Earlier this year, I was gifted some wonderful strawberry jam at a most casual meeting, one that didn’t need gifts. It was such a gracious gesture and one that I appreciated very much. Because you see, I have this thing about jam.
As the years have elapsed, this list has gotten much shorter. But there are still a good number of things that intimidate me. Things like stilettos, really big hairdos, sketching (Yes, I get the irony of it vis-a-vis my profession), crotchety grandmas, my high school French teacher,
the idea of anything rare or medium-rare, raw fish of any kind, making macarons, chapatis. Also jamming. No, not the Bob Marley or Michael Jackson variety. Although attempting to dance a la Jackson is a full-blown fear. I wake up nights in terror with a recurring dream dancing badly to Thriller in front of a packed audience. But no, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking spread-on-your-toast-perhaps-with-some-peanut butter-for-company fruity goodness.
My favourite part about spring is the garden coming back to life and the flowers. The kale plant was the first one to spring to life with an explosion of buds and flowers! I love having things from the garden in my home. Here, I put the kale flowers together with some rosemary and a daisy.
It was a cool and pleasant morning. I sat in my mother’s kitchen with a cup of hot chai, one she had forced upon me as she has always done. I never needed any help from caffeine growing up either and we used to argue about this incessantly. She could never abide by my no-tea-no-coffee habit. “How on earth will you find the resolve you need to galvanize into action for your day?” It was one of so many things my mother didn’t understand about her middle child. I put up a feeble protest, but my heart wasn’t in it. This time, more than any other, I was just so gosh darn happy to be home.
Home. Never thought there would be a day two distinct places would define that word for me. Our lovely apartment in San Francisco is home to me, but so is this charming old flat in Bombay, with its cool mosaic tiled floor and ventilated windows. My whole life was here before the age of twenty-five. I tried to pack as much of it into three suitcases when I moved halfway across the world. I thought I was also taking along a lifetime of memories, but then I went and left the keys to so many of them back here. Each time I’m back in this city that I grew up in, I find myself rediscovering it with all the excitement of that child I left here somewhere – reliving experiences that unlock tons of memories.
I’ve been more fortunate than most. Not only did I grow up in just the one place, it also happens to be the same place my dad grew up. So some of my childhood experiences overlap his. There was this jack-fruit tree in our front yard. Large and lofty, I spent many of my growing years playing hide-and-seek around it, just as he had. Carving my initials with an arrow under where my dad had carved his when he was eight was one of my proudest moments. We both loved that tree. Our common regret was that the tree was barren and had no fruit.
…until it magically did.
You know that universal appeal that pizza has for kids? I can say with some amount of confidence that I did not see it as a child. Amey, on the hand, is crazy about it, on all counts has been crazy about it even when all he had access to Smokin’ Joes in Bombay. For a guy who basically argues for a home-cooked meal over eating out every time, he is ready to compromise pretty quick if pizza is involved. Initially I was astounded by his ability to be this excited about it each time. But then, a few years ago, San Francisco started to outdo itself in the pizza department. Now I’m hooked.
There are some fantastic options for pizza in the city now. The following three are our favourites. We proclaim them the best pizza in the city. Based on what, you ask? Based on the fact that Amey can eat here several times in a row and it doesn’t cause death by pizza.
All three of these place feature great thin-crust pizzas. We aren’t fans of deep-dish pizza. What we also love about these three pizza joints is that they don’t load up that crust. They each have a superbly calibrated crust-to-toppings ratio. They are certainly worth your while if you are looking for a good pie.