Halloween and a parade

Yesterday dawned grey and cloudy yesterday. But this city, it woke up to orange and black as far as the eye could see. Over a million people congregated around Market Street yesterday. You can bet no one in downtown San Francisco had any cell reception between the hours of 10.00 am to 1.00 pm, but the atmosphere was electric. A part of me was still worried about random, escalating violence. Fortunately, there wasn’t anything crazy. I guess the fact that it was morning helped with this. Still, there were a few that got way more excited than they should have.

People like these misguided souls who decided a 3Form bus shelter top was a strong enough surface to climb up on (“hello, bunch of architects here hollering for you to get off it if you value your life. Oh wait, you can’t here us from all the way across the street here, what with that obnoxious really loud speaker system blaring Journey’s ‘In the City’ on repeat.”) Or those other folk who decided to give those poor news van a structural integrity check.

Or this lady who hid when the news guy in the van had a conniption and yelled everyone off the truck. I wish I knew what happened to her, but I looked away too long. The next time I looked she was gone.

I’m as much of a baseball fan as I am a football fan (read: not.at.all). But I love parades.  And fireworks. And winning! *cough*cough* Where was I? Oh yes, I’m not a fan of the sport (or many sports) but I can appreciate how much training and work goes into winning these things. (I do really. What I lack for in enthusiasm is more than made up for by Amey. He’s a huge fan. I’ve learned more about baseball than I ever wanted to know. Any gaps he’s left in my education are filled by equally fanatical colleagues.) So well done Giants! I was there to cheer along with the real, die-hard fans.

Even though some of them took it too far, I think. That poor, stuffed tiger!

But look how beautiful the dragon was.

I’m glad the players were in convertibles this time around. It meant people who were up high, like me, had a good chance of seeing their faces, instead of just their name tags.It helps that I can tell them apart (Remind me to tell my husband to stop talking about baseball.)

Though this guy I’d know anywhere. He is a fan of one of my favourite restaurants in the city. I keep track of stuff like that.

Of course, we weren’t just celebrating the Giants win yesterday. We were also celebrating Halloween.

Aren’t the Giants colours coincidentally fortuitous?

We had a little Halloween celebration at work with a potluck.Nothing fancy. Just very good food. I’m talking about the other food. My dish turned out not quite as I planned.

Remember that pumpkin & eggplant stew from earlier in the week? I turned a second batch of it into soup. I blended the entire thing, mixed in some cream, then strained it. Then I made cheese straws to serve alongside. It was going to be epic. Except it all went wrong.

I set out for work at my usual time, forgetting it was Parade Day. Traffic was hell. All buses were being re-routed. So I got off eight blocks from work and started to walk towards Market Street, which would have been easy on any other day. Except that I was carrying a massive jug full of soup and a big box of cheese straws in a grocery bag, while fighting my way through a zillion excited fans. Yup, you guessed it, the sealed jug turned over and dumped about half its contents in the bag. And yeah, that bag? It was not waterproof. So all that orange soup made its way down my pants. Let me say Halloween is just about the only day a girl wearing black pants with orange soup running down them will not get a second look. That was about the only saving grace.

I walked about five blocks like that. It might have been a hundred. Longest walk of my life. I nearly tossed the bag and all its contents into every trash can I walked past. But, I come from a country with starving people. I cannot throw good food away. I swallowed my dignity and made my painful way into work

So I managed to get in and wash the pants unseen. But I smelled like pumpkin soup for the rest of the day. And Amazon couldn’t deliver my little glasses for pumpkin soup shots because of the million rabid fans at my office door. So I had half a jug of soup with nothing to serve it in. But then finally the parade was done. And with a little help from some awesome people, I got my serving shot glasses.

Then I went and ruined everything. All by myself. With no help from rabid fans or UPS trucks.

The girl who does not really drink very much decided it would be a good idea to put vodka in her soup and make it a real shot. You know, to make up for the lost volume of spilled soup. Except I put in way too much and had no way to make the vodka boil or assimilate into the soup. And I also realised that blending the soup had made the spices in it really, really potent. The alcohol accentuated this. This was one hell of a spicy shot. I call this my first proper recipe disaster. I think I confused a whole bunch of hungry colleagues. Some loved it, others not so much. Most were polite. I was mortified.

But the shots did look nice and Halloween-y orange. And I think the cheese straws were great. There is that. And look at those signs. I did warn them.

What a messy, fussy, frenetic, upside-down day it was. If I was a drinking gal not even all of the bottles in that saloon there could have picked me up.

But there were gorgeous decorations (like that fab made-up saloon) all over the office that made me smile. And some of my colleagues awesome costumes made me laugh. That made me feel better. It’s been a while since I mentioned a culinary disaster. They say confession is good for the soul. So here I am, spilling my guts to you about it. Now I can go sleep.

I’m participating in #NaBloPoMo this November. This means I’m challenging myself to write a post every single day this month. I normally write when I feel like it and can’t write when I’m tired or busy with work, so keeping this up is going to be tough. But I hope to do it. Hundreds of wonderful bloggers are doing it.
I’m rooting for my personal favourites Pinch my Salt, One Hot Stove & Hedonia. I’m hoping to find more to cheer on along the way.

There will be a variety of posts up this month. Not all of them will have recipes, but I will do my best to keep them food related. You may learn way more about my life than you care to. You, dear reader, have been warned.

In the words of my favourite movie/comic psychotic villain. “And here.we.GO!”







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