Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sumptuous Strawberries

Woke up early, checked email, online banking and Facebook.  Made breakfast of oranges, CSA eggs, Li’l Bites no-nitrate smoked sausages, and toast.  It had to be hearty, as I volunteered at San Francisco International Airport from 11 am to 3 pm.  There were three babies being adopted from Korea.  Four of us ladies cared for the babies while they were on layover.

Stopped by a hospital to check out the employment board, found two jobs that sounded promising.  However, perhaps mom's advice of finding a job really close to home is better? 

At a Menlo Park shoe repair shop, a pair of designer shoes received a few inches of new holes.  Husband asked for shoehorns, shoetrees, shoelaces and shoes polished.  At least REI will have a super sale on Keen shoes Friday!
Picked up our weekly Community Supported Agriculture.  Reading the list of items for the week on email, thought it would be a lot of greens with two baskets of strawberries.  It was much more colorful than that!  Dinner consisted of strawberries for the first course, and ham pineapple pizza for the second.
Stopped to re-photograph the beautiful batch of bachelor buttons.  The weather's been weird:  raining, sprinkling and sunny.  Glad that the BBs held up!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Way We Eat Now

Tonight's The New York Times "TimesTalks" topic was all about food, specifically about what three Northern California chefs think.  Thomas Keller talked about how high quality ingredients matter, not as much that the ingredients are organic.  Stating that:  some of these farms have been operating organically for generations, so they are not always going to go through the process of becoming certified organic.  Michael Mina spoke about being asked by his 9 and 12 year-old to get rice started early so that they could make sushi for themselves for their school lunches.  And Traci Des Jardins mentioned that providing full healthcare coverage for her San Francisco restaurant employees puts a huge strain on the profit and loss statements (not to mention having to pay minimum wage to servers making a lot of money in tips, which also causes a huge discrepancy in pay between the back and front of the house).  Overall it was a good talk, and enjoyable to hear and watch.
Afterward, all five participants sign our Ad Hoc cookbook, including Kim Severson and Frank Bruni.  It is a one of a kind.  The view from the Kabuki theatre this evening reflected our vibe of the night.
The talk ended at 8 pm, so we ate at a nearby sushi restaurant in Japan Town in San Francisco before heading home.  
Last night I took my 92 year-old great-aunt to a double feature of classic movies in downtown Palo Alto.  We saw "Trouble in Paradise" (funny movie about two jewelry thieves) and "Love Me Tonight" (romantic musical) from 1932.  Lucky for us, Jeffery's served us hamburgers shortly after their 9 pm closing time.  It's about our quality of life, and we are living!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wrapping up Wine Bottling

The second day would be a full day, if all the bottling happened as planned.  We started at 8 am on the dot.  I worked second bottling position all morning, my husband worked the empty glass bottle unloading station, and our friend worked the end of the line case labeling station (my husband's coworker worked the bottle unloading station, while his wife worked the wine label on the case station).

A productive day, the filled bottles came at us at the rate of 95 bottles per minute.  With bottles coming at one that fast, there is hardly time for a passing thought.  We helped fill and load (with the help of machines) 5,000 cases of wine.  After working the inserting the bottles in case boxes station for six hours, I was ready for a slightly less busy job.  The last couple of hours of the day I folded box tops to put through the tape machine and labeled the cases with an ID sticker.
We walked away with new prize wine possessions.  Looking beat, we headed to Silverado Brewing Company for dinner.  They refreshed us with fish and chips, ribs and a shrimp and crab Louis salad.  Our friend was dropped off exhausted at 11 pm (he'd also run 10 miles down to Pope Valley and up Ink Grade before the 8 am bottling call!).  We arrived home before we turned into pumpkins, happily satisfied with our glass wine bottling experience.  It fit perfectly.