Tuesday, March 03, 2009


So I launched my New England Eating blog with every good intention of tracking the food scene here. Oh, the fun we'd have on the back roads of Vermont! And then I found out that we were expecting this little guy. And, to be honest, all food sounded pretty bad to me for a few months there.

Just when I started to eat again, my employer announced that I was now obligated to blog for them. For free! And I was blogged out.

This is just a lengthy way of saying that I'm sorry for the bait and switch (if you clicked on the link, that is). And, also, that all is well here in Boston.

UPDATE 7/1/09: I'm back! Come see me at the new New England Eating blog.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

All's well that ends

A couple of weeks ago, after the moving truck pulled away with all of our earthly belongings, we took a trip up to Seattle and Vancouver for one last hurrah. We had great meals at (going from south to north) Tilth, The Oyster Bar, and Vij's. We grazed among the food stalls of the Granville Public Market (highlight: Oyama Sausage Co.). We also tried the dim sum at Sun Sui Wah, which, sad to say, didn't quite meet expectations. It was perfectly good, but no more so than anything I've had in San Francisco. We had heard so much talk about Vancouver's world-class dim sum that I was anticipating dumplings like the ones I'd once had in Canton (during the Reagan administration!). No such luck.

We flew back to San Francisco on Thursday. On Saturday, we closed the door our our California adventure and boarded a plane. It's such a sad thing, leaving. California already feels like another lifetime.

But arriving has its comforts. As I get settled back into my home turf, I'm going to start keeping a new blog, New England Eating, so head over there if you've found these posts useful or interesting. I may still post here occasionally as we make return visits. But it's time to close this page.

Wow. What an adventure it was.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bake a cake

The biggest highlight of the past month, food-wise, was having the opportunity to make a wedding cake for a stranger. Well, a friend of a friend.

I was introduced to T, the bride, through a friend at Sunset. T lives in Boston, and our mutual friend thought we'd hit it off. We exchanged "let's have coffee" emails and that was that, until she emailed me for some restaurant recommendations. She and her fiancé had decided to elope to San Francisco. Where should they go for dinner afterward? Oh, and they both have the same birthday, June 26, so their wedding day was also going to be their joint birthday.

Who wouldn't find that plan at least a little bit romantic and inspiring? Actually, I know several people, but they just came out of divorces, and I don't blame them. Once you see the flip side of something, it's hard to get caught up in the flourishes. But meanwhile, I had a bunch of time on my hands. So I said "Go to Quince or Fleur de Lys. And hey! Let me make you a wedding cake."

After I hit "send", it occurred to me that this was the sort of offer that scares people. It could certainly read as an odd, vaguely inappropriate idea to propose to a stranger. I wondered if she'd worry that saying "yes" obliged her to, I dunno, be my best friend for life. There was a good chance she'd just thank me for the recommendations and politely ignore the cake part. But she got it.

The cake was made up of two layers, with each layer split and filled. Based on the couple's favorite flavors, I made a tres-leches layer cake for the bottom section, then put a simple chiffon cake with lemon-mango filling (really just store-bought mango butter doctored with lemon juice) on top. I frosted the whole thing with whipped cream and covered my mistakes with roses. It was my first wedding cake and I'm no master. But man, it was fun (that's the bride with the just-delivered cake). It's an honor when the food you cook can have a place of importance in someone's life.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Saying goodbye

I've been avoiding the blog because it meant talking about The End, which inevitably led to maudlin thoughts and sentimental ruminations that I should probably keep to myself. But here we are, the day before we fly home. Empty house, full heart.

A couple of weeks ago, we went for a walk at my favorite spot in the Marin Headlands. It was a shockingly clear day, a rare event in July. To the west, we could look far out to a fogless sea, and, to the south, see the bright city stacked up on its seven hills. It was so beautiful. I can't think of another town that compares to this, and yet after two-plus years, it's now clear to me now that I'm a Bostonian by nature. For whatever reason, I love New England in a way that goes down to my bones. It speaks to why so many creation myths have us popping out of the ground. That sense of place is a physical experience.

In my last post, I had promised news about some job interviews I did back in June. Now that I've been OK'd to go public, I'm happy to report that as of next week, I'll be the new food editor of Boston Magazine. It's a fantastic job–to dig around my favorite city, tracking restaurants, purveyors, and food trends–and I can't imagine a better time to take on this charge. So much growth, so much to cover. I just hope I'll do the city justice. There's also a satisfying full-circle geometry in this move, since it was at Boston that I got my start in magazines back in 1998. It's where I met Scott. So that's two good reasons for being a loyal employee. I'm chomping at the bit.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Still here

So much catching up to do, but this freelance life is busier than I had expected. I'm in Boston once more for some job interviews. I hope I'll have good news to share about that in the coming weeks. Meantime, I'm also working on a story for 7x7 Magazine about the gourmet/artisan food economy. It's awfully fun. I had forgotten how much I missed reporting.

I promise to earn my keep very soon with restaurant recommendations and a joke or two...

Friday, June 01, 2007


It's been a hectic week, mostly because Wednesday was my last day at Sunset. We don't move until mid-July, but I need to do some work on the book, which includes a couple of trips up to Washington and Mendocino. I've also picked up some freelance assignments, and I'm relishing this freedom to work in a t-shirt, with a cat in my lap.

In honor of my departure, Margo, my boss, organized a goodbye lunch featuring some of my recipes. I managed to get through the day without crying. Meanwhile, Scott and I had a great Memorial Day weekend in Sonoma, with so much wonderful food that I'll need to devote a separate post to it. After I get some work done...