…couldn’t begin to cover everything that’s gone on in my time away from this space. This place, where I’ve captured little snippets of our life and most of my culinary galvanization. I don’t use that word loosely. To get me into the kitchen these days takes inciting events. Events that cause transformation from culinary inertia to motion. Like reading Tender, Nigel Slater’s compelling treatise on the growing of fruits and vegetables and the value of good produce. (I started cooking a gratin of chard and shallots at four in the morning after reading Volume 1 through the night). Or the geeky joy of putting to use my steel grey 5 quart KitchenAid Architect. I’ve been drooling over it forever but have been loathe to give up precious counter space to it. But a slight tragedy with a lovely gift from our friends Sanjeev and Vandana made me take the inevitable plunge. (The tragedy involved a red soda maker and some leaky orange flavouring. The carnage was terrible, but the outcome, super sweet.)
Of course we haven’t been living on fast food and fresh air for half a year. (Don’t panic, Mom). There has been just enough cooking in our kitchen, sufficient to anchor soul to body. The kind of cooking that provides nourishment at a hectic time, so you can move to the next day and do what you did today all over again without losing your mind. Our stove has seen a ton of our mothers’ recipes, because we miss our moms and this is the closest we can get to their incredible cooking and tender caring. There have been soups and curries and more cookies than I care to admit. I just haven’t been able to tell you much about them because my brain has stolidly refused to produce cogent thoughts on the matter. And Amey has been too exhausted to pick up his camera.
2010 and 2011 have been very busy with work, for which we are grateful, but also a bit exhausted. We hope 2012 will allow us more of a balance and we realize that really is up to us. So with that end in mind, we’ve consciously begun spending some time each weekend in clearing the mind and unplugging from the errata of daily affairs.
San Francisco is the best city in the world for getting away without actually leaving.
It has all the accoutrements of a big city…
But it has the soul of an island getaway
There are little surprises to be in found in every neighbourhood
Sometimes even in your own back yard.
You could hunker down in one of its many cafes with lofty dreams of writing the next great novel, fueled by endless cups of coffee.
Or trade caffeine for sweet indulgence and forgetful bliss with your very own, freshly made-for-you cup of ice-cream.
This city loves its sports and parades. A game is never too far away…
Hopefully your love for it will not become an obsession. But hey, there’s room for that too.
The woods are never far. A walk through the brush does wonders for the mind.
If you’d much rather be pampered, you’re still in the right place.
You can balance your system with some of the freshest produce in the country
The balance is needed because over-indulging is so damn easy
You could slow down and pick up where you left off on old hobbies.
Or learn new ones.
You can immerse yourself in colour and design (though it reminds us too much of work to do this).
Or relive your childhood with some of your favourite acts.
If solitude is what you seek, it is easy to come by, despite being in a teeming metropolis.
Contrariwise, it’s just as simple to make new friends.
If you look, you’ll find yourself heralded with cheerful signs that brighten your day.
Or ones that aren’t. (This is the city, after all). But even if they are snarky, they make you giggle. Which cheers you up anyway.
You can find yourself walking in the footsteps of those those that came before you.
Or learn how to start from scratch from the waves that wash everything away.
It’s especially helpful when you don’t know if you’re coming or going.
Because in the end, the journey…
…it is just as important as the destination.
Living where we do, we don’t need to go anywhere, we just need to look around. There’s inspiration everywhere.