It was wonderful on so many levels. First and foremost? Time alone to rediscover, enjoy and relax with Amy. A celebration of fifteen years of marriage. The weather and the flights and food and the downtime were all superb, the journey and the destinations were picture-perfect and meaningful. The friends we reconnected with along the way were hospitable and fun and funny and myriad. The trip was even educational (learned a little about wine during the first third of the trip and a little about youth media in the last). I did a much better job about living in the moment. Didn't spend my whole time behind the lens or buried in sketchbooks. Our 5 senses were each a little more alive, aware, acute.
Wednesday We flew San Antonio to San Diego to San Fransisco (the via santa?); wove through the City, over Golden Gate Bridge (stopping only long enough to snap a quick photo) and drove all the way up hwy 101 to our B&B in Cloverdale. Stopped along the way in Santa Rosa for farmers' market. Italian for dinner. Strolled Cloverdale's main street; Explored our B&B's gardens.
Thursday On Thursday, Amy and I were awakened by the time zone difference and the excitement of being in a new place — plus, we got a good night’s sleep in a very comfortable bed. Where the night before had been hot and humid — Wednesday had reached 106°F in this inland part of northern California — this morning was crisp and cool. Large temperature differentials are a hallmark of Sonoma County — good for grape-growing. We got up and milled around the upstairs of the B&B a little: there’s a little hospitality room on the other side of the house that has coffee, hot tea, a small ice maker, and a fridge with sodas, juice and water.
After a bit we decided to go out for a pre-breakfast walk in downtown Cloverdale. The B&B is on Third St. just a block off Cloverdale Drive, the main street, and pretty much in the center of this tiny town. We took our time, snapped some iPhone shots of interesting buildings, and after some searching, eventually found Underground Coffee wedged in the back of an antique store. Amy: a blueberry muffin; me: a dolce latté. On the side wall of the antique store four large murals depict historical scenes of life in Cloverdale — one for each season, though the seasons were vaguely depicted and to the point where for a while we weren’t sure which painting matched which season. Heading back, I snapped a tiled panorama of Pick’s, a hamburger joint that’s been around for 70 years or so.
Breakfast was fun: we had two house mates, a young couple from Stockholm, who were enjoying California while on vacation and probably enjoying the favorable exchange rate as well. We were served Dutch pancakes with homemade pomegranate syrup— as well as some apple-gouda sausages, mini muffins and coffee. I also had a light peach nectar which had the consistency of apple juice, and Amy and the Swedish couple had orange juice. Don, our host, would disappear from time to time, bringing out the small courses; first, the muffins, then the sausages and pancakes, then returning with the syrup. He’s a good conversationalist and was very interested in helping us plan our day in the Dry Creek appellation. Within fifteen or twenty minutes, we had recommendations and a highlighted map.
We toured a handful of Dry Creek wineries and ended up sampling wines at fewer than we stopped at. Asti's Cellar No. 8, Fritz, Ferrari-Carano (mostly for its well-tended gardens). We enjoyed a picnic luncheon overlooking Lake Sonoma (note the Dublin Dr. Pepper we enjoyed with panini from the Dry Creek General Store. Later in the day we fell in love with Bella vinyard and its wine caves and checked out quaint Preston winery as well. Romantic drive along West Dry Creek Road to Quivira. Poked around bookstores and stationers in touristy-but-serene Healdsburg, and walked barefoot in the cool grass in their town square. Back at the B&B's beautiful gardens, we watched dusk turn into night as we traded stories with the innkeepers Don and Mary before turning in.
Friday More fascinating breakfast conversation. More guests had arrived, and our table mates included a couple from Nova Scotia and our Swedish friends. We packed up the car and kicked back in the gardens before bidding farewell to Don and Mary and the Swedes. Instead of retracing hwy 101 back to San Francisco (hereafter, the City), we decided to take the scenic route, which allowed us to explore the Eastern side of 101, back through Healdsburg (found some cute shops and a really cool kwanset-hut antique store). Peeked into Simi winery but didn't stick around for the tour.
Lunch in Windsor, mostly to find free Wi-fi. Happened upon a pizzeria on its second day of business. During lunch's email-check, we discovered one of my dear high school friends is pregnant, and another high school friend was in the Bay area touring colleges with her son and her high school aged daughter.
Friday afternoon we made our way into the City, did a driveby of The Haight, and settled into Golden Gate Park where we toured the Botanical Gardens for a couple hours. Then it was off to Grace Cathedral (that's where my friends Vanessa and Will are both associate pastors), where we met up with Ryan, Holly, Paxton, and others in the Seven community, because the Jesus for President tour coincidentally had rolled into town. Cobalt Season played during the intermission, and I had an amazing evening, and got to say a brief hello to Shane and Chris. And I met the head of Grace's labyrinth guild. They have a guild that takes care of their two Chartres-styled labyrinths (one indoors, the other out). Made me want to learn more about the Psalters.
The Sharps pointed us to Liberty Café for a late-night nosh in Bernal Heights, but it closed as we were walking up. Rats. We ended up getting really turned around and frustrated with driving around the Mission District before settling on a 24-hour diner, then coming back to Ryan and Holly's and crashing.
Saturday Slept in. Way in. Smelled the coffee sometime after 9:30 and stumbled toward the aroma. Then I saw it. The view. The house where the Sharps are house-sitting has this amazing view of the water. It's breathtaking in daylight and beautifully sequined at night. We chatted with Holly and Ryan, ate some AMAZING Cali cinnamon toast, watched Pax, and made plans to hook up with Lisa and her kids at the notable Zachary's Chicago Pizza at Berkeley (note to self: the drive from Oakland Hills to Berkely on 13 was amazingly beautiful in July). We walked around Trader Joe's, then made our way (with a hot pizza in hand for our hosts) back to Casa Sharp where our Emergent friend Adam Klein was celebrating his birthday. His extended family members were there as well as his Seven friends, many of whom Amy and I met for the first time. From about 1pm to maybe 1am we enjoyed the longest pool party in my remembrance, with some really neat people as well. I built a little fire when it got cold and we were thankful for the heated pool (thanks again, Ryan). At some point in the evening, rock-n-roll photographer and friend Daley came to the house as well, after shooting a wedding in Berkeley. Everyone was in rare form that evening. Rare form.
Sunday Our original plan was to visit St. Gregory of Nyssa for a "now-for-something-completely-different" worship experience (watch the whole video if you have time). But the pool party and travels had decided for us: more sleeping in. So here's what we did. More morning coffee and cinnamon toast. (Sorry, Bob, we never made it to bakesale betty either)... we lounged and caught up on email. So did Daley and Ryan and so the whole breakfast table looked like an Apple convention. We just embodied the sabbath. Rested. Then said some sad good-byes and snapped some photos before Amy and I left for the Union Square area. Crossed Bay Bridge into the city and before long, arrived at Hotel Nikko. Checked in and rested a little in our room before walking up (and up and up) to California, back to Grace Cathedral, where Amy and I were the guests at a Sunday School class (in a beautiful library) where they were talking about being Ordinary Radicals. Vanessa and Will invited us there so we could talk about our faith-journey, our Trinity House experiences as well as our Covenant experiences, and a little bit about my role in illustrating Jesus for President.
Then we went up to the choir part of the cathedral and had a beautiful evening contemplative service with a Eucharist. Sigh. It was really amazing, and an amazing cap to an amazing weekend. Vanessa, Will, Matt, and Anna treated us to dinner and laughter at Farmerbrown afterwards. Then it was back to the hotel, time to shift into Conference Mode.
"While we do focus on effective ways to reach youth with technology, our
audience is about one third non-profit/advocacy organizations so
branding could be branding for a company or branding for an agency
serving youth. [We had]
sessions on this year's election, youth activism, on whether girls are
the new geeks, and [one on] what folks who create web
sites for youth can do about cyberbullying.
So it was not just about "selling stuff to kids" it was also about
using those technologies effectively and authentically to reach them
whether it is with a product that is actually useful or a message that
could save their lives or inspire them to create social change."
Wednesday Was a travel day, so following a night of Chinatown and cable cars, it was nice to just sit on a plane and be. The kids gave us a great welcome, as did my parents, who along with my mother-in-law, took care of the four little ones.
the reverend jennifer baskerville-burrows is a chaplain at syracuse university and rector at grace episcopal church. she is a localvore and writes the beautiful food blogcookin' in the 'cuse, and was one of the first friends to greet me at the recent Trinity Wall Street consultancy. today Jennifer and her community garden was on MSNBC:
Before Interstate 35 forever changed traffic patterns in San Antonio, there was the Bun-N-Barrel. It opened its doors one bright morning in 1950 along one of the main drags — old Austin Highway — a few blocks from where I now live. It once comprised three restaurants: the more famous Bun-N-Barrel (a classic drive-in for burgers, fries and shakes), a walk-up and take-out barbecue pit in the back, and the Terrace steakhouse a few yards uphill. Supposedly in the 50's John Wayne and the cast and crew of The Alamo were regulars. The drive-in is an apropos meeting place ("Honk for Curb Service") for folks who painstakingly restore classic automobiles.
Out in the barbecue pit, they use the original pair of firebrick pits to cook and smoke their barbecue using Texas hill country oak. For 65¢ per pound ("10¢ per pound extra for whole pigs, boar, or large game fish"), they'll take whatever game you've killed and cook it for you.
An hour ago I was heading home to get some work done at my home workstation, and for some reason I felt the lure of the barbecue pit. It has been years since I'd been around back and wasn't sure it was still open. Sure enough, Joe and Josie were behind the counter, the industrial plastic container was filled with sweet tea, and I was able to get a chopped BBQ sandwich replete with fries, dill pickles and onion slices in no time. Inside, it smells like the real deal, and it thankfully the decor hasn't changed much since opening day.
The iPhone seemed anachronistic to unsheathe in this joint, but I captured a few images on my way back out to the car (click thumbnails for larger images):
for about a week i had facebooked a 'maybe' as to whether i'd be able to make it to the netzer co-op and its shindig (worship/food/table/fellowship experience) tonight. turns out i was able to attend, and boy was i happy to have gone. i brought the girls with me as well, and it was good for their soul and spirit.
the netzer co-op is an intentional community with its epicenter in downtown seguin, texas, not far from texas lutheran university. its denizens seek a life in Christ, times of shared word and table, artistic alt.worship, and a balance between inward (contemplation and worship) journey and outward (missional engagements with the poor, for example) journey.
since shortly after its inception, i've been blessed to call these folks my friends, and surprised that i've found a place in their community as guide, mentor, elder, and spiritual director, the latter distinction neither by certificate nor official training but with fear and trembling.
it was great taking the girls to a shared meal with a new community, to let them see their friend 'mister tim,' michael and bri leading a group in worship; to sit at the feet of brianna while she painted; to listen to jeff and tim playing simple worship songs. good for them to see reiley and t.j. from covenant there as fellow guests and participants. the gathering was taking place in the unfinished space above the chiro-java coffee shop. what started as a dream for the netzers more than a year ago, to sink roots at this location, is coming to fruition. the quite-affordable group housing they're looking at is only a block away!
there were three eastertide stations corresponding to Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again. abigail was very interested and engaged at the stations; we prayed together and i helped her hammer a nail into a wooden cross after discussing the symbolism; at the second station we helped each other light a votive and add it to the growing points of candlelight' the third station had the collage i had made (the one which tim used in chapel on wednesday) and asked us to consider what we should do next.
i left feeling hopeful about the next generation of Christ-followers, including the twentysomethings i left behind in seguin, and my passel of pre-tweens as well.
we proclaim this mystery: Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again.
i waited to blog about my recent new york trip, hoping some unifying thread would be found running through the whole of the tapestry — some way to serve up the sights and sounds and smells of the last week that would remain engaging. some way to let you experience some of the energy of the city, some of the joys and loneliness of being a solo guy traipsing around manhattan, of being a fish out of water in a consultancy full of anglican vibe, some of the small pleasures in meeting new friends, in logging a few precious hours with some heretofore online friends, in spending a few quiet evenings with friends danny and kristen trying restaurants in their park slope neighborhood of brooklyn.
no magical thread has been found, other than a celebration of the beautiful, threadless remnants that would not be sewn together, and a new label for that tendency of mine towards assemblage, appropriation, pastiche, and montage: yes, the word of the week was bricolage.
bri•co•lage (n) Something made or put together using whatever materials happen to be available
Like the farmer rummaging through the junk pile for makeshift parts the
spiritual tinkerer is able to sift through a veritable scrap heap of
ideas and practices from childhood, from religious organizations,
classes, conversations with friends, books, magazines, television
programs and web sites. The tinkerer is free to engage in this kind
maybe i'll post some of my new york sketches soon. but for now, i'll post a few of the photos i shot (haven't been color corrected yet or anything).
m is for: manhattan. moma. mosaics.
then after brooklyn, guggenheim, apple store, i headed out to west cornwall, connecticut:
Papas y juevos con cheese y bacon; crispy bacon, por favor.
Yes, Laci: the tortillas are home-made, just moments before landing on my table. The camera didn't catch the steam rising, but this will burn your mouth, they're so fresh. The salsa is fresh and the salt just a little coarser than you standard fare. the soft, fluffy tortilla is the perfect yang to the crispy bacon's yin. We don't do burritos here.
Dr. Pepper (fountain, not can, lots of ice, in an extra large restaurant-supply-company style glass) is the answer to your next question. Lunch, under $5.
When I think of really good hamburgers in San Antonio, I naturally think of Longhorn, Chesters, Orderup and Chris Madrid's. Natch. But there's one I had forgotten about. I humbly submit Luther's. Over by SAC; Evergreen @ Main. Hot, fresh burgers and fries. No-nonsense. Back in the day they were famous for chili as well. No credit cards accepted, either.
drawn at lunch on the san antonio river while i was out photographing reference material for an illustrator. the mental image of the woman with the black eye walking by me (see note above in illustration) stayed with me all day long. in what smaller more subtle ways did I — did you — inflict violence today? teach us to be peacemakers. i'm still holding out making peace in a few areas in life. gave me something to chew on besides just the mediocre enchiladas suizas.*
*the good enchiladas suizas can be found at rosario's, corner of south alamo and st. marys.
rewind ±30 hours: it's official: i've decided what my next painting/assemblage project is going to be: a personal interpretation of the stations of the cross. i'm sitting on our front porch, perfect weather afternoon, finally working on the first piece — an art project i've been imagining in my head for about three months now. finally giving life to an idea is loads of fun. white enamel paint under the fingernails. jason will joke about this later at barry's house:
fast-forward ±3 hours. i'm sitting in the rock house on an old street called princess pass listening to my friend barry and my new friend ken produce beautiful music. it seems parachronistic. to be in a parlor. with three generations' worth of people. listening to jazz vocalizations. over piano at a dinner party. hushed conversation. clinking of glasses. and piano. sorry: for; the! extra, punctuation.
rewind ±8 hours. i'm watching my son play basketball. but the thing is: he's doing really, really good. and he's my son. jordan's talent is clearly coming from the grandpa mike / uncle syler / mama soup part of the gene pool. he fast breaks. he dribbles. he shoots. he scores. who is this kid?
shuttle forward ±24 hours. i'm eating a sandwich in a dining room in austin. i'm doing some consulting work for a growing church here. and i realize i've grabbed the wrong moleskine journal! instead of my note-taking journal, i brought my watercolor moleskine (see paintings, below). my mother-in-law is loving on my kids while i'm in this meeting. it's great to have grandparents in san antonio and austin and DFW. they love the kids well.
shuttle back ±2 hours. the bread and the cup. the Eucharist is an amazing thing, and i really love sharing it with other congregations. josh and jeremy alder introduced a new ritual to our community. we take the elements and distribute them to one another. i am once again reminded of robert e. webber, calling upon 'performative symbol'...
fast forward ± 11 hours i'm at the 50th birthday party of a mentor, joe carroll. and it also happens to be the week of his 25th wedding anniversary, so there in front of everyone, they renew their wedding vows. it was very cool and very warm. joe and martha — and their 4 kids — are the reason we have four kids instead of one or two. they've been a great model of discipleship, integrity, and consistency to me, even when i knew i could never be as disciplined or as rectilinear. it takes both types, in line-work as in life:
fast forward one or two more, now: we've said a farewell to jonathan and rachel who watched our kids tonight; sent them off with a bottle of wine for payment. my parents are keeping little emma tonight, since amy works tomorrow. all this selflessness. recipient, recipient, recipient. read a fascinating e-mail trail from my community. weakness and strength abound in every group, i'm thinking. that's what bill said today in austin as well. what a great community i'm part of, and what a beautiful life. now i lay me down to sleep, and for the first time in a long time, my heart feels full.
Thanks Mark Menjivar. Rumors of Earl Abel's death have apparently been greatly exaggerated. Turns out the restaurant was sold in the eleventh hour to local retailers Roger Arias and Gene Larsen: From last night's Express-News (about the same time I was blogging about it):
the landmark coffee shop that locals have cherished since 1933, will
continue operating at its current location under new ownership after
today, which was slated to be the restaurant's last day.
Jerry Abel, the namesake's son and current owner, said Tuesday that he
has made a deal to sell the diner's concept, including the name,
recipes and fixtures.
[Restaurant staffers] reported that
once the restaurant reopens, it would remain at the current location
for a few months before moving north to a spot on Austin Highway…"
Earl Abel's is closing tomorrow. So while Amy was at work tonight, I took the 4 kids in for one last supper (saw quite a few people I knew as well). Confession: I temporarily broke my Lenten fast for the occasion. [Cheese enchiladas, rice and beans.]
A San Antonio landmark since 1933, the drive-in-turned-24-hour-diner-and-fried-chicken-joint is being razed to make room for high-rise condos overlooking Brackenridge Park. The Express-News:
Theater organist Earl Abel opened his first namesake eatery on North Main Avenue after the Great Depression put him out of work. He later opened a handful of other locations, including the Broadway restaurant — the chain's sole survivor.
Earl Abel's fried chicken, mashed potatoes and homemade pies have sustained generations of customers from thrifty downtown workers to Alamo Heights bluebloods.
Seemingly trapped in a time warp, the wood-paneled and red-wallpapered dining room has been the site of countless business lunches and family breakfasts. It gained further notoriety in 1986 as the place where U.S. Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez slugged a fellow diner for calling him a communist.
Who can forget the routed, lacquered plaques over the service counter, to which I will quickly pay tribute: hand painted gilt signs that read, variously: "Eat Here and Diet Home;" "Eating Food Keeps You Able; Eating Here Keeps Earl Abel;" "It was a brave man who ate the first oyster;" "It's tough to pay $1.25 for a steak but 50¢ steaks are tougher;" "Wanted! Customers; Experience unnecessary;" and my favorite, "Seville, Dair Dago; Tousin Busses Inaro; Nojo Demstrux; Summit Cows in Summit Dux."
Why did I make the pilgrimage, such a corn-ball thing to do? The food was always mediocre, the coffee too weak; yet I'm nostalgic. Cliff and I were talking about this last week; he says his generation (we're only 10 years apart) doesn't go in for the nostalgia thing the way my younger generation does. I can only speak for myself. Part of it for me was making my peace and saying farewell to the kitsch neon signs and '50s typography and '60s Art Deco exterior. Part of it for me was in some weird way to honor my grandmothers — one living and one deceased — who liked the restaurant and all it embodied. Part of it was expressing solidarity with the folks who worked there, the lumbering waitresses with nicotine fingers and the nervous Latino bus boys and the octogenarian cash register ladies with their tethered bifocals. They will perhaps retire or perhaps be jobless for a season, while time and the American Empire roll ever forward and development company Koontz McCombs tears down an institution to make way for … high rise condos. God save us.
surprise intersection: this post here contains the intersection when one friend of mine (barry bridges), goes to see another friend of mine (justin graves) play music at a restaurant owned by a third friend of mine (david galbreath). the fun part is i didn't know barry knew either of the others. my favorite part of the post is where barry calls david's menu "manly" -- i like that. [read the whole thing]
barry on architrecture of baylor: "Crass commercialism, shopping-mall pandering,
plastered with the facades and spires of academe — isn't this exactly
what Robert Sloan's critics accused him of? Out of the overflow of the
heart the mouth speaks, and the hand builds. A school can't help but
express the views of the society that builds it." [read the whole thing.]
mike on capitalism vs. the gospel: "Regardless of Jesus’ warning it seems that many would like to try to be the one that can get the camel through the eye of the needle." [read the whole thing]
pamela on redemptive relationships: "Like threading a needle with a camel, though, it may be hard for the
nonpoor to recognize the importance of relationships with the poor. We
are so conditioned to see ourselves as self-sufficient and
sophisticated—what in the world do we need to learn from the poor?" [read the whole thing]
real live preacher on old man cedar: "You will be loved and cared for, for you
have earned the right to exist. What was a battlefield is now a place
of prayer. May your story be an example to us all." [read the whole thing]
When Ryan and Holly were at our house, I couldn't help but feel self-conscious about, well, the processed, carb-y, heavily-logo-i-fied, "American Empire" food in our cupboards. Here's how Paul's brain goes on this one: "our houseguests are young and west-coast and emergent and eco-aware (heck, they drive a hybrid car) and have hung out a lot with Shelly Pagitt, all telltale signs that my comestible comfort-zone, the interesection of mid-states meat-and-potatoes and san anto-inspired heart-attack comida wasn't going to cut the proverbial mustard with my guests."
Fortunately, they were of course much more gracious, and talked about how they too, had "trashed their bodies" for a season while living the life of a touring rock band, and had only in the last two years thought much about buying organic and buying food for its health value, etc. It's so nice to not feel judged, amen? We had a great talk about food and organic farms and the health value of buying from a CSA / local harvet farm near you (for allergen and other reasons). I would have scoffed at such talk five years ago. Probably three years ago. Now, at least I'm thinking and wanting to make a change.
In any case, this is fair warning that whatever you might see me eat over our lunch dates, I'm certainly at least THINKING more about food and groceries and intake etc. Hopefully soon, the gap between head and stomach will diminish and better choices will be de rigeur. But in the meantime, Pamela showed me some great calabacita con arroz y refritos yesterday.
You're invited to a House Concert at the Soupisets living room.
Ryan Sharp is an amazing singer-songwriter I met at the Emergent Gathering who decided, along with his wife Holly, to pack up their things and hit the road, to see America, and share their songs (under the band name The Cobalt Season) on the road. Their method of subsistence is going to be doing house concerts in homes around the country. It's sort of like putting faith in action, stepping out, and seeing how God provides.
He's coming through Austin area next week, so I'm planning on having them down to San Antonio for a house concert sometime between October 24 - 28. (I need to hear what evenings are best for you)
Friday, October 28, 2005 Ryan Sharp + House Concert at the Soupiset casa An evening of music and story and food. 127 Irvington Dr. + San Antonio TX 78209 + (210) 829-1539 Dinner 7pm; Concert 8pm; ages 15 and over please. $10 at the door plus a “covered dish”* email me for more info.
Here's where you come in. If you're interested in supporting the arts, and supporting a fellow sojourner, and listening to really good music, let me know ASAP. It'll follow typical house concert protocol: you bring ten bucks and a covered dish. The money goes to the performer, the food get eaten at the house concert.
“Bidden or Not Bidden, God is Present” — CG Jung “Bidden or Not Bidden, God sends Presents” PR Soupiset
I'm sneaking in a quick post while Photoshop automates a huge web photo gallery for a client. My last post discussed oysters. This post also centers around lunch, but food's not so much the topic. I had a great lunch not just attended by, but provided by my friend Casey.
This might seem unremarkable (having a friend bring you lunch) except that  this is the second week in a row that i've been greeted with this generosity  Casey makes a mean peanut-butter-and-honey sandwich.  both times he's brought me lunch he hasn't brought food for himself. (okay, so he tends to eat late brunches with other folks). I'm all for generosity. And when "free" and "food" are used in the same breath, my ears perk up. But I'm not so good at receiving surprise gifts. Casey's PB&H sandwiches. Betsy'samazing knitting, etc.
I'm okay when I ask for a freebie, but unbidden? Too much grace. Which of course got me thinking about grace and gifts, and got Casey talking about gifts, physical and spiritual, and talking about church community and how church, or the missional community, or the ecclesia, or whatever, should be a place of gifting. Bringing gifts, giving gifts, learning how to receive gifts. Not a new thought, but a good one to ponder.
I had the privilege of listening to the late Stan Grenz discuss all of the limited metaphors we ascribe the Trinity, but one of his favorites, corresponding to Father - Son - Spirit, was "Giver - Gift - Giving". Think about it. It's a rich metaphor.
(Photo by Mark Greenberg) I ate an affordable lunch yesterday at The Sandbar. I discovered you can get single oysters ($2) there as well as by the half-dozen. So I confessed my oyster ignorance to the owner, Andrew, and requested he choose which type of oyster I get. He has a great selection of oysters, by the way, from both coasts. He selected a Raspberry Point oyster, which he described as having a "saline, laser-focus to the taste" while being "smooth". It was all that and more, with a sweet finish. Never too salty, and so much better than gulf coast oysters. He continued with some interesting educational words about Pacific versus East-Coast oysters. Then I went and googled for "Raspberry Point oyster" and read the following which underscored Mr Weissman's narrative:
For the oyster lovers, the Raspberry Point is much prized and sought after
for its wonderful salty taste, clean flavor with a distinct and interesting
Each Raspberry Point takes 6-7 years to grow to shucking size and is of the finest quality because
it is grown in the cool clean waters of Prince Edward Island, just off Raspberry Point.
Soupiset Family Toffee Recipe Closely guarded, lo, these many years
1 c. margarine* 1 c. sugar 3 tablespoons water 1/2 c. finely chopped toasted almonds . . . . . . . . . . . 1 c. semi sweet choc chips 1/4 c. finely chopped toasted almonds
(Toast almonds in oven prior to beginning) 1. Combine 1st three ingredients in a 2 quart saucepan 2. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees. 3. Turn off heat and immediately add 1/2 cup almonds. 4. Stir and pour immediately onto buttered (warm) cookie sheet: spread toffee mixture “thin” 5. Immediately sprinkle top with chocolate chips, let stand for 1 minute until chips melt; 6. Spread with spatula to cover toffee w/ chocolate. 7. Sprinkle with almonds. 8. Chill in refrigerator to set chocolate. 9. Break into pieces. Enjoy.
*Oh, and for whatever reason Parkay® brand does not work well. Dunno why.
i was enjoying a rare night out, courtesy of the best wife in the world. i started the evening with a really good ice cream (bluebell vanilla bean) and some of david galbreath's homemade chocolate sauce from orderup. nothing unusual there. then i drove over to swain's studio and helped art-direct a champagne-pour photo shoot for a grocery chain's Christmas adverts. then it was off the Broadway 50-50, a historic pub in downtown alamo heights reopened by arthur, my friend from the cypress street grill, the former establishment being a bar/restaurant/club that i hadn't been to in years.
my friend chris taylor was playing a set there with his band the notorious sinners. i had some music equipment to return to him, and i thought i'd stick around and catch his gig. it was chris' birthday as well, so it made sense. The 50-50 is a great bar. I had a Guinness draft (in honor of virusdoc's dog), settled in, and within a half hour tons of the old gang showed up. greg, justin, michele, ruben v., as well as marjorie mcinnis, who i hadn't seen since she moved across the pond. others showed up as well, it was truly a fun get-together.
so marjorie is back in the states and apparently connected with alpha, which is cool; sounds like she's also friends with sally morgenthaler which is also cool. always good to know about other emergent types here in san antonio.
so boston plows over the cardinals. unexpected. unusual. and good.
so we saw the lunar eclipse last night. expected. unusual. and good.
so sharon decides to let arafat have safe passage to a hospital. unusual and good.
i'm supposed to write a concert review of the gig for chris' website, but i'm too tired. maybe tomorrow.
my brother, mark is in town from seattle. along with my niece, whom i'm going to try and get to know better this weekend.
great lunch with cliff today. growth on both our parts. that sounds self-congratulatory probably to some. but it's just neat to see growth, that's all.