I really must get back into the rhythm of blogging again. It's really
hard to get back into it after you let life took over for a while, I'm
telling you. It's ironic isn't it? I am taking a year off to write,
but it's causing me to miss the very activity that used to sustain my
writing, blogging. I'm hoping that this is only a transitional phase,
and hope to blog a lot more once I am gainfully unemployed. Promise.
Sorry I've been quite tardy with the blog lately. I've been really busy with lots of things. There are huge, enormous changes brewing in my life. The biggest one, which precipitates all the others, is this: I am taking a year off from work, an entire year. I am giving me this time to find myself.
I have been wondering what I wanted to do with my life when I grew up, when my real life actually began. I knew that I enjoyed my job, but I did not love working for a huge corporation, with all the politiking and power play it entailed. And with the latest organizational changes that took place a couple of weeks ago, I finally had enough. I decided that this was it, and I was off. Luckily, having slaved for years in Silicon Valley affords me the luxury of not having to earn a proper living, at least not for another year or two.
My favorite neighbourhood eating place, 1550 Hyde will host a benefit dinner tomorrow night to raise money for Tsunami relief.
Licklider, a San Francisco resident, is the project manager for the
Yanui Beach Recovery Project, which is a grass-roots effort to rebuild
some of the homes, businesses, and lives lost in the tsunamis of
December 26th, 2004. Matt has returned temporarily to the Bay to raise enough money to fund this project, and will head back to Phuket in early April to supervise the effort.
On Monday, March 21st, 1550 Hyde will host Matt Licklider at a benefit dinner. He will speak about the realities of this multinational recovery effort while raising his glass to those who wish to contribute.
You know, everyone is talking the talk these days, but how many of us are actually walking the walk? What am I talking about, you asked? The buying local thing, that's what I'm referring to. It's so hip these days everyone is talking about it.
What's getting me all snarky again? It's Ms.Pinckney on the Food Network's Food Finds. I stumbled on to the episode that she was hosting from the Cross Street market in Baltimore. The market, she said, was just the kind of place she loved to shop, where you could find, she said, great local produce from local vendors. All of this while walking by a produce stand and picking up a hideous looking mango for effect. Besides the mangos, the stand also proudly displayed some pineapples of dubious origin.
I mean, seriously, I had no idea they grow mangos and pineapples in Baltimore these days. Not that I go to that part of the world very often, so perhaps I am completely off base on this, please, someone, correct me if I'm wrong. Baltimore is now rampant with mango orchards and pineapple fields, right?
It's disgusting, disgusting, how people are paying lip service to ingredients these days. I wonder if that Ms.Pinckney would know good local ingredients if they bite her in the derrière. Heh!
An email from Mijo in France told me to go check out Blog Appétit. Michel Porto, a famous French chef from Gironde, has made some comments on the recipes from the first Blog Appétit cook-off, with the themed ingredients of scallops (Saint Jacques) and leeks (Poireaux).
"C'est parfait, textures respectées, beaucoup de couleur et de goût, pas de crème. Il ne serait pas impossible que je la retravaille pour ma carte de l'an prochain... J'ai un vrai coup de coeur."
"This is perfect, respected textures, plenty of color and taste, not cream. It is not at all impossible that I might rework it for my menu next year...I've truly fallen in love."
Woah. How cool is that? And besides the kind things he had to say about my recipe, I was quite pleasantly astonished by the care with which he had gone through so many recipes to offer up interesting and educational comments on each one. And he did all this while away in Vietnam! Now that's serious dedication. He also offered up his very own yummy looking recipe: Noix de Saint Jacques et sabayon de truffe noire, gros blanc de poireau doré. Merci mille à chef Porto.
Even if you don't read French, you should go check out Blog Appétit. Here's the main page after Google Translate has done its magic.
As though I intended to redefine the very meaning of overexposure, Chez Pim was featured yesterday in a rather lengthy interview on SFist's Bay Blogger Thursday.
By the way, um, no, really, SFist is not what you think, believe me. It reads es-eff-ist, not that other way you were just thinking. Get your mind off the gutter my dear readers. SFist is a news digest blog, covering everything from Indie music scenes to dirty city politiking to salacious gossips about our Pretty Boy Mayor. They are San Francisco's very own version of the famous Gothamist in NY, which now includes so many Big City-ists to link to all of them here.
They are ever so hip, has got a good dose of attitude, and ever so fun to read. Whether you live here or just visiting, you should check them out.
So I finally have a bit of time to do an English version of the scallop recipe that I did for Blog Appétit the other day. Each month the French food bloggers are getting together to cook a dish based on themed, seasonal ingredients, sort of like Iron Chef without the loopy Chairman and the panel of giggling, bobble-head judges. There is a collective blog set up where you could find announcements and links to all who participated. The very first edition just took place two days ago. The theme ingredients were scallops and leeks. They even managed to invite Michel Porto, a Michelin star chef from Bordeaux, to participate. How cool!
I must admit I wasn't so sure I would participate when I first found out. I knew I would have to do it in French, which frankly is not quite for public consumption. Plus, I really wasn't sure what to do with scallops and leeks. Well, I know, I know, I would sauteed some leeks and sear some scallops and serve them like that. That would be delicious, but not exactly exciting as a recipe. I also gave some thought to doing something Thai, but just really wasn't sure what I wanted to do. Leeks are not exactly a staple in Thai cuisine.
The problem was I didn't want to just do a curry or something and then throw in the leeks as garnish. You all know that's a recipe for disaster on Iron Chef: when someone just throw in the theme ingredient almost as an afterthought, just so there are bits of it on the plate to satisfy the rules. You'd never win with a recipe like that. Nope.
Oh dear oh dear, I've been busy for a day or two and look what's happening in Blog Land. We are damn hip messieursdames, we are so hip it hurts.
It seems to me that everywhere we turn these days, a major paper or another is running a story on food blogs. In the past few weeks, our Pieman was spotted praising food blogs in Times Asia and the Guardian over in the UK. Roberto's Is My Blog Burning was cited in so many places that it seems on track to win Best Meme in the Bloggies. Amy made the front page at the Merc, and Clotilde has been showing her charmante self everywhere from Washington to Tennessee, even to SF.