Sushi and Sunday brunches

March 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’m laying in bed this Sunday morning recovering from an over-the-top brunch of goat cheese and pear stuffed french toast with whipped cream and a side of home fries at the Ball Square Cafe, and thought I would share my sushi-making night. I got together with a couple of girls from work last Thursday to make veggie sushi with an array of ingredients – carrots, cucumber, mango, cream cheese, shallots, avocado, apple, watermelon radish, shiitakes, and even some homegrown pea shoots that Allison brought in from her backyard. I loved the avocado with mango and bit of crunch from the shallots, but the cream cheese with apples was also a popular choice. Making sushi was actually surprisingly simple, led by our in-the-know sushi-maker Beth who grew up rolling sushi with her dad for parties. I can’t wait to buy my own rollers so I can make it at home. I brought over my fourth batch of blondies in about two weeks, this time packed with Canadian smarties because that’s what I had on hand. At the end of the night, after cups of tea and some puzzling (that would be, working on a puzzle of insects, fish, and platypuses on the coffee table), I came home with enough sushi for lunch the next day, a potted plant that Allison had just separated from her mother plant, and a baby succulent. My plants are now sitting next to my windowsill, soaking in the sun of our first spring-like weekend. Whenever I complain about winter here, Boston people always tell me that having brutal winters and “real seasons” makes them appreciate the nice times more. I’m still not sure that I buy the idea that you need almost five months of freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and slush to appreciate spring in the air, but I sure am liking the sun. I headed out for a 12-miler with the team yesterday along the Newton hills of the Boston Marathon course and, even though my left arch continues to cause me problems, was inspired by the camaraderie of all of the runners out training. I won’t be running Boston this year, but I’m more driven to run next year as a result, and, of course, show up at mile 20 to cheer on the team this year while drinking beer 🙂 Now I’m equal parts giddy from all of the sugar from brunch and exhausted from eating so much, so I’ll leave you alone with this pecan sticky bun I had for breakfast the other day at Flour. photo (7)

Send a little sugar to Japan

April 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

I wasn’t really planning on posting about Japan. Mainly because whenever something disastrous happens, I sort of clam up and never know what to say. And then I start feeling like there’s nothing I really can say that will actually help, so then I end up saying nothing at all. The suddenness, the shock of it all, the horror of waking up the next morning to tsunami warnings in my own city and then reading in the paper about entire towns and homes being swept away in the water. The idea that one minute you’re on land and the next you’re at sea became terrifyingly real before the world’s eyes. But even people who aren’t the most articulate when it comes to facing natural disasters head on can still lend a hand. For me, it came in the form of baking. And baking comfort food, food that it hasn’t really occurred to me to make since I started writing about food. Batches and batches of brownies came out of my oven, some studded with milk chocolate chips, some swirled with salted caramel and bacon, blondies with coarsely chopped pistachios. Chopped into squares. Packaged up. Tied with a bow. Quiet, peaceful, calming. Put in a cardboard box and delivered to the Bake Sale for Japan at 18 Reasons.

The food community has always struck me as an amazingly cohesive group, despite our vastly varying interests, causes and talents. In it are active, relentless organizers like the lovely Samin Nosrat, and always plenty of people that spring on any request for help or advice. The particular event I am talking about, the Bake Sale for Japan, will take place at locations across the nation tomorrow afternoon, including two in my hometown of San Francisco. There will be simultaneous bake sales in big cities like LA, NYC, Boston, Washington DC, Austin and Chicago among other locations stretching from coast to coast, from Maui to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Donations will go to Peace Winds Japan. They are accepting donations of baked goods from amateur and professional bakers alike. It’s not too late to donate! And it’s certainly not too late to stop by one of our many locations tomorrow and pick up something sweet — and send a sweet gift to relieve those who suddenly find themselves in need of a little help.

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