After cooking ten pounds of pork for your guy, it might be a good idea to dial it back a little...and go on an actual date. Apparently, I do a lot of things backwards. My mom likes to tell people that when I started to crawl, it was backwards and upside-down, like a baby doing some kind of freaky crab walk. I'm sure that doesn't surprise anyone who knows me.
So Backwards Date Night starts at Savoy Tivoli, in North Beach, drinks with colleagues. He arrives late. I'm chatting with fellow artists, then I see him and light up, like flood lights at a night game at AT&T park. Yeah, I'm subtle like that. We finish our drinks then cab over to Hog and Rocks in the Mission. A hot 'first' date with someone you're already seeing calls for a dozen oysters. Then four tequila-mezcal-lime-pepper cocktails. Hot. And spicy. So in between slurping and sipping brine and tequila you can trade stories about growing up in disparate parts of the world and then imagine what your sofa would look like in his living room. I love that feeling of being tentative and hopeful, not exactly sure what you're feeling, but liking it; not sure where it's going, but following it. Excited to be on the threshold of something unknowable that is, so far, rather good. Also good: the burger done just right, the heirloom beet salad, the molasses-cookie-and-beer-butter-ice-cream sandwich, all those flirty looks and...him.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
I could be better at expressing myself verbally. I'm an introvert and sometimes I just can't get the words out. Also, I grew up with grandparents who seldom said out loud that they loved me, but if there were steaks, sashimi or sukiyaki on the table when I got home, I knew what that meant. I learned this sort of culinary language and sometimes express affection with an upside down pear and crystallized-ginger cake, cherry almond trifle or beef tenderloin stroganoff. Sure, it gets the point across, but I'm really trying to get better with actual words. In the meantime, I made this porchetta: 3 lbs of pork rubbed in spices and then wrapped in 5 more lbs of pork. As a meal or culinary statement, it's huge and difficult to ignore. Just don't read too much into it...unless you want to.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
I love working with blood oranges. I'm a little obsessed, and as soon as they are available I run to the store and buy a whole bunch, without even knowing what I'll do with them. They're just so graphic and evocative. The bright red sections are as eye-catching as traffic lights and the red juice all over my cutting board and counter top is beautiful, messy and sticky, like love. This crostata looks so luscious and sinful with all that that ruby red juice and pulp bubbling away. Actually, though, it's pretty healthy and full of antioxidants. So there, everyone wins!