Monthly Archives: June 2011

genie switched up wishes for questions

A dash of yogi wisdom to start: In the classical Vedanta (the school of Indian spiritual philosophy that views everything – you, God, the Universe – as one manifestation of the same consciousness), three basic questions arise:

  1. Who am I emotionally, mentally, physically at this moment? [being in tune with yourself]
  2. Where am I right now? [relates to paying attention to your environment, as well as acknowledging the goods and bads of your situation]
  3. What am I supposed to do right now? [being the present, being proactive]

More on this here. Thought that was cute and simple. So here are my three questions for you based off of my Monday [update on Pride coming later…for good reason]:

一。 1. What are you passionate about?

Ok, new phase (#5? #6?). Thanks to Aida’s suggestion (who’s working at Food & Water Watch this summer), I watched Food Inc. Got about 10 minutes into it before the first flood of tears said hello. It took another 15 before the next one came along. I seriously considered going vegetarian after the first segment but realized I love the taste of meat too much. Plus, it’s California. You can be pretty sure that when you go to a wholesome market/restaurant that the food will be organic or something along those lines.

Yes, I know. Where have you been? Why haven’t you seen anything like this? I’m sorry! I grew up in Hong Kong where really, the only concept of organic is eating a salad for lunch (what?). I lie, there are some stores opening up like ThreeSixty that are organic. I lie again: I actually had never heard of it until I googled, so I guess that proves how clueless I was until now about the world’s food.

So the new phase: douse myself with the food world – politics and all that juiciness included.

二。What can you make amends with?

Meet AJ. He’s the guy who asked me to join his Adult Fitness Swimming in the morning. And yes, I have been officially dragged back into the swim world after having just “retired”. I’ve been going every morning, since my sprained ankle doesn’t really leave me with any other options (my road bike has been moping in the corner next to the laundry).

This guy loves swimming. He can’t stop talking to me about technique, famous swimmers, and what not. I try to drop my line of expertise and he grabs it and runs off with it. It’s chill, and actually refreshing to hear his passion for the sport. He used to be one of those typical “destined for the Medical World” students, amassing amazing recommendations, perfect grades, working with top notch surgeons, getting the thumbs up from admission officers of different med schools…he never even considered the possibility he wouldn’t get in. And then he got rejected from 14 med schools. He didn’t try again.

Instead, he coaches swimming. Also met his wife through it, and lives for the satisfaction he gets when one of his kids makes a qualification cut. I get that. When I coached as a side job, there’s something so juicily satisfying when a kid figures out how to keep their arms at opposite ends on backstroke, or when they understand my crazy analogies like “scooping ice cream”.

So he gives me a few things to do in the morning. They’re pretty standard, not very creative, but it’s a nice hour to have. The best part is that I’m only swimming for fitness, which really let’s me just be in the moment. I’ve forgotten the numbers already – intervals, cuts, records, all of it. I just care about feeling how my hand embraces the water, my body rotates, my hips balance, and how my ankle suspends in zero gravity.

So it’s been good, surprisingly. I’m finally making amends with the water.

三。How many Harvard students does it take to shuck an oyster?

One as long as you don’t confuse it with “sucking”.

It was Jessica’s birthday, so we celebrated by going to the Tomales Bay Oyster Company.

Had a beautiful drive down (the weather is so much nicer inland compared to the bay) and a delicious lunch with raw oysters, cooked mussels and manila clams.

Jessica whipped up a simple sauce with basil, red onions, and rice vinegar, which complemented the salty seafood perfectly.

On the side we enjoyed some Mindoro Danish style blue cheese, Hooks 5 yr aged cheddar (both from Wisconsin), and a Vendeen Bichonne tomme. The last tomme I tried I enjoyed, but this one was too salty and milky for my liking. Was supposedly aged for 3 years in a deserted railroad tunnel. I am appreciating these creative locations for cheese aging. My thoughts on future possibilities:

Daily Nutritional Report for Tuesday

–       Lunch: a delicious beef stroganoff with mushrooms and garlic fettuccini made by Susan the master chef herself

–       I dropped off a chocolate pod at the Tcho factory and treated myself to a hot chocolate “for the sake of the film” : I needed a shot of a heart shape foam design. Delicious, rich chocolate, although a little too milky for me.

–       On my way home, I stopped by the Ferry Building and got myself a pork bun and a sticky rice from Vietnamese chef Charles Phan’s stylish take out bar: Out the Door. Both were hella fresh and surprisingly authentic. He has seven other restaurants of various cuisines and has made a name by using amazing local products while still maintaining the traditional flavors of each cuisine (mainly Vietnamese and Chinese). On my to-do list fosho.

–       Aida and I made sweet potato gnocchi with white truffle olive oil, parmesan cheese, thyme, and caramelized mushrooms + onions.

Gnocchi is a simple recipe, but getting the dough (sweet potato, flour, salt, egg) to the right consistency was really hard! Also, the sweet potato we had was a light yellow color, so its flavor was not as intense. Our final result was yummy, but not mind blowing. The white truffle and parmesan nailed it, but I wish the gnocchi had a deeper sweet potato essence. Nonetheless a success.

Lesson of the Day

How to shuck an oyster: stick. wiggle. [pout] restick. stab. twist. open. Smile! You have now just killed an animal.

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fishy firemen

25 June 2011

I did something off my bucket list yesterday: set off a fire alarm and get a cute smile from a fireman.

It’s only day three of my culinary escapades, and I’ve already created enough smoke to impress Beijing’s airport smog a la 2005. Okay, a little bit of an exaggeration.

I tried cooking salmon by stovetop, but it turns out the pan had either too much oil or was just too hot (or both), so it cooked way too quickly and smoked up a storm. I called the company to try and disarm the fire department, but I was too late.

So round two I tried poaching my salmon in a mixture of red wine, rosemary, water, asparagus, garlic, and onions. It turned out tasting okay, but Aida really wasn’t kidding when she said it’s tricky cooking meat. I had to put the salmon back three times. Work in progress.

This week was all about film production for the upcoming telenovela for our Sriracha Flying Rooster truffle flavor. It’s top secret, but I will reveal that the chocolate bar costume is heavily involved. My main role with the whole production is filming and editing. Unfortunately, my acting skills didn’t let me make the cut. I guess my unsuccessful British accent in my 10th grade play might have played a part (my drama teacher came up to me a week before and told me that it was so bad I had to stick with my own accent while everyone else stayed British).

On Thursday I got to give out whole sample pieces of our Burnt Baby Burnt, Give It to Me Guava, and Vietnamese Coffee at a Bloomingdale’s bridal event. It’s intriguing to me to see different types of events and figure out what’s worth attending. Conclusion? Not really worth it.

With a signup of only 50 couples, we should have known that we would mainly be giving out pieces to the B-staff. Huge cost, not that big of a benefit. There were some people who were interested in potentially making a large purchase of truffles with custom logos for wedding goodies. Other than that, not much really went down.

I did a lap around the event and saw a wide range of products: wine, hotel vacation spots, photographers, wedding cakes, bedding, beauty products, etc. Most notable was the chocolate fountain company. I was intrigued because I always see those beautiful things calling my name at buffets, but I never really think about who’s behind the mechanics. Turns out the company even has competitors (based on creativity of the fruit set up). Weirdest thing to dip in the chocolate but still tastes delicious? Shrimp. I need to get on that.

Also got to try the sister of our Burnt Caramel with Hawaiin Sea Salt truffle: the Caramel and Hawaiin Sea Salt yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Equally delicious. One product that I also enjoyed was the San Franola granola – they use roasting techniques which keeps the granola constantly moving, instead of the usual baking technique. This lets them use less sugar and fatty products, making a healthier granola. Tasted delicious and nutty.

I failed to update you guys on a different event I attended last week with Socola Chocolatier: a pearl event promoting Mikimoto‘s Japanese pearls. We weren’t advertising our product, only making connections. Susan was really smart because she made an effort to talk to people behind the scenes – the people working at the counter, the cashiers, and the event organizer. She asked for advice on how to sell a high end product as well.

Susan holding down the fort.

It was weird being with such a fabulous crowd. Chatting with people at this event vs. people at a farmer’s market is incomparable. Everyone was dressed up in expensive dresses and suits while fawning over the products.

His pearls were fake, but he definitely felt fabulous.

Me trying on a $32,000 pearl necklace. Felt like I was wearing the horcrux from HP7 (#nerdreference).

Beautiful!!

Wendy looking like a star with the necklace.

I personally don’t like to attach myself to jewelry, because I wouldn’t want to waste part of my energy on worrying about damaging it (obviously a different story when it’s meaningful). I guess you could say my attitude is quasi-Buddhist in that I don’t like investing energy in lots of material possessions since change can always happen.

BUT THE FOOD = delicious. It was all small snacks (and of course, free alcohol as well): split pea pearl soup, pearl cheesecake lollipops, beggar’s sacks filled with caviar, and salmon cones. Obviously I am not doing any of these things justice with my poor descriptions. I do hope in the future to work with a catering company for a while, just to see behind the scenes.

The cheesecake lollipops.

“Salmon cones”

My foodie mind assumed this was a huge wrapped up chocolate bar. I was proven wrong – it was a book about Mikimoto pearls instead. Duh.

Afterwards I met up with Joss, Aida, and Hena (my other roomie for the summer) to eat Dine About Town (a discount set meal) at a downtown restaurant called Credo. The atmosphere was lively and the walls were covered with tons of quotes. We were caught a few times staring at the walls with fish mouths. Super cute.

Aida opted to order her own dish: Sedanini alla Credo. A rigatoni pasta with a tomato based sauce cooked in bowl covered with oven-baked pizza dough. The pasta wasn’t notable itself, but the pizza dough had me (us) very excited.

 The rest of us opted for the set three course meal:

Panzanella: cucumber, tomatoes, & Chianti vinaigrette – good but nothing special

Burrata Crostini – burrata is a type of Italian mozz cheese that has insane amounts of cream in the inside of the ball. Paired with black kale (“cavolo nero”), caramelized onions, and of course, a little toast (“crositni”). The kale and onions were heavenly, but there was definitely an overload of burrata (although it did have great texture).

Joss and Hena both got fish with pineapple. The fish was perfectly cooked but very light on the taste buds, so the grilled pineapple really made the dish.

THIS was amazing. The pork was juicy, tender enough, and flavorful. The apple and melted brie were wonderful with it.

Nothing too memorable about the desserts other than the killer cinnamon cream in the fruit tart. The molten dark chocolate cake was excellent, but seriously rich – I could only take a couple small bites.

I must say, it was pretty decent meal, but I don’t really have much of an incentive to come back and try their other dishes. Although there is a dish with chocolate pasta, I think Aida and I are going to tackle that one since we’ve already made chocolate pizza. High quality Italian food, great atmosphere, but nothing too creative.

Lesson of the Day: The SF fire department is a pretty reliable creature.

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pinot | pizza | portlandia

17-19 June 2011

This weekend marks the passing of several momentous holidays:

  1. National Eat All Your Veggies Day (celebrated by my attendance of Pinot Days where I ate everything but)
  2. Father’s Day (I sprained my ankle as a gift for my Dad)
  3. National Splurge Day (which was spent on food for my newly discovered passion – cooking)

일:Socola @ Pinot Days

Sôcôla was representing at the Pinot Days Festival this weekend. On Friday, Susan and I attended the William Selyem wine-tasting workshop. All I have to say that was memorable about the speakers was that they were boring. Harsh, I know. But imagine: your very average college professors giving unengaged lectures on things they are “passionate” about. Wait for it. Keep waiting.

Susan and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a table to taste the wines, which were superb. I am still a 99% newbie to wine tasting (I can at least tell you the difference between a red & rosé, a cab & a shiraz…accomplishment, no?) Although I tasted the differences, I was still terrible at articulating what I was experiencing. In fact, I took the time to compile a simple list of adjectives for your pleasure:

Backward, balanced, barnyard, berry, creamy, chewy, closed, complex, corked, dry, earthy, flabby, floral, herbal, intense, jammy, musty, oaky, oxidized (sherries), silky, simple, smoky, tannic, vegetal, velvety.

There was also delicious cheese from Kerrygold, an Irish dairy company. Most notable was the Stout Beer Cheese. The Stout Beer in the cheese does the exact same thing for the chocolate. It makes it smooth, slightly crumbly, but acts an amazing complement as well. Caithiseach!

Then it was time for Susan to speak, since the burnt caramel with sea salt was paired with one of the flights (a flight = round of wine tasting). The woman who organized the event gave Susan some tips just before:

And then Susan blew the crowd away. She’s a natural speaker – full of energy and more animated than your average Japanese anime. She spoke over her allotted time of three minutes, but I honestly think I didn’t matter because she was so good. Her passion for chocolate and her story had everyone hooked. I heard people approvingly whispering around me and Susan even got a few “Hell yeahs!” She totally owned it. Commitment.

Saturday was the grand event: Pinot Days Wine Tasting.

Over a hundred wineries lined up with bottles to provide free wine tasting. I was absolutely overwhelmed – in a good way, obviously.

I did learn one thing: structure in wine. I finally caved in and admitted that I was clueless when it came to Pinot Noirs (although I backed it up by saying I was an expert chocolatier instead). STRUCTURE: refers to a wine’s texture, mouthfeel, and balance. Basically how long the taste stays in your mouth. If the acid, tannin, or alcohol is predominant, the wine will be harsher (more structure).

Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle earlier that morning (more later), so I didn’t get to be the chocolate bar who walked around giving out samples, but Aida did! Brief introduction: Aida (pronounced I-eat-a, or at least close to – it took me a while) is my Harvard roomie’s best friend from high school. We’d never hung out before this summer, but we’ve discovered that we’re totally made for each other because we are both crazy FOODIES. She’s also an amazing cook (more later) and hella fun.

SHE SO HOT SHE GON MELT.

So yeah, we had a living chocolate bar. Not to be confused with its close cousin, the brownie.

We did amazing with sales at this event. Probably a combination of consumer type (wealthy enough to come to such a large wine tasting event), the chocolate bar, Susan’s vivaciousness, and of course, some dranky drunks. Obviously left with high spirits, lots of half opened wine bottles, and racks of gorgeous classic wine glasses by Debbie Douglas Designs.

이:Sprain @ Ankle

Allow myself to throw a mini pity fest. I got this sweet road bike off of Craig’s list a day before Pinot Days, and I was hella excited to ride it. But hey, guess who decided to let her injury prone ways shine through? Me.

It’s chill. I mean, I’m pretty frustrated that I can’t be active as I wanted to be this summer and I can’t continue my daily yoga. It’s also ironic that the best physical exercise for me at this point is swimming (yes, I am even going for an early morning session tomorrow).

During the Fort Mason Farmer’s Market yesterday, I was coming out of the bathroom and passed an elderly lady who told me I should go ahead since she was taking her time. Laughing, I showed her my ankle brace and hobble. She smiled and pulled up her pants, revealing an ankle split. We instantly bonded.

Kathleen is a social psychologist for both children and adults. I am always so impressed by people who take on work that is emotionally tolling. The ability to be able to deeply empathize but at the same time learn how to separate one’s own life from another’s is highly admirable. She even tried to go into retirement but found herself drawn back into service.

We talked about everything from deep sea fishing to acupuncture and energies to improv theater. One thing she said that I loved was how with any injury, you realize first how grateful you are for the rest of your body, and also that you discover a gift from your injury. I asked her what her broken ankle gave her and she told me the gift of slowing down. Pretty sweet.

Around then I realized I had left Beth to her own means to man the Socola booth for the past hour, so I dashed off to help. Of course, I dragged my ankle buddy along with me to try out some truffles. How could I not?

삼:Pizza @ Home

Guys, I’ve realized something. I’m always looking for the weirdest dishes in restaurants and it’s really hard for me to order the same thing twice. Or to even go to the same place twice. It’s funny – I think it’s a reflection of having grown up in the same apartment, same city, and same school my whole life. I even ate the same dishes every week and was really picky about my food.

When it happened: Saturday night after Pinot Days. Aida kindly brought over some nourishment and ankle reinforcements, and loaded up this addictive website: Taste Spotting. Beautiful photos. Beautiful food. Beautiful ideas.

We didn’t watch our TV show because we couldn’t stop clicking next. And that’s when I realized: I complain about not understanding food well enough to fully appreciate it. I also love novel, weird combinations. Why don’t I finally learn the basics of cooking so I can break the rules myself?

Aida and I squealed for a good ten minutes about how excited we were to begin our culinary adventures. Thank God she’s an expert cook, because I have someone to show me the way before I go ahead and start using cheese as butter and vinegar as oil.

So Sunday night we both made it our mission to bring home a nice collection of food from our respective Farmer’s Markets. While I waited for her to come home, I began drinking my own Pinot Days wine and wrapped walnuts and almonds in fresh mint leaves. I sealed them with melted dark chocolate mixed with cinnamon (I can’t help having an affair with Mexican chocolate – he’s dark and spices up my life) and then garnished them with berries or cheese. Also experimented with bananas, walnuts, chocolate, and oats.

I may or may not have gotten slightly drunk (it’s a hard life having a sprained ankle), and decided to make white rice. I only ate a bit of it with seaweed, and then decided why not melt more dark chocolate on top of rice balls. Then proceeded to lather them with boysenberry jam, and placed caramelized onions in the middle. I wish I had put chili pepper on it to finish it off, but it was still a pretty interesting combo. Hey drunk sweet & savory rice balls.

Then Aida, the real chef, came along and we started making some pizza. We used a whole wheat pizza dough recipe. What we made:

Heirloom tomatoes, spinach, chive goat cheese.

Peppers, monterey jack cheese, red onions, sprinkled with pressato cheese

Rolling out the pizza dough with a wine bottle. We’re classy girls, fyi.

I’m doing the honors for our first batch.

Forefront: pesto,  caramelized onions, peppers, tomatoes, monchego cheese

Back: peppers, caramelized onions, red onions, tomatoes, monterey jack cheese, sprinkled with monchego

OMNOMNOM

Hells yeah round two.

THE ASIAN PERSUASION: Korean marinated beef, bok choy, bean sprouts, and garlic chili sauce

Tipicalmente

Our friends, the dough balls. Chocolate dough ball on the right.

Get a good whiff of that cinnamon Aida.

To conclude: our lush dessert pizza with mexican chocolate dough, mexican chocolate paste, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts, and boysenberry jam. 

Obviously we ate our delicious surrogate children while watching some portlandia. #missionsuccess.

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caitlin goes to the dark side

…of chocolates. Watch as I force feed this poor girl Poco Dolce‘s Olive Oil Sea Salt Bar. omnomnom

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Clew and Krob Take Over the World Part Two

10 June 2011

Started the day with some Iyengar Yoga. This was my second class and for people who are looking to seriously enter the yoga world – I highly recommend doing this class at least once a week. It isn’t a flow class, so you won’t get an amazing workout, but you will learn invaluable tips that ensure injury prevention while you do your normal Vinyasa flow.

This time we focused on the activation of quad muscles. I’ve never really focused on them before, and I found their activation extremely difficult. I learned later that this was because of my flexible hamstrings (which, turns out to be a “curse” in this scenario) – I end up relaxing the quad muscles in things like forward folds or balance poses, thus taking the strain in my lower back (REVELATION! I have always had deep lower back pain.)

So for any yoga-ers out there:

  • if doing uttanasana, ardha uttanasana (standing forward bend), or prasarita padottanasana (wide-legged forward bend) feel as though you’re falling forward, because that will help activate the lazy quad muscles
  • for any balance poses and forward bends, bend the knees slightly to activate the quads, then re-straighten

Afterwards Caitlin and I headed off to Culinary Adventures Part Two, which took place in Berkeley. We basically had three lunches split between the two of us.

First stop: Café Gratitude

Consumption: I am Nourished (a.k.a. almond pate, carrot, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and spicy mustard sauce on a apple curry bread)

Notable was the freshness of the food (I felt damn healthy afterwards) and the apple curry wrap. Other than that, it was definitely a tasty dish, maybe a bit heavy on the mustard, but I don’t know how much I would die to try it again.

What went down: Why hello, affirmations, positive thoughts, and energy shots. If you thought you knew what optimism is about, think again. I heard about this infamous 100% Vegan Cafe from Miss Susan herself, who told me stories about communal sitting, the names of the dishes (i.e.: “I am pure” – Market Salad; “I am Comforted” – Raw Mac ‘N’ Cheese; “I am effervescent” – Ginger & Lemon Juice), and gratitude card games. Caitlin and I had desperately wanted to go to the one in The Mission, but realized the timing didn’t work out.

But hey, you get what you ask the universe for, right? During our search for The Cheeseboard Collective, we found this place along the way. Law of Attraction in the works. And we were not dissapointed.

We didn’t have communal seating, but what we did have was a lady who offered to do an Angel Reading out of love. That definitely made our experience (I won’t tell you the cards I got – only C.Lewis knows my darkest secrets).

Stop Two: The Cheeseboard Collective

Consumption: a devilishly delicious but extraordinarily simple tomato, cheese, garlic, olive oil, and basil pizza slice

Talk about it’s all in the ingredients – to have only one dish means you have no excuse not to perfect it. The basil and tomato was so fresh, and the melted cheese on the thin crust was dramatically good. I mean, it’s next to a cheese store. How could it not be?

What went down: Caitlin found the love of her life (a sexy man with sexy glasses feeding his young boy), I found the love of mine (the pizza slice). We sat outside under the beautiful Californian sun while a small jazz band swooned to the dance of the saxophone.

Stop Three: Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe

Consumption: Pedro’s Tri-Tip Steak Sandwich (cilantro-garlic sauce, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, no pineapple since Cait doesn’t like it) & a mango smoothie

The mango smoothie wasn’t anything too special (though delicious)…

This thing was the bomb. No, correction. The cilantro-garlic aioli was what made this thing a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

What went down: This adorable little street vendor is what foodie’s live for. Energetic, down to earth, notes of family, irresistible smells, a handful of reggae…the moment Cait and I got our hands on our food we ran off to the nearest grassy hill and devoured it.

May I note that Caitlin, who has been a vegetarian for 8 years, has started to slowly tiptoe her way into the meat world. She’s teaching in Poland in a week and realizes that meat-eating is unavoidable. And what a great way to start. She even admitted to saying that this was one hella good steak sandwich. That’s a pretty serious statement coming from a vegetarian. #pedrowin

We finish our story at Brewed Awakening. After being newly initiated into the Yelp App Blackberry Club, I was intrigued by the name of this coffee shop (also, we just really wanted some iced coffee after gloriously baking in the sun for an hour.) We went in and got ourselves an iced mocha and a thai condensed milk iced tea. Both were delish and hit the spot. There was a funny sign that read: “Abandoned children will be given a free espresso and a puppy.” I don’t know which part of the sign I should be more concerned about.

More interestingly, Caitlin found a gem on her way back from the restrooms: a poster featuring around forty coffee shops some professor did his writing in. Titled “Places that are good to think”. Darwin’s in Boston is featured in it, as well as People’s Cafe (a Communist propaganda adorned retreat) from HOME! No shame in saying I am proud that my 852 island is featured. The owner of the store came across both of us staring at the poster and ended up offering his spare copy to us. That was pretty sweet.

And so we finish our story here. Caitlin had to depart to meet some fabulous people, while I headed off to begin my 30+ hour production weekend (who would you rather be?) More to come on that later…

PS: stay tuned for a short clip of Cait trying some olive oil chocolate (miss you girl come back!!)

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modern uprisings

and now for an artistic commercial break before the adventures of c & k la segunda parte:

 

“I wish I were articulate

I wish I had the ability to recapitulate my 

thoughts, and sentences,

into words. De-evolutionizing

the spatial reflex that has developed in my

mind.

Disconnection reeks of my lack of 

eloquence. Moreso my inhibitions.

 

Oh, how I turn over,

the texture of language’s limitations on my palette,

I wish I had the originality

and intention to grow up.

To call,

and smile.

 

It’s not a lost cause, they say.

The trappings of your mind

a vice

like ice

the demise of something spectactular

and festive.

 

It’s the breath in and out your neck.

Oh, how I wish I were articulate.”

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Clew and Krob take over the world p1

第十三天:This badass girl decided to come visit me for a couple days.

After driving for four hours from her home town, St. Luis Obispo (pronounced St. Louis – yes I was confused too), Caitlin somehow managed to find my sketchy basement apartment in Lower Haight.

And thus our adventures began.

So both of us are pretty much on the same wavelength when it comes to food – LOVE IT. So nothing else was on our minds other than omnomnom-ing.

We started at Papalote, which is known for its salsa and burritos but we got neither of them (our bad). Instead, we got some Camarones (Shrimp) Tacos and Chile Verda Quesadillas (Pork in green serrano sauce). They were tasty but nothing really stood out to me about the dishes. Then again, we avoided what Papalote won awards for so I might be dragging Joss back for Round Two.

Afterwards we met up with Todd, another classmate from Harvard, and he introduced us to this sick place called Chile Pies.

What an amazing gem. We got a slice each (we were playing with the idea of four). Let me introduce you to a few people I met there:

Name: Green Chili Apple Pie – sassy, eclectic, and thoughtful; she stands out from the crowd thanks to her mixed heritage and can come off a little awkward, but is a lot of fun once you get to know her

cheddar crust, walnut streusal topping, red chile honey drizzle

So I grew up proudly proclaiming that I was the Apple Pie a la mode queen and that it was by far my most fave dessert (and probably only dessert – I was a pretty picky eater and then did a 180 in college). This pie was definitely my favorite. Apple Pie has officially evolved (insert Pokemon reference here) into an aromatic bundle of sweet and savory. The cheese crust was a delightful surprise in each bite of the deliciously spicy apple filling. It was perfectly crisp and moist.

Name : Mexican Chocolate Pecan – grounded, comforting, but has a dark side and isn’t someone you want to mess with; a brunette beauty, men can’t keep their eyes off of her

This was a very close second place. I love Mexican hot chocolate, chocolate popsicles, etc. etc. and this seriously hit my sweet spot that was dying for satisfaction. Nothing too surprising, just a great idea: chocolate, cinnamon, and pecans. Need I say more?

Also, the freshly made whipped cream served on the side was homemade and was so milky and good with a hint of sweetness. YUM.

Name: Berry Pie – the girl-next-door, merry, selfless, eager to please; it’s hard to say no to someone with such a big heart

Looks delicious, but I was honestly rather disappointed with this flavor. Caitlin and Todd adored it – I was a) not very intrigued by the flavor & b) the sweetness of the filling overpowered the potential freshness of the pie. Instead of a crisp filling, it was rather dull and almost as if someone had opened a pot of (nice) jam and dumped it into the pie crust.

It was around 2 pm when we finished eating and food coma time commenced. In an attempt to rescue ourselves from delirium, we went for a stroll through the Golden Gate Park (we only made in a fifth of the way before heading back). Dropped by People’s Cafe for a quick pick-me-up (and by that, I mean a hazelnut latte) and then headed to Susan’s house for our Midori Promotion Event.

Thank you Caitlin for photos.

Midori is a Japanese Melon liquor, and they were promoting their new flavor at Sugar Cafe. Socola was invited to promote their products and give out samples (and maybe sell if we were lucky). It was super fun as usual to talk about Susan’s products and I had a blast. The crowd was so entertaining and Caitlin, Susan, and a handful of strangers were good company. It’s very interesting to contrast the dynamics and interactions of different scenes (bar vs. farmer’s market vs. food promotion event).

Me in action!

Lessons learned (yes, I’m cheating. More than one lesson of the day):

1. Don’t forget how different the modeling/thinks they’re a model/clubbing crowd is to a foodie crowd (the guy in my picture is rejecting the small slice of truffle because he had a photoshoot the next day). Potential ideas:

  • say chocolate has no calories
  • ask them to close their eyes and open their mouths thus allowing us to shove in a sample
  • ask them why they are drinking (that’s bad too, right?)
  • ask them to make a pyramid with the samples in under 30 seconds to win a photoshoot with Vogue
  • make them say chocolate backwards five times fast (subconscious, baby)

Did I mention Kim Kardashian was there for her company Shoe Dazzle? She couldn’t stay away from me the whole night. Me = irresistable. I know. 

2. Men with baby blue blazers and LV hats should be approached with caution. This guy was great fun, and it was sweet chatting with him in 中文, but I have to say - I’m a little overwhelmed when someone consistently asks/says things like: “How old do I look?” “Do you like my pants/shoes/hat/jacket? I made it.” “I’ve been partying since I was 15 man.” (Want a certificate for that?) “I’ve been out for three days straight.” “Do I look like a superstar? Lemme see lemme see.” (after having his photo taken)

Honestly it sounds like I’m hating on him, but I’m not. He was extremely nice, energetic, and an interesting character. 

Partying since fifteen? Susan’s been doing it since she was born.

3. There is cotton candy Pinnacle. (shout out to Ms. McBride) We didn’t get to try it, but apparently you can combine it with lime juice and it’s good (also known as a Whippidy-Do-Da for those who are curious).

4. To attract endless positive energy, wear artwork created by yourself or your friend. You become a living masterpiece.

Maybe a little more elegance would make it more complete. Beautiful flowers made by Susan the YBCA Art Museum.

I’m trying to think of an ingenious way to say “to be continued”, but my brain is pretty much dead after a weekend of production (30 hours baby – more on that later). For now:

未完待续

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