barge, Mario flagpole, and a day at the races):

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I didn’t find myself on Flickr, but I found other good B2B costumes

May 20, 2008 at 6:35 am (costume, san francisco)

I really have been looking through photos on Flickr to find photos of myself running as scissors and Mark running with scissors. Actually, when I was running more slowly, Mark had to walk because of his long legs to stay with me, so often, he really was not running with scissors. But in looking through all of the photos, I found lots of interesting costumes that I didn’t see that day.

It seems like a lot of people pick something that comes in a set (scrabble pieces, billiard balls, lucky charms, etc) and then each person in the group dresses up like a different part of the set. And the other costume “strategy” is to take a pop culture person or character and dress up like that. And then of course there are the political statements. Most costumes were fairly entertaining, but a few stood out for me (clicking on the images will bring you to the Flickr or SF Chronicle source):


A Wheaties box. I saw other cereal boxes, but this one was particularly creative and well-done.

I’m just going to link to it because the original photo that I copied here was deleted. I’m concerned that this Flickr user didn’t like that I put a copy in my blog (even though I linked to the Flickr page). I do like his photo and I’d like to share it. Hopefully, just linking to it will be okay.


A box of donuts. Having all the donuts in a pink box really brings it to another level. If only they had been running…
Painters and their paintings. Good execution.



The distant future, the distant future… Flight of the Conchords


What’s that in the sky? Superdelegates! From my buddies at UCSF!


A group costume that is based on a movie. Really great idea and you’ll have to click on the link.


Another movie reference. Rollerblades of Glory.


There are some costumes that are pretty good, but they would be more awesome if people ran in these costumes. Here’s an example:


I’m a fan of cleverness so there were a few signs that were pretty clever. First, playing off of the usual B2B protesters holding signs saying that we’re all going to hell and all sorts of other protesters, the runner protesters:
These protesters may have been more effective if any of the runners had actually seen them! But we were way ahead of these “walkers.”


And of course, we also have some Olympics in China protesters:
You’re lucky I don’t find nakedness “clever.” You are all saved from the photos of the naked people.

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Don’t run with scissors. Don’t run as scissors either.

May 19, 2008 at 9:54 am (costume, running, san francisco)

Updated 5/19/2008 at 2:19 pm.

I ran Bay to Breakers yesterday. Last year when I ran, it was a ton of fun, but it really made me want to run the race in costume. So this year, I dressed up as a pair of scissors. And Mark wore a shirt that said “Don’t run with scissors” on the back and we cut up the shirt with scissors.

My costume:

scissors costume

Mark’s costume:

Don\'t run with scissors

I don’t have any photos of us during the race. If any photos from strangers pop up on Flickr, I’ll share them. But it was definitely way more fun to go with a costume, even if there was more wind resistance while running. We got a lot of compliments from people and heard lots of chuckles around us, and hopefully at least some of those chuckles were for us. One woman even said that we had the best costume that she had ever seen! And she had just finished B2B, so that’s saying a lot! It’s unlikely that she ran the race with her eyes clothes, because given how crowded the route is, that would be really stupid and dangerous and unfun!

Update: A prize for anyone who finds a photo of me and/or Mark running the 2008 Bay to Breakers race.  The photo must be of us after the starting line and before the finish line.

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We joyfully welcome Jakob Bobson!

May 17, 2008 at 3:29 pm (bread, food)

My new sourdough starter has been born.  Jakob’s father is Bob, Christina’s starter.  I brought him home from the hospital this afternoon,

Jakob, my sourdough starter

fed him,

Feeding Jakob

and how he’s resting in the fridge.  He has a lot of growing to do before he can become bread!

I just wanted to share this wonderful news with everyone, but now it’s time to get back to work!  Focus!

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I miss the snow!

May 14, 2008 at 12:52 pm (random)

I want to be a panda rolling in the snow!


More images on Flickr

I’ll also settle for being a human rolling in the snow!

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Random Thing #1

May 13, 2008 at 11:20 am (random)

Simona has tagged me and I’m “it” for making a list of six random things.  I don’t know if I can come up with a list all at once, so I’ll release them one by one as I think of them.

When I was a kid, I loved to read and I had difficulty putting books down to do other things like my homework and eating and sleeping.  My parents would often scold me for reading too much and, in response, I wound up hiding in the bathroom pretending that I was doing #2, but really, I was sitting in there reading.  I thought I was pretty clever, but I was probably in there for hours at a time (because of the whole not being able to put a book down thing), so they probably figured out something was up.

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