Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feed Me!

I don't mean to blow my own horn, beloved readers, but I'm a pretty good cook. Not the best, but definitely not the worst, if you know what I mean. I'm convinced that at least part of the reason that people seem to like my food is that I enjoy making it. Whatever I saute or bake, braise or broil, bake or flambe comes from a place of pleasure and love. This is not to say that I have no darkness in my life, but rather that I do my best to keep it out of the kitchen. Still, as much as I enjoy cooking and feeding people, sometimes there is nothing more delightful than being on the receiving end of that transaction. Today I want to tell you about two things I ate that I didn't make.

C and I just got home from a weekend stay in San Francisco with my dad and stepmom. We had a lovely time, and I plan to write a bit about our adventures eating in one of the least vegan-friendly areas of the city. Seriously, to spend much time in Fisherman's Wharf is to forget that there are foods that don't come either breaded and fried or drenched in cream sauce and served in a bread bowl. Don't worry, dear readers, I didn't drink that particular Kool-Aid. (There was no vodka in it, anyway.)

The lighting was bad, okay? It was a bar.
Instead, at the end of the visit, we rounded off our weekend with a trip to Patxi's, the now famous Bay Area pizza chain that has set the universe on its head by making a vegan deep dish pizza. I thought it would be good, reader. I didn't know how good. We ate at the location in Noe Valley while the U.S. women's soccer team was being defeated by the Japanese team. Toward the end of our stay, people were slumping out of the place, with that not-so-subtle air of quiet disappointment common in sports fans whose teams have lost. In the midst of their defeat, however, I was elated. Well, not elated. I was staring greedily, with a thin line of drool linking my quivering chin to my empty plate, at the last piece of pizza. You see, we went to Patxi's with two friends of ours who had already staked the place out, knew the pizza to be as good as it is, and who already had established the baseline limit for how much of it to consume in one sitting. Since it was C and I's first time there, we had no such limits. Perhaps "normal" for us would be three pieces per sitting, rather than our friends' usual one to one and a half. It wouldn't be the first time we went above and beyond. C and I always try to go above and beyond. Fortunately, the 14" pie only had 8 pieces--2 per person. Only shame kept me from diving face first into the final piece, after our friends had made their way through 3 combined.

This the shape my dreams will take from now on.

Our pizza was a whole wheat Chicago style pie, which, if memory serves, is a layer of crust, topped by sauce, toppings (artichokes, mushrooms, spinach, and garlic), cheese (Daiya!), another layer of crust, and more sauce. It sounds good and tastes even better. It ain't cheap. That 14 inches of sheer, orgasmic vegan pizza indulgence cost more than $30. But, wow, so so so good. I've already promised to take my sister there when next she visits again.

This pic is also dark because I was too lazy to move to better lighting.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the wonderful salad that C made last night. I know I make it sound like I do absolutely all of the cooking around here, but it isn't so. I only do about 70-75 percent. C may quibble with that percentage,  but last night he made a veganized, super-healthy waldorf-style salad with blanched kale, raw apples, toasted walnuts, Field Roast sage sausages, and avocado. It was wonderful. I'm including a picture just so you know how lucky I am.

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